Nanwor and Jevbe sat in Jevbe’s sitting room discussing over a sumptuous meal of banga and starch prepared by none other than Jevbe’s mother – in- law. Mrs. Esamah had been visiting Jevbe and her son Uamai, to take care of her latest grandson and would be leaving back to her home in a fortnight. She had just left her daughter- in- law Jevbe  and her friend Nanwor, to retire into her room for some much deserved rest.

“Lucky you Jevbe, I wish all mothers-in-law were like yours. The harmony and conviviality is so obvious!” Nanwor exclaims and Jevbe quickly interjects, “You haven’t seen anything yet. Mama is a rare gem. She bathes and dresses the baby, changes diapers, uses hot compress on my stomach region, prepares meals and even washes the baby’s clothing. I couldn’t have it better. She is also a very appreciative woman”.

Nanwor chuckles and says “Do you remember how Sade used to insist that she would never marry a man whose mother was still alive and how we would always correct her by reminding her that she would one day be in the position of a mother-in-law”. She then launches into a tirade “Aah…little did I know that I would end up with a mother-in-law who makes my life miserable with her tyrannical behaviour. Miskom’s mom looks for every opportunity to ridicule me in private and in public. Nothing I do for her is ever right. Even when I buy things for her from the goodness of my heart, she finds a way to show it is not appreciated. My culinary exploits are rebuffed and I hear things like…”Is that my food or for your dogs? You are  so useless you cannot even conceive”… as if I am God who gives children.”

Jevbe hugs Nanwor and utters words of consolation, both of them totally oblivious that mama Esamah has walked in on them and is observing them closely.

Mama clears her throat and takes a seat. She explains “I am sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing part of your conversation when I came in to fetch the baby’s shawl for laundry. As a Deaconess of my church and counsellor in the Marriage Department, I feel tempted to offer some advice if you wouldn’t mind”. ”My dear, man is a social being that is shaped and influenced by various factors and incidences including environment and experience. Have you tried to find out things that may have shaped your mother-in-law like background, education, beliefs, her experiences in marriage, biases etc. With this knowledge, you may be better equipped to understand and tolerate her. It may also help you identify how you may unwittingly have trod on her toes. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make excuses for her or justify her behaviour which is indeed hurtful.”

Mama continues with her advice “You may also need to flash your mind back to her reactions to you when you were dating your husband. Usually, there would have been red flags which you either glossed over or ignored. If she was fine with you then, something must have caused the change and a self examination may help you identify the reason for the change. If however, you still cannot place a finger on the reason, discuss your concerns with your husband – Miskom, who may be able to elicit the reason from her.

Nanwor speaks up amid sobs…”I’ve asked Miskom and he says he doesn’t understand why she treats me the way she does. He is however very supportive of me and tries to shield me from Mama’s abuse, which further infuriates her”. Nanwor continues “Unfortunately, I lost my mother the year I got married so I really miss a mother figure”.

Mama Esamah, draws a deep breath and pats Nanwor on the back. “Nanwor dear, one solution that never fails is taking everything to God in prayer. His word teaches that we should ask and we shall receive. Ask him to deal with the situation, to take control of your mother-in-law’s heart and fill it with love. Ask that she will begin to see you in a new light and that God should bless your marriage with his fruits. There is no impossibility with God and he will grant our requests according to his word.

At the same time, show mama love and respect in spite of her actions towards you. The Lord will surely touch her, sooner or later. Patience is the watchword. Please remember that God will never test you beyond that which you can bear. He always makes a way, sooner or later.” Mama then ended with a prayer for Nanwor and Miskom requesting God’s mercy and blessings on their entire family and their relationships.

If you were Nanwor’s sister, what would you advise her to do? Please leave your comments on the blog or e-mail me at havilahspeaks



13 thoughts on “TWO SIDES OF A COIN

  1. Good advise . Prayer is the key . Nothing is impossible with God . In addition to the prayers , one needs a lot of patience , self control and wisdom to have a successful marriage .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in support of Jevbe,’s mother in law advice. Her motherly advice,and spiritually advice would Comfort Sade to exercise patient.


  3. I’m a man so I’ll advise as a brother to Nanwor. She should keep praying to find favour with her mother in law and seek medical help for fruits of the womb. It might not even be her fault. Who knows?


  4. My advice is that she engages in prayers with her husband for Mama (as he might have an insight into her problems) Also let her prayerfully approach Mama to ask what she’s doing wrong. God teaches us patience in many ways and this might be one of them. I believe this is God’s way of growing her.


  5. As a young male I will say she should take mama Esamah’s advice and be patient with her mother-in-law, she shouldn’t let her emotions overcome her and pour it on her mother-in-law as our elders are to be respected but I know it’s easier said than done


  6. My personal opinion on Mother’s inlaw is one should never really expect them to love you as much as her children, many a times I put myself in their shoes, is it really the same loving another’s like yours. When you cut them that slack it helps you accept whatever treatment is offered. We always pray for the best however whatever you get , show love and kindness and then I guess it will easier.

    Liked by 1 person

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