Marriages are crumbling and the trend is growing, raising concern, not only for Rwanda but also for the entire world, Rev. Canon Dr Antoine Rutayisire, a Senior Pastor at St. Peter’s Remera Parish of the Anglican Church has warned.
“All over the world, families are falling apart. People are getting wealthier, people are getting more educated, but families are falling apart, and [getting] miserable,” Rutayisire said.
He used the platform of the Anglican Church’s annual celebration of Father’s Union on Sunday to deliver a warning against rushing into marriage because of the desire for material wealth.
Rutayisire’s warning comes at a time when Supreme Court figures show that cases of divorce have been rising gradually, from 21 cases in 2016, to 69 in 2017, and 1,311 in 2018.
He said the figure portrayed a growing trend of disintegrating families.
Indeed, these figures imply that cases of divorce increased by more than 62 times, or over 6,200 per cent in the last three years.
“And those [cases] are for those who dared to go to court. Those who are living miserably in their homes are more than that,” he stated.
Rutayisire made the observation while addressing the congregation during a sermon he delivered at Remera Parish in Kigali on Sunday.
Citing Psalms 127, he encouraged the public to build their families based on “true” love and respect for God and each other.
The Remera Parish welcomed 31 new members into Father’s Union.
Fathers’ Union is a forum for married men promoting Christ-Centred families. It was introduced by the Parish in 2008 and it has been adopted by other parishes in the country, according to Anglican Church leaders.
At Remera Parish alone, the forum has over 300 members.
Rutayisire said that the forum prepares people to build their homes according to God’s planning, homes that please God and bless people.
“It intends to build homes where three major things happen: one, a place where God is honoured; two, a place where husband and wife are happy, and make each other happy, where they will find blessing and peace; three, a place where children are even healthy and enjoy a health climate to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually,” Rutayisire observed.
James Kazubwenge, Chairman of Fathers’ Union at St. Peter’s Remera Parish, said that the main and factors for failing families include adultery and domestic violence, adding that this adversely affects the family welfare.
“A person who obeys God does not commit adultery. When you are in Fathers’ Union, you love your wife and properly take care of your home, such that the family remains united,” he said.
Jean d’Amour Mugiraneza and Angélique Mukanyandwi got married seven years ago.
Jean d’Amour Mugiraneza and his wife Angélique Mukanyandwi speak to the media about how ‘Fathers’ Union’ is helping them make their marriage successful and happier, at St. Peter’s Remera Parish, yesterday. / Emmanuel Ntirenganya
The couple has two children, and testifies that they have benefited a lot from the Union, to which Mugiraneza is a member.
“Today marriages are disintegrating because some people get more interested in material possessions when dating. When the wealth decrease after marriage, one of the couples rush for divorce,” she said.
For us, she noted, we don’t have any plan to separate, nor any idea towards that because we have built our relationship on Jesus Christ, not ethnicity, possessions, and we stick to the marriage.