Marriage and Vows
A young woman who for the purpose of context I must mention hails from the Eastern part of Nigeria, let’s call her New Bride, gives me an invite to her wedding and just because I am both traditional and good natured I tend to honour almost all wedding invites I get. Got myself ready on day of wedding and arrived at the church right on the hour the church service was slated for 10:00am on a Saturday right in the middle of town only for bride to arrive 1 hour 30 minutes behind schedule — I mean, the bride arrived late to her own event I was disappointed since these were fundamental Christians.
Well service started, ended, reception commenced at same venue food, drink, dance and I take my leave.
Several weeks later I bump into NB and the brat in me just had to ask her why she arrived late for her wedding. And the following conversation ensued.
PB: newest bride how is your hubby?
NB : aunty thank you for honouring our IV, when I told hubby had invited you he didn’t think you will honour the invite
PB: well it is nothing. You though, didn’t show much regard for your guests, you arrived late or is that like a new trend?
NB: oh no aunty the distance we had to cover to the venue was a lot
PB: then you should have made arrangements to stay in a hotel near your own event it would have saved you a lot of hassle and embarrassment coming late for your wedding.
A bit of context. I am generally gentle even when admonishing it is always done with empathy and from a place of love. So I wasn’t just berating her harshly, you get?
The next thing she said shocked me.
NB: oh aunty I actually live in town but had to go sleep in pastor’s house(pastor lives in the suburb) it is the tradition of our church that bride to be arrives church from pastor’s home to avert groom and bride getting in the sack before the big day.
PB: With all of the circuitry fuse in my brain flashing and going zing! zing!! zing!!! I said without thinking but you are already married.
She stares at me blankly and I continued, saying; I thought you went to the East for formal introduction some months back? She nodded in affirmation and said ‘my wine carrying was in August’ (the church ceremony took place in November).
The conversation had quickly turned awkward for her so I hugged her wishing her a fruitful marital life and went my way.
As I walked towards my car I couldn’t help but analyze the whole charade in my mind. This of course happened a while back but thinking about it lately, decided I’d write this article to express my views on marriage, vows, sex and everything in between
So at what point does marriage occur? Is it at:
Church: where a church may or may not have the license to join a couple
Traditional Ceremony: At home with your parents, siblings, and other extended family members in attendance
The Court: at a civil ceremony conducted by a court official known as registrar.
I am primarily of the opinion that a union or marriage is entered /created the moment parents on both sides give their consent and blessing. everything after that is fluff and white noise, an excuse to throw money away, of course if money is no object by all means go on and engage in multiple events and throw a lavish party if however you live on a budget and you still feel compelled to engage in this charade well …….. Shall we say you are dull? – Idk, you answer.
- Formal Introduction
- Court Registration
- Engagement Party
- Church/Nikkai Ceremony
- Wedding Party
We after all conducted marriages long before the arrival of European explorers and their missionary counterpart.
A marriage conducted after the format of our ancestors is recognised under customary law. So why the heck do we duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate, a single event why? Not only is it wasteful of resource: time, energy and money it also portrays our copy and paste nature and the widespread attitude of not thinking things through: being easily influenced by foreign thought and culture
I am aware that though such a union is recognised in law it does have its limitation in that in the event of irreconcilable differences neither of the parties can claim for the settlement of the properties acquired individually or collectively during the union. So a certificate from a court will be appropriate or in order.
The practice, of multiple ceremonies and parties to mark a singular event is wasteful and should be discouraged. Anyhow, in the midst of all these waste we also have pretentious enactment made by supposed ‘men of god’ that require ‘bride to be’ pass the night in his home so as to prevent the couple rumpling in the sack before the church ceremony, wtf!!
I was genuinely shocked when NB explained why she was late for her wedding. Common! This is the 21st century folks! — get out there and get some education SEX is not evil and consenting adults having sex is nobody’s business — yes that includes their pastor. And BTW marriage is a social construct meaning god didn’t invent marriage we did (humans) and for good reason too. So all this nonsense talk about god, sex, adultery, fornication, celibacy, abstinence are all ingrained in mind control agenda of clergy —I may well say it here religion is a tool of control in the hand of those who run things (politicians).
Is marriage really god ordained?
Man invented marriage to foster social cohesion and improve economic benefit. Long before the church hijacked it and introduced its controlling rules marriages were conducted simply and irreconcilable differences were mediated fairly & equitably by the elders of the clan or community.
Then enters the church and marriage becomes a sacrament with controlling rules soon enough government wedged its foot in and legalized marriage introducing a marriage license for a fee hence marriage became a contractual agreement between two individuals. It is interesting to note that marriage licenses were first introduced in the 14th century in England and in 1639 in North America. Massachusetts first and later spreading to other jurisdiction.
Arguably the intrusion of church and government into marriage has its upside but I like to think that two sincere, matured, individuals who have sound ethics and integrity should know to conduct themselves in a union without interference from state or church.
Is sex a sin?
The incessant preachment of clergy about how evil sex is and abstinence or monogamous relationship being the panacea to sexual sinfulness is bogus. Sexual repression is dangerous as evidenced in clergy itself being involved in sexual abuse and ‘men of god’ are unable to abide by the ‘till death do us part’ oath. A simple google search with the right key words will deliver loads of scandals involving clergy caught with women other than their spouse.
Monogamy natural or not
The growing number of those who opt for consensual non-monogamous relationship is a telling sign of something amiss with modern monogamy.
I like to think this growing counter culture group has always existed and have become more brazen of late with the advent of Internet technology; Specifically polyamory a subset of polygamy (which by the way was pretty standard in indigenous cultures with a man having multiple female partners) is one of such CNM relationships slowly gaining acceptance. According to This study about 4-5% of North Americans are involved in polyamorous relationships and polyamory BTW made its way into Oxford dictionary in 2006.
I am in no way advocating for polyamory just pointing out a growing trend. One could argue the rigidity of monogamy and its tendency to encourage pettiness makes it unappealing in the 21st century. Divorce should only be considered when all else has failed but maybe individuals are too quick to jump into marriage in the first place. The openness, honesty & fluidity of polyamory is warming and acceptable to those who engage, in contrast monogamy tend to laud jealousy and possessiveness; which is a sign of insecurity IMO. True love does not possess nor seek to own another. Love lets you be.
There is an ideal marriage
I think it is this perfect union many of us seek yet it eludes us because we fall short as the conditions or prerequisites are incredibly high. The underlying force of such a union is pure unadulterated love not to be confused with love associated with sexual attraction. The partners of such a union would have transcended petty human qualities and will function as high energy vibrating beings such a union would not require the interference of religion or state the force of love will be adequate to guide the union. A rarity but does exist.