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The divine purpose of marriage is for a man and a woman to leave their parents and be completely united to each other for as long as they will live. The church has the responsibility of implementing and sustaining this divine purpose of marriage. The purpose of this research is to explore the divine intention of marriage. It intends to identify the factors behind the break-down of marriages in the church and modern society at large. It also aims at proffering ways out of the factors identified. The study will help Christians in Nigeria to have better understanding of the factors behind the rampant break-down of many Christian marriages today.
It will equally help to identify reasons for the gradual acceptance of secular views of marriage and other forms of marriage hitherto alien to Nigerians. This will go a long way in helping Nigerian Christianity to fight these parasites responsible for the rampant break-down of marriages which has contributed immensely to the high rate of immorality in the Nigerian society.
In this research, the researcher explores the divine intention and purpose of marriage in the context of Gen This is done by using the expositional and exegetical analysis of the marriage concept rooted in the text. As its procedure, the researcher has adopted a five chapter thesis. Chapter one is the introductory chapter. Chapter two examines the perspectives on marriage from the Jewish as well as the Nigerian contexts. These perspectives range from the various forms of marriage practiced in the two contexts to how marriage is conducted.
This comparism between the practices of marriage in both contexts is with the purpose of analyzing how the practice fulfills the divine intention of marriage, especially in the Nigerian context. Chapter three presents an expositional analysis of the concept of marriage in the context of Gen 2. The researcher draws conclusions about the theological significance of the concept as a foundation for examining the contemporary experience of marriage.
The examination of the concept of marriage in Gen led to the examination of the contemporary experience of marriage in chapter four. Here, the researcher dealt with the causes and implications of the rampant break-down of marriages. It also suggests some possible ways for the remedy of the research problem in the contemporary Nigerian society. Chapter five is a concise conclusion of the research. Some of the issues raised are summarized here. Some recommendations for the remedy of the research problem for further research are stated.
The permissive attitude of people towards the rampant break-down of marriages is militating against the divine intention of ordaining and instituting marriage. To effectively and substantially reduce such mishap in the contemporary Nigerian society, Christian leaders and theologians need to propagate, enlighten and teach people the biblical concept of marriage as a sacred and permanent covenant between a man and a woman.
This view will enable people to have a deep theological conviction about marriage and to reverence marriage as a sacred and an indissoluble covenantal union thereby reducing the possibility of the dissolution of marriages. Marriage is practiced and celebrated in every society. Every nation has its various forms of marriage as well as various laws guiding the practice and celebration. Being a research addressing the rampant break-down of Christian marriage in Nigeria, the research has reviewed the forms of marriage practiced in Nigeria.
The concept and practice of marriage in the Israelite context is also reviewed. This is because marital issues in the Bible were addressed from the Jewish context. The knowledge of marriage from the Jewish culture will establish the basis for understanding the concept of marriage from a Christian perspective.
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In Christendom, values, norms and practices of the Christian faith are referred to as sacred, while values, norms and practices that are not prescribed by the holy Bible are referred to as secular. But in our society today, reverse is the case. Secularism and postmodernism have posed so many challenges to the sacred values, norms and practices attached to marriage. So many Christians are abandoning the sacred norms and practices of marriage and are accepting secular ideologies and practices thereby leading to the rampant collapse of many marriages in contemporary society.
The researcher observed in the statement of problem that the ideologies of secularism and postmodernism are some of the factors responsible for the break-down of Christian marriages. Hence the need to examine the perspectives of marriage in both the sacred and secular circles. Therefore, this chapter is focused on unveiling the perspectives and practices of marriage in the Nigerian and Israelite contexts. The perspectives and practices of marriage in the Israelite context are explored with the purpose of identifying its foundational role to Christian marriage and its influence on Christians, and also the contemporary experience of Christian marriage in Nigeria.
In the Israelite context, the society, family and marriage are connected.
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Bower and G. After the marriage is contracted, a family is set up, and the family name and line is expected to be continued through many generations.
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In Old Testament times, procreation was regarded as the primary purpose of marriage, not companionship. The chief causes are mostly informed by social and political factors. These concubines, most times were either servants or handmaids of wives who could not bear male children or who wanted to acquire more properties from their husbands. A secondary purpose and objective of marriage is the maintenance, increase and protection of family name and property. As a result, the males in every Jewish family were concerned about property and inheritance.
This gave rise to the practice of polygyny and levirate marriage. Young people in Israel did not have the right and autonomy to make a decision as to who to get married to. It was entirely the responsibility of their parents. When it comes to marriage, love is considered after the marriage had already taken place. Parents were very sensitive to assessing the social and economic status of the bride and her family in selecting marriage partners for their children. Perkin observes that:. Marriage was often a means of strengthening and promoting the fortunes of the family, quite aside from the prospect of producing children.
A bride was more likely to be chosen because of the desirability of union with her family, or for her healthy physique and suitability for family life, rather than for other considerations. The father was responsible for finding a suitable bride for his son, and the wishes and the feelings of the young people were largely irrelevant to this decision. Once the selection of the bride was done, the betrothal  kiddushim followed.
After the betrothal is over, the intending groom pays a dowry to his father-in-law.
The father-in-law receives the dowry but is not permitted to use or spend any part of it; he could use the interest from the dowry but not the dowry. Age and circumcision  are considered as a requirement for every Jew intending to get married.
Materials and Methods
The termination of the twelve months interval  of the betrothal ushers in the marriage rites nissuim. Marriage with non-Jews, consanguineous and affinity relationships, are highly forbidden by the Jewish law. Consanguineous and affinity relationships  meant danger to the Hebrew community. Though majority of reform rabbis officiate weddings between Jews and non-Jews, they specify certain conditions to be met before the marriage can take place. Customary law marriage in Nigeria is a bilateral affair.
It is the affair of a husband and his family with a wife and her family.
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Margret C. The dissolution of the contract is also done bilaterally. This misnomer is said to remedy the problems encountered in monogamy and to satisfy the cravings of the flesh. God instituted sex to be enjoyed in the marriage union, but many couples are involved in extra marital affairs and other series of marital unfaithfulness. Some couple deny their spouses sex, while others prostitute to get their problems solved. Most marriages are guided by the cultures of the couples instead of the Bible. Keil and F.
The respondent denied having contracted any marriage with the petitioner under the ACT but said the form of marriage which they went through was essentially a customary law marriage followed by a church blessing. K: Paternoster Press, , Geoffrey W. Eerdmans Publishing Company, , Failure to produce an heir was a major calamity for a family in the Ancient Near East because it meant a disruption in the generational inheritance pattern that left no one to care for the couple in their old age. Desmond Alexander and David W. Geo B. Exod ; ; Deut Douglas and Merrill C.
Tenney; Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, , Wright and J.