A woman in her late forties, named… Marie, stood at her kitchen sink washing dishes. She looks up and out the kitchen window and sees her husband, Charles, working hard in their backyard. Out of the corner of her eye she sees her mom walking to where her husband is working. Marie realizes that while she was not mean or unkind to her mother, she wasn’t exactly cheerful or welcoming when her mom came to talk to her. When her mom felt unwanted she went in search of the one person in her life that will almost always make time to talk with her.
You see, Marie’s husband is a wonderful caring man. Charles loves the Lord, his family, his church and the lost. Part of his family includes his mother-in-law who lives with them. How did she come to live with his family? Years ago, like 14 years ago, it was his idea to have his family live with his wife’s mother and father-in-law for a year to help them out financially; while his wife thought he was nuts she went along with his plan. After the year was up his family eagerly moved into their own place but it was short lived. His father-in-law passed away four months later.
His mother-in-law can be difficult to love and yet this God fearing man does just that… He loves her. Not perfectly but always with sincerity. Marie has so much to learn from her husband. Charles is being Jesus to someone who doesn’t really want to hear about Jesus. He is being light to someone who had a very dark childhood, suffered terrible abuse at the hands of people who should have loved and protected her and feels abandoned by those she once called her closest friends.
Marie wonders why it is so difficult for her to be the light to her own mother. She feels ashamed as she watches her husband make consistent efforts to love her mom and invest in her daily life. She has known for some time that she needs to make more of an effort and without God helping her she’ll never be able to do it on her own. Marie knows that the Scripture says to honor your mother and father but it really goes beyond honor doesn’t it? She can honor her without investing in her. She can honor her without being light to her. She can honor her without giving much thought to where her mom will spend eternity. But Marie, as a Christian, should be concerned about her mother’s eternity.
That goes back to relationship. Investing in her. Seeing her as valuable. Seeing her as a child of God.