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  • Pastor Mildred Kingsley-Okonkwo

My mother-in-law didn’t like me, not because she is a bad person. Now in retrospect, I think it is because we are too alike. It’s opposites that do attract. So me and her are very alike so I felt we were repelling each other.

She would come to my house and except that I will come and be gisting with her, I am even looking for who to gist with me. I don’t even have the power, so my “Good morning ma”, “Will you eat now ma” is the best I can do.

At the time I didn’t have children so I didn’t have the option of sending her grandchildren to go and disturb her. Now when she is around, I will just send the grandchildren to her and I have done my job, we have gisted through them, that’s wisdom.

From the first day I met her, that was Pastor K’s fault and I still have not forgiven him. There are a lot of things I have not forgiven him for. She was in the house, I greeted her and all. I didn’t know she was in the house, Pastor K didn’t tell me she was coming. Pastor K had not even proposed, so I did not even understand why I was meeting his mother.

But she so happened to be in the house and I went to visit. So Pastor K said “Mummy this is the Isioma I was telling you about” and she is like “Oh, how are you? How are your parents?” and I am looking at him like “the Isioma you are telling her about, why exactly?”.

So we sat in the palour and we were watching a movie and it’s about 8pm and I said Pastor K, it’s time for me to go home” and he said “wait, the movie is just remaining small to finish” and I said “I want to go home o, it’s almost 8pm”.

Next thing his mother walks down, she looks at me “Is your mother not at home?”.

Let me interpret that for the millennials and Gen-Zs, that is “what are you still doing here?”. So I said “Yes ma, No ma” I didn’t know which one to say. So I started tapping Pastor K “Lets go, Oga come and drop me” his face was strong, his face was turning red, he said no, when he is done.

So anyhow, I think that first impression from that point. From that point in my opinion it just went south. The woman was just not strict but there was no warmth, no nothing. If I greet her she will answer me, she was civil and all that but no warmth at all and I am coming from a family where my Mum is a hugger, she will squeeze you to death with love, she is asking everything, she wants you to gist with her, to come and sit on her lap.

So it was quite draining, my mother-in-law was a retired soldier so you can just imagine, she has all boys. So all of that was there and me too, you don’t offend me oh, if you do me I do you back.

So my attitude towards her was that “I will give you barest minimum ma”. If you don’t like me, I don’t really like you too so we will be okay. If I ask her “Do you want to eat?” and she says No! She is fasting then I won’t ask her again.

So I started giving her attitude. Don’t look at me like that oh, I am not an angel from Heaven, I am a human being like you. It’s the Word that is helping all of us. Because somebody is just looking at me and is like “Pastor M really? Aren’t you supposed to be walking in love” Yes!

Is it not from the Word, we learn the love.

So if she says she is not eating, me too will not answer her. Early in the morning, I will wake up have my bath and leave the house because I am not in the mood for anybody telling me anything, I will just go and come back late at the night. “Na so una dey come back late for this house?” Mama na work. “Una no dey eat for this house?” we dey fast. I was just giving her barest minimum, one day the Holy Spirit said to me “what exactly are you doing?”, I said “What am I doing as how?

It’s what she is giving me, I am giving her” and the Holy Spirit said to me, have you ever really read the book of Ruth, have you seen the relationship between Ruth and Naomi?” I said “Ruth is she not the one that followed man and said his God will be her God?” He said “Go and read that thing and stop talking rubbish”.

All these while because it’s always used for marriage vows that time, I thought she said those things to her husband, it’s to her mother-in-law. Mother-in-law that did not like her. Read that scripture very well, this woman her two sons had just died and they married strangers, they didn’t marry people from Israel, they married Moabites.

Ruth was following her mother in law who was going back home because she had lost everything, she had lost husband, she had lost children so she was going back home and this girl was following her. Of course the woman was bitter, so that “leave me” was not nice, it was “My friend, get out from here, why are you following me about?

Even if I give birth now can you wait to marry him?” she was been sarcastic. “Free me, you people have taken all you can from me” and Ruth was telling her “Your God will be my God, your people will be my people. I entered covenant with your son, I am in covenant with you”.

God said that is the way you should treat your mother-in-law. This is why I don’t like the Holy Spirit, you are a very one sided God, why are you not talking to her. Why is she not the one… but like I said Jesus is my mumu button, anything he tells me to do I will do it. So I started working on loving this woman.

Today, she is my best friend, we are very good friends because of obedience. The solution is in the Word, if I didn’t see that scripture don’t you think I will do things the way the world does it. She give me fire, I give her fire. She give me insult, I will silently disrespect her because them no born me well to insult her to her face but I saw that from the Word.

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