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February 22, 2017

The Mandela Spirit and challenges of Familyhood in Africa (2)

Mandela’s sacrifice: To gain freedom for South African people Mandela had to sacrifice his own freedom. Not only that, Mandela  sacrificed his love for his family. While in prison between 1968 – 1969 Mandela lost his mother and his first son. He was not allowed to attend any of the funerals of these two persons most dear in his life. Yet he didn’t give up. Mandela was like the proverbial grain of wheat that died in order to bear the fruit of justice and freedom for South Africans. He was resilient in his course. Many couples in the modern society…

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The Mandela Spirit and challenges of Familyhood in Africa (1)

I have settled down to read and reflect on the multiplicity of eulogies, sermons and encomiums that have been pouring out in honour of the greatest African or if I may say, world hero of our time, the late Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Dalibhunga Mandela since the announcement of his death by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa on Thursday, December 5. There is nothing else that could be said of a legend that has not been said or written  deservedly about Mandela. And like Funke Egbemode wrote in her column of Sunday Sun, titled, “Madiba’s living lessons”, “I have ……

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (16)

EFFECTS OF IN-COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE In-communication in marriage carries with it numerous problems. It leads to crack in the marital union. Atado puts it this way, “Now what has happened to those things you did together that gave you the opportunity to talk about yourselves? What has happened to those times that you shared together? Who said you should stop?” He continued, “These are the things that grease your marriage. They are the things that revive and renew your relationship. When you stop having time to talk about yourselves, or to play together the roof and walls of your marital…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (15)

  CAUSES OF IN-COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE   Communication gaps in marriage result from so many factors. Fada Atado maintained, “Some do not know how to communicate, others are too busy to communicate, or are afraid to reach out to each other”. He went further to describe communication drought in marriage this way, “When you were courting or newly married, you had plenty time for each other. You played ludo game or cards together; you took evening walk or evening drive together; you watched television or video together; you sat on the rug and rolled over each other; at times you…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (14)

IN-COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE Remember how the drama in the Garden of Eden played out: “The Lord God said; “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (13)

REMEDIES TO INTIMIDATION IN MARRIAGE: It must be acknowledged that many marriages are undergoing intimidation today. It is also ironical to imagine that women suffer more intimidation than men in marriage as a result of their gender. Many married men are also undergoing psychological trauma. But because a lot of them struggle to protect their ego, they pretend that all is normal while internally bearing the brunt of a terrible marriage partner in the home. Let us postulate some panacea to overcoming the evil of intimidation in marriage.   Recognize that marriage partners are equal: In the nuptial blessing given…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (12)

EFFECTS OF INTIMIDATION IN MARRIAGE Married life with an abuser/intimidator is characterized by constant criticism over matters of small consequence, blames, false accusations, threats and malicious humour. According to the Psychologist Steven Stosny, Founder, Compassion Power in Washington D.C., “this behaviour is designed to make you feel unworthy, fearful, ashamed and mentally unstable”. The effects are numerous:   TENSION/FEAR: Any marriage relationship characterized by intimidation is filled with constant tension. Intimidation makes the victim fear his/her partner. Since the relationship in this case is one of master/servant, one party is always in charge, the other is like a personal aide….

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (11) CAUSES OF INTIMIDATION IN MARRIAGE

Many factors give rise to intimidation in marriage:   MISCONCEIVED AUTONOMY: Saint Paul advised the Galatians thus, “After all, brothers, you were called to be free; do not use your freedom as an opening for self indulgence, but be servants to one another in love” (Gal.5: 13). There is no gain overemphasizing the negative influence of false sense of autonomy in marriage. Some husbands feel they are absolutely free to do whatever they like in their marriage, so also some wives. Autonomy here could arise from money (wealth), power, etc. According to Fulton Sheen, “We can set ourselves above others,…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (10)

INTIMIDATION IN MARRIAGE It was both fascinating and pedagogic to read an invitation to the marriage silver jubilee anniversary of a couple recently with a comic heading. The invitation read, “25 Years of Voluntary Imprisonment with Hard Labour”. That invitation really generated much fun in town but also called for sober reflection. Looking at many marriages today, one notices that some have simply become prison yards. Even though voluntarily contracted, some couples do not know how to pull out of their marriage. The main reason being that once validly celebrated, the church teaches the unity and indissolubility of marriage. The…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (9), REMEDIES TO INSINCERITY IN MARRIAGE

In the bachelorhood or spinsterhood, the question every young man or woman usually asks before embarking on any venture is, “What will happen to me if…? “Or sometimes, “What will happen to my parents if…?” The “if” here means, if they hear it or if it boomerangs or if it happens, etc. It can go on and on. The emphasis in this case is to weigh the consequences of a person’s action not only on himself but on the person whom the individual holds dear. On getting married the question changes into, “What will happen to my husband/wife if…?” “What…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (8)

  EFFECTS OF INSINCERITY IN MARRIAGE Insincerity has numerous effects on the marriage institution. Its effects are felt by the individual who becomes the instrument, by the partner or immediate family members who become the direct victims of lies, by those around the insincere person and by the marriage itself. Let us take the effects one after the other.   Loss of self worth: Self worth, self integrity, self respect, self regard or self esteem is something every individual cherishes. Many early theories in psychology suggested that self-esteem is a basic human need or motivation. Psychologists define it as the…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (7)

CAUSES OF INSINCERITY IN MARRIAGE Many couples today have different reasons why they tell lies to each other. Some may see these reasons as justifiable while others do it merely to play smart. In the words of Thomas Pazhayampallil, “Modern society presents special challenges to the young. At every turn they are enticed by a concept of human freedom that is really slavery, by a relativism that robs them of the truth, and by a materialism and pragmatism that can rob them of their very souls” (Pazhayampallil, T., Words of Eternal Life, vol.1, p. 1003). Our concern here is primarily…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (6)

INSINCERITY IN MARRIAGE Insincerity has dealt devastating blow to many marriages today. But I prefer beginning this topic with a story of an experience on the contrary. On one of the Easter festivities I was invited by a very old couple both of whom I guess were above eighty. When I arrived to hear their confessions, the husband was the first to perform his penitential duties. Having finished, he beckoned on his wife to meet with the priest. But he shouted at her though cheerfully, “Woman, come oo. I hope you will go for confessions, I know you do not…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (5)

REMEDIES TO INFIDELITY Avoid other bad habits: The worst way to conquer evil is by the aid of evil (Cf. Mark 3:20-30). Two wrongs cannot make a right. It is wrong for a couple to become addicted to another bad habit simply because the partner has taken to extra marital affairs. For instance, some couples indulge in alcohol and become drunk as palliative to the effects of infidelity. Some learn to keep away late also to solve such problems. Others too look for extra marital partners to fill in the vacuum created by their man or woman. Others still become…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT THE HOME

Most couples have problems today as a result of the way they handle their marriage issues. Some couples devise wrong approaches towards their erring partners and rather than pull them out of their mistakes they end up making them plunge deeper into muddy waters. Such marriages unfortunately hit the bricks for reasons of foolhardiness. Having x rayed the issue of infidelity, its causes and effects in many marriages, I wish to proffer some solutions. This is both in the case that a couple already established strong evidences that the partner is living unfaithful life as well as seeking appropriate measures…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (4) – EFFECTS OF INFIDELITY

  Infidelity puts a snag in marriage. It can make a sweet matrimonial bond turn automatically sour. Some of the effects include: distraction, mistrust, lies, anxiety, suspicion, loss of affection, frustration, violence, separation, etc.   Distraction: Christ was very blunt when he warned in the scripture, “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other” (Mtt. 6:24). The principle of Non Contradiction also holds that something cannot be and not be at the same time. The Igbos say, “Anaghi eji ukwu abuo awufe ogwe”. All…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (3) – CAUSES OF INFIDELITY

Disaffection: Affection is major oil in marriage. It is more than sexual satisfaction. It is the feeling of being appreciated by one’s partner. Ironically, women value love in their relationship than sex. Unfortunately however, many men do not realize it. Blessed Pope John Paul 11 once said in his address to couples that a man loves in order to be loved while a woman is loved in order to love. In marriage, every woman wants to feel special. Every woman wants the husband to tell her, “You are beautiful”, “You look good”, “I love you”, “Your hairstyle is special”, “Your…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (2)

INFIDELITY Infidelity in marriage can also be referred to as cheating, adultery or extramarital affair. Wikipedia defines it as the subjective feeling that one’s partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms and this violation results in feelings of sexual jealousy and rivalry. The violation can be sexual in nature, for example involving kissing, sexual fondling or sex with another individual outside of the marriage relationship. Statistics reveal that the rate of infidelity in marriage is higher in men than in women. In their book, Close Encounters: Communication in relationships, Guerrero, Anderson and Afifi maintained that men are…

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THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME

At about 19.02 on Friday, May 24, I received the following text message, “Good evening Fr. I go straight to your write ups every Sunday because of the way you handle burning issues. Please I would like you to handle marital issues because many homes are breaking. Most men always allow their ego to rule them thereby leaving their God given duties to their families especially their wives. Let them know what God said about loving their wives please.” This text added a real push to what I actually intended to do namely, to x ray the causes of numerous…

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The morality of sharing money to Pupils in Imo (4)

MORAL IMPLICATIONS The practice of sharing money to children in primary and secondary schools in Imo state carries with it strong moral implications. It raises serious question as to whether that remains the best way to demonstrate the governor’s large hearted disposition towards children in the state.  It concerns us principally because the money in question belongs to the state; it is not as if the governor is sharing his personal money to the children which any other person can do without raising moral questions.In the first instance, a democratically elected government should be able to listen to parents who…

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