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 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-law—Rather 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 son—Encourage 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 asked—Be 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 is—Do not try to change her into who you would like her to be.
* Do not put expectations on your daughter-in-law—Do 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 lives—Be 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 mistakes—Respect 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-law—When 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-law—Know 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-law—Offer 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)