Skip to main content

From Primary Faith Trainer to In-law

When you are a new parent, it feels like this stage of life will last forever. Sadly, our precious babies grow up much too quickly. I had barely adjusted to our oldest going to school in another state, when she started talking about marriage. One of the things she loved about her soon to be husband, was that he loved his family and enjoyed being with them. He is a great young man and we are so thankful for him and we are incredibly grateful that he comes from a solid Christian family. His whole family embraced our daughter as one of their own. We were thrilled. We had prayed for years that she would marry a godly man from a strong family.

After graduation, our son-in-law went to work for his father’s company in his hometown – 4 hours away from us. As our daughter adjusted to her new home, I suddenly, I found myself getting a little envious of all the time she was spending with her “new” family. I was feeling left out of her life.  I realized I could get bitter or I could change my attitude. I began praying a lot for my attitude and for my daughter’s in-laws.  Here are 5 areas I changed my attitude that changed our ‘in-law’ relationships:

Make your house fun.

You want your son or daughter in law to enjoy coming to see you. Have food you know they like, do activities you know they will enjoy and make sure they feel welcome and at home. I had my son-in-law fill out a questionnaire about likes and dislikes.

Avoid all negative talk.

No negative talk about anyone. Don’t let your child speak negatively about their in-laws and you don’t either.

Share holidays.

You don’t have to celebrate on the actual calendar date.  Remember that your child’s in-laws want all their kids home for all holidays too! There’s no reason you can’t celebrate Christmas a week late. Be flexible. My husband has one sister, and she lives in South America. That meant that if we did holidays with my family, his parents were alone. My family did a great job of including his parents in lots of family gatherings.

Get to know your child’s spouse

Nurture a relationship with your child’s spouse apart from your child. Make a point to call or text them sometimes instead of only contacting your child, even if it’s only to share a joke or a funny story.

Support your child’s in-laws.

Be supportive of your child’s in-laws. Try to get to know them. After all, you will most likely share grandchildren someday! My dad and my father-in-law played golf together for years. I felt sorry for the poor guys they got paired with at the golf course. Two proud grandfathers together is a lot!

You want your child to have a happy, forever marriage. Do everything you can to help things go smoothly. “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt 19:6)


Leslee McWhirter
Latest posts by Leslee McWhirter (see all)