The love of skewed values of life has been identified as one major factor for the breaking of marriages in the modern day world. This assertion was made by the Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren MSP, while reviewing the book: “Understanding Your Spouse before and after saying “I do.”
The book-launch ceremony which was attended by dignitaries and youths from different parts of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja; also featured the presentation of the service initiative: The Global Marriage Services by Action Family Foundation, an Abuja based non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The book was written by Mrs. Henrietta Okechukwu, Executive Director of the Foundation. The ceremony took place recently at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja.
According to Bishop Umoren: “What is partly responsible for this situation of marriage today is that today' s generation of young people go into marriage relationships with skewed values. Many young people want to marry a wealthy partner and are desperately seeking a life of comfort without seeking the values that make for a happy and holy life. They therefore end up mortgaging their lives and exchanging their happiness for the temporary pleasures of life.”
The bishop added: “This is why today many young couples seem to be overtaken by excessive planning and preparation for wedding, with exotic wedding gowns, elaborate photo shoots, and huge financial spending, without giving much attention to the spiritual and mental preparation for marriage.”
He added: “They spend a lot of time and resources preparing for wedding instead of preparing for marriage. The wedding ceremony takes only a couple of hours, but the life after wedding lasts 'till death do us part'. We need to help today's young people to focus on this priority; and this is exactly what Henrietta's book is really about.”
Giving a graphic picture of the joys and preparations that precede marriage ceremonies, by the two lovers, friends and members of families and during courtship, the book reviewer regretted that many marriages today are devoid of happiness. He declared: “We are inundated almost on a daily basis with harrowing tales of husband and wife who are unable to live together under the same roof and sometimes resort to violence even to the point of killing a partner.”
He continued: “Many young people, having observed the tragic situation of marriage and family life today, are giving up hope of ever starting a family. I have heard and seen young people today who say, 'If this is what marriage is, I prefer to remain single'. This seems to be the chorus on the lips of many young people in our society.”
Noting that the book is an invaluable guide for happy pre-marriage relationship that can lead to happy married life; Bishop Umoren stated: Henrietta's book is practical, down-to-earth and realistic.” He continued: “It does not presume that marriage is a bed of roses. Indeed, she describes marriage as "a rough ride" but one that will sail smoothly if we trust ourselves to the grace of God and play our own part.
He stated further: “Playing our own part means a lot of things, and all of these are contained in the book. The aim of the author in writing this important book is to help as many people as possible to find happiness, joy, and peace along the path of their own marriage journey by finding their suitable partner.”
The bishop added: “Every perceptive reader will see that the book brings together a rich menu of knowledge from psychology, theology, communication, personality development, economics, and spirituality, and integrates them into a simple framework for helping people intending to get married to discover who they really are as unique individuals.
“In fact at a certain point, Henrietta notes that the beauty of this journey of self-discovery happens sometimes when two young couples after attending marriage course decide that on the basis of what Henrietta has taught them and on their own experience of each other, they no longer think they are compatible for marriage; and then they honestly choose to go their separate ways;” Bishop Umoren disclosed.
He contended: “It is only true self-knowledge and sincerity that can lead two young people to arrive at this decision. The lesson is that it is better to put an end to an incompatible relationship today than to find yourself in an unhappy and sorrowful marriage tomorrow.”