Editor's Comment

Divorces too many

THE rate at which marriages are breaking is deeply worrying. Statistics just released indicate that last year the country recorded over 25,000 divorce cases, representing a 5,000 rise compared to 2019. Infidelity is among the major reasons why couples sought divorce in the local courts.
It is worrying that while Zambia recorded 20,818 divorce cases in 2019, the number has this year increased to 25,851, translating to a 25 percent increase, with Eastern Province having the highest number of almost 5,000 cases.
The latest divorce rates in the local courts depressingly bring the cumulative number recorded in the last five years to over 86,000.
Two months ago, Minister of Justice Given Lubinda told Parliament that over 61,000 divorce cases were granted in local courts from 2016 to 2019.
This is a crisis of our time. How can we continue with business as usual when families are breaking down at such an alarming rate?
When we talk of 25,851 marriages breaking, these represent families. That means 25,851 families disintegrated last year alone. And over the last five years over 86,000 families disintegrated.
It is a known fact that a family unit is a building block to a stable society. It is strong marriages and families that anchor society. Without strong marriages and families, society crumbles.
The high rate of divorce therefore destabilises society and leads to many other challenges.
We know that responsible and productive citizens are nurtured in families.
It is in families where future leaders are groomed. When families break down, children are the most affected because they are deprived of an opportunity to grow up in a conducive environment where they can be nurtured into responsible and productive citizens.
Needless to say, divorce is one of the contributing factors to street kids, who in turn become criminals and terrorise citizens. Research validates that children who grow up in broken homes are likely to become delinquent.
The high divorce rates should therefore worry every responsible and progressive citizen who wants to see a much stronger and stable society.
The high divorce rate, which has been mainly attributed to infidelity, is a reflection of the degenerating morals in our society.
There’s need for people to understand the covenant of marriage before committing to the vows.
People must understand that God designed marriage to be a lifetime commitment. People are supposed to make informed decisions while in courtship on whether the person they are involved with is the one they would want to share the rest of their lives with.
People should know that marriage is not a walk in the park. It is hard work.
Falling in love is one easy part but maintaining a marriage requires commitment and hard work.
However, the challenge many young people have today is that their decision to marry is purely based on short-lived feelings of infatuation and lust.
When those feelings disappear, as they always do along the way, a marriage cannot stand if there’s no commitment.
There’s need for the Church and marriage counsellors to help young people who want to marry to understand the level of commitment expected in a marriage.
There’s also need to help young people to understand that marriage cannot be based on beauty or any other temporary attributes because such fade away with time.
Families will also do well to ensure that young people who desire to marry are taken through comprehensive counselling.
It is sad that people invest so much time and money to prepare for a colourful wedding celebration, which is just a day’s event, and yet neglect to prepare for the actual marriage, which is a lifetime commitment.
Most people marry without going through counselling while others just rush through the process because they are too busy preparing for the actual wedding event.
And when people get into marriage, they have no clue what is involved to run a successful marriage.
There’s need to strengthen the marriage counselling function of the Church.
There’s also need for more professional counsellors to come on board.
This is because couples do not only need premarital counselling but post-marital counselling as well.
When couples are faced with disputes in marriage, they need to seek counselling as opposed to keeping them to themselves.
This is what is leading to more divorce cases. It is said a problem shared is a problem solved.

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