Why the number of unmarried people is on the increase in modern Africa

As already stated some do not marry because of religious conviction and their vocations e.g. nuns.

Some simply fail to get suitable partners so they prefer to remain un married till opportunity comes.

Poverty; some do not have the income to sustain marriage; dowry, marriage expenses, courtship and its expenses.

Others still fear wedding expenses such as church dues, wedding cakes, gowns, video coverage, after party etc.

Some fear to commit themselves to permanent relationship of married life so others delay marriage because of lack of trust in those they intend to marry.

AIDS has scared many young people from marrying early. Those who take the tests it takes long since 3 tests are made at intervals to ensure accuracy.

Physiological problems when young men hates anything female vice- versa which could also be a result of rape.

Lack of examples e.g. where parents have lived frustrated experience / marriage ( divorced parents.

Some adults are too shy to approach opposite sex for serious relationship.

Family planning a method makes some engaged to sex without fear of pregnancy or AIDS.

Being unready for responsibility.

Some careers may not be conducive for settled home life e.g. air hostesses.

Modern formal education keeps people in school for long such that by the time one completes e.g. a degree or doctorate he has no place for married life.

Some are incapable of leading normal marriage life because of mental or physical handicap.

The issue of women emancipation/ equality discourages men who need subordination of workers.

Figure 14 Beautiful Kenyan Women serving in the armed forces. Does this discourage men from marrying them?

Permissiveness of society which gives much freedom unlike in traditional Africa.

Traditional values are dying away because after initiation the next step would be marriage.

In modern Africa celibacy is taken as normal unlike in traditional Africa where conditions could not make them comfortable.

The problem of extended family whereby after graduation one is to cater for a number of relatives.

The changing roles between men and women unlike in traditional Africa where a woman after marriage was fully dependent as compared to today where women can support themselves, dependants better than men so need no security.

Selfishness where people prefer to live single life though undesirable to the public, such people are thieves, loiterers, beggars, prostitutes etc.

 Some women are too rich to settle in marriage. They are comfortable with their cash and personal homes

Some parents demand too much dowry especially for the highly educated girls making them loose suitors.

Sexual diversions; lesbians, homosexuals unheard of in African society have no need for the opposite sex since their sexual desires are satisfied.

Problems of unmarried mothers

The number of unmarried mothers is on the increase today caused by the following:

Due to modern education where women get employed and can support themselves and no longer dependent as before.

Remissiveness of society because of 'I don't care attitude.'

Girls used to marry early but today by the time they finish their education they lack men to stay with permanently.

There are more women than men today.

Epileptics and physically / mentally handicapped end up having children outside marriage.

Increase rate of rape and defilement.


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Because of the above the following problems can be realised:- (see question)

Some people prefer to have children but are not ready to live in a marriage relationship. Comment.

Having children out of wedlock is wrong for a Christian because it goes against God's plan for sexuality.

Marriage and children are a gift from God and the later is a result of the former so if one is not ready to marry one should not go a head to get children.

Having children outside marriage involves serious moral consequences such as pre marital sex (fornication) extra marital which are sexual misuses.

Children outside marriage abuses sacredness of marriage institution.

It is one way of being irresponsible and lack of commitment on someone to want children without marriage.

Such children outside marriage miss their rights of parental care and love so they grown without guidance.

The woman is used as a sex machine / tool to produce children for selfish satisfaction.

This is against biblical teaching because there is no complementarily and mutual fulfilment of spouses expected in a family.

Children are likely to have psychological disorders and frustrations of partners involved.

Sometimes they are tossed around not knowing the actual father or are given to wrong fathers.

Those involved in such relationship miss the chance and benefit that a Christian marriage offers.

The husband/ wife relationship expressed by Paul in 1 Cor 7:2-5 and 1 Pet 3: 1-7 are not arrived at.

So the parent, child relationship will be incomplete as in Col 3:20-21 and Eph 6:1- 4.

The destiny of such children will be at stake; at times denied fatherhood and lack place in society.

There will be lack of unity between children since they may belong to different fathers.

There is high chance of getting sexually transmitted diseases.

Their act may affect other marriages who decide to divorce to live like them.

Sometimes mothers may not be sure of right fathers of their children and even if they know men can deny making children neglected.

Upbringing of children is single handily and women may face economic problems to bring them up.

Socially they are outcasts since married women are always suspicious about their interference; therefore no respect.

The woman has a problem to explain the absence of the father.

Even if she later marries the possibility of getting a good husband for happy marriage may not be possible. She has the duty to tell her experience to the man or keep secrets but it is discovered what next?

Religiously they one sinner, because their relationship that brings forth children is condemned as immoral.

On the other hand, getting children outside marriage may relieve somebody from other social problems such as being undermined by society.

Some people are unfortunate to get serious men/women for marriage and yet their sexual urge is too strong.

So in attempt to get children one may get sexual satisfaction.

Having children can help those who fail to get dowry to marry.

There will be less economic burden to those involved since they get finances from different sources.

A woman can be saved from being owned by selfish and badly behaved men.

So they are no longer two but one man must not separate what God has joined together. (Mark 10:8-9) Examine the Church's teaching on marriage and divorce.

The above statement is a reaction to the issue of divorce.

Jesus forbade divorce except for adultery.

The Church's teaching encourages tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Marriage problems cannot be avoided but couples ought to find away of living with them and to fund solutions where possible.

To some it may be part of their cross to carry which calls for perseverance and living with the problem.

The wronged partner should understand that all are sinners (Rom 3:23) and therefore need forgiveness and reconciliation.

Faith can help when the marriage is about to disintegrate to the point of divorce.

In case of marriage problems a priest or a pastor should be consulted.

Jesus insists that the two are incompatible is expressed by the fact that it is the hardness of man's heart but right from creating God made them male and female.

However, in the Old Testaments times divorce could be allowed under certain circumstances though it was discouraged Hosea and his prostitute Gommer e.g. if one found a better Wife.

It could be allowed even with smaller crimes one would write a divorce letter.

But in mal 2:14-16 God expresses that he hates divorce.

It was from this attitude that Jesus expresses that no one should put asunder what God has put together.

The protestant churches therefore does not at all allow divorce.

The Roman Catholic hold the view that after marriage, divorce is not allowed, but can only be allowed where consummation has not taken place.

What problems do men face in trying to stick to the principle of 'one man one wife'

The principle of 'one man one wife' has led to sexual un satisfaction on the side of men who have high sexual desires particularly if wife is weak sexually.

Some men die without producing children in case of a barren and only wife.

In case of wife producing single sex some men are unhappy so continue with the desire for other sex.

In case wife produces dull dense children, sickness deformed it leads to frustrations.

It reduces on fan labour force and decrease production and need to live manpower.

Poverty is assured if one has lazy wife.

If the wife is a carrier of chronic illness such as Asthma, sickle cells; should it affect the children then the family is ruined.

In case one has a badly behaved wife or one who is sickly, or who does not know how to prepare good or above in bed, untidy she makes the man's life unhappy.

Outline the purposes and shortcomings of trial marriage

Trial marriage is a type of marriage where the custom allows females and males to stay together as married till children have been born and thereafter bride wealth can be paid.

Customarily, the two are considered married after parents have approved it and it is common among the Langis and Acholi.

The purpose of trial marriage is as follows:

It allows the boy and the girl to study each other and see the possibility of living together (compatibility).

The boy's family studies the girl's behaviour vis- avis and gives parents chance to approve.

To enable the family of the boy to accumulate dowry as required by culture.

To ensure that both are fertile if children are born.

It was necessary to prove whether partners were sexually healthy. There was no rule of prohibiting premarital sex.

It was imperative to prove whether the two are responsible i.e. hard working and can support themselves and family members.

It has to be realised that to a greater extent it had a lot of shortcomings or disadvantages as below:-

Done out of no love and rarely was it permanent because this is marriage for convenience/try and error.

It cheapened the institution of marriage which fails the purposes of giving oneself to the other.

The women is exploited not a companion/ complement as in Gen 2:18.

Possibility of marriage failing as one partner may pretend by sugar-coating oneself only to show true colours after the wedding therefore not a good test.

It is legalised immorality and lacks security and therefore a poor understanding of marriage.

It is manifestation of lack of seriousness in marriage obligation and duties.

Such marriages lack legal religious sanctions; in case of problem of death no proper explanation to her relatives.

If children are born and the mother not approved they are brought up without the mothers care.

When such a woman is neglected, due to financial constraints she may end up in prostitution.

It is time wasting and may end up missing chances which later leads to desperate situation such as suicide and the responsibility goes to the man.

Hatred between families, individuals may develop which destroy Christian harmony.

Some men may enjoy the situation of enjoying and wasting many girls as he will without entering full responsibility.

Such a relationship is never based on determination, real intention and proper decisions and even it one qualifies for marriage there may not be happiness.

It dehumanises marriage which is a divine institution (Gen.1: 26f).

Justify the view that childless marriages were not marriages.

Childless marriages were marriages and recognised in society.

Many barren women were even more loved, trusted by husband.

They were hard working and had many blessings in the home.

In case of immorality one was severely punished.

Except that they were discouraged so they tried all possible ways to avert the situation and this therefore explains the importance of children on stated below:-

In African traditional marriage was meant for procreation.

Childless marriages meant life could not be handled over from generation to another since life was like a relay race where each one has to handover the stick to completion.

Re- incarnation of parents and departed relatives is seen through children.

In some societies, moving from one stage to another (ladder) depended on number of children; the greater the number including grand children the more the respect.

In some societies girl children were preferred as source of wealth in form of dowry.

In others, especially warriors' preference was for boys for security reasons.

Through children family name is preserved.

In case of misunderstandings or neglect children consoled the mother.

Lack of children caused people to be polygamous.

Among the Bagisu part of the dowry is returned

Children ensured descent burial since among the Bakonzo the body is lashed with thorny stick if one had no children.

Children brought dignity and respect as expressed in some songs.

Children cared for graves and give libations.

No children, no resurrection no naming after and the Banyole burry one with a broom to show that one has swept oneself completely and therefore should not disturb.

As a Christian how would you advise childless couples?

A Christian should not have negative attitude but console.

Need teaching, children are gifts from God and besides there are other gifts.

Childless couples are advised to pray to God to help them live happy even without children.

Hannah in the Old Testament often prayed seeking God's providence.

Children are not the only reason for marriage but mutual love, comfort and support that the two can enjoy from one another.

Childless couples should desire to be in the Lord's presence.

Man and woman are created for companionship so partners should strive for this.

Childlessness can be a call from God and therefore a cross to carry.

God gives as he wishes therefore trust his providence without being swayed away.

Couples should have hope with trust because nothing is impossible; God can make miracles.

They should take care of orphans.

Adopt children whom they can care for.

Go for medical check up.

Avoid adultery

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