lessons from a future mother-in-law

4 Lessons From a Future Mother-In-Law

Yikes! Is the Proverbs 31 woman the dream woman through the eyes of a future mother-in-law?  No wonder she looks like superwoman! I wonder if my mother-in-law sized me up against those standards. If she did, I’m glad she didn’t know about the “prenup” I made with her son! Let’s look at that “prenup” experience and then four lessons we can glean from this godly mother in Proverbs 31 who I am calling a “future mother-in-law.”

The “Prenup” We Kept Secret

My mother-in-law is now in glory. I often thanked her for being the best mother-in-law ever. She loved me like a daughter.  I’m glad she never knew the details about the marriage proposal! She may have thought differently of me…I’m sure she would have!

A Non-Domestic Future Daughter-in-Law

When I met James, my mother-in-law’s only son, I had been saved for only a few months. I started studying God’s Word and loved it. There was a certain wonder of how God would use me to serve Him. However, becoming a wife had never entered my mind at all. Being a domesticated one certainly was not for me! I was an athlete focused on the next competitive game of basketball, volleyball, or tennis — not serving from the kitchen.

Informal Prenup

God sent James out of nowhere. He proposed to me three weeks after we met…yes, three weeks! He was on his knees for some time, while I listed out the things that I was not in to. I guess you could say we had an informal “prenup” all about me. I made it clear that I didn’t cook but I would keep things fairly clean. I played sports with guys regularly and needed to know if that would be an issue. You think? James agreed to all conditions — he must have been in love! If my future mother-in-law had heard our conversation, she rightfully would have told her son to run the other way! We wisely kept it a secret. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit fixed me…fast…and that “prenup” was out the window…sorta kinda! 🙂

Four Lessons from the “Future Mother-in-Law” in Proverbs 31

We see no “prenup” foolishness in Proverbs 31. There’s actually no foolishness of any kind. This mama was serious! In this Psalm, King Lemuel (only mentioned once in Scripture) is uttering the words that his mother taught him. They are recorded in two very detailed poems. The first poem in verses 1-9 are words of wisdom about being a wise king. The second poem, verses 10-31, details a virtuous wife. We can glean four basic lessons from these teachings of a godly mother to her son.

Lesson #1: Teach our sons to apply the Word of God to daily living.

The king’s mother taught him practical things about life. As we read through the Proverb, we see some of what she taught him.

  • Don’t give your strength to women. (Notice the plurality of women!)
  • The hazards of strong drink.
  • To speak up for and give righteous judgments to the less fortunate.
  • What to look for in a virtuous wife.

Lesson #2: Encourage our sons to take heed because they are valuable.

We see the mother in Proverbs 31:2 communicating her son’s value. “What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?”

He may have been a son that she had prayed to conceive and made vows to the Lord to consecrate him to the Lord. Our children are valuable gifts from the Lord indeed.

This mother knew that her son’s valuable and precious life would either be enhanced or permanently scarred based on the woman he choose to marry.

Lesson #3: Teach our sons by being an example of a virtuous wife. Let our walk match our talk!

The details about this virtuous wife seem to have come from the actual observance of a godly wife and mother. This was not just talk.

Lesson #4: Mothers, if our sons choose unwisely, be a good mother-in-law anyway.

  • Now this will take much prayer, wisdom, patience, and control of the tongue. If his wife is not very godly, she likely will not want godly counsel, especially from her mother-in-law.
  • Prayerfully, invite her to women’s functions where she can see and hear other godly women. It has been said, “Some things are taught but some things are caught”!
  • Ask God to give us a heart of love for — our son’s choice — while the Holy Spirit works with her and our son.
  • Last but not least, don’t interfere with their marriage and the kids. Lord help us!

Questions For You

Mothers look at that valued son of yours, are you ready?  Is he?

Those marriage proposals…and secrets…can come quickly!

The Glory of God changes everything


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