By Eric Curtis Howard
e-mail :  neyandoh@gmail.com

Part two…A letter to Yaovi

Human behavior is so dynamic and ever changing that when not handled with care, wisdom and maturity can lead to the breakdown of even the strongest of marriages.

Yaovi, I believe you have heard statements like “My husband has changed”, “My wife is no more the person I knew when I married her”. Yaovi, the truth is people change and the key to addressing this challenge is to adapt to the change. I have seen a loving and caring husband turn into an alcoholic because of financial challenges. I have seen a religious man become a womanizer overnight all because of the ever dynamic changing human behavior. I have seen sweet and submissive wives, turned arrogant and abusive with words, because at one point in time in the marriage they became the bread winners. Likewise I have also seen a husband who was so irresponsible, make a u-turn to care for his family.

What influences human behavior. I can’t profess to know it all, but two things readily come to mind – religion and the books we read. What books is your partner reading? Who is your partner listening to? Who or what is influencing your behavior Yaovi?

You would realize that in the course of your marriage, after the five years period or even during that period, you would know or have access to certain information that you never knew before. It could be from the influence of your friends, the church, books, etc and all these have the propensity to make or destroy your marriage. This too is another test that you need to pass to graduate to the next stage of your married life. Are you going to fail this test or are you going to pass it?

There is no denying fact that you would change in personality and behavior in the course of your married life. But what impact will this change first have on you, your marriage and your family. The hard truth is that, the propensity of the human behavior to change year-in-year out cannot be overlooked and must not be underrated. In fact, your behavioral change will be the biggest demon or let me say challenge you would face in all your married life. Your ability to succeed in this area is key.

As a Christian youth counselor, I cannot end this letter to you without talking about the spiritual challenges that would come your way when you get married or when you are married.

Yaovi, know one thing, marriage is God’s idea and anything that the Lord does is good. As Christians we have a foe, whom would fight us tooth and nail to make sure that whatever God has put together will be put asunder. Yaovi, some of the spiritual challenges that may come your way include adultery, infidelity, barrenness, financial challenges, sickness etc. Yaovi don’t be surprised that even pastors get divorced, because I am yet to find a Christian family who have not received any attack from the enemy.

Spiritual challenges mostly are to test our faith. It is to tell us, we need God’s grace and mercies to endure to the end. It is to tell us that it is not by our might nor strength that we even live. Whenever we go through spiritual challenges, we must remember to take the shield of faith, and make prayer our weapon to deal with the challenge, or else once the enemy prevails, we are doomed. The interesting thing here is that the spiritual challenges we go through most times manifest themselves into physical challenges which have the propensity of embarrassing us and bringing us great shame. I have had my fair share of these challenges, and I know more is on its way coming. But the key to my victory I have learnt over the years is to be completely humble and submit my will completely to God and allow Him to fight your battles for you. I don’t know about you, but what I can tell you is that never underestimate the power of spiritual challenges in your marriage and prepare for it.

Coming back to the educational scenario, when the child manages to surmount the challenges of basic education through to the SHS level, the child is presumed to be an adult before he or she enters the university. That is why at the university level, no one forces you to go for lectures. It is entirely up to you to decide what you want to do with your life. It is at this point that your parents trust you to make those wise decisions for yourself.

Again, lets liken this scenario to marriage, after 20 years of marriage through the first and critical five years, and through all the tests and challenges, do you now have what it takes to make wise and prudent decisions for your marriage. Have all the tests and lessons you have gone through enough to see you through. The truth about university education is that, the propensity of you throwing away the good training and virtues imparted into you by your parents and family is high, and so is with marriage. Or what explains that fact that some people have been married for more than 20 years yet still divorce? Life!!!.

Yaovi, like I said earlier, when it comes to the issues of marriage I am still a toddler so I wont say much. I am still within my first five years and the challenges, twists and turns keep changing with each passing day. But I found an advocate in Christ and He has kept me on.  Next two weeks Wednesday, I will celebrate my third anniversary and will keep going strong.

So Yaovi, enjoy the wife of your youth if you can, it is fun and enjoy your marriage. In case you are still searching, choose wisely.

Your counselor