A Life Long Commitment?
WHAT MARRIAGE MEANS IN GHANA
Marriage is the lawful relationship between a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife. It is an important stage in the life of Ghanaians.
Christians believe that God, in his wisdom instituted marriage to provide a helper for every adult person. God did this when he saw that Adam was lonely and so created Eve as his helper. Christians believe that God himself ordained marriage as a life-long union between a man and a woman. During marriage, a man and a woman come together to become one and to share each other’s lives. They appreciate that God has brought them together to support each other. If two Christians decide to get married in Ghana, they have to both inform their parents and the elders of the church. The Pastor or Priest arranges for counseling meetings for the couple to educate them about marriage and how to work at accepting and understanding one another.
In Ghana, the man has to present a dowry to the woman’s relatives. This may include drinks and some money depending on the wealth of his family. The man also has to give enough clothes, jewelry, shoes, a Holy Bible and a ring to present to the woman as a sign of their engagement. This is all done in the home of the woman. After the engagement the wedding may come on the same day or some days after.
During the wedding the couple take their marriage vows; promising to remain as husband and wife until death separates them. They then exchange rings. The couple is then blessed by the priest/pastor and they are pronounced as husband and wife. After this, they sign the marriage certificate as the final part of the ceremony.
Getting married is a good thing for the young people in Ghana. It helps to assure acceptance between couples and the counseling helps them understand how to better tolerate each other’s mistakes. It discourages unnecessary divorce since the couple is made to understand that it is a life-long commitment. Being married also makes it legal and more socially acceptable to live together.
When two people get married, they must try to live together for the rest of their lives. They have to love each other and completely understand each other in everything that they do. It is important they try and resolve any misunderstandings peacefully and not allow any other person to come in-between them. Trust is one of the most important things they must have. If you don’t trust your husband/wife it is very difficult to make a marriage work.
Marriage in Ghana does not only mean the coming together of two individuals but also two families. In Ghana, there are many different ethnic groups with different customs and traditions when it comes to marriage. The Muslims in Ghana refer to marriage as ‘Awure.’ The bride is made to bath with a specific leaf called ‘Lenle,’ in the Hausa language so she can look very beautiful on the day of the ceremony. Among the Akan’s (Ghana’s largest tribe) marriage is called ‘Awarie.’ The bride to be comes to live with her in-laws so they can assess her worth properly. As Ghanaians are very religious, they believe marriage is for life and to have children, you have to first be married before God. Marriage to the people of Ghana is a blessing to both the families and society as a whole. The people of Ghana believe that when one gets married he/she is respected by everyone in the community