“Merry” Christmas can quickly change to a “nightmare” Christmas when it comes to in-laws getting together. We all know every family has unique personalities that can make the Christmas experience awkward, uncomfortable, or even painful depending on how a conversation progresses. So how do you handle this challenge in order to keep your Christmas gathering “Merry”?
Don’t Take It Personally
James 4:1 – What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
Anytime we find ourselves engaging in a conflict or argument, we need to stop and ask, “Why am I feeling these emotions?” Most of the time, the quarrel isn’t about the content of a topic, but instead the need to be right. In other words, we are taking things personally and fighting back in order to defend ourselves rather than having a simple conversation.
For example, if the topic of politics comes up and others in the room disagree with your views on a presidential candidate, how does that make you feel? If your blood starts to boil, then you’re probably not in a good place and need to back off, otherwise, any further discussion will become a personal argument. Or maybe it’s that crazy uncle who brings over a new girlfriend every Christmas that he is living with. How does that make you feel?
Notice I didn’t ask what you thought about the situation but instead focused on your emotions. This is because our emotions highlight how personal or volatile an interaction may become. The key to avoiding any type of unproductive battle or argument is to monitor your emotions. As Christians, we need to be able to discuss and even debate without taking it personally and feeling the need to win.
Add To Your Prayer List
Luke 6:28 –… bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
It’s no secret that when it comes to family and in-laws, all the normal rules of respect and relating can be thrown out the window. It’s not unusual for some in-laws to talk non-stop and never ask for your opinion. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the reason this happens is because they don’t care about your opinion. That’s right, it may be hard to take but if they cared they would ask. So now what do you do? You can try to impose your views on deaf ears but that usually doesn’t work and often results in an argument.
Instead, the better idea is to make the situation God’s project. In other words, we need to start praying for our in-laws who are struggling rather than argue with them. We need to ask God to do a supernatural work in their lives. This is where we start increasing our prayer list for 2016. Ultimately, this is how true change will take place and not because you “won” an argument.
So as you take a deep breath and get ready for the dreaded Christmas family reunion, remember you play a major role in keeping it a “Merry” Christmas. Be encouraged as you step into these Godly principles that the Lord is with you and will do a work!
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