By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). At a a forum on Friday organized by the Women’s Ministry of Amazing Love Church to mark the celebration of Women’s Week, the women selected represented a broad spectrum of motherhood, and they revealed secrets undergirding their marriages, taking care of their homes, and raising successful children.
Hosted by the first lady, Mrs. Mildred Ntemi, the panelists were Mrs. Maurelle Kamwa who gave birth not too long ago and represented young married women with children; Deaconess Sandrine Tankeu represented single, working moms with multiple children; Mrs. Leoni Tchatat was the idolized representation of happily married women with children.
Still, Mama Lucienne Kaham represented widowed mothers, and Elder Emilienne Ndjuikam was the synecdoche for grandmoms. Sister Maurelle set the ball rolling when Mrs. Ntemi asked to distinguish between her days as a spinster when she was dating and marriage life.
“When I was single, I was only thinking about myself, so life was easy. My parents were there for me, and when I looked at them, I thought everything was easy. But when I got married, I realized it wasn’t all that easy for a variety of reasons. You can’t say you know someone until you live with them. When I gave birth, it was a bit challenging because I have to take care of the baby and satisfy the needs of my husband,” said Sister Maurelle.
The hostess interjected to say that when she was single, she was selfish but marriage taught her to be selfless. “Marriage taught me to bring others before me. Marriage taught me to be more generous and disciplined,” said the first lady.
Mrs. Ntemi then wanted to know if Sister Maurelle has a particular verse or book in the Bible that keeps her going. Mrs. Kamwa gave Proverbs 31: 10-31 that detail the responsibilities and expectations of a virtuous woman as the verses that sustain her in dire moments. She also noted that if couples allow God to be the foundation of their marriage, it becomes successful as proclaimed in Psalm 127: 1.
At that juncture, Pastor Georges complained that Mrs. Kamwa had hitherto sounded as if marriage was an unbearable burden, so he wanted to hear the good part. Mrs. Ntemi went to the aid of Mrs. Kamwa and stated: “The foundation is difficult; she is still learning her role as a wife. She is still laying the foundation stone.”
When Brother Junior Ateufac in the audience wanted to know the advice Sister Maurelle had for young women getting ready to marry, she said, “They must trust in God. They must be humble and submissive and shouldn’t think like a single woman when they get married. The behavior of the woman determines the health of the house. The Bible says the man is the head of the house and the woman is the helper. It’s just like the head and the neck; the head can’t exist without the neck,” she said to an applause.
The first lady noted that some young women go into marriage for all the wrong reasons. “If you go into marriage expecting to depend on the man for your happiness, you would be disappointed and your marriage will not last. You must be willing to help and sacrifice.”
To the first lady’s comment, Sister Maurelle added that marriage is not about tasting and testing. “You get in to stay. The joy of motherhood is special. When you become pregnant, you experience a spirit of protection. But, when you give birth, you need to adjust; that’s when it becomes challenging,” said Mrs. Kamwa.
When it came to the turn of Deaconess Tankeu who is the synecdoche for single moms with kids, Mrs. Ntemi wondered how she does it, raising three children on her own while working full time and completing her degree in public health administration. The Deaconess revealed that she initially felt embarrassed when she was asked to open up and share some of the most painful moments of her life with the public because when she looked around her, everyone was married in her family.
However, she quickly realized that her testimony could be a lesson for others to learn from her experience of diligence, compassion, and God-fearing mien. “After thinking seriously about my situation, I decided to forget about it and just rely on the Lord, for I am not the only single mom raising three children. There are 10 million single mothers in America, many of whom are believers. I was scared initially when I thought I have to raise three children on my own. But, God is with me, so I am not a statistic,” said Deaconess Sandrine who holds a PhD in biology.
She continued: “Single motherhood is double the work, double the pain, double the agony, but it is also double the love when you have your daughter writing a letter to you telling you how special you are and how much she loves you.”
She spoke about the importance of knowing and worshiping God because if we don’t, He’ll breathe life into stones to worship Him. She spoke of the pressure of raising three children, ages seven, five, and three. “I have no personal and social life. I don’t go to the movies; I have no time to watch television. The good thing though is that my children are independent and understanding,” said the Deaconess.
She added that parenting is not for cowards and that “God has given women the talent to multitask.”
In a bid to help reduce instances of teenage pregnancy among the youth, Mrs. Ntemi preached abstinence and advised teenage girls to avoid tasting the forbidden fruit before they are ready for the responsibilities that come thereafter. But if they do and get impregnated, they should not cause abortion because it is against the will of God. To that end, the hostess asked the next panelist, Mrs. Leoni Tchatat what advice she had for vulnerable teenagers.
Mrs. Tchatat responded by tilting the compass toward the Bible: “Pray without ceasing. You can’t raise your children on your own. God’s hands have to be in it. Proverbs 22: 6 says, ‘Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old, he won’t depart from it.’ Teach the children to know the power of prayer; teach them to be involved in the word of God. When that happens, the rest becomes easy.”
She called on parents to create a loving, peaceful, and welcoming ambiance at home so that the kids would be happy and have the equanimity of mind to realize their full potentials. “We joke a lot at home because it creates a calming and cordial relationship with the children. A peaceful environment allows the child to be humble and respectful.”
Last but not least, Mrs. Tchatat called on fathers to be in the lives of their sons because boys like taking after their fathers. “Sons like following their fathers so fathers must learn to be role models for them.”
When Mr. Elton Kamwa wanted to know if Mrs. Tchatat would tolerate her children befriending children friend who don’t believe in God, she answered, “Absolutely! It will allow me to win some souls for Christ. I also make sure I know the parents of my children’s friends so that I know who and what my children are dealing with.”
Mrs. Ntemi added that non-Christian children are open book, for they can easily be converted for the Heavens to rejoice for the souls that have been won for Christ.
Widow Mama Lucienne Kaham noted the heart-broken nature of widowhood. “The life of a widow with children is tough. You can choose to divorce, but you can’t choose to become a widow. It is the reason why God takes care of the widow.
“The widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 is an example. God sent Elijah to go and bless that widow and she is an example of God’s presence in the life of the widow. In Psalm 68: 5, the psalmist says, ‘God is the father of the fatherless and a judge of the widow,” said Ms. Kaham.
Elder Emilienne Ndjuikam is a widow and a grandmother. She noted: “When you live with your son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, you know your position. When there is a quarrel between your son and his wife, never support your son. Love your grandchildren and play with them; that is what will endear them to you.”
The celebration of the Women’s Week ended with the bazaar after the blessed leader of the Women’s Ministry, Mrs. Mildred Ntemi had delivered a powerful and passionate sermon from the podium of transfiguration.