We often hear women bemoaning and berating their husband’s mothers. The mother and daughter in-law conflict is one that has affected generations after generations and does not have age, educational, financial or social barriers. The mother in-law and daughter in-law relationship involves three persons and this third person is the man at the center of it all, the son, the husband. While I agree that parental interference is one of the leading causes of breakdown and divorce in marriages, I also think that some daughter in-laws do not give their mother in-laws a chance as most young women go into marriage with negative perception that mother in-laws are evil and should be treated as such.
Last week, I had two female visitors and as we were making some girls’ (women) talk, one of them mentioned that her mother in-law sees and treats her as a competitor. I smiled at her and told her that she needs to change her own attitude to the woman. I gave her some instances that made her to see her mother in-law as a partner in progress, rather than an enemy. At the end of the discussion, she acknowledged that she now sees the whole situation in another light and resolved to do some things differently. Satan makes daughters in-law to believe that their husband’s mothers are enemies and creates enmity between them.
Mothers make a lot of sacrifices for their children; they sacrifice their dreams, their ambitions, their freedom, their comfort, etc.to ensure that they give their children opportunities that some of them did not have. Some of our mothers are the ones that gave us wings to fly and we are what we are today because they did not give up on us. As young mothers, we can relate to the anxieties, worries, prayers, countless sleepless nights and the heart breaks that our mothers went through as they watched us grow. It does not end; they continue to follow us with their prayers and watch over us like the mother hen all through their lives. No doubt, some of them carry this to an annoying level but our attitude and reaction as people of light makes a lot of difference.
Your relationship with your mother in-law has a direct effect on your relationship with your husband. A wife cannot truly and fully make the husband happy when she does not have a rapport with his mother. Also, the wife will be obeying God’s injunction in Exodus 20: 12, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. This is reiterated in the new testament text of Ephesians 6: 2-3 “Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may be long-lived on the earth,”. Parents in-law automatically becomes our parents when we marry their child. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”, Ephesians 4: 29. When a Christian wife takes these injunctions to heart, not only does she start having a better relationship with her mother in-law, it also enhances the bond between her and her husband.
Mother in-laws (even those that criticize their daughter’s in-law at every opportunity) deserve our love and generosity. Mothers and daughters’ in-law are on the same side – they want the best for this man (her son, her husband) in their lives. The wife should appreciate the woman that nurtured, cheered and encouraged her husband in his long, adventurous and sometimes confusing journey to adulthood; the woman that handed his son over to her, her mother in-law. Love begets love, kindness begets kindness and a cheerful disposition is infectious.
For those already going through some bad time in this regard, please strive for peace with all your heart. Everything will be well in due time. Always pray for your mother in-law; also, pray for the virtue of patience in managing her. Be the best daughter in-law ever and the best mother in-law in waiting. All daughter in-laws are mother in-laws in waiting.
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