By Dawn Wilson
I’ve often wondered how many mothers pray not only for their sons, but also for their sons’ wives.
Tim Challies wrote about the influence of godly mothers. “Many of our Christian heroes were shaped by the attentiveness and godliness of their mothers,” Challies said.
President Abraham Lincoln said of his mother, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
He was especially grateful for her prayers.
“I remember my mother’s prayers,” he once said, “and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
Truly, mothers’ unceasing prayers have led to the salvation of wayward sons, and bore fruit in their believing sons’ lives.
But what about our sons’ wives? Are we praying for them as well? Can we become an “angel mother-in-law” through our prayers?
I began praying for my sons’ wives shortly after they were born. And I’m still praying, asking the Lord for insight and help to navigate this special relationship.
Perhaps this is your prayer too.
Thank you that, in great wisdom, you gave our sons the wives they needed to pursue all you have called them to do. Help us see how our daughters-in-love complement our sons’ temperaments, help them in their needs, and encourage their growth.
Lord, we let go of all our expectations for these precious daughters from another mother, believing You know best how they can please You as wives and parent their children.
It’s not always easy being the mother-in-law. We held our sons’ tiny hands, walked them through skinned knees and tough struggles, taught and coached them for so many years, and struggled with their independence.
So our prayer for our sons’ wives must rightly begin with a recognition of change. Father, give us the gift of stepping back so each couple has room to grow and change together.
We admit, it is challenging sometimes. There are not only changed roles, there’s also a generation gap and different perspectives on some things. Oh, how we need Your wisdom and understanding. Give us patience and flexibility. Show us how to adjust our attitudes and release any concerns into Your wise and capable hands.
When it is difficult to adjust to our new role in our sons’ lives, show us how we can embrace this changing relationship by becoming strong encouragers and intercessors.
Give us sharp discernment so we will not intrude or say things we might later regret. We want to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). When we do speak, Lord, show us how to say the right word at the right time with the right motivation (Proverbs 25:11).
Remind us our sons and adopted daughters were not perfect before marriage, and they certainly still have faults. They will make mistakes just as we will; and if we are wise, we will give them space to change. We won’t criticize, meddle, or give unsolicited advice.
Lord, help! That’s hard sometimes. But that is love.
Assist us in assuming positive and taking our daughters-in-love’s words at face value—not reading into them or responding out of hurt or insecure feelings, but always seeking truth and unity. Teach us how to be objective.
And when necessary, help us forgive or ask for forgiveness, because going over old history might prevent what You want to do in all our lives (Isaiah 43:18-19).
But enough about us.
There are so many wonderful things we can pray specifically for our daughters-in-love.
We pray they will remember we both love the same man—in different ways, but powerfully.
We pray our adopted daughters will seek You first, understanding that no man can satisfy all their needs (Matthew 6:33).
We pray they will guard their integrity, so their husbands can safely trust in them (Proverbs 31:11).
We pray our daughters-in-love will always seek their husbands’ good, and never harm them with careless words or actions (Proverbs 31:12).
We pray for their success—that they will be creative and industrious, prospering at home and outside the home (Proverbs 31:13-16, 18-19, 24)
We pray they will develop physical and spiritual strength, dignity, and discernment—properly preparing themselves to face whatever the future brings (Proverbs 31:17; 25)
We pray they will be wise, kind, and generous (Proverbs 31:20, 26).
We pray they will pursue excellence and care for their husbands and children well (Proverbs 31:21-22, 27).
We pray they will understand where true beauty originates, and focus on pleasing the Lord (Proverbs 31:30).
We pray they will be rightly honored and rewarded as they seek the Lord and live for Him (Proverbs 31:28-29, 31).
We pray they will keep their marriage pure, and find continuing joy and satisfaction in their physical relationship with our sons (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Proverbs 5:15-19; Song of Solomon 1:2-4).
We ask You to help us understand these unique women You created our adopted daughters to be; and as You allow, enable us to come alongside in ways they can appreciate.
And we pray You will allow us to develop true friendships with our daughters-in-love—especially if we are sisters in Christ—not only for our and our family’s good, but for Your glory.
Father God, You bring wives to our sons as blessings, and we are grateful. Even when there are great difficulties, You are still working. We pray You will accomplish Your purposes in their homes.
Thank you that as You refine their marriages, You also teach us many lessons as well, for Jesus’ sake. We thank you for grace and praise You for what You will do. Amen!