The Archbishop of Lokoja Province and Bishop of Lokoja Anglican Diocese, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu has remarked that no one comes into marriage as a “ready-made” or perfect partner adding that everyone comes with beauty and blemishes. He made this remark during the Holy Solemnization of Titilope Oluwatobilola Igbari and Adegbenga Adetona Ajepe which was held at St. Matthews Anglican Church, Maitama. Therefore, he called on couples not to be taken unawares when they discover certain weaknesses in their spouse.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Nakedness as a blessing in marriage’, Archbishop Egbunu said that God designed marriage to be the closest of human relationships.
According to him, this is why Adam and Eve though naked, were not ashamed. He explained nakedness in marriage as the ability for couples to expose all there is to know about themselves to each other stating that this is critical to the joy of any marriage. The Cleric observed that when nakedness is mentioned in public, people become uneasy; hence, he pointed out that if God could use that word when He referred to the relationship of the first man and woman, man ought not to hesitate when using it in respect to marriage. However, he called it unfortunate that man believes and behaves as if marriage is for the pleasure of one person only and this he said, is often a recipe for conflict in marriage.
He drew a similarity between marriage relationships and today’s fashion, stating that certain couples cover the things they should expose and expose the things they ought to cover. According to him, this is very much like the fashion today, where rather than dressing to cover nakedness, people dress to expose what should be covered. Archbishop Egbunu expressed that many consider it dangerous to be so open in marriage, because they feel that this makes them more vulnerable and likely to be hurt by their spouse. Thus, he charged all present to ignore all kinds of aberrations that have been introduced into the institution of marriage, in the name of human wisdom, revision and modification of what God has created and ensure that they stay within the stipulations of God’s word.
Quoting copiously from the Scriptures, the Bishop of Lokoja Diocese revealed that God’s purpose for marriage was to make room for the kind of companionship that would help man to fulfill God’s purpose for creating him, which as cited in the Bible, is for God’s pleasure. Hence, he advised couples not to be deceptive in their relationship or have hidden motives for marriage, so as to prevent extreme negative reactions when certain blemishes are discovered. Also, he charged the newly-weds and intending couples in the congregation to see marriage as a lifetime commitment and not as something that could be reversed.
The Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu concluded by calling all to note that during marriage, the father of the bride hands his daughter first to the Priest, who then hands her over to the groom signifying that the groom must honour God who gave her to her parents and then to him. He stated that the couple must recognize each other as Children of God and must deal with each other as God expects them to do. And finally, he advised them to always turn to the word of God whenever in doubt.
The Holy Eucharist which was witnessed by Archbishops, Bishops, the Clergy and well-wishers from all works of life was celebrated by the Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh who also joined the couple.
By Ngozi Maduoma