Even if your mother in law isn’t the highest woman on your list, you probably owe her tremendously. Why?
Because if you have a mother-in-law, then you’re either a man who married her daughter, or a daughter who married her son. She gave birth to the love of your life.
If you have children, then at some point, you realize these sweet little blessings wouldn’t have come into the world without her. That makes her pretty darn important, yes?
How do you show her love? How do you treat her like a priority? How do you handle conflict or concerns?
I love this example God gives us in Mark about Simon making his mother-in-law a top priority–and the compassionate response Jesus has over the situation.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. Mark 1:29-31
The text doesn’t give much more information about her here other than she was in bed with “a fever.” Was it a deadly fever–as would be suggested by her being in bed? Or was it just a small fever?
I don’t know.
But…does it matter?
She had a fever. She was not well. She was with need.
Simon, an attentive son-in-law recognized the need. Did he call for a doctor? Possibly. But that isn’t in this story.
What is in this story? What was the important part God wanted us to recognize when reading this? They immediately told Jesus about her. I mean, think about it. Do you really believe He didn’t already know who she was, where she was, or if she was well? Of course He knew.
This small story is a beautiful example of Simon’s heart. He immediately told Jesus about her.
And in Jesus’ compassion, He went to her, took her hand and helped her up.
Friends, our mother-in-law is a gift to us. And even when she looks like she has it all together, she still has needs. With sin and sickness in this world, she will indeed get fevers now and then. Some of them we will never know about. But some will land her in bed–completely knocked down.
We may or may not need to call upon doctors or others to assist her. But certainly, we should do as Simon did, and immediately tell Jesus about her–even though He already knows.
I firmly believe He will go to her. I firmly believe prayers are never ignored, even when we can’t see or hear an answer.
In fact, when we don’t see the answer to our prayers, we should keep praying. Pray harder. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray. And keep watching for an answer.
I encourage you all to make your mother-in-law a priority. Do the most important thing you can to help her in any way that you can–immediately tell Jesus about her–often. Is there any way to love someone more?
Are you praying for your mother-in-law? I would love to hear your encouragement.
I continue to tell Jesus about my mother-in-law. I know He is reaching for her hand. And I’m praying that one day, she too will choose to take His hand, be healed of her fever, and get up and serve Him. I’d love if you added her to your prayers as well.