I love listening to podcasts. They are a great way to learn, be inspired and receive encouragement. I like to listen when I’m driving alone or doing chores like dishes or laundry.

One of my favorites is the Focus on the Family podcast. Last summer I listed to an episode where they interviewed author Gary Thomas. Gary has written numerous books, including Sacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. You can find his website here. 

In the Focus on the Family interview, Gary said something that made me pause. He talked about having conflict with his wife and how God changed their perspective on the situation. God asked them to view Him and each other with new eyes—to see Him as their Father-in-Law and each other as His son/daughter.

While they are each God’s child, so is their spouse, which also makes God their Father-in-Law. Because God is a good Father and Father-in-Law, He asked if they were treating each other in a way that would make Him pleased.

Wow. I paused the podcast to soak that in a bit.

Doesn’t that help you see your spouse with new eyes?

Your spouse isn’t your problem to fix, your nemesis to battle or your annoyance to tolerate. Your spouse is God’s child. God requires you treat His child with love and respect. He requires your spouse to treat you with love and respect.

Fathers-in-law are known for observing how their child is being treated. They have high expectations and will point it out when their child’s friend/boyfriend/spouse needs to be corrected.

We’re comfortable thinking about God as our Father but acknowledging He’s also our Father-in-Law helps me to think more seriously about how I treat my spouse. It reminds me to take my eyes off my spouse’s behavior and look in the mirror to analyze myself. It begs me to ask the question, “Would God be pleased with how I treat my spouse? If not, what am I going to do about it?”