Imagine yourself, faced with a sobbing lady who had come for counselling. Having prayed with her, you listened very patiently to her as she shares her problem with you. All of a sudden as if to sandwich the weeping, she broke down with these words only: “My in-laws are dominating.” Surely you will wonder why, how and to what extent is this allegation true. A proof of the fact that any married couple is prone to have this problem is that, almost all intending couples are always warned against the interference of the outsiders especially the in-laws. We would examine the causes of this problem, its effect on the Christian home and the remedy for this cancer of the unwise Christian home.
A BALANCED CHRISTIAN HOME: MY IN-LAWS ARE DOMINATING - PART I
First of all, I wish to dwell on the theme of this symposium - A balanced Christian home. The triangle for this theme shows 3 vital steps that must be taken if indeed the Christian home were to be balanced. These are – LEAVE, CLEAVE, BECOME ONE. They all come from the word of God in Gen. 2: 24.
LEAVE: The first step in marriage is that the man should leave his father and mother and in fact his own family to set up his own home. The danger of not leaving one’s family was immediately realized by God when he was even going to choose a nation to be loved by him through Abraham. He was to leave his family and kindred and home town to a land that God will lead him to. He was not to be influenced in his decision and association with his new-found bride-groom.
Leaving calls for physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological maturity to be able to separate from old association and pioneer a new kind of living entirely. The problem many people have today is that they marry prematurely and thus had to depend to a large extent upon their parents. It is imperative that he who provides for your sustenance dictates your life. A man who has his mother or father as the only confidant and adviser needs to break this cord of dependency and realize that he now has a help meet. At this point I wish to suggest that the family background plays a great contributory part in this problem.
We shall look at some practical problems:
A sister once came up with a problem. She has a non-Christian boy-friend that she has been going on with for quite some time. She knew within herself that she was not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers but because both parents have known of their association and are constantly pressurizing the couple to get married, she felt she would be offending her parent if she fails to marry this man. Obviously if she fears hurting them and prefers to disobey God instead, she would always seek to please them to the extent that they will rule her home for her. Moreover, the non-Christian husband would not believe in the principle of leaving, they can neither cleave nor become one because they are incompatible. I will therefore ask our complainant, “Is the foundation of your marriage sound?”
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