Mother-in-law. The title alone conjures a host of negative connotations and stereotypes. I won’t bother to list them, but I will tell you that I was determined not to live up to them!
So, here I am five years in with something to share that I hope will be a blessing. Below is an open letter to my amazing daughters-in-law.
Katie and Michelle,
The Lord has given me many blessings—one of the most treasured is my two sons and daughter. Upon the birth of my firstborn son, Kevin, I realized he belonged to God first and foremost. All of my children were on loan to me, so I knew prayer was a necessity. Raising children can be as daunting as it is joyful. I knew the day would come when they would leave our home and become a gift to others. They would go to school, have jobs, and Lord willing get married.
It was my honor and responsibility to pray for them and with them, to train them to know Jesus and follow His ways. When I prayed for my precious babies—I also prayed for you. As my boys turned into young men, I knew you were growing, too.
I prayed (and still do) for you to grow in knowledge and love for the Lord and others. But most importantly, I have prayed that your identity and value would be found in Christ.
Being a woman is difficult. We feel pressure to please and to live up to expectations from others and ourselves. We battle with appearing vulnerable, so we hide our insecurities deep in our hearts. We hope to be loved, appreciated, and understood.
I want you to know that with all the years of praying for you, I couldn’t help but love you. That’s what prayer does! And it is out of love, that I make these promises to you.
- I will always love you. No matter what. One thing I have learned, love is more than a feeling. Love is a choice. When we choose to love God first, His love sweetens and grows our relationship with others (Mark 12:30).
- I will always pray for you. Every single day, as long as I have breath in my lungs. The Bible tells us “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Prayer has changed my life more than anything. As I have prayed for my own marriage, I will pray for yours. I pray that both of you seek to love and obey the Lord first, for then everything else will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
- I will recognize that my son’s loyalty is first and foremost to you. I will do my best to never put him in a position where he feels he must choose between the two of us (Ephesians 5:31).
- I will always be your cheerleader and friend. I will encourage you, champion you, and be behind you.
- I will always be honest with you and treat you with respect, even if we may not always see eye-to-eye.
- I will not expect you or your life to look a “certain” way. God has created you with unique gifts and talents that may be different from my own. Please live in the freedom that God is writing your story and no two stories are alike. Furthermore, I will not ask that you alter your family’s schedule to accommodate mine.
- I will not undermine you. I will respect the choices you and my son have made, both as independent adults and as parents. I will consistently enforce your rules as long as I am under your roof or your children are under my care.
- I will refrain from gossiping about you to other family members. Any concern I have with you or your husband (my son), I will bring directly to you and keep between us.
- I will try to listen, and talk less. I will try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice. Although this may be hard for me at times, I promise to do my best. I hope I will earn your trust so that you will feel free to ask me for help or advice.
- I will always remember we are sisters before we are mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. You are my sister and my friend. When I look at you, I see a daughter of the king of Kings, a sister in Christ, and the precious gift of a daughter He’s given to me.
Love and prayers always,
♥Please share your comments and prayer requests below.
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