WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 19, 2021
TOPIC: WHAT TYPE OF A SON/DAUGHTER-IN-LAW ARE YOU?
BY T. O. BANSO
“When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah” (Genesis 26:34-35 New King James Version).
Parents look forward to their children growing up and getting married. They don’t just desire that they get married and have children but also have good marriages by marrying those who will make them enjoy a meaningful and joyful life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Sometimes the wife is the one doing everything to make the marriage successful and the husband may not care whether or not the marriage succeeds. Sometimes it could be the other way round. In some cases, the couple may be responsible for the crises rocking their marriage. They may not care if the marriage collapses or fails.
Proverbs 18:22 says He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. This scripture presupposes that the finder finds a good wife. This is because not every wife that a man finds could be described as reflecting a favour obtained from the Lord. The harrowing experiences that some husbands have had in marriage with regard to their wives have made life miserable for them. This had led to so many broken homes. The Amplified Bible renders Proverbs 18:22 thus: “He who finds a [true and faithful] wife finds a good thing and obtains favour and approval from the LORD.”
Also, some husbands have made life miserable for their wives with many women being victims of spousal abuse, including physical violence. Some would tell you they prayed before making their choices while some made their choices solely based on what they desired in their dream wives or husbands. But it turned out that what appeared to them to be gold was not. All that glitters is not gold. They were wrong. The husband/wife was not the person they thought he/she was. Many marriages today are full of regrets. If the couples have another opportunity, they will not marry their wives or husbands.
Although some may think otherwise, particularly non-Christians, prayer is very important in choosing a marriage partner. Love is not enough! Some couples who had claimed to love each other or married their friends but are now divorced or separated.
I believe that the first thing in Christian marriage should be the will of God. After you have discovered the will of God for you in marriage, you should love him or her. Knowing that they have married the will of God will help every couple to weather any storm in their marriage. The will of God does not change. Sometimes we may not love later what we love at the moment. Our emotions can change.
Every good parent wants to hear good news from his/her child that there is peace, joy, and love in their homes. Parents don’t love to hear stories of spousal abuse or seeing their daughters returning home to live with them or, because of shame, moving into separate apartments to live alone with their kids because of incessant quarrels. This does not give parents joy.
The Bible does not tell us the details of the problem between Esau’s two wives and his parents, but the marriage could not be said to be pleasing to them. Genesis 26:34-35 says, “When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah” (New King James Version). They were a bitterness of spirit to them.
The main issue was not that Esau married at 40 years of age. Rather, it was that he married two Hittite women who made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. “But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah” (Genesis 26:35 New Living Translation). The Bible does not tell us the details of what these Hittite daughters-in-law did but it must have been so serious that Rebekah ensured that Jacob would not marry a Hittite woman.
It could have been because the Hittites were idol worshippers. It could also have been the problem of the character of these women. Naomi’s two daughters-in-law were Moabites but they had a good relationship with their mother-in-law. This was evident after the death of their husbands. One of them, Ruth, returned with her to Bethlehem where she (Ruth) eventually married Boaz, a relation of her late husband (Ruth 4:13).
Boaz said to Ruth, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge” (Ruth 2:11-12 New King James Version). Ruth had good character.
Whatever be the case with these Hittite daughters-in-law, they made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. No parent prays for this. Every parent wants to have a good relationship with their children and their husbands or wives. No parent wants their children to marry someone who will see them as an enemy. Every godly parent desires a cordial relationship between his/her child and his/her spouse and between him/her and the couple. This should be a prayer issue for parents long even before their children are ripe for choosing a marriage partner.
Indeed, the Bible says a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). This does not, however, mean that the two shall become opposed to their parents or their spouse’s parents. Unfortunately, this is the kind of relationship that exists today in some families. The fault could be that of either of the couple or both of them. It could also be that of the in-laws. But this is not the best.
Husbands/wives should love their in-laws and they should also reciprocate and know their boundaries so that the couple could be allowed to enjoy their marriage. In-laws should not become unnecessarily inquisitive, intrusive, or controlling,
Rebekah told Isaac, her husband, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?” (Genesis 27:46 New King James Version).
If one has not read something negative about the wives of Esau before in Genesis 26:35, one could be tempted to think that Rebekah made up what she said as a mere excuse for Jacob to escape from home because of his brother, Esau. The New Living Translation puts Rebekah’s words in Genesis 27:46 this way: “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women. I’d rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.” This is serious!
However, Isaac’s reaction supported Rebekah’s position on Esau’s wives which, it must be pointed out, she, however, used as an excuse for Jacob to escape from Esau who had threatened to kill him for deceiving their father to receive the blessing meant for him (Genesis 27:41).
Genesis 28:1-2 says, “Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: ‘You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother” (New King James Version). Jacob ended up marrying the two daughters of Laban, Leah and Rachael.
In that scripture, the Bible again does not tell us the exact problem with Esau’s wives. As said earlier, we don’t know if it was because the wives were Hittites who were idol worshippers or they had a character issue. But it was so significant that both Rebekah and Isaac didn’t want Jacob to marry any Hittite woman.
Abraham had taken a similar stand on marriage concerning his son, Isaac, which led to Rebekah becoming his wife. Abraham had told the oldest servant of his house, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac” (Genesis 24:2-4 New King James Version). This servant brought back from that mission as a wife for Isaac, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother.
Without forcing anyone on his/her child, a parent should be interested in whom his/her child marries. It could determine whether he/she would have rest or stress later in life. The same applies to those who want to marry even though many children these days don’t seem to attach so much importance to this. But they regret this later. Let what will matter later in your marriage matter to you now. Marrying the wrong person makes it much difficult if not impossible for someone to become all God wants him/her to be.
A husband/wife could make life better or bitter for his/her spouse. He/she could also make life miserable or happy. Thus, the couple becomes miserably tired of each other within a short period of marriage.
Esau tried to redeem the situation but the Bible does not tell us if his action pleased his parents. “Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had” (Genesis 28:8-9 New King James Version).
What type of son/daughter-in-law are you? Are you “a grief of mind” to your spouse’s parents? Are you a bitterness of spirit to them? Do you make life miserable for them? Or do you bring them joy? When they see their son/daughter, are they pleased with you or does your treatment of their son/daughter cause them so much anxiety? Have you improved the life of your spouse or worsened it?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, guide and lead my children to make the right choices in marriage. Let them not marry anyone who will make life unbearable for them and bitter rather than better. Give them God-fearing, loving, and caring in-laws. Father, let me not have sons/daughters-in-law who will be “a grief of mind” to me or make life miserable for me. Give me sons/daughters-in-law that will be like sons/daughters to me.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947