Part 2: Mom-in-Laws Who Mock Our Values

loving your mother in law because of Jesus, when your mother-in-law mocks your values
A commenter left the remark below on the first post in this series, Bless Your Marriage: Love Your Mom-in-Law.

"Do you have suggestions for honoring a mother-in-law that mocks your faith and that your husband does not want to spend time with?”

I felt like the Lord wanted me to make this post an answer to the first part of her question (we’ll deal with her husband’s lack of interest in his mom in a future post). And the best way to respond to this comment is to let someone share her testimony since she’s been exactly where this reader is living. She wishes to remain anonymous for the sake of her improved and improving relationship with her mil, but I think you’ll appreciate her insights:
“My mil disagreed with homeschooling, she disagreed with our stand against abortion, and she disagreed with our teaching against certain cults and homosexuality. But the worst part is that she told our grade school and adolescent children what she thought about our values behind our back."
"I got to the point where I couldn’t think about her without bitterness. Here I was a Christian, but I hated her. I knew I needed God’s help. As I prayed, I feel like God showed me several things that really helped."
"First, from her point of view, telling us we were wrong about homeschooling was motivated by genuine concern for our children. Her view was wrong, but she didn’t know any better. And she didn’t know any better in her other values either. She believed in her values just like we believed in ours."
"Secondly, God showed me that I was often self-righteous with my in-laws, which made them even more closed to our values."
"And thirdly, He showed me that my children would meet many people in life who disagreed with their values. I could use these situations to teach them how to respectfully speak up for the truth and honor their grandparents at the same time."
"Not everything changed, but things are much better. I am able to actually enjoy the good things about my mil and the bitterness is completely gone which makes it all worthwhile! My mil has even begun asking about my faith.”

Some additional thoughts from me: In this situation I’d recommend that the husband talk with his mother respectfully and kindly, asking her not to disagree with their values in front of the children. 


Homework this week: Whether your mil mocks your values or not, take time to think through the 3 areas where God spoke to the woman above.
  • If you expect your mil to respect you despite your different values, then you must be willing to do the same.
  • If you want your mil to show an interest in your values, then you must live them humbly and speak about them with gentleness only when God prompts you.
  • If you want your family to live for Christ and you want to model Christ’s values, then honoring parents and grandparents is essential. We can't pick and choose which of  God's values we wish to honor.
Til next time, Gail.

 Other posts in this series:

For more insights:


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28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You are so welcome, Colleen. I have learned so much from the principles I will be sharing in these MIL posts, and I want to pass them along to others because I know how much they impact our relationship with God.

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  2. These words are so good. This post reminds me so much of Naomi and Ruth. I studied Ruth earlier this year and really realized how much I need to honor and respect my MIL.

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I will be talking about Naomi and Ruth in an upcoming post. Bless you, Gail

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  3. thankfully my mother in law shares in my faith but there are so many issues in parenting where she disagrees. i even feel like she delights in my failures in those areas. thanks for writing this post. i really needed to hear this.

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    1. I'm praying for you, Kristenly, and all the ladies reading this series. The principles made such a difference in my life and I'm praying they will help others as well. Bless you, Gail

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  4. I am a grandchild of a situation like this. My grandmother (father's mother) and mother never got along and I heard many horrible things about my parents while my grandparents (when they agreed to) babysat me and my siblings. It really does make a relationship with the grandparent hard. I remember always wondering that if she felt that way about my parents and what they believed, then she really felt that way about me too (child-like thinking). I never was close with her or my grandpa and always felt like I needed to stick up for my family and my parents, which are weighty things to have on a child's shoulders. Hopefully both adults can agree not to do this to the kids in the family, because they do see what goes on and it does effect them.

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    1. You are so right...these tensions affect every relationship in a family and they are so important to the Lord.

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  5. Replies
    1. So glad it was helpful. Bless you, Gail

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  6. This is great! I have been so blessed to have two GREAT mils. It is a wonderful reminder that we need to look at things from the other person's perspective.

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    1. You are blessed, but I bet you're also a person who tries to see things from your mil's perspective...makes such a difference.

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  7. What a great topic to cover! We continually have trouble with my MIL, and I have mostly "given-up". I appreciate the encouragement, and will make a point about praying how I can make a positive difference.

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    1. So blessed to hear your openness and commitment to pray about this. I know God has blessings in store for you!

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  8. God blessed me with a wonderful, Mother-in-love. She has been a quirky and fabulous mentor, mama and friend. But, I know not all have this type of relationship. Thank you for posting how to come to terms with this subject through God's eyes and God's help.

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    1. Pearl, you may not realize that you've probably been gracious in your attitudes and perspectives toward your mil. I really do think that dils make or break the relationship in 90% of the cases.Thanks for sharing.

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  9. What a great site. So cool that you could let God teach you something productive through a difficult relationship.
    Liz

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    1. Like the woman in this example, my relationship really changed when I changed my perspective...and yes, I'm so glad that God could redeem the relationship despite my mistakes.

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  10. Thanks for this post! I don't have any issues with my mother in law, but it is still really helpful to hear about how you settled disagreement with your mil. :) Lauren, lholmes79.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, Lauren. I definitely will be concentrating on this woman's second point (self-righteousness) in my upcoming MIL posts because that's where I know I did my most damage with my MIL. So glad you have a good relationship with you MIL...it's a blessing.

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  11. Thank you so much for this post-I will be following for more. Your point of not discussing these values in front of children is something I needed to hear.
    I'd also like to invite you to link up with me if you are ever interested...I now host Faithfully Parenting Fridays on my site!
    http://www.lovingourjourney.com/faithfully-parenting/
    Blessings,
    Michy

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  12. I do have to add...that I'd been praying this week about finding some help in this type of topic...and God has met my prayers. Thank you!

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    1. You comments are really encouraging, Michy, and I feel especially blessed when God speaks through something I've written. Thanks!

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  13. So psyched you linked up today! I had a great real life discussion last night about this post. Got my first bible email this am--first thing I opened--THANK YOU! I'm excited as this was the best post I've read this week and I can't wait for fellow linkers to come by!
    Blessings,
    Michy

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  14. Thanks for this! I have a similar problem, but my daughter is still young, I would like for things to be different as she gets older and the insights were VERY helpful!

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  15. Needed to read this, only it's my parents, not my in-laws

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  16. Good reminder. Sometimes I think culture pushes us so much to not get along with the mother in law, but they can be such a source of support. Thanks.

    Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

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    1. I think you're so right, Lindsey. It's the norm to think of MILs as automatic enemies. But I'm so glad I began to see mine for the friend that she is.

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