I know big happy families aren’t always happy. There may be times when tensions arise during family gatherings, or even ongoing conflict that affects your familial relationships. Despite how much you love them, however, your spouse has to come first over your family.

I’m not talking about your second-twice-removed cousin here; I’m talking about your spouse coming first before your father, your mother and your brothers and sisters.

Forming A New Family

When you got married, you became your own family unit. It’s you and your spouse now. Many parents fail to “let go,” however, and believe that they still hold the same authority over your life even after you marry. But that’s not what God intended.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  —Ephesians 5:31

In this case, you’ve left home, and you’ve started a new home for the rest of your life. You and your spouse make the decisions concerning you and your household. No one else can make those decisions, and it’s important to create healthy boundaries that protect the life you two are building together.

Dealing With Family Conflict

So, what do you do when you’re in the dreaded pickle of your parents being upset at your spouse or wanting to have retain some control over your life? You choose your spouse, but you choose them with a God-honoring attitude. You do your best to make peace with your parents and siblings. You remain humble.

Though your hairs may raise a bit here and there at the accusations, just be still and know that He is God. Defend your spouse. Defend them humbly, and know that God brings justice. And then pray. I will always believe the order of God first, spouse second, children third, then parents, family and believers.

“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”  —Colossians 3:13

Don’t forget that you don’t need to subject yourself to a life of walking on eggshells, always trying to please your parents or other immediate family. That’s not how godly relationships work or thrive. Do what you can to make peace, but always know your spouse comes first. Your children depend on a healthy marriage, a godly marriage, one that reflects His faithful love.

You may also be interested in It Only Gets Better: Why Our Marriage Is Built To Last

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