TITLE: Hat's Off
By Karen Story
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Good Lord, what is this woman talking about? Well, let me explain. I have a mother-in-law, Rose, and she is totally in. Rose is a wonderful person who loves her family and her son’s wives. She’s also a great Christian friend. Sometimes, she can tell by the sound of my voice that I’m upset. She will ask, “Karen, do I need to take the mother-in-law hat off and put the girlfriend hat on?”
I’ve had a lot of experience with mother-in-laws; which I’m not to proud to boast about. As I look back at my past marriages, I can conclude that none of them had God in the center and none of the in-laws where Christians. Those marriages were doomed before they even started. I learned the hard way of what not to say to my in-laws, as they all turned into out-laws. That’s okay. I am so blessed to have finally gotten it right this time.
No mother wants their child to be known as anything but wonderful, even when they know better. I have to tread on ice when given the opportunity to vent to my friend, my mother-in-law. Through trial and error I have learned that it is best to not vent to your mother-in-law, or a friend, or even your own mom. Why? Because when my husband and I get our problem resolved, we are okay but those we vented to may not be okay with the one vented about. Picture a vent, a tube that vents hot air. Hot air rises. For all concerned, it’s best to take it up. Up as in, take it up to God, not out to the people around you.
I thank my mother-in-law, Rose, for giving me permission to talk to her about how much I am hurting. When I’m upset with my husband, I screen my calls. I don’t answer the phone or return calls unless it concerns our business. I respect Rose enough to not involve her in my problems with her son. I want to keep the loving relationship we have. I allow God to fix our problems since He is the only one who can.
Do you know the best part of this story? When I allow God to do His work, it keeps my relationship with my mother-in-law natural, the way God intended it to be: easy, free, and something you don’t have to work at. Plus, Rose doesn’t like hats. I take my problems to the King and His hat is a crown.
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