Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000088B
00:01 Welcome back.
00:02 We are talking about those pesky in-laws.
00:06 But one of the best things to do
00:08 to get long with your in-laws is to be best son-in-law,
00:11 the best daughter-in-law you can possibly be.
00:13 And I've got to tell you that one of the things
00:15 I love most about you is how you treat my family.
00:19 You've never trashed them to me
00:22 and you had reason too at times.
00:26 But you've never done. Well, you for mine too.
00:27 Yeah, you've never done it.
00:29 And my parents, my whole family adores you.
00:33 And again, they would be quite certain,
00:35 I'll repeat this that if we had problems,
00:37 it would be my fault.
00:39 They're quite certain of that.
00:40 They would be on your side I'm sure,
00:42 because they just adore you.
00:43 But you know, again that goes both ways,
00:46 but I think a lot of that just comes from
00:49 deciding you're going to love
00:51 as unconditionally as you possibly can.
00:54 And then, I think another important thing
00:57 is how you talk about your in-laws.
00:59 It's important if you are a son or daughter-in-law
01:02 to speak well of your in-laws.
01:06 This is true, it's a gift to your spouse.
01:10 Because after all,
01:12 these are your spouse's parents.
01:14 These are the people that raised your spouse.
01:18 Why would your spouse want to hear horrible things
01:21 about their own parents.
01:23 So, we have to be careful about that.
01:25 Speak well of them.
01:26 And if you have children, it's really important
01:28 that you speak well of their grandparents.
01:32 You are teaching them by the way
01:34 you speak of these people.
01:36 You may not get along personality wise,
01:38 they may not be your favorite personalities,
01:40 you may not be their favorite personality ether.
01:43 But still we can treat each other with love
01:45 and respect and train our children to do the same.
01:49 You know, in Bible times the elderly were revered.
01:52 That's right.
01:53 And still certain parts of the world,
01:55 they are still revered.
01:57 There's not so much the truth in the western world.
01:59 It should be. It should be.
02:01 And I think as we speak well of our in-laws,
02:04 we begin to teach this lesson to our children.
02:06 They see the respect that we show.
02:08 And you know what, they are not stupid.
02:10 As they get older they'll realize it,
02:11 those in-laws may not be
02:13 the easiest people in the world to get along with.
02:15 But you've still treated them with dignity, with respect,
02:18 and they learn something from that.
02:19 And when you don't, even by small things,
02:23 even by any window, they pick up on it.
02:25 They do pick up on it.
02:26 And then they pick up on disrespect.
02:29 It's not worth it. Yeah.
02:31 I think the other is simply to respect
02:32 longstanding family traditions.
02:34 When you marry into a family,
02:35 families very often have longstanding traditions
02:38 and it may not be your cup of tea so to speak.
02:41 But it's still important to respect that.
02:43 It's true, you know, I had a friend who got married
02:47 and the family that she married
02:49 into had one of those traditions.
02:52 Their tradition was that they went camping,
02:55 a huge family, kind of extended family
02:58 camping trip every September.
03:00 There was a certain lake where they went.
03:02 They all pitched their tents
03:03 or brought their campers or whatever.
03:05 Boats and everything of course.
03:06 Yeah, they brought their boats, they had everything planned,
03:09 they knew who was supposed to bring the jet ski
03:11 and who brought this and who brought what.
03:13 And it was a big deal,
03:14 and they had a great a time doing it.
03:16 So when my friend married into this family,
03:20 and her husband which is looking forward to this,
03:22 you gonna love this,
03:24 you gonna love getting together with us
03:26 and doing this camping trip.
03:28 Well, if there was one thing my friend hated.
03:30 Yeah. It was camping.
03:33 She hated camping.
03:35 You know, it's like Hilton would,
03:37 the Hilton hotel was camping for her.
03:39 Yeah, she did not like that at all
03:43 and the very thought of it was just odious to her.
03:46 But she also realized this was her new family.
03:50 And so, she just determined,
03:52 I'm gonna put a smile on my face,
03:54 I'm going to the lake, I'm gonna sleep in a tent
03:57 and I'm gonna have a good time.
03:59 Because for her, she realized,
04:02 this was an important family tradition
04:03 and she was now a part of this family.
04:06 And I... You know, I had to give her credit.
04:08 She, you know, screw up her courage
04:10 and she went.
04:12 What she found was this was such a great loving family.
04:15 And they really did have great time.
04:17 It became overtime something
04:19 that she looked forward to it too,
04:20 even though she was a miss camper.
04:22 Yeah, she's not miss camper but she not an outdoors girl
04:25 but she still enjoyed that time with them.
04:26 But she honored not only her husband
04:29 but her in-laws by doing that.
04:32 She said, I'm part of this family,
04:34 I'm gonna go, and I'm not gonna go in a grudging way.
04:36 Right. I'm gonna have a good time.
04:38 Now you and I are finding ourselves
04:39 in a different stage of life now.
04:41 We are the in-laws. Yeah.
04:44 We are the mother-in-law, the father-in-law,
04:46 we are those pesky in-laws now, are we not?
04:49 We are. So, how do you that?
04:51 How do you become a good in-law,
04:52 a good mother-in-law, father-in-law?
04:54 We have been the mother and father-in-law
04:57 for about 10 years now.
04:59 And actually I had to say, it has been a joy.
05:02 It has been for me too. It has.
05:04 I just hope that our son-in-law would say the same thing.
05:06 I hope so.
05:08 But I went into with fear really
05:10 because, you know, all this stereotypical
05:13 mother-in-law things, you know.
05:14 And I didn't want to be that person,
05:16 but the stereotypical mother-in-law
05:18 is the one who meddles
05:20 and she delights in the snide remark
05:23 or the thing that just lets her son-in-law know
05:27 that he doesn't quite measure up
05:28 to the one she wishes her daughter would marry.
05:32 All those kind of things and it's really destructive
05:35 and you know, she lays on the guilt
05:38 at all kinds of stuff that she does.
05:40 Interferes in family decisions, meddles,
05:42 you know, and we knew...
05:44 We don't want to be that person.
05:45 No, you don't want to be that person.
05:47 We knew one woman
05:48 who shortly after her daughter got married
05:52 started asking, when you gonna divorce him,
05:55 you know, he is no good.
05:57 And she just kept it up, and kept it up, and kept it up.
06:00 Eventually they did divorce.
06:01 They did. They did.
06:02 And, you know, I think
06:04 that while there were other factors
06:05 that was a contributing factor.
06:06 It was. It was.
06:08 Because it placed in her daughter's mind,
06:11 oh, you don't have to do this,
06:12 you don't have to put up with anything.
06:14 I really don't, you know,
06:15 you'd be okay not to stay in this marriage.
06:18 And you don't want to be the one who does that,
06:21 who destroys the marriage,
06:22 who destroys the possibility of happiness for someone.
06:26 I think that it's important just as we made a commitment
06:29 to each other's family when we got married
06:32 that now that our daughter got married
06:35 that we make a commitment to him, this is our son.
06:39 That's right. He no longer...
06:40 For me he was just another boy
06:42 she dated until the day they said I do.
06:45 And I told him that.
06:48 But when they got married, when they said I do,
06:51 and I was fortunate enough to perform the ceremony.
06:55 From that day forward, he became my son.
06:57 That's right.
06:58 And in your mind you even take of the son-in-law.
07:01 No, he's just, he is my son.
07:03 He is my son. He is my son.
07:04 And now you treat him that way,
07:06 and I think that's the important thing
07:08 for in-laws to remember.
07:09 This is now your new child.
07:11 Yes, and, you know,
07:12 I think parenting has entered a new phase for us as well.
07:15 We are not active parents, we are cheerleaders.
07:20 And we stand on the sideline and give advice if asked,
07:23 but we wait to be asked.
07:25 That's right.
07:26 Instead of offering the advice unsolicited.
07:28 Well, I think that your children,
07:31 you know, in this case our daughter and son-in-law
07:35 will be more likely to ask for advice when needed,
07:39 if we're not always offering it unsolicited,
07:42 then they will be more likely to heed it
07:44 because they will have sorted out.
07:47 If we're always interjecting our thoughts,
07:50 our beliefs, our ideals on them,
07:53 we're not allowing them to be a family on their own.
07:56 But I think the part of that also means
07:59 that we show empathy and we celebrate.
08:02 We celebrate when he celebrates.
08:05 We're hurt when he hurts.
08:08 We show respect for him
08:10 and for his failures as well as his successes,
08:13 that's our job I think.
08:15 But it's also our job to respect their boundaries.
08:18 When before our kids got married,
08:22 I told them, I said, you know,
08:25 Michael Ann comes from a strong family.
08:26 We have family traditions but it is such a strong...
08:29 Michael Ann is our daughter. Michael Ann is our daughter.
08:31 I said it is such a strong family
08:33 that we can envelope you,
08:35 because you gonna live close by us,
08:37 and so we could absorb you
08:40 where you don't have a personal identity.
08:42 So it's going to be important
08:43 for the two of you to establish boundaries
08:46 and tell us what they are,
08:47 and to establish your own traditions.
08:50 Don't just get enveloped in our traditions.
08:54 Now, the door is always open.
08:56 We want as much of your time as we can possibly get.
08:59 And you are always welcome to be
09:01 a part of any tradition we have
09:02 and any family practice we have,
09:04 but you need the independence
09:07 of establishing your own traditions
09:09 and having your own identity as a family.
09:12 You need to be a family unit.
09:13 And they've taken it seriously, they've done it.
09:15 And I respect them for doing that.
09:17 They have.
09:18 Our parents allowed us to do that,
09:20 I think every set or in-law should allow
09:23 the next generation to be their own family,
09:26 to establish their own traditions as you said.
09:30 Now, if you are an in-law,
09:33 you are the father-in-law, mother-in-law.
09:35 I think it's important to ask yourself some questions
09:38 about the relationship,
09:39 and the first question you ask is.
09:42 How would I treat this person,
09:44 speaking of your son or daughter-in-law
09:47 if he was my child?
09:49 You know, and that goes back to what we said.
09:51 You certainly treat them as your child.
09:53 So am I treating them the way that I would treat my own child
09:57 with the same kind of understanding,
09:59 the same kind of compassion, the same kind of interest,
10:04 encouragement, all of those things,
10:06 so how would I treat them?
10:08 And how would I treat them, you know, if they...
10:14 When my own child does something
10:17 I don't really like.
10:18 How do I treat them? Yeah.
10:20 And I need to have that
10:21 same kind of compassion for this in-law.
10:24 If they do something I don't really like.
10:26 I'm not gonna disown them,
10:28 I'm not going to speak ill of them.
10:30 I'm simply gonna, you know,
10:32 try to repair the relationship and move on.
10:34 Remove past without keeping any record of wrongs.
10:37 Again we come back to the point
10:39 that we're not actively parenting
10:41 now as we were when our children
10:43 were all dependents.
10:46 But we are now encouraging the job of forming character,
10:49 we're done with that.
10:50 I mean, you know, we're now there to encourage them,
10:53 and there're times they're gonna make choices
10:54 that we don't approve of.
10:56 But rather than criticize those choices,
10:58 we're going to encourage them,
11:00 and we're going to love them and accept them
11:02 even when they make a choice
11:03 that maybe you and I would not have made.
11:05 That's right.
11:06 Treat this child as you would want your child to be treated.
11:10 You know, I paraphrased on the golden rule.
11:12 That's right.
11:13 Let's jump right now to what to do
11:16 if indeed a rift has already occurred.
11:19 So let's just say that you've already started off
11:21 and things got off in the wrong foot,
11:24 and all of a sudden now there is a rift between you.
11:27 Well, I think the thing that we tend to do is to say well,
11:30 when they are ready to apologize,
11:33 we'll fix this you know.
11:36 I don't think we can wait. No.
11:38 I think our job is to act as though they already had.
11:42 This is our family.
11:44 You know that...
11:46 We got to a certain stage of life in ministry
11:48 where people who have children
11:50 and grandchildren started coming to us for advice
11:54 as when we are both pastoring.
11:57 And I remember one man,
11:59 recognizes a woman who came to me
12:01 because she had been estranged from her children for years.
12:05 And the children really had done
12:06 some pretty ugly things.
12:07 I mean, they've kind of lost their minds if you ask me.
12:11 And they had trashed her in the process
12:14 and she was hurt by it but even though...
12:16 And these children were married, right?
12:17 They were married now
12:19 and they had children of their own.
12:20 Children that these woman
12:22 had scarcely in a relationship with,
12:25 because this rift was so deep,
12:27 that even though they lived in the same town,
12:29 they just never saw each other.
12:31 And she really had no relationship
12:33 with these grandchildren
12:34 and they were six, seven years of age now.
12:37 And the pain was real.
12:40 And I remember, one day she came to me, she said,
12:42 you know, they're starting to make overtures toward me
12:45 as though they want something.
12:47 But shouldn't I first insist that there be an apology
12:51 so that I can forgive them and we can move on.
12:54 And I said well, you know,
12:56 that's one way of approaching it.
12:57 I said, what's your long term goal?
12:59 What you want five years from now to look like.
13:02 I want a relationship with them.
13:03 I want to know my grandchildren.
13:04 I want to love them.
13:06 I said, then if I were you, I would skip over that stuff.
13:10 And I would just act like they've already apologized
13:13 and forget the past, let it go.
13:16 If they ever apologize to you, great, and if I don't
13:19 and you're able to develop a relationship.
13:21 Isn't that better? Well, she thought I was crazy?
13:24 But you know what, she took my advice.
13:25 And a few months later, she ran into me.
13:28 She looked at me, she said, shook her head,
13:29 she said, I thought you were crazy.
13:31 I thought your advice was the worst advice in the world,
13:33 but the Holy Spirit wouldn't let me rest
13:35 until I did what you told me to do.
13:37 And I did it and I got a relationship with my children
13:40 and my grandchildren, it was the right thing to do.
13:44 I think being the adult,
13:45 being the mature Christian adult
13:47 and just saying.
13:48 I'm gonna treat you as though you've already apologized,
13:51 because I want a relationship with you.
13:53 Well, that's how Jesus treats us.
13:54 I think it is.
13:56 As though we had already apologized.
13:57 That's right. You know, and made it right.
13:59 You know I, we advice you to do the same thing.
14:02 Love always conquers to that.
14:05 So you too could be madly in love forever.