Last week I shared three things a mother-in-law can do to keep harmony with her daughter-in-law. Now, let’s look at what the daughter-in-law can do to promote peace and good-will in the relationship.
Acknowledge Her Sacrifice
Years ago, Steve wrote a song that captured the unspoken feelings of a groom’s mother following her son’s wedding. The chorus says…
But of all the words that were spoken on this his wedding day
No one thought about asking her, “Who gives this man away?”
Dealing with a Difficult Mother-in-Law
The reality is some mothers-in-law make it very hard to accept them because they are simply difficult people.
Romans 12:18 gives us the best advice when it comes to “getting along” with others. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Even the Lord knows there are some people who refuse to allow love to permeate their hearts.
In the book, The Mother-in-law Dance (in the chapter, Boxers Dance, Too) a daughter-in-law shared what she did to help build a bridge instead of erecting a wall between them.
- “I kept my distance.” Instead of going to visit my mother-in-law in her home, we met at a restaurant or park. That way, neither of us had to worry about the children making a mess or breaking a valued treasure.
- “I kept my tongue.” Making sure my words were kind and respectful made it possible to live a life free of regret. After my mother-in-law died, it helped knowing I had not let her bad behavior change me and make me into someone I could not be proud of.
- “I kept smiling.” From time to time I sent humorous quips and jokes along with funny cards to my mother-in-law. Little by little, the bricks of resentment began to come down. I learned that returning good for evil and a blessing instead of an insult kept life more pleasant for our family and I was able to maintain a clear conscience before God.
Every person longs to be loved, including mother-in-laws. If you’d like to express your affection for her, here’s a wonderful old poem you could either copy and give or read to her.
“Mother-in-law” they say, and yet somehow I simply can’t forget
‘Twas you who watched his baby ways, who taught him his first hymn of praise
Who smiled on him with loving pride when he first toddled by your side
“Mother-in-law” but oh, ‘twas you who taught him to be kind and true
When he was tired, almost asleep, ‘twas to your arms he used to creep
And when he bruised his tiny knee, ‘twas you who kissed it tenderly
“Mother-in-law” they say, and yet somehow I never shall forget
How much I owe to you, who taught him how to grow
You trained your son to look above; you made of him the man I love
And so I think of that today when with thankful heart I’ll say
If you have additional suggestions on how others can strengthen their relationship with a mother-in-law, please feel free to share them with us.
Blessings on you and yours