Love, companionship and children are the three major trajectories to marriage. In Africa, Nigeria, children are of priority. Parents calling for their children to bear them grand child and children. Even religion identifies the need to procreate and be productive. However, natural orders cam be challenged on health ground, delay, infertility etc. In such case, would you marry a spouse who may not bear a child?
On WhatsApp Conversation, these are what those who joined the conversation and our experts said on the issue
Unless I don’t know, but if I do, I won’t marry such at all!
It depends, if we are rich, we could go adopt a baby from its early birth.
Not in our culture, very rare. Unless it involves money or material things.
If I’m rich and she won’t mind another person bearing her child for her (using her egg), why not?
Adoption is there, besides it’s not even certain that she won’t bear children. Her eggs can be harvested and fertilized and then a surrogate mother can do the rest.
That is if I am not interested in children. Besides, the alternative of assisted reproduction techniques is available, we adopt that.
If God say yes for me, I will because I can’t do anything behind Him. Also, the possibility of the parent agreeing another.
What’s the essence of the marriage then? In the western world it may not be a problem but in this part of the world, it’s a taboo and heresy.
We are in Africa. Having a child is a must here. Even, it’s a command for us to have children. God gave that command and could be seen in Gen 1:28
What I believe is marriage is not only to give birth alone. It is a relationship between a man and a woman that exceed procreation but to love and for companionship. So, if they love each other and can live happily together, no problem, they can adopt babies. In western world, they do it but here in Africa where people don’t mind their business, couples find it difficult.
I’m aware marriage is to be enjoyed but not to be endured. On this premise, if a partner chooses to marry a spouse who could not bear a child, I believe it is a personal decision. Even though pressure from family, friends, cronies are there to contend with, but above all, if Sarah in the Bible could bear a child in her old age, it is not over until it’s over.
It’s a difficult situation, I must confess. It demands critical thinking. A swot analysis would be required. This, I will look at my strength, my driving force? Possible weaknesses, I might come across if I decide to go into such relationship. Can I work over them and draw strength from them? Also, the opportunities and justifications that abound, the challenges, and the willingness to stand it, when faced with crisis. Then, we could think adoption. Even though that doesn’t bring the in-built and natural bond of a parent and child. But, I must confess, it’s a difficult situation and I wouldn’t want to be part of that trend regardless I can’t say or determine how strong I am or will be.
In a case like this, true love would have to take the lead role, although it is a difficult one. But I think it has to do with a mutual agreement between both parties. So, if they love each other to an extent that they think they can marry themselves – knowing fully well that they might not bear a child. It would be advised they bring in the ‘God factor’ because naturally no one (couple or their parents) would want to take such risk but if God says yes, I don’t see any factor stopping them. We should note that the primary reason for marriage is not procreation alone but the couple fulfilling purpose, then children follow if God decides to bless the union with kids. And anyone knowing this reality would marry anyone without looking back.
Blessing Bada, a Gynecologist is our expert on this issue. Her thought: We have to view it in different perspectives. Starting with cultural aspect, the African mentality believes that procreating is the sole aim of marriage but no, marriage goes beyond just having children. Although, the previous is the main reason many marriages hit the rock after few years because it failed to producing a child, and we’ve rested our thought on after marriage, children! So, if we are to look at it culturally, a marriage with no child might not work and that’s where love comes in because love I believe supersedes all and this will make us delve into the medical aspect. Medically, both the man and the woman could be medically unfit for procreation and if love, understanding and patience comes into place (even a Yoruba adage says if there’s enough patience, stone can be cooked well and done) only love can make a spouse weather a storm with his or her partner. There are many ways in which couples can now have children to their names if only they will have an agreement to do such, we have IVF (in vitro fertilization) which is even common these days, the option of adopting a baby and surrogacy. All can be tried that’s if all measures have been taken and the couples are unfit to have a baby by themselves and in fact only God has the final say on whether a person will bear a child or not, and this takes us to the spiritual aspect. Child bearing in marriage is for God to decide but it should not be the primary factor of getting married Note: it is God that bring increase, conception is not by power or healthiness, it is by God’s mercy but be it as it may it is also God’s plan for marriage to increase. Genesis 1:28 “ be fruitful and multiply…” And even during wedding ceremonies, procreation is the third reason for getting married and not the first. The first reason is for companionship, while the second is for remedy against sin and fornication and the third is procreation. However, Marriage is mysteries. Only God knows the best for all.
Next week on WhatsApp Conversation, we would be treating: Should distance be a contestation for love?
Join our WhatsApp Conversation every Sunday by 8pm or send in your comments (50 words) to the phone number, email address above or Twitter handle: @WhatsAppConvs