Zambian system of marriage and dating
African marriages come into being as a result not of a single ceremony, but of many ceremonies with an inter-family significance.
One might say that, in African tradition, the indissolubility of marriage is conditioned to its fruitfulness.An important point of difference between polygamy and divorce is not to be overlooked.In polygamy the first wife is not rejected or put away; the marriage bond is not considered broken.I think it can help clarity of exposition if we approach our subject from three angles.In the first place we can compare African traditions and attitudes with Christian teaching on marriage and the family, and more concretely with the natural law values that it is part of the Church's mission to preserve and hand on.What I hope will emerge from our study is the fact that the natural law - the law designed to keep man's conduct human - is more deeply rooted and reflected in many traditional African societies than in the western world: as a result these societies of the Third World are more human and offer, if not an unqualified model, certainly a strong reminder of many values that the West has all but lost.
If we consider the classical three "goods" of marriage as expounded by St.
The matrimonial jurisprudence of the Church's tribunals, in line with the natural law, has never accepted sterility as grounds for invalidating a marriage.
This African tradition, then, is unacceptable from a Christian standpoint.
Formal betrothal of a couple often takes place in the presence of both families.
After betrothal, once the couple actually exchange marital consent (and this exchange may be signified by the simple fact of their having marital relations), then their marriage is traditionally considered to be sealed.
In the second place we can contrast these African attitudes with the sexual or marital and family "mores" that prevail in the western world.