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Opinions of Friday, 22 April 2016

Columnist: Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo

A major reason for the current rampant breakdown of many marriages and courtships

Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo


Many marriages and romantic relationships never really crystallize into productive friendships or successful marital establishments because the people involved do not begin the relationship in the right way. In reality, there is no real marriage or courtship on any solid foundation for such situations, although the people involved and those around them keep thinking or believing that there is a genuine love relationship in operation.

Several things are disposable in our time --- disposal diapers, disposable syringes, disposable plates, disposable cutlery etc., so we are unconsciously conditioned in our minds to also engage in disposable dating and courting relationships, and disposable marriages! Solemn!

Some marriages are actually “dead on arrival”. There are several divorce cases caused by incompatibility, whereby couples discover that it is practically impossible to live together because nothing seems to fit together properly between them.

They experience serious personality conflicts, differences of opinions, long physical separation, mistrust and distrust, differences of interests, irreversible hostile feelings, diametrically opposite lifestyles and beliefs, resentment, different goals and objectives, and separate outlooks in life. In many cases the partners cannot be compatible intellectually, domestically, spiritually, sexually, and emotionally.

Incompatible courting individuals also find out that they cannot click together at all in any way, and find themselves completely opposite to each other in all the most important aspects of a sweet and fruitful relationship that is meant for marriage. It is always better to quit at that stage in a courtship, than to force and marry, and then later divorce and create more damage.

If the required godly and wise rules and principles necessary for the consistent building and establishment of a good marriage or productive love relationship are broken and diluted by the people involved from the very beginning of the association, then they should not expect to have a successful courtship or marriage relationship.

In my opinion, the worst cases are when they start the relationship in deception, immorality, ignorance, rebellion, lies, greed, haste, and with an ungodly lifestyle; or when the marriage is forced (ex. because the lady became pregnant; or is travelling abroad and must, therefore, marry someone very quickly); or is done in frustration (ex. anxiety to have children or financial help, or solve an unexpected problem of loneliness).

The truth is that fruits of joy cannot emerge out of a tree grown in poor soil without “joyful nutrients”, or soil infused with “sad chemicals”. Fertilizers of change and nourishment could be added, if the lack of required nutrients is discovered early enough, and the people are determined to work diligently for change, modification, and restoration.

One of the primary reasons for the tragedy of several seemingly sweet courtships and happy marriages being on the rocks today is the poor knowledge and lack of understanding of the real meaning of marriage, which is exacerbated by the absence of the fundamental ingredients necessary for any courtship or marriage to survive and thrive. The foundation then becomes very poor and very shaky.
This causes several courtships and marriages to be dead on arrival as I already said. In such cases, the people (or other people around them) could call the relationship “courtship” or “marriage”, but it would not be any proper and enduring courtship or marriage in reality.


In my opinion, Marriage is a committed romantic sexual covenant relationship between one man and one woman that demonstrates the best form of love, ordained by God for a common bond and an exclusive union that constitutes the highest institution of God on earth, through which other human beings enter the world to create families, develop into productive individuals with defined destinies, become sources of blessings for society, worship God as a lifestyle, and are used by God to fulfill His highest purposes in the world.

Hahaha! Wow! What a complex and winding definition of Dr. Kisseadoo for marriage! But I believe that if you take time to digest what I am trying to convey, you will finally agree that the basic tenets of society for marriage are embodied in my apparent winding definition.

How can you utilize any system or tool properly, or manage an institution effectively, when you have no clue as to what it really is, or have been misled about its definition and real application?

Some marriages and courtship problems are so terrible that the people involved look like chickens running around with their heads cut off! Or like a deer in the middle of the road at night starring at a vehicle with its high beam shining in its face.

I remember the case of a friend who defended his Master of Biology thesis, and collected masses of data for two years and presented without a single statistical analysis. When the examiners asked him why he had no trace of statistics in his analysis, he simply stood starring at them.

When one examiner mentioned the use of, for example, Split Plot Design, or Randomized Block Design for his field experiments on plant growth, he even starred more into their faces in a stupor.

The fact is that he had no idea about these methods in experimentation, and his Advisor (or Major Professor) was in a state confusion as well because he never mentioned it to him either.

One of the examiners shook his head and told him: “You don’t know what you are about.” The graduate student was asked to go back and spend another year to repeat some experiments and demonstrate statistical analysis before being awarded the degree.

In a similar fashion, the people planning the marriage may not have any real understanding of what they are actually planning for; and the parents, elders, counselors, and pastors etc. do a poor job of not adequately helping the people to know what it means to court or to marry, because they might not also fully know or understand the institution of marriage themselves.

Sometimes the people supposed to teach and help you are struggling helplessly with their own courtships and marriages. Whatever stage that the courting or married individuals might be at any particular time, they must be encouraged to sit at the feet of well-tutored, experienced, spiritually-minded, and knowledgeable people with first-hand marital and family life information. They must humbly receive in-depth practical lessons that they could apply for lasting fruitfulness and success.

Some suggested solutions to deal with poor foundation in courtship or marriage

When we discover the root causes of the poor foundations for any establishment, they become the basis for the solutions to the problems. So, let us try to enumerate the root causes, and seek to deal thoroughly with each of them, one at a time. We can never lump all courtship and marriage problems into one sum, and deceive ourselves to think we can solve “the problem” as one entity in a single shot. The confusion, and lack of knowledge and real understanding of courtship and marriage, could be unquestionably attributed to:

1) Wrong Definition of Marriage --- The prevailing modern trend of the redefinition of marriage, in opposition (and in rebellion) to what God the Creator of Marriage designed and purposed for humans.

2) Bad Parenting or Absence of any Parenting ---The lack of good parenting and impartation of guiding principles in homes that teaches the importance of marriage and family life.

3) Divorces and Broken Courtships --- The already painful and uncalled-for broken courtships and marriages that send wrong signals to ignorant or unstable people to think that marriage and romantic relationships are fragile, uncertain, casual, and could be used as cheap avenues to take advantage of people that you can pretend to be in love with.

4) Lack of True Commitment --- The fast erosion of a spirit of commitment to duty in our societies that makes people to develop a casual and flippant attitude towards everything in life without any heart and mind commitment to observe principles and seek for excellence. This is particularly running wild among teenagers and young adults, which is very troubling. This makes it hard for people to be committed to the duties and sacrifices required by courtships, marriages, and family life. There is a strong wave of the toxic and infectious spread among populations, of the desire to obtain “free stuff” without labor, from agencies, governments, organizations, churches, workplaces etc. I identify the root for laziness and careless attitude in homes and families where true commitment is not properly taught and practiced. Students even want “free grades” and “free submission of tests, papers, and theses” by plagiarism, cutting and pasting, or someone doing it for them without any efforts on their part.

5) Marital Unfaithfulness --- The escalation of unfaithfulness resulting from high levels of adultery and fornication. These are promoted by the explosion of nudity, pornography, and immorality in our communities that undermines the respect for sexual activities as an exclusive act reserved only for marriage.

6) Lack of True Love --- Misinterpretation of mere physical attraction, infatuation, and sexual desire as real love that could be depended on for a permanent union of marriage. Lack of understanding, that love is an act of the will (not just feelings) to look out for the welfare, progress, and best interest of the one you love, whether you feel or not feel anything; but the passionate (feeling) love in you is the spark to move you on, and should never be the final basis for courtship or marriage.

7) Immoral Lifestyles --- Many girls and women who offer themselves cheaply to men due to the desperation to have babies; or get their financial, accommodation, and several material needs met. People force to live beyond their means, and therefore yield to the temptation to engage in immoral lifestyle and selling of their bodies for money and material things.

8) Forced Marriages --- Forced marriages that are unprepared for, due to illegal or unexpected pregnancy, or the rush to solve a medical problem (ex. A lady who might be told by a Doctor that she has a short time to have babies before the door is medically closed).

9) Arranged Marriages --- Arranged marriages by parents and adults where the two people do not really love each other for any lasting marriage relationship.

10) Ignorance --- Lack of pre-marital counseling, absence of training in the home that prepares people for future courtship and marriage, or poor counseling that does not provide the important details of the meaning and purpose of marriage.

11) No Fear of God --- Absence of the fear of God in the lives of many people that causes them to disrespect marriage, and neglect or refuse to seek the welfare of people they get into romantic or close relationship with. Unfortunately, this often includes even several people who are members of churches, pastors, leaders in churches and Christian groups or other religious bodies, or persons who portray spirituality but are merely religious.

We must identify and adequately deal with the roots

Parents, Guardians, Family Elders, Pastors, and Counselors, must ensure that their parenting, training, preaching, teaching, and counseling seek to address these root causes of our relationship, marriage, and family life problems. If all these factors are properly dealt with, then we could produce lasting solutions to the problem of many of our dead-on-arrival courtships and marriages. Just as Jesus opened the minds of the disciples to understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45), we need to pray and ask the Lord to open our minds to understand the real meaning and purpose of the institution of marriage, and good courtship that prepares us for a good marriage and fruitful marriage life.

God Himself says “Marriage is a mystery” (Ephesians 5:32), so who can finally make us understand what God calls a mystery, if God the Creator Himself does not provide us with the real meaning or marriage, at least at our human level, in a way that we can understand? Yes, God will. We should be encouraged to believe that there is still hope for us and our children to repair our damages, and for future marital and family success.