Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA
MARRIAGE, according to God’s plan, is meant to be a lifetime union until a couple is separated by death.
Not the kind of death that is self-imposed or one that could have been avoided. The ‘till death do us part’ marriage vow does not mean falling in the lion’s den with your eyes open nor taking a partner’s life when the marriage hits the rocks.
Terminating a partner’s life as a quick exit from a miserable marriage, is not what the ‘till death do us part’ vow means.
Separating from one’s spouse by death should be a matter of God to decide because the Bible in Matthew 19:6 says that ‘What God has joined together, let no man separate’.
What this means is that killing one’s spouse as a quick fix for irreconcilable differences or as a cure for the pain of infidelity is wrong.
However, the rising cases of homicide involving married couples seem to suggest that some distraught spouses want to prompt the death separation from their spouses using the fist, machete or the bullet.
In my view, before things get to that extent, a couple that is always fighting should part ways than wait until they taint their hands with blood.
Perhaps it’s up to the victim of abuse sensing danger and fleeing for their life when a marriage gets turbulent and their partner poses a threat to their life.
No genuine person wants to see marriages disintegrate because of the negative effect of divorce on the family, children, society and not to talk about the emotional wound on the couple.
But a marriage that is potentially dangerous to the lives of the people involved is better off dissolved to avert tragedies.
When infidelity, mistrust and violence or unending conflicts become a way of life, a couple is better off separating than holding on to a disaster in waiting of a marriage just because society expects you to persevere.
Constant fights and threats of violence, whether verbal or physical should be a wakeup call on a couple to rethink their union – is it for good or bad.
If your wife pours hot water on you; a husband beats you to pulp; or he or she threatens to shoot you, believe you me, these are ‘red flags’ that you should ignore only at your own peril.
Victims of domestic violence – including those that have been killed or maimed by their partners – are people that had at one time been abused but they suffered quietly, perhaps hoping that their partners would change with time.
Some endure domestic violence for the sake of their children, while others do so for economic security, or to avoid the unfair divorcee tag from judgemental members of society.
Normally, a spouse will not become abusive or sexually immoral overnight, indicators are there even in courtship but most of us choose to ignore them hoping things would get better in marriage.
Even then, having had made a mistake in the past is no reason to succumb to an abusive marriage and condemn yourself to a life of endless abuse.
Not that am a divorce advocate, but the fact is, current happenings among married couples seem to suggest that some marriages are a death trap.
Quite alright, divorce is a bad thing and actually God says he hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). His idea is that couples should live together until separated by death.
In God’s design for marriage, a couple can only divorce when one commits adultery (Matthew 5:32: 19:9) or when one is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse on account of their faith in Christ (1Corinthian 7:15).
In my view, to live together till death parts them, a couple should love each other, forgive each other, be faithful to each other and of course live in harmony, though differences cannot be completely ruled out.
Divorce comes in because in our human nature, we fail to observe God’s prescribed rules of marriage.
The point is, people want to play double standards by wanting to continue enjoying the fruits of marriage without following the covenant rules.
When infidelity comes in or spouse battering creeps in with the offending party showing no signs of reforming, a couple is better off separating than sticking in there and later adding to the death statistics.
What is better separating, and seeking help or suffering quietly and putting your life and sometimes your children’s lives at risk?
When the ‘red flag’ is raised, it is better to keep a distance from an abusive partner, and possibly withdrawing children too if you are dealing with a nutty spouse.
In some of the bizarre incidences of homicide, we have heard of some estranged spouses killing children before taking their own lives.
So if you are dealing with a spouse who has made attempts on your life or exhibited strange violent behaviour, it’s better that children are separated from him or her, if need be, by an order of the court.
Apart from domestic violence, infidelity and suspicion of being cheated on by one’s spouse are common reasons for bizarre spouse killings.
Where infidelity is the cause of marital disharmony, biblically speaking, one is at liberty to call it quits if the pill is too bitter to swallow.
Forgiving a cheating spouse should be a matter of choice and those who can’t forgive should peacefully separate from their spouses.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia director Pukuta Mwanza is right to say that divorce is a lesser evil than murdering a spouse.
“If you can’t agree with your partner, it is better to part ways. Divorce is a lesser evil compared to murdering your friend,” Reverend Mwanza told the Sunday Mail last week,
In my view, if you can’t forgive an adulterous spouse, let him or her go.
There is no need to kill even if you catch them in the act because the consequences of taking the law into your own hands are quite tough.
What’s more, if there are children involved, they will suffer more when they are deprived of parental care by the death of one parent and imprisonment of another.
It’s better to call it quits and allow your broken heart to mend than go to jail. There is a place for healing in every broken heart especially if one seeks help from professional counsellors.
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