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Jump-Start Your Day

Tuesday, November 28th, '17

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

MONSTER-IN-LAW

"For I have come to set a...daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (Matthew 10:35)

 

The latest Hollywood 'family film', or anti-family flick, whichever it is, I haven't seen it yet, Monster-in-law, stars Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez, but I'm sure many readers today feel qualified to play the star role. What an odd statement Jesus made, that He came to set in-law against in-law. He was simply stating that when you choose God's family tree you may have to cut loose from other family trees. God's agenda may have you going on a missions trip to Guatemala during the week Maw-in-law has a family reunion planned. Obedience to God normally ruffles feathers.

 

I'm not just saying this for fear of Miss Normie accessing the website but I have an exceptionally kind, generous and impartial second Mom in my mother-in-law. Others aren't quite so blessed, to say the least. Eke! In-laws become outlaws when they pick sides. Paul commanded, "Let nothing be done through strife", and later, "do nothing with partiality" (1 Timothy 5:21). Monster-in-laws tend to favor their innocent little baby boys. Age and experience differences contribute to the standoff. The elder has her way of doing things; the younger has hers. 'We never did it that way before' is a line that has no place in the experiment of a new marriage. "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3) The time-warp creates an attitude warp. Soon friction becomes faction and the little lady doesn't want to attend family get-togethers any more.

 

One verse needs to be read out loud at the wedding rehearsal dinner; "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his own wife..." (Genesis 2:24) Marriage involves leaving and cleaving, and that dear Jane means you! Eke, is now followed by, Ouch! And Johnny, quit taking your laundry home to Mama even if all you can afford right now is a scrub board. Eve had one advantage over today's brides; she didn't have to listen to Adam go on about how beautiful his first girl friend was or how good his Mom cooks. Append eke and ouch with a big, Ugh!

 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness...you know all that. Tightly confined relationships can't succeed without those fruits and a lot of give-and-take. It doesn't work in the board room and it's not likely to work in the living room. Jacob knew when he outstayed his welcome at Laban's house. Oh, there were always a couple extra potatoes set on the table for the grandkids but he could sense he was starting to cross the line with his monster-in-law. So Jacob had to leave Laban and it was the best thing that could have happened because Jacob sure wasn't fulfilling his destiny as inheritor of the Promise Land while hanging around working for the in-laws. Moses, on the other hand, had a great relationship with Jethro, his father-in-law. In that case, Jethro discerned the calling in Moses' life and Moses likewise took wise advice at the mouth of his wife's father. Their relationship was symbiotic, not parasitic, and that made all the difference in them getting along. It's really just a matter of respecting personal boundaries. The kids have their lives to live; the in-laws have theirs. It would be wise for Junior to pick up the dinner check half the time and remember to put borrowed tools back where he found them (with the grease wiped off). And the Dad-and-Mom-in-laws can zip it up when the younger don't discipline their kids quite the way they think it ought to be done. Each generation has right to experiment, win some, lose some and, as God created marriage, to enjoy life together. To that eke, ouch and ugh become a happy, Ahhh!


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