Dr. David G. McQuitty
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for ADMIN3503
Matthew A Iyanda
December 5 2011
Ekpeye ethnic in nigeria
Marriage is an institution ordained by God. It was instituted to be pure and designed to be an interesting union. Marriage comes with commitment. This kind of commitment, according to Bernard, does not give room for “merely fly-by-night, touch and go relationships”.1 Many decades before now, many friends proposing to be couples would not rush into marriage because of the level of commitment required of them. Those that were Christians would love to obey God's injunction of abstinence, while some non-Christians who were committed to their culture would not like to go contrary to the norms of the society. But in the twenty-first century, marital commitment and sexual abstinence before marriage has greatly declined. From the study conducted by the National Survey of Family and Households in United States of America, it was discovered that the latter half of the twenty first century ushered in substantial changes within the family institution, particularly changes in individuals' union formation and dissolution behaviors.2 One of the most well noted transitions has been the substantial rise in cohabitating unions. Cohabitation means a situation where two unmarried people live together in an intimate relationship prior to marriage and regularly engage in sexual intercourse.3 Cohabitation which was once rare has become the norm in the global society. In the span of two decades, according to the population studies carried out in the United States, it was gathered that the number of cohabitating households increased from 1.3 million to nearly 5 million households, and nearly half of all young adults have experienced a cohabiting relationship.4 In another research carried out by Australian Institute of Family Studies, it was discovered that the rate at which cohabitation in Australia rose from below two per cent in the 1950s to seventy-one per cent by 2000 was alarming.5. Cohabitation gained the support of many people in the western world especially the unmarried youths because of the high rate of divorce and the perception that many marriages face a high risk of breakdown.6 To them, cohabitation provides good opportunity to experiment their compatibility, the result of which they believe will afford them a meaningful, peaceful and successful marriage. Africans are known to have a very rich culture which does not give in to immoral acts, especially when it has to do with marriage. They frown at indiscriminate sexual relationship and child rearing outside marriage.7 But cohabitation has gained its way into the African society and some African youths are now involved in it. Presently, there are some tribes in Nigeria whose youths are totally involved in cohabitation. During the Network News Extra on Wednesday 18/08/2010 on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the issue of cohabitation which became the practice of the students of a university was brought on air. The students had the problem of accommodation and some students felt the best way to solve the problem was for those who had accommodation to cohabit with those who did not have. It became a serious problem that the elderly indigenes of the town had to cry out for help so that their innocent youths would not be taught this new way of life. It is true that there are many tribes in Nigeria that are still holding to the moral standard of their culture. But in a country where a lot of people migrate everyday away from their tribe and culture to other people's culture for reasons like admission into higher institutions of learning, youth service, employment, etc; it becomes imperative to consider and treat cohabitation as a very serious...