Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dealing With Difficult Mothers and Mothers-in-Law


Listening to women in the chat room, many have trouble with their mother and/or mother-in-law. Many of these older women have no desire to be a part of their grandchildren's life. They have raised children and want their freedom. Others do want to be part of their lives but they smoke, drink alcohol, and try to control their daughter or daughter-in-law in how she raises her children. How do they respond to the elders in their lives who are difficult or uninterested? Many young women grieve over this broken relationship. 

We are called to love everyone, even our enemies. Jesus told us that others will know we are His disciples by loving others, even the foolish ones. How should we love them? Love them even though you don't feel like you love them. When you see them, be kind to them. Write cards to them for special occasions or no occasion at all letting them know your love for them, since we overcome evil with good. 

Do you have to be with these mothers if they are foolish and bad influences on your children? No, limit your time with them for very special occasions. The Word warns us about spending time with a foolish person. "Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest no in him the lips of knowledge" {Proverbs 14:7}. As you know, a foolish woman tears her home down with her own hands. You must not allow her to do the same with your home.

Therefore, spend as little time as possible with her. If you don't like the way she babysits your children, don't let her babysit anymore. A mother or mother-in-law must earn the right to take care of her grandchildren. If she refuses to abide by the rules that her children have set for their own children, she has lost the right to babysit them or be alone with them. Your children are your first and only concern. You are the ones called to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not your mother or mother-in-law. 

If they argue with you or call you names, don't respond to their foolishness. {This applies to anytime a foolish person wants to get in an argument with you about the way you live your life or your faith.} "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him" {Proverbs 26:4}. When you are quiet, the fire is not stoked but burns out. Allow the Lord to convict and change them, since this is an impossible task for you. God hasn't given you the task of convicting and changing others. You are called to be an example of godliness to them. This is the greatest witness of Christ in your life. 

Instead of wasting your time with this woman, spend your life molding and shaping your precious children instead. Time is short. Your years with them are few and go quickly by. Don't waste your time with those who hinder what you are trying to train your children to be. God commands that we use our time wisely. Use your time to be with your children and making sure they know the God who made them.

You will probably grieve over the lost relationship with your mother, but if it is your mother-in-law, you may grieve her loss as well. This is healthy and normal. Every woman wants to grow up to be close to her mother. This is one of the most important relationships in her life. When she gets married, it's great to be close to your mother-in-law, but it doesn't always happen this way. If it doesn't, allow yourself time to grieve. Remember, God uses suffering and loss in our lives for good. It helps mold us into the image of Christ. Cling to Him during this time, casting your cares upon Him. Pray about the entire situation and give it to the Lord saying, "Not my will but thine be done."

Never allow bitterness to take hold in your heart since bitterness defiles many, as the Word states {Hebrews 12:15}, and the last thing you want is for your children to be defiled due to your bitterness. As you give the relationship to the Lord, he can heal your broken heart. Give it all to Him over and over again, if need be. Pray daily over it and the Lord may restore it one day. He does exceedingly more than we can ever hope or imagine so trust Him. He alone is worthy of our trust.