The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren MSP, has described the choosing of a life partner as one of the three critical decisions in the life of any man or woman; adding that this can mar the life of the person, if the wrong choice is made.
The bishop made this remark while reviewing the Book: “Understanding Your Spouse before and after saying “I do”; written by Mrs. Henrietta Okechukwu, an Abuja based marriage counselor and Executive Director of Action Family Foundation; a non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The ceremony which was attended by dignitaries and a good number of youths in the capital city also featured the official presentation of The Global Marriage Services, the service initiative of the NGO.
Describing the book as an ideal, timely and must read for all age groups, Bishop Umoren noted that marriage is a very important event in the life of those called to the vocation. He declared: “The process of choosing a partner is even more crucial”. He added that the “decision to choose a spouse a serious matter, which ranks among the top three most critical decisions in life for anyone”.
According to the bishop, such decision demands a great deal of care and attention. He stressed: “You do not choose when and where you are born, you may or may not choose what school you attend, but you alone can choose who your spouse will be. And because this is a critical life decision, it can mar one's life when a wrong choice is made.”
Bishop Umoren outlined the challenges facing marriages in the present day world, noting that the book provides the necessary guidelines in addressing the situation, including the role and impacts of parents, the society and placing God at the centre of our lives and relationships. He reiterated the concern of the Holy Father, Pope Francis that marriages today do not last long.
His words about the Pope’s concern: “On Valentine's Day in 2014, Pope Francis addressed 10,000 young couples preparing for marriage at a special Valentine's celebration in St Peter's Square in Rome. In his address, the Pope spoke to the engaged couples about love and about lasting fidelity in marriage and encouraged them not to be afraid to make the life-long commitment that marriage entails. But the Pope also expressed his sadness that many marriages today do not last long. This mentality, he says, has affected many young people who now see marriage as a temporary arrangement according to their own preferences.”
In his address, the chairman of the occasion, Sir (Dr.) Tom Adaba described marriage as a risk stressing that “it is in the process of living together that the couple begin to learn more about each other; and it is not a bed of roses”. He gave the recipe to happy marriage to include, love and fear of God, prayer, perseverance and tolerance.
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