Entries in Guest Posts (4)
Yesterday, I was given the privilege of sharing with Catherine Parks about my mother-in-law. Catherine is doing a series about mothers and daughters-in-law.
I was not a Christian when I met my mother-in-law, but my husband was. That was an uneasy situation, although I was ignorant of it at the time. My post is about the fact that my mother-in-law chose to show grace to me. Here is a snippet:
She had no idea that this unbelieving girl who had been brought into her life longed to understand who God was, who Jesus Christ was. All she knew was that here was a young woman in need of a Savior. Despite the fact that she was probably not entirely happy with her son, she treated me with love and grace. I was always treated with kindness every time I saw her from the very first occasion meeting her. She could have been cold toward me, mistrustful, wondering what kind of awful influence I was going to be, but she did not do that. She chose grace.
You can read the rest here.
I have shared this story with many people over the years. It is a story worth sharing because it demonstrates beautifully an example of God's mercy. He took a situation that was not ideal, and that did not surprise him, and brought it a conclusion that brought glory to Himself and worked for my good and my husband's good as well. Does every situation like ours have a happy ending? No; but that does not mean that we cannot rejoice in what God did.
Not long ago, I shared this story with some ladies, and was taken aback when some of the hearers, rather than seeing this as a demonstration of God's grace, immediately focused on two things: first, that my husband, a Christian (and an immature 20 year old one at that) erred by dating me. The second, why did his mother tolerate this? This is what caught their attenion; the error, not the grace.
I couldn't help but be amused at the reactions, because those who objected most vehemently had small children. They could not fathom how despite being taught the truth all of his life my husband, as a grown up, made a decision contrary to what he knew to be right. After having raised my own children to adults, that my husband did this does not surprise me. How often did God tell Isreal to obey, and told them what the consequences were, only to see them do exactly what He said not to do?
I was very surprised at how hard some of them were on my mother-in-law. It seems that some of them thought she should have done something; perhaps tar and feathers? Would a cold shoulder and a few hard words to me have been the right decision? I'm glad my mother-in-law didn't think so.
I'm thankful that my mother-in-law didn't condemn me, and relegate me to a category of "those girls" whom she didn't want anywhere near her son. I'm thankful she was patient, and trusted God. I hope I can be like that when situations arise that I may feel less than ideal. In a perfect world, our children will do everything we want, agree with everything we ask them to do, and never have a moment's struggle with their faith.
And then there is reality.