Compassion for Mothers-in-Law 


Compassion for Mothers-in-Law 

When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.  Matthew 8:14-15

Do you see your mother-in-law with compassion, or do you see her as competition? Your mother-in-law is meant to compliment your marriage, not compete with it. Peter did a smart thing as a son-in-law: he invited Jesus into his home and into their relationship. As a result, Jesus healed his mother-in-law so she was free to serve Him and others.

It is out of an attitude of compassion that you are able to illustrate to your mother-in-law the love of Jesus. If you resist her interest in your family, reject her suggestions, or deny her access to your home, you dishonor her in the process. We all have our quirks, but the Lord works these out with levity, love, and long-suffering. Compassion compensates.

As the leader of your home, make sure you are reaching out to your mother-in-law on a regular basis. Perhaps you invite her over for her grandchildren’s birthdays, school events, or sporting activities. How are you intentionally engaging your in-laws so they are able to do life with your little ones? It is out of a multi-generational community that your offspring gain perspective from their grandparents. Honor them as models for your children, who one day will honor their own in-laws. Ruth lived this out in uncomfortable circumstances.

“Boaz replied, ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before’” (Ruth 2:11).

You may be concerned that your mother-in-law does not know the Lord. This is a reasonable fear. But it’s also an opportunity for you to be a righteous representative of your Savior. When she sees Jesus in your attitude and actions, she will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to know Him as you know Him. A fractured family is an opportunity for faith to flourish.

Help facilitate faith and healing in your family dynamic by keeping Christ at the center. Ask how you can serve your mother-in-law in ways she wants to be served. Do you invite her on family outings, extended trips, or over the weekend to stay with your children? Pray your mother-in-law becomes like your mother, and you like her child.

“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too” (Romans 16:13).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my heart of love to love insecure and hurting family members, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: How can I best show compassion to my mother-in-law with my attitude and actions?

Related Readings: Ruth 3:16; Micah 7:6; Luke 12:53; Ephesians 5:31


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