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rsz_ourfamilyMy sister-in-law and her husband have been living out of the country for a few years now, and this past weekend, they were able to come back home to spend some time with our family before they jet-set off to their next adventure.

Their coming home was like a true homecoming celebration.

Everyone in our family who lived in town — my mother-in-law, sisters-in-law & their husbands and children, and my husband & I — we all prepared for them to come home — we anticipated it and we waited anxiously for them at the airport.

And we welcomed them home.

I know not every family is like this, and so I consider my husband & I very lucky to come from very loving families — the type of families who are always waiting for you — whether at the airport or at home — to say, “Welcome back, I’m so happy to see you. I’ve missed you.” These are the types of families who wave to you as you drive off out of town — and keep waving until you don’t see them anymore.

And what has been so interesting for me to experience in the past two and a half years of being married to my husband is how his family has become mine — and mine has become his.

You see, my mom bought a non-stick pan to keep at home for when my husband & I visit — simply because my husband prefers to cook on those.

My mother-in-law cooked my steak a little longer than everyone else’s at one of the latest family dinners — because she knows I like it that way.

And my sister-in-law is always trying new egg-free recipes to bring to family meals so that I can enjoy what she brings with the rest of the family.

That’s what family does for each other. They love each other. They look out for one another. They help you when they can. They celebrate all of life’s biggest moments with you and they pray for you and sit with you when something awful happens.

In their own special ways, my parents have welcomed my husband as their son, and my in-laws have welcomed me as their daughter, or sister.

When I was first married and still a newlywed (maybe you still consider me a newlywed at 2.5 years married!), I would speak about my husband’s family and call them exactly that — my husband’s family.

But lately, I’ve been realizing how they’ve also become my family

I married my husband, but I also joined a family. Have you heard that old adage — you don’t just marry your husband, you also marry his family? 😉

And that can be a beautiful thing — especially when it’s a beautiful, loving, faithful family.

Later on this year, my brother is getting married, and I’m looking forward to getting to know my sister-in-law, his future wife, and welcoming her into our family — as I know her family will do the same with my brother.

Becky Squiare at FamilyShare.com says that loving your spouse’s family is integral to loving your spouse.

In her post, “20 Things You Should Be Doing For Hubby on A Regular Basis,” she writes:

  • 15. Love his family

    “They say that when you marry your spouse, you marry his entire family. While some families are much closer than others, it’s important to love the people who made your husband who he is. You don’t have to agree with or even get along with them. But truly love them.”

Like I said earlier, I know that having that beautiful, loving and supportive family isn’t the case for all families…

And so today, it seems more important than ever, that we continuously pray for families — starting with our own, but also extending those prayers to other families; prayers for the strength of families, for the faithfulness of families, for the perseverance of families. Let’s pray that love will abide and multiply in all families’ homes and hearts.