The courts supervise marriages, authenticating matrimonial relationships, including divorce cases. Culture and tradition have a role, but the courts have the final say. On the surface, this appears normal. But the world’s tragic relational flaws point to there being problems with this arrangement.
What is marriage? And how did it come to be embedded in society?
Marriage is a formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized in law by which the two become husband and wife. This facilitates handling disputes associated with inheritance, where children are involved.
What about the illegal marriages? Without other mechanisms, anyone can speculate that illegal marriages are responsible for the horrific sins that snowball into known evils of the world. But, when carefully analyzed, marital problems are not restricted to illegitimate marriages.
Divorce cases choke the courts. Marriage certificates do not guarantee marital discords. Matrimonial harmonies also do exist among the illegitimate marriages. Apparently, the legally constituted marriages are based on unsustainable grounds.
Authentic marriages come only from the originator of human life—Jesus Christ. He holds the significance of human existence, as clarified before His extraordinary ascension to Heaven. Marriage has got nothing to do with religion. But it holds the significance of human existence.
Unfortunately, the agents of religion usurped everything and made a religion out of what Jesus taught. The name ‘Jesus’ is now difficult to mention without being associated with religion, or being labelled ‘Christian’. But Jesus’ mission is about human survival, without religious consideration. In one of His confrontational bouts with the Law-keepers, Jesus clarified the meaning of Marriage:
Some Pharisees came to him, to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.
“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for reason of fornication, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.” (Matthew 19:3-11 NIV).
Interestingly, even some of His disciples could not fathom the meaning of marriage, though being His followers. They still held to the institutionalized meaning of marriage, as understood, even today. How could the two become one in marriage, for the separation to then become impossible?
Jesus, as author of human life, provided a simple answer, without ritualistic governing codes. He dissolved all forms of religion at the cross (Col. 2:14). But an ordinary person cannot understand, except those to whom it is given (Matt. 19:11).
Jesus did not have any problem with those disregarding His teachings, as long as they did not identify with Him. There was no problem with the Jews, continuously keeping such regulations according to Moses. There is also no problem with the Moslems doing it according to their Koran. The same applies, even with those following cultural traditions, including the regulatory guidelines from the law courts.
The only problem is with those pretending to be followers of Christ, yet subscribing to conditional love. Yet God’s love is unconditional, as necessary for marriages to work. When one holds special reason for marrying someone, that reason becomes the cause of problems in that marriage, including future generations.
As prescribed by Jesus, marriage is the fibre of relational problems across the globe. The Zimbabwean problems emanate from discordant marriages. When experiencing intolerances—politically, religiously, racially, tribally, ethnically and socially; the root cause is failure to adopt the prescription of marriage, as proffered by Jesus.
Marriage, according to Jesus, is not mechanical or religious. But it projects a divine solution that addresses the hitherto unsolvable world problems. In marriage, the two become one, just as human beings should be viewed as one, across the world.
Another fellow human being is just as good as me. That person’s flaws become mine. As characterized in marital failures, the meaning of: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44) cannot be fathomed. But this expression projects what solidifies authentic marriages.
The national problems cannot be addressed effectively, without attending to the causes of marital failures. The proper description of marriage transcends into solutions on all problems, not only in Zimbabwean, but also internationally. Any society is as good as its marital values are kept intact. But any society is as bad as it holds no value on the sanctity of marriage.
(This is an edition to the article posted on 22 April 2016).
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other countries worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabwean readers should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99