Stepping Through the Mines

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Stepping Through the Mines

Being a mother-in-law sometimes can be like walking through a minefield. We are trying to navigate around hidden pieces planted below the surface without getting blown up or blowing up the family relationship. Sadly, the mines below can’t be seen with your eyes. Your senses will tell you something is there but many times we do not trust our senses. Many mines below the surface we had nothing to do with. We step on without knowing or thinking.

We sometimes get caught in the mine of expectations. We are not the mother-in-law that was expected. We are too friendly. We talk differently than expected. We have too little money or too much. Expectations can go everywhere. When we do not meet the expectations as to how we are to look, act or communicate. We are caught in a mine. We may be caught in the mine of being a mother-in-law. There are daughters and sons that did not grow up with their mother having a mother-in-law or a relationship with one. So, the fact that they now have one to deal with can be a mine that you step on at the wedding. There is the mine of individuality. We are individuals with different thoughts, ideas and lives. We are all different people. We will have different opinions. We will not agree always on the same thing. It is easy to step on that one. There is a mine of culture. We grew up in the South. They grew up in the North. We grew up in the West and they grew up in the east. We cook foods that go with the life we have had. Our culture may not be accepted at points. the mine of parents can be stepped on. Parents from the wife and husband will be very different. In all of the in-law relationships we have, Rodney and I are very different than the parents of our daughters-in-law and son-in-law. We all like different things. It can be a mine when the differences are hard to accept. We may step on the mine of faith. We believe differently about our daily walk. We believe in church attendance. They may not. The belief in drinking and smoking may be differently. Many mines can be very personal and the mine of our belief in God is one of them. When children enter the picture, mines are a plenty. It is easy to step on the mine of how to discipline or raise children over and over. The care of our grandchildren can be just as personal as the care of our children was to us.

I could go on and on about the mines that are in this in-law relationship. I could write a book about the mines that I have stepped on. Many times, I have stepped on the same ones over and over. The mines are there as you try to navigate this relationship. The difference in each relationship is forgiveness. When each person in the relationship is ready to forgive when they are offended, then we avoid the mines being detonated. Yes, we step on the mine but the mine can stay dormant by the forgiveness that God gives us and we give others. I have had this both ways. I have had mines that were not detonated and mines that were when I stepped on them. I am so thankful for forgiveness and the forgiveness that has been shown me as I stepped through this minefield of in-law relationships.

 

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