A mother-in-law's prejudice overcome

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

When our son announced he was marrying a girl from another country, I must admit I did not take it very well. He even had to take lessons in a foreign language to talk with her. This I could not understand, but it was not a problem to him. He accepted the challenge with interest, vigor, and enthusiasm, while I was an absolute beast about the whole idea. Of course, I was not the one in love. In fact, I'm ashamed to say I had very little love for the girl and was less than enthusiastic to meet her. And it was not love at first sight when we met. She was shy and timid. What did our son see in her? (I learned later that the cause of her timidity was only her fright of meeting me!)

It didn't take long for my eyes to be opened, and I then knew what had attracted our son to her. She expressed loving-kindness, gentleness, and a serene joy. Yet, she had a head on her shoulders and was well-educated in world affairs - and she spoke five languages.

Even our son was gentle and kind as well as extremely understanding and patient with us, and I knew I had to change the prejudiced thinking I had been hanging onto since my youth. How can one be a Christian and be prejudiced? I asked myself. And then it hit me. Was I reaching out with love for everyone regardless of our differences? Was I seeking out our common ground as God's children, made in His image and likeness, or was I holding at arm's length those of another color or race?

When I remembered Jesus' sayings "Judge not, that ye be not judged," and "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" and, of course, the Golden Rule, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matt 7:1, 3, 12), I realized that I had formed an opinion even before meeting this person. I had assumed she was different and would not fit in with our family. I had judged without wanting to be judged. I had not considered the "mote" that was in my own eye - that of prejudice. And I had indeed broken the Golden Rule. But with a clearer understanding and willingness to open up my heart and welcome her with loving arms, I found a very sweet, dear, delightful, and quite religious person.

Through our relationship, we have had many discussions about the one God, the Father and Mother of the universe, who loves and cares for all His children equally. We have shared with her the book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, printed in her own language so she can read it with ease. And we have discussed the wonderful statement on page 340, "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfills the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' ...."

Today, my daughter-in-law and I are the best of friends, and I am enjoying showing her around the kitchen and how to cook some of our foods. And, in turn, she is bringing some of her customs and recipes to our table, which is broadening our education and our understanding of the wide world. This young lady has become a treasure - a blessing - to our family, bringing us together and binding breaches.

For all the law

is fulfilled in one word,

even in this; Thou shalt love

thy neighbour as thyself.

But if ye bite and devour

one another, take heed

that ye be not consumed one

of another. This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:14-16

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