Do you want to be a wonderful mother-in-law? This summer two of our sons will get married and I have been asking God to show me how to become a great mother-in-law to my two new daughters.
God brought me to Exodus 18 during my Bible study. It is a passage that describes a time when Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to visit Moses. Jethro took time to hear all that had been happening in Moses’ life. (verse 8) Then he rejoiced with Moses over all that had been happening and they worshipped (verse 9). Jethro took time to observe what was happening in Moses’ daily life and asked pertinent questions to understand why Moses was investing his time judging the people “from morning until evening” (verse 14). After listening, observing, and asking pertinent questions to try to understand what was going on from his son-in-law’s perspective Jethro offered suggestions of specific ways Moses could use his time more wisely.
Verse 27 says “Moses said farewell and his father-in-law went his way into his own land.” What a great reminder that giving wise counsel is necessary, but so is returning home and allowing the son or daughter-in-law to make the decisions they need to make.
Jethro is a great example that an in-law can be a valuable mentor. When we listen and invest in our kid’s lives, practice patience and understanding and allow our children to be independent, that relationship can grow to be a blessing and your new daughters will not just be daughters-in-law but daughters-in-love.