Smoothing in-law ripples
Soon after I was married, personality clashes with in-laws began stirring up ripples of discomfort in our home. My husband and I decided to relocate. Still the meddling into our affairs continued. Deeply discouraged, I reached out to God for the peaceful answer I knew His love would provide. This verse from the Bible seemed fitting and reassuring: "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord . . . ." n1 As I put those instructions into practice, the meddling subsided.
n1 II Chronicles 20:17.
How are we to "stand . . . still" in the midst of interferences and misunderstandings within families? Is standing still with God a passive, wait-it-out attitude, or is it a state of listening to spiritual intuitions? Spiritual listening can help us perceive the right ideas from God that guide us to patience, forgiveness, and love. These qualities of God, when exercised, smooth ripples among people.
Active prayer is spiritual listening that brings blessings. Our trust in God's power to control and harmonize all relationships, no matter how complicated or impossible to reconcile they seem, should remain unshakable. As the idea of God, His perfect child, man has an inseparable relationship with his creator. Understanding this, we can "set" ourselves and reject the belief that we are mortals, inclined to self-justification, hurt feelings, human will. We have the God-given right to reject sin as no part of man's true being. Man's individual, Christly identity cannot be covered up or snuffed out.
Could we not say, then, that standing still through a conscious awareness of God's omnipotence can help root out of thought all sense of evil? It can erase the generally accepted mortal view about inlaws as potential troublemakers, and thus help restore a right sense of communication and meaningful family ties.
In the divine order of being, the relations of God and man manifest harmony. Human relationships will be strengthened as we adopt this divine relationship as our standard. When Christliness is active in thought, it brings into focus man's immortal being, his true selfhood. Through such stainless concepts of man , we can "see the salvation of the Lord" bridge discords. Mary Baker Eddy n2 puts it this way: "The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony , but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history." n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 470-471.
Since the capacity to love does not originate in man but is the reflection of God, divine Love, a peaceful answer can come to all family members. Genuine loving is spontaneous, irresistible. Striving to gain a sense of man's unity with divine Love awakens the individual to his God-derived integrity, sensibility, poise, and mental discipline. Whatever is not expressive of God as cause is not impressive on man as effect. If we cherish God's true family, His spiritual creation, refusing to keep a ledger of resentment, our capacity for loving unfreezes, and we become more considerate, more tender, within family circles. Radiating spiritual integrity helps put a stop to impulsive reactions.
Within the framework of nine specific guidelines called the Beatitudes, Christ Jesus expounded the simple rules of spiritual-mindedness that, when obeyed, keep us happy and satisfied. "Blessed are the peacemakers," he said, "for they shall be called the children of God." n4
n4 Matthew 5:9.
In-laws are not a special breed of inevitable enemies. Through our realization that in the divine consciousness the Parrent-child relationship of God and man is beautiful, meaningful, enriching, and secure -- and through our striving to keep this immortal relationship as our standard -- family interaction can become wholesome and enduring. Holding steadfastly to the spiritual view of the family of God's children, we can enjoy mutually beneficial relationships. DAILY BIBLE VERSE If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18