Gender Gender

Modern daughters-inlaw are also a problem

Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
Dear Raphael and Namukolo,
WITH reference to your article in the Zambia Daily Mail, dated 23rd May 2018, I agree with all the points you brought out, which as mothers-in-law we are supposed to abide by, for the happiness of our children’s marriages, no two ways about it.
I am just concerned with the modern daughters-in-law. They enter marriages with preconceived ideas that mothers-in-law are bad, leading them to mistreat their in laws. No matter how much the mother-in-law may try to make sure the relationship works, it will all be in vain, all she knows is that mothers-in-law are bad. Even when you try to help in the kitchen, she will think you want to get her kitchen.
The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship should be handled by both parties by involving God. Mothers should continuously pray for their children, including the daughter- in-laws. Otherwise, without God, problems will always be there.
I see nothing wrong in telling your mother in law that you are going out, if you stay with her.
Men also should not contribute to making the relationship between mother and wife to be a bad one. They should know how to handle issues.
May God Almighty continue blessing you.
Thank you. RM.
Dear RM,
Thanks a lot for your comments and observations.
We totally agree with you that both the daughters-in-law and the sons have definite roles to play which will ensure that the daughter – mother- in- law relationship will be a healthy one.
Last week we concentrated on explaining the need to ensure that the new couple becomes truly independent from their parents. This is fundamental because their marriage is a new entity which should be self-governing and self-sustaining.
Once this is established, it is very important that the newlyweds should maintain very good relationships with their parents.
The daughter-in-law needs to relate to her mother in law, as she would relate to her own mother because she is equally her parent. She must respect her, love her and seek to honour her just as she would her own mother. The Bible teaching is clear on how children ought to treat their parents. Exodus 20:12 ESV “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
In the Book of Ruth we find a very good example of a healthy mother- daughter-in-law relationship. This was between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. Although her husband had died, Ruth continued relating closely with her mother in law. Ruth treated Naomi like her mentor and greatly valued her advice. Ruth 1:15-18 ESV And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” (16) But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (17) Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” (18) And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
A healthy relationship entails that the daughter-in-law freely and closely relates with her mother-in law. She should be very free to express herself and should not feel inhibited in any way. Once a close relationship is cultivated, it will be very easy for her to discuss any issues to do with the running of her home including the kitchen. More so if for some reason the two are staying in the same house.
The son also has a major role to play in fostering healthy relationships between his wife and his mother. His responsibility starts before marriage during courtship. He needs to introduce his fiancée to his mother and ensure that they start relating well. After marriage, if he sees that his mother is still treating him and his wife like children by failing to recognise their independence, it is his responsibility to sit down with his mother and politely explain to her that he is now head of a new independent family and what this entails. It is equally his responsibility to set an example of showing respect to his parents. Quarrelling with his mother does not show respect. There are better and wiser ways of settling his differences with his mother.
Above all he must take the lead in everything that happens in his home and should not leave his wife and his mother to sort things out themselves.
Avoid basing life decisions on strong feelings.
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