A young man and his fiancé visited my office recently and began the conversation by saying after much consideration they have decided to make themselves accountable to me and my wife. That means, they will call to ask questions, seek advice and where necessary visit. In other words, they want my wife and I to keep an eye on their relationship with the aim of making valuable input, crystallizing in wedding, by and large successful marriage. Well, here was my response: don’t be tempted to always call to give a download of who is misbehaving; rather, work on it with determination and call only when you have nothing up your sleeves.

I have always encouraged young people to put themselves under the watch of responsibility adults for the purpose of guidance on key aspects of life. It is called mentoring. There is a thin line between this and accountability; the former is limited to specific field or area of endeavour such as health, education, or spiritual growth while the later has a broader spectrum that covers almost all aspects of life.

Sometime back, my wife and I attended a wedding at Abuja, Nigeria. It was one of those weddings where the bride is from Mars while the groom is from Jupiter. The woman was from the same village with my wife in Northern eastern Nigeria while the husband is from a minority tribe in North-central Nigeria. Everyone connected to the bride doubted the success of such a seemingly incompatible wedding. However, after the speech by the Chairman and other dignitaries during the reception, I was convinced and I believe many others as well that everything will turn out well. During the speech, I could see that the young man was accountable in all ramifications. I saw that there were people in his life that he submitted to. It means that if at all he misbehaves, there were people the wife could pour out her heart to who will call him to order. Although marriage pundits advised that couple stay away from revealing their challenges to third party, sometimes one cannot just help it.

This reminds me of a recent incident. A disgruntled woman visited my office to seek counsel over her husband’s towering anger. That morning, with 7 months old pregnancy, she was at the verge of quitting the marriage when suddenly the thought of seeking counsel from me crossed her mind. Over the years I have watched her inched closer and closer after reading one of my books, implicitly putting herself under my oversight. She moaned that her husband easily gets angry even when he’s the culprit. For days she had had sleepless nights over his continues cavalier attitude. Worse yet saying sorry is way beyond the man’s dictionary. Only his mother forced him down from such a mountain the last time it occurred. Well, these are my words; you’re already married, and to make matters worse you’re pregnant. Divorce is not an option no matter the issue at hand. There is no perfect marriage; you must work at it with understanding. The attitude displayed by your husband is quite condemnable but there is no attitude so absurd that cannot be contained. Don’t forget that there are people out there waiting for your home to fail. Don’t give them the chance to prey on your home.  All of a sudden, she stood up, “I am going to his office.” “Good” I exclaimed! Her facebook page that evening had a silhouette of her being hugged by her husband; a telling that the medicine did work.   

You can imagine the timely assistance. If she had trivialized the place of accountability, the sleepless night could have been much longer. Indeed, imbibing the lifestyle of accountability may appear expensive but it is far cheaper a remedy in the long run.