This is a popular saying in some parts of the world. In a nut shell, it means – tit for tat. That’s how I roll! That’s the way we should all roll joor.(pidgin English word for please} The only difference is that I generally don’t pay back like for like but payback I will. Everything will be noted for review and actions put in place and this philosophy of mine affects my family and marriage.
When you marry, you become a player in the good, the bad and the ugly on both sides and there is nothing you can do about it. A good way of describing it is in the following story; A man found himself in a room with a snake. He decided he would mind his own business. He put a small demarcation and told the snake. ‘Stay on your side and I will stay on mine’. Your guess is as good as mine on what happened during the night or if he had the guts to go to sleep at all. The moral of the story is that a snake is a snake and you can’t co-exist in the same room no matter how much you try. You have to get it, or it will get you, Or you can run and so on.
My point is that in every family, there is something good and something not so good. If you identify what the not so good things are then you wage war for your sake and the sake of the next generation. Before marriage, you would focus on your birth family, notice trends, recognise them and pray for breakthrough. When you marry, you have to look at both sides, so you double your efforts when it comes to recognizing trends and countering the hand of the enemy in your circumstances (pardon me dear readers if you are not following…). You never know. Maybe there are ancient covenants that affect your bloodline especially for some of us Africans. There was a Nigerian pastor of mine who always prayed against generational curses and covenants and we have some family friends who said of a British Pastor2s family – they don’t know how lucky they are to have generations of Christianity behind. No wonder they pray differently. They probably don’t feel like they must fight external family demons that much. And sadly sometimes, the word demons can also describe some in-laws!
I must admit that I have not really had a rough time with my in-laws. They live so far away that we only get to see them only occasionally. The advantage is that I have not had to deal with many difficult issues where they are concerned. They are nice to me and Vice Verse. We don’t talk that often and all is well. I really enjoy some moments of their visit because it is as if there is a need to talk about the past. I love it when I am told by an in-law,‘Please don’t tell your husband I have told you this’ … before launching into another story. Apparently, there may have been warnings not to go into so much detail especially about some unsavory experiences, but I was all ears. Having these “confidential disclosure” discussions gave me a lot of invaluable insight into the family I married into and it changed my perspective on some things.
Having said that, I have experienced times, during those visits, when I would find myself parking by the roadside and having a good cry over what now feels like a minor issue. I can’t even really remember what set me off now except that it was a time when I was sleep deprived, stressed with a 1 year old, a 2-hour commute to a full-time job plus the increased household chores that come with having people staying over. To make matters worse, my husband changes when people are around. He does not help as much and is less endearing. At the time, it felt like a boiling pot and emotions boiled over regularly.
The truth is that you will never be far from the issues in your partners household (assuming you have accepted your place in your husband’s household – and vice versa. I recently heard about how someone’s in-laws were involved in the occultic and how she found out. She did not have a choice. Like it or not, she was in a battle not of her own making. When you marry, it’s as if you now from 2 families (irrespective of self-erected barriers
Marriage in itself is not without battles and fights which we must choose selectively especially in the area of in-laws. I believe that we are in a battle but not against people as such; against all forces of wickedness. I fight in a different way! Not insult for insult etc. I just believe in prayer and I talk to my family members who are there for me. That’s how I fight my battles. I pray for the grace to pour love on hatred, kindness for cruelty, prayer for peace, strength to be Gods good example. It is not me and them in the relationship. It is me, them and God. Let us be more concerned with impressing God by our actions and He will see us through in this life. So for, whatever happens, I will take it to God in prayer as I pray to be led by him to do the right thing always. Hopefully always, So, help me, God.
I am not leaving anyone alone, so help us, God.