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 inconsistencies in marriages in our contemporary society.
Marriage as we know is an enduring and exclusive covenant of love between a man and a woman. It is the voluntary and conscious coming together of a man and a woman for the purpose of building a home. Christ himself instituted the sacrament of marriage and said unequivocally, “They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide” (Mt. 19: 6).
Undoubtedly, one may submit that the institution of marriage seems to have become punctured and abused by a lot of factors today. Same sex is one major factor that has fundamentally threatened the marriage institution in the global world. That a man could rise up to think he could marry a fellow man or a woman her fellow woman is indeed an oddity. It contradicts the divine image which God imparted into creation when scripture says, “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Cf. Gen. 1: 27).
Our aim in this write up, however, is not to dwell on the colossal damage which same sex has done to the noble institution of marriage, but to identify other threats against marriages and established homes which emanate from couples themselves. Some young men and women no longer treasure the vows they exchange with each other on the day of marriage. They no longer regard marriage as a sacrament. They no longer appreciate the strong words of marriage consent, “For better for worse, in sickness and in health, in richness and in poverty, until death do us part”. Today many homes have been torn apart because couples no longer take each other seriously, no longer believe each other. Many homes have been wreaked as a result of bad attitude of wives. Some have lost flavor owing to self centered attitudes of husbands lacking consideration for their wives. Some marriages are suffering today because men feel they are completely in charge while their wives are subservient and have only the right of maids or mere attendants. They impose themselves and their idiosyncrasies on their partner; they give the children the impression that the mother has no right over them whatsoever. Some couples live as co-tenants under the same roof, greet one another in the mornings just for formality. They do not care about each other’s welfare and do not communicate with one another. They cheer up only when they meet other people. They pretend when they have visitors as if all is well but change moods as soon as the visitors step out of their house. Some don’t consider the feelings of one another. Some men glory in intimidating their wives. They want their wives to worship and adore them and everything about their families but frown at the slightest issue pertaining their wives and siblings. Sometimes, they make mockery of the problems of their wives’ homes which were privileged information from their wives.
These and other factors are the reasons why so many families hit the rock in today’s world. I have decided to categorize them under what I call, “Ten Is that break the home” which we shall be treating separately as sub headings in subsequent editions of Mind and Body. They include: Infidelity, Insincerity, Incorrigibility (Intimidation), In-communication, Irresponsibility, Impatience, Intolerance (Inconsideration), Immaturity (Incompetence), Insensitivity and Indisposition.