Your very first meeting with relatives of your fiancee or fiancé, who have influence over his or her life can make or mar the relationship. Such meeting usually features more anxiety when it is officially scheduled than when it is unexpected, unplanned or somehow, informal.
Meeting your spouse-to-be’s family for the first time could make you very anxious because you can’t tell if they’ll love you or not at the end of the day. Since you are going to be their future daughter/son-in-law, it is expected that you start on a good note with your future spouse’s family. If you succeed in impressing them, you’ll just be surprised at how well things will work in your relationship.
Before I proceed, it is important to emphasize the fact that you cannot give what you don’t have. Character is like a perfume. Wherever you go, the smell follows you. There are things you can hardly control such as the orientation and reasoning pattern of your would-be in-laws that you are meeting for the first time. However, there are things you can control. They include your thoughts, emotions, words and actions. To a large extent, your success depends on the things you can control such as what you see, hear, understand and do. When you spend most of your efforts on the things you cannot control, you have signed an agreement with frustration. When you control the things you can control, God will control the things you cannot control. Now, most things you can control are inside of you. Most things you cannot control are outside of you. So, it is not what happens to you but what happens in you that matters. These are issues of the heart and mindset. (Matthew 13:13-17, Proverbs 4:23, 23:19, 23:7, Romans 12:2).
The summary here is that relationships have spiritual undertones, which are functions of who and where the heart and life is connected to. You cannot succeed by your own power, strength and wisdom alone. Jesus said “…for without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Allow the owner of the marital institution to rule over your affairs. You did not create yourself. Someone created you (Psalm 100:3). “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:11). Don’t operate like you created yourself.
So, if you have not done so, allow Jesus Christ to take over your life. Then, a good spirit takes over you (2nd Corinthians 5:17, Acts 1:8). When you receive this, you can now be able to bear the fruits of the holy spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). This is what I mean when I say you can only give what you have. If you do not involve God in your relationship, you may even fight in public when you meet your would-be in-laws for the first time. You know what that means.
Having done this, what can you achieve when you meet your future in-laws for the first time? First, do not be late for the scheduled appointment. It is inexcusable. For a guy particularly, it tends to suggest you are not eager enough about the marriage.
Dress responsibly. Your dressing can form a negative or positive long-lasting impression. For a lady, your make up should be as minimal as possible while your dressing should not portray you as a potential adulterer. Remember, they might not have known you from Adam.
It’s good to be knowledgeable but trying to impress your in-laws over irrelevancies might just sound as too desperate and turn them off. So, do not try to show that you are Mr. Know-All. In the process, you could lie. Try not to talk too much.
In a place like Africa where there are cultural restraints in romance, it is still okay to show affection. But when you can’t get your hands or mouth off your partner, it begins to raise eyebrows. ‘Inappropriate’ romantic display in the presence of your future in-laws is a total no-no.
Make adequate enquiries from your partner about the character, beliefs and orientations of your would-be in-laws before such visit to avoid grave mistakes.
As for you who knows that the parents or relatives of your potential spouse have shouted it to the roof tops that they do not support the relationship, you need godly counsel because there are several scenarios that could play out. There are cases where the man has to stand his ground if he truly means his plans of living with you forever as life partner. Standing his ground can take various shapes depending on a number of factors. With divine wisdom, prayers, diplomacy and persuasion, a lot can be achieved. However, solution to many of such conflicts is beyond mere physical efforts.
In matters of your faith and life principles, stand your ground and refuse to compromise. For instance, your potential father in-law believes and tries to impress it on you that any man that is not an alcoholic drink consumer, is not a man. You have never consumed alcoholic drinks on grounds of principles and your Christian faith. Now, you decide to impress him because you have shown interest in marrying her daughter. Just get ready to keep buying cartons of alcoholic drinks whenever he visits your house in future. Whatever you will not continue in relationship, do not start. Compromising your faith matters is dangerous. Declare your Christian beliefs to your would-be in-laws so that they know how to relate with you tomorrow in such matters.
Above all, seek knowledge. You could register for our Marriage Preparatory Programme holding in Lagos, Nigeria, November 2018. It will help you.
Your marriage shall be a blessing and testimony in Jesus name. Amen.
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