By Glenda Lesher

In some cultures, sons are encouraged to keep living at home until they marry.  I’ve seen television programs of grown, healthy men who are pampered so much by their doting mothers that they wouldn’t know how to fry an egg or sort their laundry if their life depended on it.

I am a doting mother in some ways.  I have two terrific sons that I adore and who I would do anything for, except for spoiling.  As boys, they learned about God and responsibility side by side.  They were taught manners and they had chores. Both were encouraged, but not forced, to move out when they were around 21. I wanted to give my future daughters-in-law real men, not 30-year-old adolescents.

I prayed for their future wives before I ever knew them and looked forward to having girls in the family.  I was determined to be a loving, encouraging mother-in-law and not a controlling, manipulative one.  I can’t imagine why any mother would want to be a source of conflict in her son’s marriage rather than a source of support. 

When that time came, I found it easy to love the godly young women my sons chose, but I also knew that my role as a mother had to transition. The Lord gave me the words that John the Baptist uttered about his joy being made full when he decreased so that the Lord Jesus might increase (John 3:30).  I knew my influence over my sons had to decrease so that they would cling to their wives as their covenant mate. Was it easy to take a step backward and no longer be the number one woman in my sons’ life?  I would be lying if I said I never shed a tear, but it was the honorable thing to do and I have reaped the rewards of a consistently good and solid relationship with all of them.  Grandparenting is a bonus that I wouldn’t want to miss.  By the way, all three of them are boys too!