IN-LAWS, IN LOVES AND OUTLAWS
Copyright 2015 Becky Enenche
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A Work of fiction
The man’s companion
Understanding your family relatives
Understanding you’re your husband’s family
What about difficult in-laws
A word to parent in-laws
Successful in-law relationship amongst men
You owe your parents
Some questions and answers
A eulogy for mama
About the author
This is the second edition of this book. The first was printed in honour of my Beloved Mother ‘in-love’ Mama Hannah Titi Enenche and given out as souvenir. This edition has had a little more additional content and I believe it will be a blessing to you in Jesus Name.
Many marriages have failed in the past not because the man and his wife did not love each other and not because of anything other than, a breakdown in relationships with their in-laws. You can choose to either be in love with your in-laws or be outlaws with each other. Read and practice these few points, they work, they will work for you.
When I got married, I felt highly privileged to have had the opportunity of being parented, mothered, mentored, tutored and loved by a great icon for over twenty years. I remember vividly the first day I met my mother 'in love'- Mama Titi Hannah Enenche; it was when I was to be introduced to her before my husband and I got married.
I remember praying and wondering how the meeting was going to turn out. I had already heard so much about her but then, hearing about somebody, is a different ball game from actually meeting the person.
We left Jos on the day of the proposed visit and arrived in Otukpo in Benue state towards evening. I remember pondering in my heart and praying silently, “Oh God, I ask for a favourable meeting this evening”.
The sun was gradually setting, it was getting close to dusk, as I looked through the car window of the vehicle in which we rode and observed the amber shades of the evening sun as it cast its shadows on the typically red roofs of Otukpo town .
As we turned off the highway and headed towards number 40 Suleja street where Mama abode, I remember muttering a silent prayer to myself again, asking for a favourable meeting and then a question busted out of my lips and I asked my husband (to be then),
“How am I going to be able to communicate with your mother since I don’t speak your dialect?
“Oh! That would not be a problem,” he reassured me.
The car finally came to a halt and we stepped out into a very homely compound. The entrance approach, displayed a very warm and inviting kitchen, bothered on the right side by a block of about five rooms.
Outside the building, sat a group of women engaged in a lively chatter. As we approached them, there were shouts of rejoicing and I actually lagged slightly behind; my husband was a few steps ahead of me as he strode faster in the direction of his mother as she gave him a warm embrace of welcome. Turning to me, they spoke in their dialect, which I didn’t understand. Mama looked in my direction with the broadest grin you could ever have seen and called my name severally.
Then, I went on my knees in greeting and I found myself wrapped in a great hug, the warmest embrace you could imagine.
“Wow!” I thought to myself, “what a loving reception. Nothing like I have ever imagined and nothing compared to the warmest welcome I had ever imagined.”
Mama promptly invited me to join her in her meal. I hesitated for a second but looking into her eyes, the smile was warm and encouraging. I normally would not have imagined receiving the spoon at her hand and taking a spoon full of the meal she ate but the invitation could not be rejected.
“Thank you,” I muttered as I savoured the mouthful of the meal and returning the spoon in kind appreciation.
That was our first meeting and remained the characteristics of our time together. Every other time was warm, loving, exciting and impactful.
I later discovered it was not a strange thing for Mama to welcome people, receive people and feed strangers without batting her eyelids.
Her kindness, the warmth of her reception and her acceptance of my person, left me dazed. We took our leave to attend to other programs that brought us to town; we returned in the night and I was given a place to sleep in her house with other young ladies and a few children, all of whom she housed .
I was awakened some minutes after 5:00a.m, by one of the young ladies that occupied the room with me, it was time for devotion. As I stepped out into the compound, the praise and worship had already begun.
Mama led the entire event. It was warm, it was lively, it was exciting and you could feel the presence of God. She led the prayer session and equally preached a message, which of course, I didn’t fully understand. We closed with yet some more prayer, then the devotion for that morning ended and everybody walked around, each other warmly greeting and sharing wishes of a pleasant day with each other.
I picked up a broom and swept the entire compound and as I proceeded to tackle some of the rooms, Mama stopped me, assuring me that it would not be necessary. She seemed to be blessing me and when she was through, I knew it was time to say, amen, as she concluded with, ‘in Jesus name.’
We returned to Jos that same day. It was an encounter that left an indelible mark on my memory, on my life and destiny and I felt so blessed.
The second most memorable encounter that I had with my precious Mama, was several months after my husband and I got married.
When I was pregnant for our first child, I had a mysterious cough, which actually lacked a proper diagnosis. I would cough and nearly lose consciousness. It defied all medications at that time.
It was an amazement because, when the cough became so severe, the baby in my womb, turned and laid transverse, it refused to be pushed out because the spasms were sufficient to have caused a miscarriage.
When Mama got to know, she left Otukpo and travelled all the way to Jos. Mama, the Lioness, arrived. She prayerfully helped in the situation for one day and a night and by the second day, she told me she had seen a vision; something to do with cobwebs that had been cast on me and that was responsible for the cough. Though It didn’t sound scientific, I didn’t allow my ‘medical mind’ to come in the way nor prevent my faith, (Mama was a major prophet and seer, but we never gave her a title).
But that day, following a spasm of cough, Mama held me, laid hands on me and she prayed passionately, aggressively and violently in her dialect. There was so much power in that prayer and she seemed to be casting off whatever was responsible for the cough. I don’t know how long she prayed, but by the time she was through praying, the last spasm of cough, was the last major spasm.
Within two days, the cough that had lasted for six months and had defied all medical treatment, came to a grinding halt.
I realized that I had just received an apostolic visitation by an elderly woman. Not a renown apostle, not a renown pastor or preacher, but a loving compassionate mother. A prayer warrior, an aggressive, violent Lioness who had fought for her biological children over the years and had travelled all that distance to come and fight for her son’s wife.
Mama, I salute you and I appreciate you for your nights of prayers, nights of worship, intercession, your prophetic eyes that would see into the realm of the spirit, pulling down strongholds, principalities and powers.
Mama Titi Hannah Enenche, I salute you, I salute your dedication and your commitment to your children’s upbringing of which I became a partaker.
I salute you,
I salute your courage,
I salute your dedication,
I salute your visionary leadership,
I salute your teachings.
You have raised generals, spiritually and physically, you have raised leaders, you have raised children; grand children and great grand-children that are making a mark in their generation.
Mama 'Enu-ugbo.' You fondly called us 'ugbo,' that is, a train- massive and gigantic entity, that's what you prophesied on each of us, just like a title that you used to address all your loved ones and your children.
Can there be an ‘ugbo’ without an ‘Enu-ugbo’? Can there be a train without the mother of the train? Definitely not.
I salute you, a woman of courage and boldness, a compassionate woman, aggressive, tender hearted, spiritually violent and physically loving.
Mama cared for all manner of people; the destitute, orphans, widows, prisoners, the sick, the afflicted, the drunkards and the insane.
Mama had a place in her heart for everybody. Mama pastored pastors, she led leaders, she gave direction to direction givers, Mama sowed seeds of greatness into the lives of her children and into the lives of countless others. As many as followed her, had the opportunity to learn greatness and as many as listened to her, had the opportunity to be led in the way of greatness.
Hers, was a cradle that rocked leaders of leaders and rulers of rulers .
I salute you Mama and I thank God for the privilege.
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Many marriages have failed in the past not because the man and his wife did not love each other and not because of anything other than, a breakdown in relationships with their in-laws. You can choose to either be in love with your in-laws or be outlaws with each other. This is not necessary. Such tension is uncalled for. You can’t enjoy your husband’s love and affection if you are at loggerhead with your in-laws. In this book which is straight to the point, Dr. Becky Enenche, shows you how you can bridge the gap between you and your in-laws, make them your in-loves’ and attain a peaceful and fulfilled family life. It’s time to be mutually in love with your in-laws and not consider them as outlaws. Read and practice these few points, they work, they will work for you.