The mother in-law and her daughter in-law
Before I got married, my mother had decided she would never give any of her children’s spouses problems, no matter how problematic the spouse might turn out to be. She decided to be an example of a good mother-in-law. Anytime she visited, my wife would ask her, “Mama what will you eat?” Her answer was always, “I will eat what others in the house will eat.” She felt that our bedroom was not a place where she could walk into just because I am her son.
It’s not as if she decided to behave well so that she will not cause problems. She behaved this way because she believed that a couple should run their home and not in-laws. Trust Carol, my wife, she loved her for this. And when my mother died at sixty in 1993, Carol mourned. But there is a daughter-in-law, who wishes her mother-in-law dies early, so that she and her husband can live in peace.
There is a mother-in-law that comes to her son’s home and asks her daughter-in-law, “What will my son have for dinner this evening?” If the daughter-in-law replies, “I have already made rice and stew,” the mother-in-law could say, “My son will not eat rice and stew.” She will bring from her bag the food she had specially prepared. And that was what the son always ended up eating.
Sometime ago, a daughter-in-law saved a nice sum of money as a gift to her mother-in-law. To make her husband happy, she presented it in his presence. Her mother-in-law praised her. After her husband left for work, the mother-in-law called her and started blasting her with words like, “Is this how cheap you think I am that you cannot give me more than this?” When her husband came from work, the wife told him what his mother did. The husband refused to believe her, and there was big quarrel. It was another incidence that made the man to know that the woman who raised him up was full of mischief and dishonesty.
Let us go to Ruth chapter one from verse one to the end. Here, you will see an example of one of the best mothers-in-law. Naomi is her name. She travelled out of her country to another country with her husband and two sons. Her husband died in the foreign country. Her two sons got married to two girls who were citizens of that country. After sometime, her two sons died. Naomi then decided to return to her home country Israel. But her two daughters-in-law insisted they must return with her. When their mother-in-law insisted they should remain in their own country and not go to Israel with her, one of them, Ruth, insisted on following her mother-in-law to a country she has never been to before. Ruth said these famous words, “Do not put pressure on me not to follow you: for wherever you go I will go; wherever you stay I will stay: your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die that’s where I will die and there I will be buried… Only death will separate you and me.”
Ruth might have found in her mother-in-law what she possibly did not find in her own mother. And that is how a good mother-in-law should be. I pray that mothers-in-law will meet wise people who will give them words of wisdom and knowledge to live with their daughters-in-law so much that even when they are dead and gone, their daughters-in-law will keep having sweet memories of them, just as my wife Carol keeps having sweet memories of my mother. Love you.
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