June 18, 2015

Compassion for Mother-in-laws

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 18, 2015

“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 fair 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.

Therefore, 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: 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

Post/Tweet this today: A fractured family is an opportunity for faith to flourish. #compassion #wisdomhunters

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  1. Raymond Mannion says:

    This devotional struck me in a bad way. I’m caught between forgiveness and hate which I know is not a Christian view. My wife was sexually abused as a child by her step father. Her daughter is her step father’s. The problem I’m having is her mother from the beginning took her husband’s side in this matter. My wife up to her last breath still wanted a relationship with her mother, who refused to see her. How can a mother not love her daughter? It’s beyond my imagination how she can do this. I have prayed about this and still cannot get past the hate I feel for both of them. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Judy Natwick says:

    Love your devotionals . They bless my life and I share them weekly as they are so relevant to my everyday living . Your words of wisdom are usually right on . However today’s on mother-in- laws has caused me to suggest that the choice of the word “compassion ” rather than the word respect only further perpetuates today’s young adults attitude and actions of nonappreciation for their in-laws.
    Compassion denotes an action toward one that is needy , less able, or weaker. The examples you give are things that young adults shoukd automatically be doing with their in laws to further deepen the family relationships as young adults with ” their grandchildren” . These in- laws that you suggest need compassion have raised these men and women that were chosen as spouses .. They must have done something right . They have sacrificed , provided not only the basics but usually spiritual guidance and examples, higher educations, vacations, opportunities, weddings, free childcare , and extra support and ” needs” wherever they can …. Because they love their kids and want to stay connected to them as they raise their own families. If young families respected their in laws more , all of your examples would be second nature out of being the ” right things to do ” rather than actions out of compassion . Compassion is not what In laws need or want . Young adults can be so much into “themselves” that It is THEIR often disengaging attitudes toward their in laws that creates the distance and voids in the ongoing family relationships . In- laws .. Especially motherin laws of this generation have earned the right to be respected .. And loved for the examples , support, opportunities, and LOVE they willingly continue to give freely to their young adults and their families . ” . Respecting your parents brings them honor and is one of the 10 commandments so easily taught to the younger generation. Showing me compassion by including me in family activities is not something I would want from my 3 daughter in laws.but including me out of a genuine feeling of respect and friendship is something I , and most motherin laws , would welcome at any time . We want to be part of our children’s and grandchildrens lives , but certainly not out of compassion . If young adults just try harder to be more respectful and appreciative to in- laws , the family dynamics and relationships would be so much more positive and fulfilling for everyone .
    Still love your insights and Godky wisdom . God truly uses you and your gift for words and encouragement of the scriptures for all of us . Today’s message just spoke to me in a way , that after prayer, God has led me to just write another perspective toward in- laws.

  3. Gwynne says:

    Dear Raymond,
    My heart is hurting for you as I read your honest and heartfelt words. I grieve for those years your wife lived with the abuse at the hands of her step-father. You stated “My wife up to her last breath still wanted a relationship with her mother…”. I am so sorry for your loss but I REJOICE because she is now in the arms of her Heavenly Father where there is no more pain and suffering.
    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:4
    Your wife must have been an amazing woman of faith to still pursue a relationship with her mother after suffering the years of abuse.
    Raymond, your anger and hurt is understandable. Your precious family was victimized. Although this devotional was hard for you to read, maybe, just maybe, it was “intended” for you to read; to re-address that heartache and finally surrender it to the ONE who is waiting to take it from you.
    “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30
    God wants you to live an abundant life for HIM and HE wants you to give this pain to HIM once and for all. The thing about forgiveness is that it FREES the person doing the forgiving from the bondage of anger and hate. Forgiveness is a gift from God to you and your family.
    I can offer no answers or insight into your mother-in-law or her husband’s actions. God will take care of that. Sometimes, we don’t get to know the answers to some of our questions. We just trust in HIM.
    Raymond, I will be praying for you in the days ahead. I know that God loves you so much, you are HIS child, and HE is waiting for you to trust and surrender.
    “So, do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
    Thank you Raymond, for reaching out to us. Please let us know how you are doing and if you would like to continue our conversation, you can contact me: gwynne@wisdomhunters.com.
    We are here for you.
    Thankful for you~

  4. Gwynne says:

    Dear Judy,
    Thank you for your kind and encouraging words about the Wisdom Hunter’s devotionals. We are thankful that you have been blessed by them. We appreciate your thought-provoking comments about the benefits of treating in-laws (or really anyone) with respect instead of with compassion. You made some truly valid points about respect (“Respecting your parents does bring them honor…”).
    What I love about reading different perspectives about the devotionals from our Wisdom Hunter’s family is that it makes me really think about and “dig deep” into our “rule book”- His Word. Your words about compassion prompted me to research scripture about the subject of compassion. (Thank you for that…)
    In Psalm 86:15 David tells us “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
    Then in Ephesians 4:32 Paul tells us”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
    It seems the more I read about God and compassion, the more I began to think that one is connected to the other. God’s examples of compassion were also examples of respect. As a believer, can I really have one without the other?
    In Psalm 86:15, David describes God as “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”. When I read this, I felt that he could be describing respect, also.
    Again, thank you, Judy, sharing your insight. I really loved the fact you wrote us AFTER you prayed first! (Wow, I could take a lesson from you…)
    We look forward to hearing from you again.
    Thankful for you~

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