Every person wants to live in line with the dictates of his society. Marriage is one of the dictates of society, indeed every society. Marriage has been defined as the union between a male and a female person, but even in the Gay world marriage has been redefined to take into consideration their own special relationships. So marriages can be said to been viewed within a wider scope.
Every society, regardless of what the Holy Books say, has its perception of what marriage is all about and jealously guards the upkeep of their mores and conventions in the light of these. Don’t we all gear up to attend what we know as traditional marriages before we then celebrate what is known as Court or Church Marriage. We celebrate what is indigenous to us before we tie the knot the non traditional way. Ditto for those who celebrate a Muslim marriage and then go back to Court marriage. I have attended a marriage ceremony once where the trad started at a very early hour of the morning, they went to church and the reception took the form of a Muslim marriage ceremony. Different strokes for different folks.
So much for ceremonies that determine the kind of marriage the couple have entered into. The young couple then get into the business of marriage and realise that it isn’t their piece of cake. Where has all the pre-counselling in the church gone?
Marriage in my definition, if you will permit me, is the union of two people, preferably a man and a woman, where they become one in all respects. One in money, one in body and cares, one in spirit and one in everything else. Is that possible? Yes it is, though not commonplace. Religious teaching also tell us it is possible.
………contrary to what we are fed it is not correct to state that the Holy Books legislate a one man one wife situation. The white man has read that into it and we have accepted it. Is it possible to be one with several women, I dare say yes. I didn’t say easy but it is not impossible.
……but then I veer away from today’s musings. With advances in technology and medical breakthrough; is marriage really necessary? The average couple marry for purposes of procreation. Does God frown at the new in-vitro procedures where children are born without the aid of sexual encounter. Technically speaking a man can sit in his office, never have sex with a woman and become the father of a child that has his DNA. Period!!!
Marriage is said to be for the comfort that one should have of the other. Aren’t we not unmindful of the fact that once the romance wears off the comfort ends? Are most couples one in mind with each other? Query why a woman would discourage her husband from buying a house at a time they can afford it and go behind him to start her own portfolio. Her reason? So he won’t will what he has to a child he has that isn’t of her body. Why should they have different portfolio? Did they not vow to hold all their worldly possessions together?
Are the in-laws part of the marriage? In our society, yes, they are. That is the law of marriages in this clime……. Yet the traditional rivalry of the wife and the sister-in law no longer breaks news. ……..The tussle for the man’s attention between his wife and his mother sends him to build a wall of protection around himself. He becomes a spectator and eggs-on the tussle by tacit support of opposing sides from time to time.
I have grown up to be told in church that
“Marriage is a state which embodies all the warm and precious values which grow from human companionship. It is, therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, soberly, and with high purpose in the knowledge that enduring love is both man’s greatest accomplishment and God’s greatest gift.
‘There must be a giving of one to the other in the spirit of generosity, of selflessness and steadfast devotion to the highest ideals of human relationship.’ (Source: The Book of Common Prayer).
Maybe if that were the basis of marriage and not simply as a status symbol or as a gateway to child bearing more marriages would be enjoyed and not endured. The faith-based calls about counselling of married couples, appears to be like medicine after death. Counselling or teaching about marriage starts from examples at home and is not a six weeks’ short course. Are people to be bound together simply by a certificated ring or by a desire for the highest kind of relationship.
Maybe the time has come to sincerely ask ourselves if we don’t use the children as a pawn in the marriage; maybe as an emotional shield from our own responsibilities in our marriage.
Is marriage worth all the fuss?