Sadly, a week ago it was reported that Suzanne Hinn, wife to ‘superstar’ pastor Benny Hinn had filed for divorce in the Orange County court in California after thirty years of marriage citing irreconcilable differences.
I believe that Rwandan can draw some lessons about marriage from this piece of news. Despite a lavish wedding and heartfelt wedding vows, divorce is a challenge to reckon with in the marriage institution.
I was particularly intrigued with the word ‘irreconcilable’; it clashed with what I’d heard being preached by religious leaders about reconciliation.
Christians are taught that even our greatest enemies can enjoy the fruits of reconciliation through the power of prayer. I was taught this every Sunday and I had come to believe it to be true.
Marriage is an interesting thing. Although people assume that it is something that will last an entire lifetime I have personally seen the other side of the equation.
My late uncle elderly wife had threatened to divorce him few years ago before he died, a colleague of mine separated with the mother of his seven children, while one half brother of mine divorced his wife, saw his wife remarry, give birth to a child, divorce and then remarry him again!
It would be quite amusing if I wasn’t married myself but I am. And I know that that there is no guarantee that my marriage will last ‘til death does us part’. I mean, if Benny Hinn, who is probably the world’s most famous preacher, whose TV broadcasts on various TV networks are watched by millions of people around the world nearly everyday, can be among the people with failed marriages who is safe ?.
My mind now turned to Kigali’s incessant wedding meetings and accompanying ceremonies. Every single weekend of the year Kigali is inundated with church weddings, civil marriages, introductions, wedding meetings you name it.
The occasions and the accompanying celebrations are not done with any sinister motives. Here is a warning to the many young people exchanging marriage vows; these vows have nothing to do with staying married.
While these vows are a public display of the commitment that the two have made, what is most important is what happens away from everyone’s glare. A stable marriage is the best thing that family and friends can hope for.
But, truly, how many couples make their families and friends proud of their stable marriages? Many fail. The thing is, divorce proceedings aren’t celebrated in quite the same manner.
Many of our grandparents are great men and women who had brought up our parents after faithfully enduring the challenges in marriage. These should be our role models.
James Tasamba is a journalist with The New Times