By Chioma Ndife
The auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev, Jonas Benson Okoye, says the golden jubilee celebration of any marriage is the product of patience.
Bishop Okoye who noted that marriage thrived on concerted efforts, stated this during the 50th marriage anniversary of Sir and Lady Alphonsus Ezeume, Saturday, October 27, at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Adazi-Ani, stressing that couples must learn to accept each other's inadequacies.
The Catholic Prelate, who has handled marital cases as a judge at Awka Diocesan Tribunal, disclosed the challenges faced by married couples and beckoned on couples to understudy the understanding, respect, love, faithfulness and acceptance of one another's challenges that existed in marriages in the olden days, which he said, stood the test of time.
He maintained that an early recognition that marriage was not a bed of roses, but one laced with acceptance of each other's deficiencies by intending couples, would help to reduce the rate at which people divorced their partners.
He congratulated the celebrants for attaining the golden marital age and expressed conviction that the couple were able to live together because they were able to make some sacrifices at various stages in their marriage.
He described the celebrants as candidates of heaven, having endured the heat of marriage for 50 years. He observed that marriage had no particular formula to be adopted to guarantee a happy and successful marriage and argued that married couples must task themselves in order to adopt a formula that would work for them.
Bishop Okoye who regretted the frequent spate of divorce cases witnessed in recent times, pinpointed the dangers of third party involvement in marriages, saying that such should be avoided by couples who wanted their marriage to last long.
He said that the physical and emotional trauma which children from broken homes passed through could be corrected if couples learned to bear with one another.
Such trauma, according to Bishop Okoye who is a Canon Law specialist, predisposed society to bitter persons who were passionate about nothing and added less value to the people around them. He said such anomaly could be corrected my couples who were devoted to their family and willingly accepted the various sacrifices that came to them for the sake of their children and society.
He charged the celebrants to start organizing or attending various marriage seminars to assist young and intending couples to have adequate understanding of what marriage entailed.
In his words, 'At this stage in your married life, it is very important that you give teachings to couples who intend to go into married life or young marriages still struggling to survive. I believe that both of you have gathered experience and have come to understand marriage better than these young ones. Your teachings and advice will help those struggling with one marital challenge or the other to get stable again, hence making their own marriage to work.'