Laquanda was married to Blake in a monogamous home. I can’t remember how they started, but I can remember at least what she went through. They knew their families would be a source of love, wisdom, and support for them. They were both Christians and were aware of the support Naomi gave to Ruth (Ruth 1-4), Peter and his mother in law (Lk 4:38) and what Moses benefited from Ziporrah’s father; Jethro (Ex 4:18). It seemed they would live and cleave as the Bible suggests (Gen 2:24). They were a struggling couple, so they decided to move to the same town like Blake’s parents because they could easily depend on their in-laws. It turned out to be the major mistake they jointly did as a couple: that of living close to Blake’s mother (Miss Bristle). She was an imposing woman in character but less imposing in stature.
Miss Bristle tried to remote control Blake and Laquanda. She succeeded on her son, but she failed with her daughter in-law. This is how the trouble began. During Christmas, New Year, birthdays and other gifts offering occasions, they offered gifts to Blake but nothing or if anything at all, would be crumbs to Laquanda. The family had difficulty having a child, but the blame was heaped on Laquanda as being sterile; meanwhile, it was Blake with issues. Laquanda’s cooking was never good in the mouth of Miss Bristle. At times, she crossed over to invite Blake for dinner to her house. If Blake did not have the time, she brought the food over to the son’s house. Whenever she visited, she wanted to school Laquanda on how to take care of her home. There was nothing that Laquanda did that would please Miss Bristle. All the insults were heaped on the poor girl that at times her mother in-law was more of a nightmare than welfare. Laquanda did not need the gym to loose weight. Just being around her family in-law was enough to make her skinny.
Repeatedly, there were altercations between Miss Bristle and Laquanda. Blake was always in the middle. He did not know whether to stand for the wife or the mother. He tried to appease both camps, but it only grew worse. Sometimes the words of his mother echoed through his lips, “why can’t you cook like my mother”? It was as mother as son. He nagged the wife and sounded like the mother. His brothers and sisters teamed up with him to ask Laquanda to give them a child or leave. If both parents came to the house simultaneously, Blake’s parents wanted to be the first parents. Not finding their way, they stopped from calling. If they called and Laquanda picked up the call, they wouldn’t say hi and would ask immediately for their son. That was a battle Laquanda had to fight almost daily, if not weekly.
Her victory or defeat depended on her. She first had to accept there was a problem. She made an introspection to see her contribution to the palaver. She could either confront the problem or play it down and embrace some escapist and existentialist approach. She decided for the former. There were two ways she could handle it; to smack away the dust from her feet (Mt 10:14) or turn the other cheek (Mt 5:39). Turning the other cheek will make her a Sissy Jupe, and the end of her tunnel will not be near. Smacking the dust off her feet too will not serve any purpose. She wanted a peaceful and united family because no man can stay cut off from the family eternally. As wise as she was, she asked the husband to reign on his family.
Blake had to remember it was for the cause of marriage that he left his parents to cleave to Laquanda as his wife, so they could become one flesh (Gen 2:24). Blake then placed the dilemma before his family. They either accept him and the wife or reject both of them. He was not going to live and see his home put asunder by his family. If the relatives brought gifts and did not bring anything to the wife, he sent them back. He boycotted family reunions to voice out his disapproval of the way his family was mistreating his wife. The family had no choice than to succumb to his requests. They could not afford to loose two people. Today, Laquanda is living a happy marriage totally ridden of bad in-laws.
My friends, your wife/husband is as important to your family the way you present her/him to them. If you show your family you suspect your wife, they will suspect her double. If you insult your wife or speak evil of her before your family, don’t be surprise when they play back for you to dance. The public respects your wife/husband the way she/him herself/himself sells her/his image. If the family of your husband is the trouble-causing one, it is your husband that can provide that magic portion. If it’s that of your wife, it’s your wife that can produce the charm. Let no in-law put asunder that which God has joined together. Pray for bold utterance. You married your wife and not your family.
As for the husband’s sister who is colluding with her mother to maltreat her sister in-law, remember, what goes around comes around. You too will be a woman, and you will one day get married. If you are a man, woe is you if you have a daughter; there is a law that nature faithfully and scrupulously upholds “do unto others what you want them do unto you” (Mt 5:12).
Until then, enjoy your life with your spouse.
Prince and Prophetic Apostle Hamilton Ayuk