YOUR FAMILY MATTERS with PASTOR CHANDA
THURSDAY, August 31, 2017: This is the last day of August. Yet, the month is ending on a very sober and sombre mood for me.
This is because I stumbled across a newspaper cutting that showed that divorce cases were on the rise in Zambia. This is very bad for us as a nation.
The article was published in the Zambia Daily Mail of August 28, 2017. It was headlined, Zambia records 28,000 cases of divorces, East tops all.
Since we have 365 days in a year, it means that approximately 77 marriages are being dissolved each day.
That is a disaster. I do not know how else to call it. I say this because strong marriages lead to strong families, which lead to strong societies and strong nations.
When marriages are being dissolved all over the place, you will soon reap a very weak and divided nation.
It is important that we look at the main reasons given for divorces and seek to do everything in our power to redress them.
Jesus said sin would always happen. However, he warned against those who perpetuate sin, saying that God would punish them severely.
The first common reason given for divorce is violence, cruelty, and ill-treatment.
This is the case in Eastern Province and Western Province, the two provinces with, by far, the highest level of divorce cases.
No-one can live in a context where one’s life is at stake.
Violence is often a result of people who grow up thinking that the best way to resolve a dispute is through the show of might.
They lose their temper, threaten, insult, and punch their spouse. Many individuals have been killed by the very people who once loved them.
This goes against the sixth commandment, which says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). This commandment is not only against murder but against every form of violence.
God expects us to love our neighbour and our nearest neighbour is our spouse in marriage.
The second common reason given for divorce is adultery. This is especially so on the Copperbelt.
In Africa, we have the notion that a man who is faithful to his wife is weak.
The wife must have given him some charms. A real man is one who has concubines all over town.
This view goes against the seventh commandment in the Bible, which says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
God takes very seriously the promises we make on our wedding day, one of which says, “Forsaking all others, I will only cling to you until I die.”
The third most common reason for divorces, especially in Northern Province, was the love of money and material things.
This points to situations where people get into marriage for wrong reasons.
They do not love the person they marry but the possessions he or she has.
Such marriages do not last because someone else soon shows up with even more of this world’s goods and the first marriage suffers a mortal wound.
Excuses are given as to why the first marriage is bad when in fact the main reason is that the person wants more money.
Such a person breaks the eighth commandment of the Bible, which says, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
When someone enters your life with an eye on your possessions, they are gaining access to your possessions that you would not have given them if you had known.
The fourth most common reason given for divorces, especially in North-Western Province, is mistrust.
In Lusaka, this included interference from friends and relatives, as well as poor communication between spouses. In short, sins of the lips break up marriages.
The ninth commandment says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).
Very few people heed this counsel. Gossip and slander do their rounds in families and among close friends, resulting in mistrust between married partners.
Thankfully, once people who break these commands of God realise that what they have been doing is wrong and ask both God and their spouse for forgiveness, there is hope.
If we can only repent of our wrongdoing, our marriages will not need to end in divorce.
For comments & confidential counsel, write to: reverendchanda@ yahoo.com or call or SMS to 0974250084.