YOU can’t pretend neither can you act like it does not matter. Every woman needs, craves and longs for the day that she wears a white gown, with her face covered in a sensational white veil and a sparkling ring on her finger that proclaims--‘Taken!’
Why marry in the first place is a question many will ask when they look at the weight associated with the marriage institution. Understanding the meaning and purpose of marriage is vital for anyone, even for marriage denouncers.
According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, marriage is defined as, “The institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family; an intimate or close union.”
“When I was growing up, I always thought that I would never marry. I was born out of a marriage, I never grew up with my mom or dad and did not understand what it meant to be brought up in a proper family,” said 27-year-old, Joan Mutamba.
Mutamba changed her mind three years ago when she understood the importance of accepting marriage as, ‘a holy state of matrimony’ if she was to deal with her past fears and doubts. She blames her previous doubts on society’s distorted perception of marriage.
“The reason why people do not believe in marriage is because they listen and believe in people who marry for the wrong reasons,” Mutamba said passionately, “they are not prepared for marriage, then they co-habit, some rush into it, and when they get there they do not even protect their marriages and end up in divorce.”
The result she said are, “people dying of AIDS, orphans and street children who grow up blaming themselves for their parent’s mistakes.”
In earlier generations, almost everyone married and stayed married, usually because they wanted children. Today more selfish options have presented themselves.
Unlike popular modern day beliefs that have crafted the successful woman as career oriented, ambitious and strong, Rwandan society values a woman who abandons ambition, pursues marriage and career while raising a family in a proper and stable home setting.
True, research shows that marriage is good for your mental and physical health, sex life and bank account. And while people are still marrying, they are also marrying more often; take an example of Kigali’s traffic jam over the weekends caused by wedding convoys.
“No amount of pain or suffering in my past will stop me from getting married,” Mutamba said, adding that, “…besides I do not want my children to go through the hardships I went through while I was growing up.”
Mutamba assures that in a proper family setting where there is a mother and father, children acquire basic education that is vital for their proper upbringing because they, “need love from both their parents to thrive.”
It’s holy, biblical and God created marriage to be eternal.
Jessica Karingirwa is 28 years old, happily married for three years, has two children and carries on with a fulfilling career.
“Nothing can compare to the fulfillment attained in a marriage,” Karingirwa said.
Karingirwa believes marriage is an organizer of natural desires.
“When your clock starts ticking, it’s only natural that your needs get met. When you move out of home and your parents care, you feel the need to belong and stay with someone. To avoid becoming morally promiscuous, you get married,” she said.
In other words, marriage is a way to handle natural inclinations such as sex drives and urges to procreate as well as to meet daily needs between partners.
The issue of pursuing a career, Karingirwa believes is no excuse to ditch marriage.
“Getting married is not the end of your career. You can balance your time practically, have children when you are younger, bring them up and they will see parents as their friends because they are there for them,” she said.
Karingirwa argues that when married women are more than capable of performing their responsibilities as employees, wives and mothers. “You can develop your career anytime because, it will always be there. When you are 45 with a successful career, how will you get kids?”
The Rwandan culture, Rwirangirwa said, “respects women who are married because they believe they are responsible and capable of managing more responsibility that why they get promoted further at their jobs.”
This means; finality is getting a ring on that finger.