Marriages in Rwanda (as in many cultures) are far from the picture of marriage we find in the Bible. As we have been working in poor communities in Rwanda, it has been evident to us that marriages are rocky at best in many of the communities. However, we are committed to help people learn what they feel is most important, not what we see as most important. So we were thrilled two months ago when one of the communities identified their marriages as the number one thing they want to work on! A preliminary survey showed that 90% of the couples in the village were not legally married. When we asked why the men responded that it gave the women too much power. If they were legally married, the women had rights in the relationship and that power would go to their heads. Many of the issues that were uncovered dealt with women not having a voice, not having any rights, and men ruling the house with power, but not with love.
For two months now Dave and Brad have been leading this community through the Bible, helping them discover God’s desires for marriage. It has been rocky at times, some of the men want to change, but also resist it. There has been one wedding celebrated already, and that is encouraging. Overall we are seeing God slowly transform the minds and hearts of men and women alike. Our prayer is that each one would be able to submit themselves to God’s challenge to them and that marriages would begin to embody the blessings ofGod’s way of loving, respecting, and valuing each other.
Contributed by Debbie Thomas, missionary in Rwanda