Paying attention to the little things is often the simplest way to begin. When you are at their house, make yourself useful. Take out the trash, do the dishes, or offer to run errands. Decades years later, my mother-in-law still talks about when I won her over by doing the dishes the first time I was at their house for dinner. She doesn’t just mention that first time, though–I’ve continued to do them every time we’re all together. It’s still a very simple gesture of appreciation and honor to her. While the rest of the males tend to eat up and then go watch football, I simply take a few minutes to help clean up. It’s so easy, and yet it is very significant to Cathy’s mom.
Whatever you choose to do to honor your in-laws, remember that your primary job is to be supportive of your wife or husband no matter how much or how little you have in common with their family. Make it your goal to live out this simple biblical principle: “Outdo one another in showing honor” — Romans 12: 10 RSV.