Family Values and Rituals in Changing Cultural Context: Analysis on Traditional Akamba Marriage and its Implications for Christian Marriage
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the tra ditional Akamba marriage with a view to establishing the relevant and useful values that ca n enrich the modern marriage. Three objectives guided the study namely: (i) To examine the positive aspects in traditional Akam ba marriage with a view to utilizing them to strengthen Christian marriage. (ii) To explore the causes of marital instability. (iii) To discover and emphasize the need of premarital in structions involving all the stakeholders. The paper is part of a research conducted in Kitui District targeting sample population of 210 people. The subjects were between the ages of 19–98 years old. The research used probability sampling. The data was obtained from the youth, par ents, elders, pastors and professionals. The four hypotheses brought the following findings: (i) The longer the duration of marriage, the lesser the danger of its dissolution. (ii) The presence of children especially young ones cont ribute in prolonging the life of an unhappy marriage. (iii) Parental involvement in the preparation of the offs pring marriage was found to be one of the major determinants of marital instability. T his is because of parents experience in marriage life, the wisdom, guidance and counsel to the young ones. (iv) Extra-marital sexual permissiveness was strongly di sapproved since it causes unfaithfulness in among spouses and it has serious consequences on the families concerned. More findings on the causes of marital instability were given. Third parties who bring words of hearsay and rumours have been mentioned as a thr eat to the stability of marriage. Forced marriages especially where a young man has to marry a girl because he has impregnated her was seen as a cause of disruption in marriages. Par ental interferences especially where they would like theirs sons or daughters to assist them with material things or in monetary terms was given as a serious cause of marital instability . In brief, the main objectives of this study are fai rly achieved. First, some of the positive aspects of traditional marriage that can be utilize d or incorporated into Christian marriage have been identified. Secondly, the causes of marit al instability have been established. The emphasis on the need for proper pre-marital prepara tion, instruction involving all stakeholders has been laid.