Archives for August 2016

Failure or Not




Too many times we deal with failure in a relationship. When that happens, we sometimes blame ourselves. There are times when we do fail in the relationship. There are also times when we do not fail or we try to correct any mistakes we think we have made. We did not fail. The relationship failed. You asked, “What is the difference?” The difference is the mindset. When we take all the blame for the failure of a relationship our self, we have taken on the defeated mindset. When we realize that two people are in this relationship and both parties have to want the relationship to succeed, then we realize relationships succeed or fail based on the actions of both people. I want all my in-law relationships to succeed in every way but they do not always succeed. I have realized at points that when I try my best, the relationship fails sometimes. I did not fail. The relationship did.

I know that some of you reading this are dealing with failure. You have allowed yourself to be beaten down with the word called failure. The thought has played over and over in your head, “You can’t do anything right as a mother-in-law. You are a failure.” It is time for you to change your mindset and stop seeing yourself as a failure. Isn’t it time for you to see the relationship as a failure and not you? God gives us strength in our weakest times. Zig Ziglar says, “Failure is an event and not a person.” There are times in some relationships when failure happens. It does not mean the people are a failure just the relationship has failed. When we see the relationship has failed, then we can wait for God to do the work that only He can do. Only He can change hearts and minds. Only He can heal relationships. When relationships fail, it does not mean they will always fail. Jacob probably thought he would never have any contact with Esau. God had other plans. Gomer thought after the first affair, it was over with Hosea but God had other plans. Peter probably thought when he denied Christ three times, his relationship was over with Jesus but God had other plans. Relationships that fail can begin again just sometimes in a different form. God is in the midst of changing you and your relationships. As I used to tell my children, “God didn’t make failures. Everything God made was good and God made you.” As you work through relationships, remember relationships fail and you are not a failure.





Fairness or Not



What is fair? We all say we want to be treated fairly. The definition of fair is “in accordance with rules and standards”. In in-law relationships, who makes up the rules and standards? Have you at times said, “Who made up this rule?” Many people follow standards that were set by parents and grandparents. Some people just make up their own rules or standards based on what they have seen. The problem for a mother-in-law that has more than one child, is there are several rules, standards and expectations happening. In fact, one could just get dizzy trying to meet all of them. Do any of you have your head spinning?

When we look at fairness, we need to always look at what the Bible says about this. James says in James 2, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” What is partiality? Partiality is favoring one thing or person over another. We all like one person better than another or one thing better than another. That is only natural. The problem in families is when partiality is shown in gifts, time, cards and calls. This is not only an in-law problem. This happens with adult children as well. We need to work overtime at not showing favoritism with children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents. If cards are sent for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for one parents, this needs to happen for the other parents. If we give a gift for one grandchild, we need to give a gift for the other grandchildren as well. If we see one family around Christmas, we need if possible to see the other family at Christmas. I think you get the picture.

We see over and over that God does not show partiality to us. Romans 2:11 says, “God shows no partiality”. In Galatians 3:28 Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. God does not show favoritism. I am not more important than you and you are not more important than me. I love that. I have been up close and personal to partiality, favoritism and unfairness. I know how it can hurt. I also have watch at a distance favoritism in families. One child is favored by a parent over another. One set of parents is favored over another set of parents. One in-law is favored over another. We really need to work overtime at not showing partiality. This is such a determent to relationships. Gift giving and time are favoritism traps. We need work hard at doing something similar for each family with gifts and time. We have to be flexible and communicate being fair in our families.

If you are the in the midst of unfairness, remember that God is always fair. We are to follow His example even when we may not be on the receiving end of favoritism. If you are watching favoritism in your family, do all that you can to follow Christ’s example. We are to treat each other the same. Love each person equally. Be respectful of each person. Have compassion for what each person is going through. Prayer is huge. Pray for each person and ask God to do a work in families and relationships on favoritism and partiality.