“Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
Make your mother proud!”
Proverbs 23:22-25 (The Message)

My husband and I have lived away from our families for nearly ten years now, so we are always excited to have visit us. Here recently, my mother-in-law came to visit to celebrate my son’s and my husband’s birthdays. As always, she graciously treated the family to multiple lunches and dinners and soaked in all the time she could get with our kiddos. She’s amazing like that.

On my husband’s birthday, my husband, MIL, and myself decided to go to one of our favorite places to eat and some sweet friends of ours joined us too, at the last minute. As we were all leaving, I had to head out quickly to pick up my two youngest boys at their mother’s day out program. I hugged Dave and my MIL and told them goodbye and started walking to our cars. I saw Dave turn around abruptly and wave at his mom. He said, “Hey Mom, why don’t we go on a little drive?” So, they did.

I could see the joy in my MIL’s eyes. To be wanted by her son brought so much happiness to her heart, and it made me happy to see that too.

When I asked Dave about it later, he told me that they had a wonderful short drive together. He explained that he wanted to spend that little one-on-one time with his mom since most of our time with her is loud and busy with our kiddos.

Friends, this warmed my heart. And, honestly, I have tears welling up in my eyes as I write this.
He had a busy day ahead of him, and I know his mom would have understood if he needed to head back to work quickly. But, he decided to spend a little time with her—to invest in their relationship. He wanted to honor her with his time and attention. And, it meant the world to her—and to me, as his wife and a mother of boys.

I love how my husband loves and respects his mom. It was something that stood out to me very early in our relationship too. It’s healthy and beautiful.

How does he do this, you might ask?

Well, it’s simple, yet profound at the same time. Dave honors her with his respectful words to her and about her. He shows her love by answering the phone whenever she calls and by spending time with her. He always thanks her for everything she does for our family. And he prays for her and with her.

This is my hope and prayer for how my four boys will treat me someday. And, I know I am helping to cultivate those relationships every day by how I love and raise our boys and by how I teach them to treat me, and women in general.

I think most men treat their wives like they have been raised to treat their mothers, so I know this is a tall and important task.

I am so thankful that Dave has a wonderful relationship with both of his parents, and I’m especially grateful that he treasures his mom for who she is. I believe this has impacted our marriage for the better, and I want to instill this kind of love and respect for moms—and all women for that matter—in my boys too.