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She hath done what she could.

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She hath done what she could... {Honoring Your Mother or Mother-In-Law} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Honor Thy Mother

It’s been ten days since my 88 year old mother-in-law passed away.

My husband was the very best son ever. I truly mean that. If you’d known my mother-in-law, you’d know that she was a difficult person. In fact, difficult may not be a strong enough word. And yet my husband honored her. He took care of her day in and day out for the last 15 years even when all she did was complain or yell at him.

She loved the Lord with all of her heart. And I don’t want to disparage her in any way by talking about the truth. She made her peace with the Lord before she died and I know we  will see her again in Heaven. However, her love for the Lord did not translate in a sweet or joyful spirit.

She was a very broken person. I used to say the Lord gave me my mother-in-law to teach me patience. Because I am the nicest person you’ll ever meet, but you don’t mess with my husband and you don’t mess with my kids – because when it comes to them – I am a mama bear. I am very protective of my family.

And there were many times it was difficult for me to hear how she would talk to my husband when he was so faithful and always did his best.

And I had to learn patience.

Because I had to accept the fact that, aside from a true miracle of God, she was not going to change. I had to learn to love her despite her harsh exterior. I had to learn to love her not because she was lovable but because she was my husband’s mother.

Because I love my husband. And he loved his mother.

[Tweet “Learning to love her – not because she was lovable – but because she was my husband’s mother:”]

I hear women complain about their mother-in-laws often – and with the abundance of mother-in-law jokes apparently mother-in-laws are often hard to deal with.

Over the last 15 years I’ve had to take care of my mother-in-law {broken bones, illnesses, and more} often without a word of thanks and even more often just the opposite.

My husband had the worst childhood of anyone I have ever met. He never heard his mother say she loved him – not even as a child. He never received hugs or kisses – just a harsh hand. He was very often hungry – to the point of digging through trash or sneaking dog food out of the bins at the feed store. He had almost nothing and he was often forced to leave behind what little he did have when they would suddenly move.

He suffered every kind of abuse imaginable from abusive step-fathers and a harsh mother. And yet he stood by her, caring for her like Jesus would.

[Tweet “”She hath done what she could.” Honoring thy mother or mother-in-law when it’s hard. “]

My husband often said to me, “She hath done what she could.”

Do you recognize the words of Jesus? That verse is found in Mark 14:8.

He spoke this of his mother, a broken woman whose life was harsh, mean, and often brutal. He said this of a woman who was abused by men and scrubbed toilets to put food on the table. He said this of a mother whose tender hand he never knew.

She hath done what she could.

[Tweet “She hath done what she could. Mark 14:8”]

In other words, she was a broken person in need of a loving savior. She was so broken that for whatever reason, even though she found the Lord and wanted to spread the gospel to everyone, she had places of her heart that were never opened to the healing touch of her Savior.

She did the best she could with what she had. She didn’t have the emotional resources to give more than she did. And my husband loved and honored his mother everyday of her life by doing what he could to make her life easier.

She hath done what she could.

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2 Comments

  1. What an amazing life picture of what the Precious Lord does for us. We are all that poor broken person being lovingly tended to by one who loves us in spite of our brokenness. Thank you for this moving and tender tribute to your Mother-in-law. It blessed me all the more as I was so privileged to see this in real life and know that these aren't just empty words - but can testify that it is a true and honest report. Hugs, Patti

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