In-law Relationships – Maintain Realistic Expectations
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
─ Psalm 62:5 ESV
Sometimes as in-law relationships develop, there can be an expectation that “we are going to be best buddies,” and it’s just going to be fantastic. But it’s just not always so. Expectations, whenever they are larger than reality, equals disappointment. We set ourselves up for failure when we have unrealistic expectations.
You may have a daughter-in-law or a son-in-law whose expectation is to have you engaged in their lives. They want you to come over often and frequently to do life with them. But what if you assume they want you to give them space? That’s why it is important to clarify the expectations, so everyone has a clear picture of what the other needs or expects. We make assumptions because we judge ourselves by our intentions and others judge us by our behavior.
King David’s son, Absalom, rebelled. He wanted to take over his father’s kingdom, and David wrote the 62nd Psalm, many say, in response to Absalom’s rebellion and their difficult relationship. David said, “My soul waits silently to God alone for my expectation is from him.”
If you have a really difficult relationship with an in-law, and the expectation is far left and reality is far right, take your expectation off of that person and put your expectation on God. As Christians, we must put our focus on the right spiritual direction for our expectations.
Today’s One Thing
Even if you have a good relationship with your family and can communicate well, take time in the next few days for a conversation to clarify expectations. Ask your in-laws, “What do you expect of me?” or “How can I support you?”