My sister-in-law stopped talking to me and I don't know why

Question:

Hello sir,

I have a questions about family problems. I have a sister-in-law who cannot stand me for no other reason from what I can gather than jealousy.

I'll try to explain. She deleted me from social media recently and cut off communication between us. I noticed and right away I called her to see if I had done something to offend her. I told her if I had offended her, I would appreciate knowing, so that I could apologize and we could hopefully fix the problem. She refused to tell me what I had done to offend her, so I apologized, and I asked for her forgiveness. I pleaded with her that I wanted peace between us, whether we left the conversation deciding to no longer talk or not, but at least we would not have a grudge against each other because this can affect our hearts, the lives of our children, and others in the family. I do not want there to be a rift in the family. She continually told me, while I apologized that "I was not sorry" and completely rejected my effort to seek peace and at least tell me my offense against her.

What should I do? I contacted her, trying to seek restoration, and she has no desire to communicate with me, much less forgive me for whatever it is that I have done. I honestly have no idea what is the problem other than we are both pregnant right now. I asked her if it was some jealousy because I was pregnant too, and she would not answer me but continued to tell me that "I'm making everything about me." I am honestly embarrassed with myself because I begged her to accept my apology in whatever it was that I had done and to please talk to me. She laughed and said that "I wish you could hear yourself right now" because I cried at one point in trying to talk to her.

We ended the conversation with me saying "I've tried everything I can think of to talk about what is bothering you and the grudge you have against me. The only thing that I see at this point is that you are the problem." Then she hung up.

Where do I go from here? How are we to handle a jealous family member? How do we move on when someone rejects your efforts in seeking peace and forgiveness with them?


Answer:

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him" (Luke 17:3-4).

"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering" (Matthew 5:23-24).

Jesus' statement in Matthew 5 is more dealing with a situation where you know what you did to cause a brother to be offended by you. But even if we apply it to this case, you apologized when you didn't know what you did wrong. Therefore, the apology was not based on any repentance on your part; that is why it came across as insincere.

You assumed you sister-in-law is jealous, but here you are accusing her of sin. It is an accusation based on guesses and not facts, which is not fair to her.

All that should have been done is to say, "I noticed that you disconnected from me on Facebook. Is everything all right?" The rest is up to her to acknowledge or ignore. Since nothing was brought up, there is nothing to repent of, let alone apologize for. The problem remains on her side and perhaps one day she'll mature enough to let you know.