When we started our courtship there were people lining up to give us advice. Some people wanted to offload their marital baggage onto us. Without even knowing it, they tried to speak negativity into our journey. This was our first lesson in protecting our family: don’t let everyone throw in their ‘two cents’ especially when life has made them jaded. Learn to speak up and reject things that you don’t want to see in your relationship.
My husband went to the dry cleaners in the first couple of weeks of our marriage. Out of nowhere, the attendant started giving him ‘advice’. She told him that he should enjoy it while it lasts because we’d be divorced within a year?! Who says that?? My husband immediately corrected her that our marriage was built to last.
When I went to tell my grandmother my good news she was so happy for me. However because she had had bad experiences in her marriage, the advice she gave me was tainted. She told me not to rely on my husband and to make sure I had my own things going for me. She also warned me about ‘Igbo men and their mums’. My grandmother’s most frequent prayer for all her grandchildren is that they won’t go through what she did in marriage. Whilst her heart was in the right place, I saw red flags immediately. Her words had the potential to sow distrust into my relationship.
I could go on for ages about all the flawed advice we received. We heard things such as ‘get your own bank account and don’t tell him’, ‘remember that what he says goes’ and ‘isn’t it too early to be discussing marriage? Maybe don’t put pressure on him’ (I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about these comments again).
Even if you come across as aggressive or devoid of a sense of humour, do what you ‘gotta do’ to defend your relationship. I strongly believe that death and life are in the power of the tongue. So be careful who you submit your relationship to in receiving advice. I believe that God is the perfect matchmaker. That means that if He leads you to start a relationship with someone, he has given you all the tools and resources you need to make it work. He gives you an unblemished blank slate and perfect instructions – what you do with it, and who you let build the foundation with you, is up to you.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ
– Colossians 2:8