It would difficult to find an experienced woman who would disagree, that this relationship among adults is made of tricky dynamics.
It is not the easiest, but that does not mean it can not be glorious.
All parties, kind, lovely ladies, doing their best; still it can be difficult.
My mother-in-law was awesome, and she was taken from us too soon. She left the trials and troubles of this world, just about at the age I am right now. I wish I could hug her now, and love on her more, and thank her for being so precious, but I can't here now, so it is my great meaningful pleasure, to continue to LOVE ON HER SON, and speak of her respectfully and lovingly.
I never read a book or article on it, but years of .... can I just say, "life experience," helped determine how I want to be as a mother-in-law. I take my role as mother-in-law seriously, and I equate it to a role of responsibility, but not responsibility that some might expect.
I realize that I can not speak to everyone's specific circumstances. My daughter-in-law, is an amazing, accomplished, and focused young woman. She is responsible, hard working, and she has her eyes fixed on our Lord, her daughter, and her husband. How blessed we are!
She does not NEED me, but yet these are the responsibilities I accept, as incumbant here and truthfully also in many other relationships:
1) Number one responsibility is to love, edify and build up. Adjust to preferences to a reasonable degree, and respect individual's comfort zones. Do your best. Over time the beauty can grow.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another
2) Words should express, love, edify, build-up, entertain, or share family information, NOT often to give advice unless asked for, or a struggle is obvious.
3) Be a good example of mature Christian character. This is all together the highest calling.
Matthew 7:12 (applied and my paraphrase) Treat your adult children the way you would like to be treated.
Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
4) Lead by example and sharing, and seek to be transparent and genuine so that they may have the opportunity to learn something from you through observation. You also be open to learn from them !!
5) Take care to reflect respect in your language, words, behavior and actions. At holidays, cheerfully accept their plans and wish them well. If you can not see them when you wish, this time, cheerfully look forward to the next time!
6) Make their visits to your home pleasurable and special, to the extent that you are able, so that they like coming back! I like to cook something special, and have something special planned for our granddaughter. (Rock hunting, balloon tennis etc.) You do what is right for your family!
7) PRAY for all. One of the most loving and wonderful things you can do for your family, your in-laws, everyday, is PRAY! There is POWER in prayer! (One of my favorite labels, to the right in my blog, is the prayer category. I hope you read for inspiration.)
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
With love, may you minister to the in-laws, and loved ones that God brings into your life!
As families put God first, He blesses and rewards them graciously and mercifully for generations!
May it be so, in our families. Blessings in Christ,
Grandma Mary Martha💖