Rev. Dr Antoine Rutayisire, a senior Pastor at Anglican Church of Rwanda-Remera parish, said that ignorance of marriage, stress and fear of age were the main causes of the collapse of many families in Rwanda.
He revealed this during an exclusive interview he had with The Gospel Time’s Frederic Byumvuhore, in which he talked more about social trends in Rwanda, such as divorce and unwanted pregnancies.
Dr Rutayisire believes that there are a variety of reasons of family damage.
He said: “What destroys one family is not what destroys another. So, there are so many factors that contribute to the ruin of families,”
Ignorance and pressure
The reason number one is ignorance. Many people start families without knowing why they are doing that. They just go. Sometimes, you speak to people to know why they got married and their responses are funny like I was getting older… but getting older is not a reason to get married. If you get married because you are old, you are already missing the purpose of marriage.
Others will tell you that they were tired of parents’ pressure. Families get destroyed, as I said, by ignorance in many areas. You do not know the purpose; you do not have the advisors. We are not educated well, not informed at all about how to build a family. We are taught how to do Mathematics, how to take pictures, how to write articles but nobody taught us how to live with wife or husband.
Sometimes people say that in the past families were solid, yes it was because we lived together (uncles, aunts and cousins) were around. In the past, the possibilities of marrying away from home were very limited. It was rare to see someone from Kirehe got married to a partner from Nyamasheke. It was a kind of a combination of families: children and parents living around. Thus, when the things started going wrong, families would immediately intervene and solve the problem. But today families are living far away and when domestic conflicts start they explode before anybody is aware of it.
Social media and modernization
Again, the context we are living in is another problem. Every morning a wife and husband leave home to work. Each can stay in contact with other relatives: men or women who look more attractive than yours. This also could create unfaithfulness and disappointment. In the past a wife and a husband would go to the field together, took lunch together. They were always around each other. But today it is contrary.
Social media is another issue. Many couples spend much time on Instagram, Whatsapp among other digital platforms talking to the people who are far away while they are supposed to be talking to their partners. This also creates conflicts and encourages unfaithfulness. According to me, it is all caused by not knowing the purpose of marriage.
God created man and wife in His image so that they would be God oriented. And being God oriented is very important because once you are oriented to God you bear in mind that there are some things you are allowed to do, others not. For instance, I know that I can’t commit adultery because God is watching me.
I will never commit adultery because God told me to never be unfaithful to my wife. God created home so that men and women should satisfy each other and stay happy.
Families are formed to bring up children who honor God. The problem is that families just feed the children but forgetting to create an atmosphere where the children grow up.
Furthermore, unwanted pregnancies are part of that. Unwanted pregnancies have always existed even during the time of our ancestors. But they were reduced because every man was responsible and knew if he impregnated a girl, the girl’s family would be angry with him and every adult knew that the child of his neighbor was his child. That sense of being a parent is no longer there. Today, you find old people with grey hair impregnating teenagers. You find a leader- mayor, executives, pastors who should be responsible for these kids, but they are the ones destroying their lives.
Some young ladies living in the cities are tempted with small things such as phones, and perfumes among others.
Also, poverty plays a big role. Urbanization has made many young ladies living far away from their homes and others stay home when their parent are away. Lack of education, awareness on God’s presence is another problem. Parents may not be around but God is always there watching us.