And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. (Ruth 2:11)

For those who have daughters, one day they will marry (God willing) and become daughter-in-laws. 

How do you want them to treat their future mother-in-law?

One day you will become a mother-in-law, how will you behave?

On Mothers Day this year my daughter-in-law (DIL) came for lunch and we spent the afternoon together. Her husband (my son) was away on work business (for 4 weeks) but that didn't stop her from visiting. She brought me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a lovely gift which will be treasured. We had a wonderful time chatting, enjoying a meal together, chocolate cupcakes for dessert and we even fitted in a movie (on DVD) that we both wanted to watch. My DIL is a wonderful young lady and I am thrilled and blessed to have her in my life. 

I have no daughters of my own—my daughter-in-law is the very next best thing. 

I never wanted to be one of the those horrible mother-in-laws —the one that sticks her nose in where it isn't wanted, one that is mean and nasty to the DIL, one that is always critical of everything she does, one that creates conflict and stress—division and frustration.

I wanted a loving relationship, a Christian relationship. I have been fortunate to have a DIL that is easy to get along with and one with similar interests to me. One that has a mother that has brought up a daughter to be kind, caring, considerate. When you bring your daughters up, make sure they are well mannered, polite, enjoy having a conversation, familiar with older women, offer to help when they are in other peoples homes as it is these young ladies that will make wonderful DILs.

As for yourself—when your children marry, how will you behave towards the person they marry. Not every mother likes their son or daughter's choice—but that shouldn't affect your behaviour. This isn't something most mothers think about when they train up their sons and daughters—but it is worth considering as none of us want to be seen as meddling mother-in-laws, busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13).

Don't take sides, don't override your daughter-in-law, don't cause unnecessary stress and don't always assume that your way is the only way. As mother-in-laws, we need to be supportive, encouraging, loving, respectful, a friend, a good listener and keep the advice balanced and not critical.

Here are some things to consider when becoming a mother-in-law (source)

* Pray for your daughter-in-lawRather than question or criticize your daughter-in-law, bring issues to God and pray

* Compliment your daughter-in-law, never criticise Honour your daughter-in-law in the presence of your son. Compliment your daughter-in-law; never criticize.

* Cut the apron strings to your sonEncourage your son to build, develop, and define his marriage role. Don’t fight for position by grasping and grabbing for your son’s time and emotions.

* Only give advice when askedBe quick to encourage; don’t question, criticize, or give unsolicited advice.

* Your daughter-in-law may be different from you, accept her for who she isDo not try to change her into who you would like her to be.

* Do not put expectations on your daughter-in-lawDo not have expectations for visits, phone calls, etc.

* Remember that your son has always had faults— he isn't perfect and don't pretend he is. 

* Accept the goals your son and his wife have for their livesBe interested in the things your daughter-in-law and her family are doing even though you don’t agree with them (i.e., homeschooling, international travel, etc.).  Show some interest in the things that are most important to them … even if you think they are making wacky decisions.” 

* Allow your son and his wife to make mistakesRespect the decisions of your son and daughter-in-law, even if you don’t agree with them. Know that if their decision is a mistake, it will be a learning opportunity for them

* Cultivate a relationship with your daughter-in-lawWhen you call your son, and your daughter-in-law answers the phone, visit with her before asking for your son.

* Think the best of your daughter-in-lawKnow that your son is in good hands and that your daughter-in-law is grateful for all that you taught him in the earlier years.

* Take the initiative to connect with your son and daughter-in-lawOffer to take care of the grandkids so your daughter-in-law can have a day to herself.

Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (Luke 12:53)


  1. Nice post. Perfect for new MIL's and us mature! Thanks for sharing this. Come over and visit me. Leave me a comment and let me know you've been by. I get your posts by email. I enjoy that option.

    1. Being a MIL is such a minefield at times!!! but it is much easier if the DIL is as lovely as mine is. I most certainly will, thankyou :)

  2. A good reminder to keep tucked away =)

    1. I will remind you later one, closer to when you become a MIL!!

  3. This is a really good reminder (which I will need a decade or so down the track, if my children marry young - or marry at all!). I love my mother-in-law, she has always treated me like her own daughter and for that I am very thankful. I hope when my time comes, I can be a good example and a good friend to my daughter-in-law... and not overbearing.

    1. You have had such a lovely role model it will be easy for you to replicate. My mother-in-law was nice, but I really didn't have a great deal to do with her and nor did we have a lot in common which made it hard. But I am determined to do my best :)) I will repost this in 10 years!!!

  4. Thank you for this post - I'm sure I can need this in 10-15 years! In the meantime, I'm a DIL myself, but don't have a very good relationship with my MIL, perhaps because I'm her son's second wife (his first wife left him alone with his 1year old daughter). She didn't like her first DIL either; at the same time, she is nicer to her now than to me, and thinks of her first grandchild (my husbands daughter) as her only "real" grandchild and shows rarely interest in her other 3 grandkids. This is hard on the kids and on myself.
    Do you have any tipps on how to be a good DIL (even if the situation is not ideal)? Maybe you could get your lovely DIL to write a post some time on what she thinks as a DIL herself?
    Have a beautiful day!

    1. This is so sad and its terrible that an individual would treat another like this. Just show her love, show an interest in her life, send her updates of your children - don't push, but make sure you are part of her life where she likes it or not. Perhaps one day, may be not straight way her heart will change. Be gracious when words from her are not, be caring and kind - it doesn't really matter if she is not to you - you can be Christ in action to her. It will be hard but it will be so worth it in the long run.

    2. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!I will try to put them in action. Blessings to you and your family!


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