When you get married, you and your husband become a family. Then you end up with two sides of family instead of just your own. More people to love and care for, pretty awesome, right?
During this time of blending, there are a lot of people, personalities, and traditions to mesh together. Sometimes it goes smoothly and sometimes it does not.
One way that I decided to bless my husband was to love and embrace his family well. I hoped he’d do the same, but I resolved ahead of time to care for them because they were part of him.
Now this ended up being quite easy for me because I love Sean’s family very much. I have two brothers and I gained two, sweet sisters when Sean and I got married. His parents are thoughtful, love the Lord and encourage us. I felt blessed to be able to join the Cox family!
However, I know that combining families can be stressful and difficult at times too. One thing I tend to see is that both husbands and wives have a sense of relief if their spouse embraces “their side.”
Get-togethers, holidays, meals, plans and the like are all simpler when everyone gets along or will at least try.
Here are some suggestions when it comes to loving and embracing your husband’s family:
I know that some families have difficult relationships. Perhaps there are hurt feelings and distance that makes it hard to see each other. Regardless of the situation, I bet you’d bless your husband by being intentional with relationships on “his side” of the family. Good, bad or indifferent – we can always grow when it comes to our relationships.
Bless your spouse (and his family) by the following:
- Choose to give grace when tensions arise.
- Send cards, texts and reach out by phone.
- Don’t compare them to your family and fuss about the differences.
- Ask them questions, learn about them, and learn their preferences and dislikes.
- Invite them over if you are able or go to visit willingly.
- Try and make the relationships easy between everyone whenever possible.
- Pray for them and with them!
- Be open to spending time with them where your spouse doesn’t feel like you have to be dragged kicking and screaming.
- Go with the flow sometimes and try new things.
Sean and I are thankful that we get along with both sides of our family. We each make effort and so do our family members. Even though we get along, for the most part, it’s important to be intentional when things get rough.
My challenge to wives (including myself) is to be intentional even when things get rocky in relationships. If things are not going well, then consider the list above and see if you can achieve a “relationship regroup.”
I find that our hearts and attitudes are often mirrored by others. Choose to be loving and welcoming toward people as much as possible and hopefully, you’ll see improved relationships over time. Even if you don’t, you’ll know you did the best that you could on your end. Pray for your family and for any hurts to be healed.
Caring for your spouse’s family is an amazing way to respect him, bless the family and honor God too. I was thankful to see Sean jump right into my family and accept everyone as a new family member in his eyes.
I hope a little intention will bless your marriage and family!
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