Ahhh, the holidays – a special time of celebration and festivities! So, why are they so often colored with strain in relationships, disappointment, and even heartache?
One reason is because it’s a time to get together with family members…including some we may have unresolved issues with.
Another reason for strain during the holidays is because one or more relatives may have strongly held beliefs about how and where the holidays should be spent. So, there may be a butting of heads, or even manipulation behind the scenes.
These reasons can then be amplified when you add in the in-law factor. Now, you not only have differences from within, but from ‘without.’
In healthy, loving families differences give way to ‘give-and-takes.’ However, in some families there will be those who stubbornly want things their way, causing everyone else to have to decide how they will respond in such situations. Dying to a tradition, perspective, or desire isn’t always easy; but letting go and taking the higher road in such situations can be the best strategy you can apply.
It really all gets down to love: to love ourselves, or to love others.
And there really is no better time than Christmas, the celebration of the One who modeled selfless love the best, to see the challenges that may come up as opportunities to follow His example, which will only result in the peace and goodwill to all, that was promised.