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We have spent the last several weeks looking at the dynamics of in-law relationship as much as the Lord has revealed to us.

The study so far is still in line with our focus since January last year on “making courtship count.” It is in courtship that we will commence in-law relationships. Without a full understanding of how it should be approached, one may commit irredeemable blunders before the marriage has even started. This is why we did some indepth analysis just so our understanding may be deep on the matter.

In the light of all that we’ve shared for several weeks now, how do you begin to engage your courtship to lay a good foundation for the relationship you’ll need to have with your in-laws?

One other matter I think we need to highlight before bringing the discussion to an end is the issue of representing each other well with our family and people, defending each other and covering each other’s nakedness.

As you approach matrimony or even after, there will be several discussions that affect your partner that will go on between you and your family members, that your partner will never be invited to attend. No matter how wrong anyone’s opinion may be about them, they won’t have an opportunity to defend themselves. It is your duty to defend him or her as the case may be. You’re his Family Relations Manager. You’re to lead the relationship management towards your own family while he leads the management towards his own family.

You’re the one that will constantly provide guidance on what should be done to win your family’s approval and love and what should be avoided since you know each and every one of them intimately.

In times of misunderstanding, don’t suddenly become dumb and afraid about projecting the right image of your partner simply because you’re now before your parents or older siblings. That’s actually the place to speak up on his or her behalf. That’s the place to provide insight about the motive behind that action they may be misunderstanding.

It is easier for them to misunderstand him since they don’t know him so much. You do. So the work of correcting any wrong perceptions and putting things in proper perspective is squarely on your table.

If you’re the type that always goes to open up the inner life of your partner to your family when there is a disagreement, be sure that long after the disagreement is resolved between the two of you, those family members will not forget what you shared with them. They’ll continue to see him or her from that humiliating light.

Except your parents are at the same time your discipler, naked accountability of a couple is better towards an independent third party (adopted as a discipler over the marriage) than towards a close family member.

As a man, since your own family has a greater tendency to have a sense of possession of the new marriage, it is your duty to ensure that you crown your woman with honour in their midst. If anyone is behaving wrongly towards her (even if that is one of your parents), it’s your duty to fight the battle on her behalf while she continues to play the good girl towards everyone. Don’t expose her to a battle she’s not supposed to fight herself. Be a cover, be a shield!!!

Let us help each other, protect each other, cover up for each other, ensure we put our best foot forward out there. We can always balance the account when we retreat to our bedroom. In the final analysis, that’s why two are better than one. They have a better reward for their labour.

I wish you what I wish myself – a solid couple-team that is at peace with their two families – that is constantly speaking with one voice, whose middle no one can ever penetrate – who will work hard together (without minding who is doing more) to ensure that the family suffers no shame or defeat from any side. So shall it be. Amen.

Your brother,
Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye.

┬ęPeniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| hello@lovestraighttalks.com

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