Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
DEAR Raphael and Namukolo,
I have observed with dismay an alarming increase in spouse killings. What is your take on the causes?
Your concern is a valid one but there is no single cause. It is a compound problem comprising of many factors which have accumulated and consolidated over the years. Here are some possible causes.
1. Population increase: There was a time when the population of Zambia stood at 3.5 million. It now stands at approximately 16 million. Such astronomical growth in the past 50 years also means an increase in both good and bad practices among the citizens. Stress levels are equally increased as it has become more difficult to maintain a good standard of living; employment is hard to come by; traffic has increased leading to traffic jams in the bigger towns.
2. A terribly weakened church, which has diverted from its core business of preaching the gospel and producing genuine disciples for Christ. Very little time is devoted to preparing couples for wedlock. The end result is that people enter marriage without being assisted to discover and address their character defects. And so they find themselves unable to manage their anger, for example. Churches must also ensure that they have a strong counselling ministry to which couples in trouble could easily turn to. There must be couples fellowships to provide a forum at which married couples can freely mingle and share their challenges. At such a place, many couples have come to discover that their challenges are not unique to themselves. They also learn from each other how to resolve their differences amicably.
3. The role of the electronic and social media: The modern society is highly influenced by the electronic media. And the contents of the electronic media are to a large extent influenced by the sexual revolution. As a result, the following things are glorified; cheating on one’s spouse has been made fashionable (in fact, the theme in many soap operas revolve around cheating spouses), and violence (life is cheapened and bloodshed has become entertainment). What is considered a good movie nowadays is one with a good dosage of violence; nudity; sex and bad language. Bad music and music videos are equally contributing to the breakdown of moral standards. It has also been established that some video games can produce violent or even suicidal behaviour.
4. Increase in abuse of drugs and alcohol. Abuse of alcohol and drugs will make one to behave irresponsibly and in marriage, such behaviour might be violence. Hear what the wise man has to say about the drunkard.
Proverbs 23:29-30 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
5. Breakdown of the family unit: There are many who have grown up in makeshift families. They grew up either without both parents or they were brought up by a single parent. Others although they might have been brought up by both parents yet the parents were irresponsible. We therefore have a whole generation of adults who grew up without proper parenting. They never learnt how to relate peacefully with other human beings in general and members of the opposite sex in particular.
6. Easy access to firearms: Our Government might need to relook at the licensing process for obtaining firearms. For example, are there enough background checks being carried out on the people who are buying firearms?
7. A highly permissive society: As a result of the combination of the above factors, the modern society has become a highly permissive one with a cheapened view of marriage. Marriage is carelessly entered into without adequate preparations.
A hit and run, crisis management type of approach will not do much to rid our country of gender-based violence. The government, the church, schools and parents must work together to bring up children who will grow into responsible adults.
Our children need to be protected from all manner of negative influence.
Is it not strange that the very western countries which are the major exporters of negative morals to the rest of the world, are in the forefront in their own countries coming up with stringent measures to protect their children from the same vices? African countries need to quickly wake up to the need to come up with effective registration aimed at protecting our children.
These days even some cartoon and children television channels are guilty of championing moral vices like nudity, promiscuity, homosexuality, violence etc. They must quickly be identified and collective action taken against them.
If we do not invest in our children, the problem will only grow worse as we will be reaping what we had sown.
Proverbs 15:1, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
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