1. Thinking she should do things like my mother
We all grow up with certain expectations of family life…who will help with the dishes, who initiates holiday events, how gift-giving is handled, etc. We need to allow our husband’s mother her differences without being offended.
2. Sharing my beliefs in a self-righteous way
Whether our in-laws are Christians or not, we can offend them by sharing our faith without love and grace, kind speech and pure motives. I am more apt to win my MIL with kindness than preaching.
3. Handling Conflict poorly
Conflict is a real test of honor. Honor requires that we express our differences with grace and respect, listening carefully, trying to understand, answering carefully and prayerfully. Even if our in-laws show little respect for us, we're called to the high standard of honor.*
4. Not Encouraging My Husband to Honor His Parents
If I’m my husband’s helpmate, I’ll encourage him to become the person God wants him to be. This means reminding my husband to call his parents, to remember the things that are important to them, to pray for them, to build his relationship with them—it’s commanded by God with a promise attached…a promise that will affect my life and my children’s lives, not simply my husband.
5. Having A Selfish Perspective
It wasn’t until God got ahold of my heart in this area that I started looking at things from my mother-in-law’s perspective instead of simply from my own. When I did, I could look back on things we’d said and done and realize how disrespectful or hurtful they had been.
6. Being Petty
Sometimes we just need to overlook the small stuff…not even talk about it…just let it go.
I pray that this 7 part Mother/Daughter-in-law series has blessed your marriage. And I'd love to hear your comments if it has, even if they are months from now. God bless you!
Homework: study these verses this week and ask God to help you apply them to your relationship with your in-laws.
Philippians 2:3-4: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value [your mother-in-law] above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
* Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your [mother-n-law’s] eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your [mother-in-law], ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your [mother-in-law’s] eye.
All Scripture NIV
For more insights:
Part 5: Disinterested In-Laws
Part 6: What Ruth & Naomi Teach Us
This is one of my marriage posts, but I post a 1-Minute devotion on my home page every weekday...devotions about my struggles, joys, and lessons learned. If you'd like to have my 1-Minute Bible Love Notes sent to your email box, sign up for a free subscription.