How To Deal With Difficult In-Laws During The Holidays

relatives holidays

Everybody has to deal with difficult relatives during the holidays.

What should that look like in Christian marriage?

When most people see the word "relatives" they immediately think of people they are connected to through blood or marriage.

They might think of favorite cousins, funny uncles, or grandparents who send lots of gifts.

However, for some married folks, they think of disappointing or disapproving in-laws.

But, when I hear the word relatives, I think about relationships.

Let me share my thoughts about the word relatives when it applies to family conflicts, especially if you really want to diffuse arguments and prevent misunderstandings during the holidays.

  • My mom always said you can choose your friends but not your relatives, and that is so true!
  • We don't like some of the people we are related to, including those that became relatives through marriage, the in-laws.
  • But that doesn't mean we can't have a good relationship with them.
  • In fact, God puts people in our lives so we can relate to them in the way God relates to us.

BOTTOM LINE:  Through marriage, God has brought many more people into your sphere of influence so you can reflect His character to them.

Here's how you can put all this into action - treat people the way God treats you.

God has compassion for you, even in your weaknesses, faults and sins. You don't deserve His kindness, yet He pours out unconditional love on you for your benefit.

You don't have to like somebody to love them the way God loves. You can care for them in spite of their weaknesses, faults and sins without demanding they meet certain conditions that might make you like them more.

When you start relating to them in ways that benefit them instead of avoiding or condemning them, you will build bridges with them that in time, will improve your relationship with them.

Tired of having the same fights over and over again?

triggers toolkit mockup (700 x 700 px)
  • Learn how emotional triggers spark intense reactions that lead to conflicts
  • Discover the three conflict triggers that set you off and why it happens 
  • Identify the predictable patterns so you can stop the negative cycle

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