They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
-2 Timothy 3:5, NLT
Early when I was still desperately trying to reconcile with my (now) ex-wife, my (now ex) father-in-law sent an email to both of us entitled “Divorce.” It was the classical move of planting thoughts about divorce–e.g. the actual title–while telling us not to treat divorce as the focus or answer to our marital issues, more or less.
At the time, I rebuked him telling him that he had wronged me by sending such an email.* However, he feigned ignorance–or perhaps he was ignorant–of how that was wrong. I didn’t bother spelling out how wrong it was sending that email even though he demanded such an explanation.
From my perspective, I figured it would be like trying to educate a fool to explain to him why it was wrong to send an email to his son-in-law (at the time) and daughter entitled “Divorce” while fully knowing the marriage was especially vulnerable.
That is to say, I knew better than to trust him. But I still did, because I was desperate to avoid divorce at all cost. So, I foolishly opened myself up further to him talking with him about my flaws and fears a few months later, which he mentally cataloged and embellished along with “notes” from his daughter to produce a particularly vicious email attacking me.
This all came with professions of love for me and use of religious language as a cover for his treachery.
Please, learn from my painful mistakes:
Professing Christian in-laws may very well be enemies of your marriage. Be discerning. Just because they stood up in support of your marriage on your wedding day does not mean that they will do the good and godly thing when the marriage hits stormy waters. Listen to your gut. They may claim to be following Christ in their words, but watch their actions.
* As a way of explanation for my readership: Sending an email entitled “Divorce” was wrong, because it was a direct attack on my vulnerable marriage. It pushed for and reinforced a sinful trajectory of action that his daughter later took in abandoning the marriage via suing for and obtaining an unbiblical divorce from me (i.e. unbiblical on her part as an unrepentant adulteress).