BY Cuthbert Mavheko THE staggering escalation of divorce cases in the country poses a grave threat to the institution of marriage.
According to figures recently released by the Bulawayo High Court, 357 divorces were lodged with the court in the first six months of the year, translating to an average of about 50 cases every month.
While these statistics are alarming, the sobering reality is that they are just a tip of the proverbial iceberg as thousands more marriage break-ups are going unreported because the majority of people in Zimbabwe are married customarily with no marriage certificates.
Marriage is supposed to be a lifetime union, however, the proliferation of marriage break-ups in the country demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that the nation’s moral barometer is falling with mind-boggling rapidity. Alas, people no longer view marriage as a sacred, God-ordained institution.
There are many reasons why so many people are divorcing these days. These include infidelity and financial challenges emanating from a slumping economy, among others. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, it is the view expressed by some clergymen that women have totally misunderstood and misconstrued the concept of equal rights and this is creating problems in most households, leading to divorce.
Father Noel Mangena, a priest and marriage counsellor in the Roman Catholic Church noted: “The Holy Bible gives us clear guidelines in terms of the role of a man and a woman in a marital union. However, due to the issue of equal rights, most women are striving to occupy spaces the Creator reserved for men and this is creating discord in most marriages,” he said.
It is of paramount importance to note that in the golden past, divorce was unheard of because people believed in the sanctity of marriage — that a man’s role as father and head of the family was God-given and, therefore, immutable.
Because men and women knew and kept their rightful places in marriage and society in general, there was peace and stability in most marriages. When couples tied the knot, it was always “till death do us part”.
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However, the sexual revolution changed all that. Women who, admittedly, had been treated as second-class citizens in a male-dominated society, have aligned themselves with the perverted ideologies of radical feminists which, among other things, encourage them to revolt against tradition and end male domination in every area of human endeavour, including marriage.
Man, like any other creature, feels threatened when someone tresspasses into his territory and will fight in defence of his territorial rights.
Listening to debates at seminars on equal rights and perusing through feminist literature on the same controversial subject, one gets the impression that women are waging an undeclared war against men. What feminists reveal in their literature does not leave anything to imagination whatsoever in terms of their goals and objectives.
In the vanity of their self-professed scholarly minds, protagonists of the equal rights movement pontificate that marriage is an ancient, man-made institution that must be abolished because it is out of sync with modern society.
Most strikingly, feminists cast aspersions on the existence of God and have poured scorn on the Holy Bible, arguing that it is a tool being used by a male-dominated society to keep women under lock and key in the fetters of sexual exploitation.
Today, there is a broad consensus of opinion among some theologians that marriage has been stripped of its sanctity by some educators, philosophers and psychologists who propagate the ancient Darwinian theory, which postulates that mankind is merely the highest development of the animal kingdom, and that somewhere along the evolutionary trail, mankind started marriage and the family unit as a mere custom.
It is virtually impossible to understand the true origins of marriage and the family unit without first accepting that God exists and that the Bible is His written word. To leave God out of the picture is to degrade marriage and the family unit to mere animalism.
Marriage and the family unit did not evolve through the reasoning and gradual civilisation of mankind, as proponents of the theory of evolution would have us believe. The honest truth is that marriage and the family unit were designed and created by God.
The Bible reveals that God created humans male and female for procreation purposes and to replenish the earth (Genesis 1:27-28).
Scientific research and thousands of years of human experience show that there are numerous physical, mental and emotional differences between men and women. God created these differences to allow men and women to complement one another.
Women need strong, protective men, who are confident and decisive in their masculinity. Men, on the other hand, need responsive, gentle and caring women. God created these masculine and feminine characteristics within us so that we function as a smooth-running team in marriage.
A truly feminine woman makes a man feel more masculine and a truly masculine man brings out a woman’s femininity. In spite of the fact that the Bible has been rejected by radical feminists and society in general, it gives men and women clearly defined sexual roles and responsibilities in marriage and society.
- Cuthbert Mavheko is a freelance journalist and theologian based in Bulawayo. He can be contacted on 0773963448.