Advice from an In-Law

Jane Douglass White

READ : Exodus 18:13-24


Do you like kibitzers looking over your shoulder, giving advice? I am on excellent terms with our married children because I never give them advice unless asked. (I have to zip my lips at certain times.) Here was Moses’ father-in-law telling him how to run his business. And Moses listened and “did all he said.”

Billy doesn’t want Dad to tell him how to pitch a ball, yet he wonders why his friend Bobby is so good. “My Dad taught me,” says Bobby. Susan would rather get a “C” on her paper than have Mom correct her grammar. John resents it when his wife’s father gives him advice on a retirement account. Madge remarks to her neighbor, “I hate it when John’s mother comes for dinner. She always has a suggestion to make a dish tastier.”

We can choose to “do it ourselves, right or wrong.” Moses chose to listen to his father-in-law Jethro, recognizing he had more experience. He saved himself much work by listening. It has been said that God gave us one mouth and two ears, so He must be telling us which is more important. Children can learn much by listening to their parents. And we grown-ups can learn much by listening to our children.


Father, help me to listen to those who love me and who want the best for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.