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Accepting and Loving your In-laws | What you can do

What You Can Do

The New Couple

  • Cut the Apron Strings.  Some who marry never cut themselves loose from the apron strings of their parents.  Cleave to your husband/wife, not your parents, family or friends.  
  • Your married life should become independent of both parents.  Don’t return to your parents for advice and counsel and to confide.  
  • God ordained marriage from the very beginning.  In the record of that first marriage recorded in Genesis, the Lord makes four significant pronouncements:
1.  It is not good for man to be alone;

2.  Woman was created to be a helpmeet for man;

3.  They twain should be one flesh;

4.  "Man should leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife.(Genesis 2:18, 24)  To cleave does not mean merely to occupy the same home; it means to adhere closely, to stick together.  Later, as though to reinforce the earlier statement, the Lord said,

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”  (Matthew 19:6)    

  • Your married life should become independent of your parents and friends.  Sometimes husbands or wives return to their mothers and fathers to obtain advice, counsel and confide.  However, cleaving should be to the spouse in most things, and all intimacies should be kept in great secrecy and privacy from others.

How to be great parents
to your
Married Children

  • Parents are to prepare their children to leave home and cleave to their spouse, not to their parents, family or friends.  
  • No one should come between the husband and wife, not even parents. Sometimes parents will not relinquish the hold they have had on their children.  Parents who attempt to hold on to their married children, direct, dictate to them, and draw them away from their spouses, are likely to regret the possible tragedy.
  • Allow your children to build their own home and establish their own traditions.
  • Relinquish any hold you may have upon your married children.  The spouse should become the confidant, the friend, and the sharer of responsibility; and the two should become independent.  
  • Never attempt to divide the loyalty of your child to his/her spouse, or you may regret the possible tragedy.  No one should come between the husband and wife, not even parents.  
  • Don’t take sides.  Allow your married children to work out their own problems together.  
  • Don’t compete with your daughter-in-law for the love and attention of your son.  Realize that you are merely two women who love the same man, and he still loves you.  
  • Treat the young couple as adults, and don’t interfere in their relationship.
  • In the event of divorce, continue to be kind to the ex-spouses of your children.  Not only is that the right thing to do, but your grandchildren are watching to see how you treat their parents.  

Accepting and loving a
Daughter (or Son) -in-Law

  • Make an effort to help your new daughter-in-law feel welcome in your family.
  • Don’t speak negatively about your daughter-in-law to others; but rather speak highly of her.  
  • Remember she is in a new role as a wife.  Don’t give advice unless it is requested.
  • Remember her birthday.
  • Include your daughter-in-law in conversations, activities, shopping, planning of family gatherings, and family photographs.
  • Notice her good qualities and sincerely compliment her. 

  • Work on developing a relationship with here, independent of your son.  Learn her likes, dislikes, what you have in common, and what your differences are, just like you do with your friends.  It is easy for both of you to feel threatened and competitive about the influence each one has over the son, and it can become a power struggle, if you don't spend time developing a personal relationship with her. 

How to be a great


  • Be sensitive to the fact that your mother-in-law is dealing with the loss of the active involvement of her son (or daughter) in the family.  Someday, you will also know how that feels.
  • Serve your mother-in-law, and you will grow to feel great love for her.  
  • If you do not particularly like either of your in-laws, you can overcome those feelings by serving them and getting to know them better.  Remember—“There are only two kinds of people in this world—those I love, and those I don’t know.”