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Thursday, 3 September 2020

The Advice You Need to Hear

In those days when I was having my issues in marriage, I had a close relative of my husband that I felt comfortable confiding in. I told her about my problems and sought her advice on my marital issues. She was my husband’s relative and I had assumed that getting advice from her and implementing same should help resolve my woes in marriage. Interestingly, she told me all the things I wanted to hear. She told me how foolish I was to have tolerated so much nonsense from my husband. She spoke to me so convincingly that I was so sure I had been a fool for too long and needed to free myself from the slavery called marriage. She told me she could not tolerate half the things I was tolerating from my husband. She said she was the breadwinner of her family and she had made it clear to her husband that she can’t be the one making the money for the family and at the same time be doing the house chores. So, since the husband could not provide money for the family, he should make himself useful by managing the home.
As it were, the husband happens to be a homely man, he was very interested in the development of his children, to the point of helping them with their homework, giving them their medications when they were sick and even helping to fold in the clothes once they are dried, so it was easy to believe all the tales that my husband’s relative who happens to be my confidant and adviser told me.
As stupid as I was, whenever I visited this counselor of mine and she feeds me with all the trash that killed my marriage rather than build it, I will go back home to pick quarrels with my husband in the bid to liberate myself from the slavery of marriage. What I had learned was that I needed to claim my freedom and equality as it won’t be given to me if I didn’t demand it.
Then one faithful evening, I visited my counselor, she was just returning from work and was in the kitchen making dinner for her family. The husband who had also just returned from work was relaxing in their bedroom. I joined my counselor in the kitchen as I watched on while she cooked. She was teaching me an easy way of making pounded yam. A thing I knew before but just feigned ignorance so as not to injure her ego. When she was done with the cooking, she called out to her husband to know whether to serve him his dinner on the dining table or if he would rather want her to take his food to him in the bedroom where he was resting.
At this I was shocked, this was a very big contradiction to all the bragging she had made to me. Rather than the husband cooking and serving her food as she claimed, she was the one serving him food. So, she was doing things to preserve her marriage and was teaching me to destroy mine. The first awakening I got after that visit was that she didn’t come to me to advise me, I went to her, and after seeing that big difference between what she advised me to do and what she was practicing in her home, I realized how stupid I had been. And I made up my mind to stop going there of advice.
I am not the only one with this kind of experience, but I don’t know how many are wise enough to realize their mistakes before it's too late. Some wives have fallen prey to terrible marital advice from people who are even close to them. It's not strange to find mothers supporting their daughters to kill their marriages in the wake of troubles in the marriage. This advice coming from someone so close cannot be ignored or overlooked yet it’s the very wrong advice to get.
When seeking and accepting advice on your marital issues and any other issue you might have, you need to be careful. It's not as good for people to advise you based on what you want to hear as much as it is perfect for people to tell you what you need to hear. The truth they say is very bitter, but in the long run, it leads to a glorious end. No matter how emotionally drained you may be, it is important that you seek advice and be ready and objective enough to hear and accept what you need to hear far above what you want to hear. And whatever advice you are given by whoever it may be that is in direct contrast from the truth of the Bible or does not sound morally right, then you can be sure you are being told what you want to hear far and above what you need to hear. What you need to hear might not be sweet to the ears but it’s the painful truth that leads to a glorious end.
Getting advice on marriage issues from your parents or immediate family members sometimes (there are exceptions to this though) does not help in getting the issues resolved, most especially in extreme cases of maybe abuse in marriage or serious disagreements between spouses. This is so because emotions are brought to play. Your mother loves you dearly and would not want to see you hurt or broken in any way, so her objectivity in the matter is eroded by the emotions she feels. When emotions are attached to advise it diminishes the level of objectivity and bitter truth that should come from such advice. Again, I will insist that you cross-check all advice given to you as a means to help you surmount your marital challenge against the truth of the Bible. If there is a contradiction, don’t try to rationalize God, rather obey the word of God blindly. Doing that, you can never go wrong.
I will say this, when you seek advice from anyone concerning your marriage and other personal issues, be alert enough to check the life of the one giving you the advice. What they are asking you to do, are they doing the same themselves? And if they are doing the same themselves, in what way has it benefited them? Are you seeing the results of their advice in their own lives such that you think it's worthy to copy the same and apply in your own life?
After that one encounter, I did a detour and decided I would rather pray and read my Bible than to seek advice from anyone over my challenges. I thank God I had the time and space to do that at that time, today I am happy I made the right choice. You should too. 



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