I bless God for another the grace to see another morning. This morning I woke up with a heavy thought and that is, I am alive for a purpose, it’s an opportunity that those in the grave will do anything to have. It’s an opportunity to a second and third chance to make it right with God and fulfill the purpose for which He created me and is still keeping me alive. It’s up to me to make that opportunity count. This is not just for me, but for all of those who wish to have a successfully blessed and glorious 2017.
So it’s another talk day and I feel led to write about marriage and external influence. I wrote in the book "Marriage: God’s Rules of Engagement" that one of the greatest enemies of a successful marriage is tradition. Another innocent looking treat to marriage is the influence of family members in the marriages of their child or loved one so to say. God being mindful of this says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” The reason for this leaving is because the influence of family factor in any marriage is always one sided and will never promote the unity of that marriage that is requisite for it’s success. This leads me to the story I want to share today and I pray that we lesson valuable lessons from it.
When I got married it was with an open heart and I looked forward to a loving relationship not just with my husband but also with his family. My husband had warned me that he respected and loved his mum, but would not want any unnecessary closeness between his mum and I. This was strange and different from the training my mother gave me. She always told me that in marriage, you don’t just marry the man, but you marry his entire family too. That I should love my mother-in-law and take her as my mother; so I followed through with my mother’s advice and did all I could to be a loving daughter to my mother-in-law. But that was my biggest undoing. My mother-in-law saw me as a threat and treated me with great disdain. For God knows why, everything I did or said got her irritated. As far as she was concerned I just came to take her son away from her; she was of the mindset that her husband who happens to be my husband is very rich and I am stopping her from having her share of the largesse despite all she sacrificed to train him and all she invested in him to become the man that he is. She always comes up scary threats and when I complain to my husband, he tells me that I brought it upon myself as he had told me to stay away from his mum. There is always this constant cold war between me and my mother-in-law and my husband is always at a loss as to whose side he should be on. This is really affecting my marriage because it is having it’s toll on my relationship with my husband; we often end up fighting whenever issues of his mum comes between us and try as I may her issues come up too often because she always has one complain she is reporting me to my husband for even though they are always lies or twisted stories.
I will tell you that both your husband and mother weren’t wrong in the advice they gave you on the issue of your mother-in-law, it’s just the balanced application of these two advises that you lack. In Romans 13:7-8 Paul said, “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law.” From this passage you owe your mother-in-law respect and honor because she is your husband’s mother and because you and your husband are one in flesh and spirit she has become your mother and God says “Honor your father and mother so that your days may be long on earth.” And then because you also owe the continuing debt of love to everyone as a child of God, you owe her love. And this is why I said your biological mother didn’t advice you wrong.
But in marriage you are to leave mother and father behind and be united to your husband; that is God’s instruction in Genesis 2:24. So your husband was also very correct when he instructed you not to get unnecessarily close to his mother. The Bible says you should submit to your husband as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), so you should obey your husband’s instruction above that of your mother. The instruction of your husband should be the priority instruction in your life.
Now here is how to balance out this situation: You are to love your mother-in-law, respect and honor her, but never let her get involved in any affairs that has to do with your marriage. Your marriage and all that has to do with it should be a no go area of either your mother-in-law or even your biological mother or any relative or friend. Any issue in your marriage should be handled between you, your husband and your God. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work," and then Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” This cord of three strands is you, your husband and your God. Any other attachment to this threesome is not allowed and should not be welcomed.
Also never try to get involved in any situation that involves your husband and his mother or family members. Before God, you and your husband are one in flesh and spirit, but before your mother-in-law, you are an intruder. Trying to play the devil’s advocate or trying to mend quarrels between him and his mother will be misconstrued by her and you will be seen as been too forward or domineering. So it’s safer you stay away from anything that concerns your husband and his mother or any relative for that matter.
If there is an issue and his mother tries to report to you or intimate you on the matter, politely refer her back to him in the nicest and most friendly manner; never attempt to come between them. All you should do is play your part of love, respect and honor. Any other involvement should come in the form of prayer within your closet for him as your husband and for your mother-in-law or any relative as it may be.
There are some mothers-in-law that are loving and kind; these ones really do have the mind of God in them and they will attract your love effortlessly by the love they show to you. But still you are to leave father and mother and be united to your husband as they Bible instructs; your marriage should still be shielded from their influence. And for the mean mothers-in-law, you still have to love them anyway, its just that it will take greater effort at love but God’s grace is sufficient for you. In all, do not encourage external interference in your God. God is all you need and He is always available for you.