Monday, November 12, 2007

Mother-In-Law Love

In "Other" Words

This week's quote is:

"Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible--terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved."

~ Hannah Hurnard ~

Dan and I have been married for 34 years, but I can still remember the words his mother said to me when I met her for the very first time.

We left Bible College for Christmas break, but after a few days, Dan called and asked if I would like to visit his home. He drove 4 hours to my house and 4 hours back to take me to meet his parents. We had just started dating, but were head over heels "in like" with each other.

Because it was a long trip, I bunked overnight with his younger sister who immediately wanted to know if I was going to marry her brother. I replied that I liked him a lot and might marry him if and when he asked me.

Never confide in an 11 year old! She must have gone straight to her mother with the juicy news. When Mom got me alone, she looked me straight in the eyes and said, "We don't believe in divorce!"

Ouch! I wanted to run the entire 200 miles back to my house and forget I ever knew Dan at that point because I was certain his mother hated me. I just knew I would never be good enough for her son.

Many years later as we launched our own children into the adult world, I understood my mother-in-law's heart. Her marriage had gone through some very rough places and she loved her son enough to want to spare him from those rough spots. In her loving but determined way, she came across as seeking a "perfect" wife for him.

As I watched my children choose their mates, I experienced that same kind of love - I wanted the very best for my kids too. I wasn't at all sure their lives would turn out happy with the mates they chose, but thankfully, they have so far.

God's heart is like that as well - He has chosen the church to be a bride for His Son, Jesus. We are to be a helpmeet for Him and to bring forth spiritual children in His image. But He has high expectations for His Son's bride - nothing short of perfection and to put it bluntly, we'll never measure up.

Of course, He doesn't leave us floundering to achieve this perfection on our own - we are totally incapable of doing it by ourselves. So He molds us and works with us day by day, week after week, to make us into the women He wants us to be - the women He created us to be.

He loves us so much, He will never stop until the bride is exactly right, a perfect gift for His Son; a helpmeet that complements His needs to the fullest. Though it hurts to be pushed and pulled, poked and prodded into shape, I am thankful for His "terrible" and determined love for it is that love which will ultimately make us partners with Christ, at long last one with the One who loves us.


We'd love to have you join us today. Simply blog about the quote on your site and then leave your URL link below along with the other participants.

Please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you!


Don't forget to check Christian Women Online on Friday, November 16th to preview next week's quote and the host location.



ellen b said...

Thank goodness He is the one who makes sure we are sanctified. Hopefully I respond quicker to His prodding and poking :)

Susan said...

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks so much for being the host for In Other Words this week.

I loved your story, as hard as it was to read. I think we all can identify with trying to be the right bride for our husbands!

I'm so blessed God has made a way for us to be that perfect "helpmate".

Blessings to you,


Loni said...

Thank you for sharing this quote and hosting IOW. It's funny that I had just gotten & read this book. It's one I want my older girls to read now too. I always enjoy your blog.

Hopeful Spirit said...

What a wonderful story. It is an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, everyone else who reads it. Excellent take on the quote.

Rosemarie said...

I'm so thankful for his determined love!

Denise said...

Lovely post, thanks for hosting this week.

MiPa said...

Beautiful post and awesome quote!

Kris said...

I've got two teens who are starting to gear up for the beginnings of their adult lives and I dread trying to be gracious to their 'intendeds' when the time comes, because NO ONE could ever be good enough for MY kids...thank goodness God can work with imperfect vessels, or we'd all be in trouble! Wonderful quote, and I love your comments!

Cynthia Robin said...

Thank you for sharing this. I, too, felt the same way when my sons married. Their's haven't all worked out, but I continue praying for all of us.

Cynthia Robin

lori said...

you said it so well..
we DO on earth what our Father does for ALL of His children...want the best for them...
Isn't it comforting to know HE will guide us through our blemishes, ALWAYS...
Thank you for choosing this quote, I needed to meditate on these words this week...
peace and blessings.

Emmyrose said...

Thank you for that wonderful quote.

God bless!

Karen said...

It's awesome to know that God cares and He won't stop caring. We are loved and it's seen through his love. Thanks for this week quote to think about and ponder over.

Julie@Shanan Trail said...

A wonderful quote from one of my favorite books. I appreciate your analogy on becoming a Bride of Christ ~

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I love the comparison of you as a bride to the church as Christ's bride. God wants the best bride for His Son and we will be pure as snow on that day!

Melissa said...

I never would have thought to compare the quote to the love of a MIL, but I definitely see how it fits. :)

Lana G! said...

Bonnie, thanks for hosting. I enjoyed the quote this week.

Praise God he does not leave us floundering!

Blessings on you.

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

Thanks so much for hosting this week's IOW and sharing this profound quote. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses this exercise to sharpen me in my faith and understanding of His truth.

Thanks for sharing your story, too. It touched me on many levels.

Blessings, extravagantly,

Joyce said...

Thank you for your thoughts. It took me a few hours to get what I think to quote means to me.

gp said...

hi bon! Thanx for stopping inn :)

I loved your post... thanx for the reminder of the strength of our L-rd's love

gp in montana