“I usually send the kids' drawings to my folks because they're more interested in our kids than my husband's parents are."
“If there’s a few extra days of vacation, we’ll spend it with my folks. After all they visit us more often.”
Ever thought or done any of these type of things? I have. They seemed right. But after the Lord started working on my heart in this area, I realized that most people respond to the way they are treated.
Although I was convinced I was merely responding to my in-laws when I treated them second-hand, the Lord showed me two important facts:
1. Because my perspective was skewed, I overlooked hurtful things my husband and I had done that were causing my in-laws disinterest. They were actually responding to me, not the other way around.
2. It didn’t matter how they responded. God commands my husband and me to honor my in-laws.
After treating my in-laws like second-hand parents for a number of years, I had to win them back. When I started to treat them as they deserved, they didn’t respond immediately because I hadn't built their trust. I could have used that as another excuse to quit trying, but God just kept reminding me to honor them. And the results were wonderful!
Homework: Think about the bottom line issue: are we willing to obey God and trust Him more than we trust ourselves? Are we willing to quit treating him like a second-hand God and honor His commands?
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3
For more insights:
Part 6: What Ruth & Naomi Teach Us
Part 7: Six Things I Did Wrong