Inside Out 297: Loving In-Laws

12.04.13 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Most of us gather with extended family this time of year. That may not feel like good news if you’ve never gotten along with the in-laws—whether that’s the family you married into—or the people who married into your family.

But in-law relationships aren’t doomed to be—or stay—bad, according to today’s Inside Out guest.

“We were just very determined from the outset that we were going to live beyond the stereotypes,” says Deb DeArmond, author of the new book Related by Chance, Family by Choice: Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships, a book she’s written with the help of her three daughters-in-law.

“The first thing you have to do is: you have to make a choice,” she says. The DeArmond family decided “to live as family, and not just settle for tolerating this relationship and ‘making nice’ at the holidays. That’s just never going to be enough for us.”

Deb aims to help anyone who’s a part of an in-law relationship, but her focus, as the book title says, is on the women. If you aren’t anyone’s in-law but think you might be someday, there’s information here to help you prepare. If you’re in a comfortable relationship and want to help it grow, she’s got something for you here, too. And if you’re in an uncomfortable relationship? Deb offers hope.

“The Word asks us to pray for those and love those who despitefully use us,” Deb says in our conversation. “That’s not possible without His love, so I think one of the most important things for us to keep in mind as far as hope is: He’s going to be there with us. We don’t have to go it alone.”

You can listen to our 16-minute conversation by clicking on the Listen or Download icon above.

You can also learn more about Deb and her book.

“As followers of Christ, God expects so much more from us when it comes to this relationship,” she says. “He’s given us tools, He’s made His--sometimes His requests, and sometimes His commandments—very clear, and that we don’t have to live by the world’s media-induced stereotype. We can do this better. And when we do, people stand up and take notice.”

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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