AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES OF DIVORCE AMONGST THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH MEMBERS (A STUDY OF NAMAKGALE TOWNSHIP)

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ABSTRACT

 

 

The high rate of divorce around Namakgale Township, especially amongst church members was a great concern to this study. In the meetings with pastors it was the main issue that was troubling pastors. As a result, the researcher was motivated to conduct a study entitled “An investigation into the causes of divorce amongst Evangelical church members in Namakgale Township.” The aim of the study was to investigate the causes of divorce amongst church members of the Evangelical church. It provides information to Pastors involved in marriage and counselling.

 

A selection of literature on the issue of the causes of divorce was reviewed. The phenomenological design, qualitative paradigm and interview method were used in this study. Interviews on the causes of divorce were conducted in the churches and the study indicated that there are various causes of divorce which include inter alia the following:  

1.     Firstly, divorce is mainly caused by unfaithfulness both through premarital sex and extra marital affairs. 

2.     Lack of understanding of marriage is another cause. 

3.     The quietness of the church on the issue of divorce also contributes.

4.     Abuse of women by men causes divorce.

5.     Church members prefer to marry either by civil marriage or by customary union is another cause.

6.     Culture and traditions as it encourages men to have more lovers also causes divorce.

7.     The mismanagement of money further causes divorce.    

8.     The church to a lesser extent also contributes to causes of divorce by being quiet in the issue of divorce.

9.     Lack of dating is also another cause of divorce.

10.  The abuse of the rights of women also causes divorce.. 

11.  The change of roles in the family is another cause of divorce

12.  Divorce is caused by marriages of Christians to non-Christians.

13.  Pastors who are not doing their jobs also cause divorce.

14.  Finally, premarital sex and children out of wedlock is another cause of divorce. The Bible was explored as the main authority on marriage and what it says about marriage and divorce. Culture as a part of the people was investigated to find its influence on marriage and divorce.

 

The following are the recommendations towards the solution of the problem of divorce:

a.    The church should be involved in preparing men and women in terms of their maturity to get married.  . 

b.    The church should teach its members about marriage. The church should impact their children with Christian education. They must be influenced by the church by teaching them good Christian values. The church should teach parent how to be role models to their children. 

c.    The church should consider training its pastors for the job of counselling so that pastors become professional marriage counsellors. The life style and conduct of church leaders must be exemplary. 

 

d.    The church should conduct a comprehensive premarital counselling. The counselling session must be compulsory. No one should be allowed to get married before premarital counselling. 

e.    The church should be regarded a home for all its members. The church should play a major role for almost all the activities of the life of its members. The church should become a mother and love its members in good and bad times. 

f.     The church should teach, preach, and live faithfully. It must begin from the top. The pastors should set the standard to its members. Pastors should be role models to their members. Members should be taught to practice faithfulness. 

g.    The church must teach communication to its members in all spheres including marriage. The couple should know everything in their family. They must communicate in good and bad times.  

h.    The church must teach the couples about how money should be handled. Money requires team work which involves knowing how much each spouse earns.  Everything about money must be transparent.  

i.      . The church should teach married couples about culture. There is no culture that is perfect. 

j.      The church should be aware of changes that take place in the constitution of the country. They should make an effort to teach its members about it.

(l)    The church should schedule revivals, retreat, seminars and debates on marriage and divorce. Christ said “Therefore… preach…teach… and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20). 

(m) The evangelical church must be consistent in dealing with divorced Christians and those who were in polygamous marriages before they were Christians.  

(n)  Men must not oppress women in the name of the “head of the family”.   

(o)  The church needs to address sexual issues early with young people in order to prevent divorce later on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                          TABLE OF CONTENTS              

1.  DECLARATION                                                                                                   (i)

2.  SUMMARY                                                                                           (ii)                      

3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                                     (vi)


CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION                                       1                    

                  1.1 BACKGROUND                                                                                                          1

                  1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM                                                                               5

                  1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY                                                                                                     6

                  1.3.1 Main aim                                                                                                                       6

                  1.3.2 Specific aims                                                                                                                 6

                  1.4 NEED FOR STUDY                                                                                                        6

                  1.5 CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS                                                                               7

                  1.5.1 Marriage                                                                                                                         7

                  1.5.2 Culture                                                                                                                           8

                  1.5.3 Divorce                                                                                                                           8

                  1.5.4 Love                                                                                                                                8

                 1.5.5 Evangelical                                                                                                                  9

                 1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN                                                        9

                 1.6.1 Data collection                                                                                                            10

                  1.6.1.1 Literature study                                                                                                      10

                  1.6.1.2 Empirical study                                                                                                         10

1.6.2 Sample                                                                                                              11          

                 1.7Delimitation of the study                                                                                                11

1.8 Research frame work                                                                                           11


CHAPTER TWO A BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL TEACHING OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE MATTHEW 19:1-12                      13  

                 2.1Inroduction                                                                                                                    13

                 2.2 The Biblical and the theological analysis of Matthew 19:1-12                              13

2.2.1 The geographical setting of the text Matthew 19:1-12                                     14

                  2.2.2 The background and the text (Matt 19:1-12)                                                         15

2.2.3 Social setting of the text (Matt 19:1-12)                                                            16

                  2.2.4 Literary context of the text (Matt 19:3-12)                                                                16

                  2.3 The grammatical Analysis of the text (Matt 19: 3-12)                                             18

                  2.3.1 The question of the Pharisees to Jesus (Matt 19:3)                                           18

2.3.1.1 Divorce in relation to the institution of marriage                                           21

                  2.3.1.2 The practice of divorce in the Old Testament                                                    22

2.3.1.3 The regulation of divorce in the Old Testament                                            23

2.3.1.4 The purpose of the legislation of Deuteronomy                                             23

                 2.3.1.5The grounds of divorce in non-biblical literature                                                24 

                  2.3.2 Jesus‟ response to the first question (Matt 19:4-6)                                              25

2.3.2 The second question of the Pharisees (Matt 19:7)                                          30

2.3.4 Jesus‟ response to the second question (Matt 19:8-9)                                    30               

2.3.5 The disciples question and Jesus‟ response (Matt 19:10-12                          32

                 2.4 The application of divorce today                                                                                 44

                 2.5 The findings of the chapter                                                                                       46

2.6 Summary                                                                                                             46


CHAPTER THREE THE IMPACT OF CULTURE ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE49 

3.1 Introduction                                                                                                          49

                 3.2 Definition of the Major concepts                                                                                  50

3.2.1 Definition of culture                                                                                           50

3.2.2 Definition of tradition                                                                                         51

                  3.3 Negative factors of the various marital practices                                                    51

3.3.1 Monogamy                                                                                                        52

3.3.2 Polygamy                                                                                                          54

3.3.2.1 The view of polygamy in Africa                                                                      55                      

                  3.3.3 Serial polygamy                                                                                                           58

3.3.4Levirate Marriage                                                                                              59

3.3.5 Sororate Marriage                                                                                            60

3.3.6 Woman to woman marriage                                                                             62

3.4  Negative factors on marriage and divorce                                                          62

3.4.1 The influence of lobola (pride price) on marriage and divorce                       63

3.4.2The influence of initiation on marriage and divorce                                          65                       

3.4.3 The influence of power on marriage and divorce                                             71

3.4.4 The influence of money on marriage and divorce                                            78

3.3.5 The influence of extra marital affairs on marriage and divorce                        79

3.5 Summary                                                                                                            80


CHAPTER FOUR EMPIRICAL RESEARCH DESIGN, DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION                                                               82

4.1 Introduction                                                                                                         82

4.2 Instrument used in the study                                                                               82

4.3 Data collection                                                                                                     83                       

4.4 Sample                                                                                                                84

                  4.5 Hypothesis                                                                                                                 88

4.6 The limitations of the study                                                                                 88                       4.7 The results and analysis                                                                                      89

                 4.8 The summary of the findings of Empirical study                                                  118                      

                 4.9 Conclusion                                                                                                                   121


CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND COCLUSION          123

                 5.1 Introduction                                                                                                                123

                  5.2 Overview                                                                                                                      123

                 5.3 Recommendations                                                                                                     124

5. 4 Concluding remarks                                                                                                  126 

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                                                 127

                 APPENDIX1                                                                                                                      129                       

                 APPENDIX 2                                                                                                                     133                       

                 APPENDIX 3                                                                                                                     184                       

                 APPENDIX 4                                                                                                                     237                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

                  1.1    Background                      

Namakgale Township is located under Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality which is situated in the North-Eastern part of South Africa in the Limpopo Province. Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality is one of the five local Municipalities in the Mopani District. It has a geographical area of 3004.88 squire Kilometres‟ and constitutes 27% of Mopani District area. The Municipality serves as a convenient gateway to the Kruger

National Park and the transfrontier Park through Mozambique Channel (BaPhalaborwa Municipality2008: 16).

 

The total population of this area is 137 505 whereas Namakgale alone has a population of 30 000 in 2007(Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality 2008:19). The following table show the population according to race.

 

Table 1.1 shows the population according to race.

 

Persons            

2001                                             

2007         

 

 

Number

         %

   Number

         %

African

119 949

           91.50     

   127 581

         92.9

Coloured

       338

             0.26

         370

          0.27

Indian

         90

             0.07

         123

          0.09

White

  10715

             8.17

       9256

          6.74

Total 

131092

            100

   137330

           100

 

The above table shows that this area is dominated by African people and the fact that the whites and coloureds are decreasing in this area.

 

Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality (2008:20) also indicates that Tsonga language is dominant in this area by 45.4% followed by Sepedi by 40.3%. Other languages are as follows: Afrikaans 6.8%, English 2.0%, Isindebele 0.1%, IsiXhosa 0.2%, IsiZulu 0.9%, Sesotho2.2%, Setswana 0.3%, Siswati 1.0%, Tshivenda 0.7% and other

0.3%.

 

Pottinger (1990:3) says that the name Phalaborwa in Sesotho means better than the south.

 

There are 69 Churches in this area. The Ba-Phalaborwa has not detailed information about churches in this area. According to Cartwright (1972: 1) the first missionary to arrive in this area was Reverend Alexander Merensky representing the Berlin Missionary Society of Germany. His work was not fruitful in this area so much that in 1871 he moved away from this area to settle in Middleburg where he established a church which is still there even today. The mission of reverend Merensky seemed a failure but later, his son came back to start the mines in Phalaborwa, which mine Copper and Phosphate ores which are the most mined natural resources found in this area(Cartwright:1972:1).

 

The Two summers 2001 report; reveal that in Ba-Phalaborwa municipality there are five types of marriage ceremonies recognized in this area:

 

The first type is Church wedding- this wedding is officiated by a priest in a church. The wedding needs registration which can be done by a priest if he/she is an official marriage officer or can be done in the home affairs offices. This wedding is distinguished by the blessing of God to the couple. The second type is called is called African bush flavour. This one takes place under a tree, game farm or at a lapa (African thatched house with grass with no walls). This wedding is accompanied by African rituals. Normally, this wedding is accompanied by friends and relatives of the family. Christians also use this wedding ceremony after the priest had officiated. They organised a reception in the evening and have a braai after wards. The third type is called African traditional gifts- Whilst making your vows; you will be exchanging gifts to one another. There are certain items that are used and symbolize the following: blanket (for better or worse); the arm bracelet (for richer for poorer) and the kaalbas (in sickness and in health). This wedding takes place after the groom has finished paying Lobola (dowry). The bride‟s family accompany their daughter to the in-laws with the gifts for groom‟s family. Christians normally exchange gifts in church such as watches whilst they are exchanging their vows. This wedding is accompanied by a great feast where the two families kill two cows to celebrate this wedding. 

 

It can be said that in the olden days a wedding only took place either in the church or in the court. Today people can marry anywhere they want. What is common about all these weddings is that the registrations of them takes place in a proper house with a roof and walls.

 

The fourth type is the Oliphant‟s river boat wedding. The bride and groom hire a boat for their wedding. The boat drives for half an hour then they have a ceremony. Once the ceremony has been done the boat will return and there is no reception in the boat. Relatives and close friends accompany the groom to witness them exchanging their vows. The signing of this wedding is done in the proper house not the boat. The fifth is called Traditional Royal African wedding. This wedding is normally done for a prince and it is specifically for royal family only. This wedding takes place at Poona lodge. It is followed by a ceremonial bath and dressing and end with a traditional blessing. The wedding celebration takes place at the traditional Nkhosi Kraal (the inner sanctuary of a King).

 

God created marriage as permanent social phenomenon to be enjoyed by all partners (male and female) together and Genesis 2:24 sets God‟s ideal for marriage as a permanent institution not to be separated by mankind. However, sin has destroyed the standard that has been set by God at the beginning. Kunhiyop

(2008:190) suggests that if the families misrepresent God‟s ideals then the whole society is lost and Kunhiyop is correct because the Bible states that “righteousness‟ exalts a nation” (Prov 14:34)

 It becomes a concern to many pastors when marriages crumble and eventually end up in divorce. The phenomenon of divorce has been extensively spoken and written about. Maleba (2004:7) quotes Glendon when stating that:

 

The lack of firm and fixed ideas about what marriage is and should be is but an aspect of the alienation of modern man. And in this respect the law seems truly to reflect the fact that in society more and more is expected of human relationship while at the same time social changes have rendered those relationships increasingly fragile. 

 

 Among other reasons for divorce, are lack of true concept of marriage and the fall of mankind to sin are the reasons why divorce is happening in our community.

Kunhiyop (2008:193) argues: “sin and rebellion against God have turned what had been intended to be a loving permanent and lifelong relationship into one that can produce hatred and divorce”. In other words that which has been created good has become evil because of the fall.  

 

Cultural practices also contribute to the high rate of divorce. This is true with Namakgale community because it is culturally diverse; it has people from neighbouring countries as well as other parts of South Africa. In some cultures only women fornicate as the blame is put on them, men can have as many concubines as they wish, it is culturally accepted as expressed in the following proverbs: “Indvodza inganwa“(Siswati) meaning – the man is the only one whose proposal for an affair is granted by female, in Sesotho/Sepedi they say “Monna ke thaka o a naba” – meaning man is like a bean plant, he spreads. As Namakgale is predominately rural and poor, the majority of the inhabitants are traditional and still adhere to their cultural beliefs and customs. This invariably has a profound impact on their day-today lives as decisions taken, are influenced and shaped by their socio – cultural make-up. This cuts across all the social strata of the people, regardless of their religion or political inclinations. It is not surprising to see church members take decisions about their lives based on cultural norms. .     

 

At Namakgale Township many church members of the evangelical congregations, are divorcing. It is therefore important to investigate the factors that cause divorce in the evangelical churches.

 

                  1.2    Statement of the problem

The issue of divorce is no longer an isolated issue nor a local issue but a global concern. John Feinberg and Paul Feinberg (1993:299) concur that divorce is one of the troublesome trends in our world today. They argue that in U.S. alone, the statistics shows that divorce rate is up to 50 percent or more. They also give different statistics from country to country and it varies: In Arab countries divorce is low. In Jordan in 1989 there were 8.1 marriages per 1000 and 1.21 divorces per 1000. In the same year in Syria there were 8.8 marriages per 1000 and only .73 divorces per 1000. In predominately Catholic countries in central and South America, marriages far exceeded divorces. In 1988 there were 5.3 marriages per 1000 but only18 divorces per 1000. In 1990 U.S recorded 1, 175,000 for that year. Adeyemo

(2006:1148) adds that “one in two marriages in the United Kingdom and United States ends up in divorce. These numbers are very high and they are constantly increasing. John Feinberg and Paul further state that divorce is no longer an issue that affects the community alone but it affects the church as well. It is regrettable that it is not only affecting the members of the church alone but also the clergy who are supposed to be an example to the flock.

 

According to Du Plessis‟s findings (2006:3) divorce rates in South Africa in 2002 per 1000 people were 0.81. This would indicate 8.1% rate per 100 marriages. This indicates that 1 marriage out of 13 marriages will collapse. This alarming rate of divorce in the church is regrettable. These statistics negate the plan of God about marriages in our societies including Namakgale marriages. These figures indicate the threat to the permanence of marriages. Divorce has not only affected the western nations only but has affected Namakgale community. Adeyemo (2008:1148)

concerns that “African statistics are harder to come by”.It has been observed that the fraternal of the evangelicals in Namakgale has begun a program that seeks to assist orphans and some of these children are victims of divorce. The aim of the study is to

“investigate the causes divorce and the role of culture on divorce amongst the

Evangelical churches at Namakgale Township”. In the light of the problem above, the following research questions are asked:

 

 

1.2.1 What are the major factors that lead to a divorce?

1.2.2  What is the role of culture on divorce?

1.2.3   What does the Bible say about marriage and divorce?

1.2.4 What is the role of the church in an attempt to address the challenge of divorce? 

 

1.3  Aims of the study

1.3.1 General aim

The main aim of the study is to investigate the causes of divorce and the role of culture on divorce amongst the Evangelical churches in Namakgale Township. 

 

1.3.2 Specific aims

In order to realize the above-mentioned aim, the specific aims of this study are to:

1.        Present a biblical exegesis on the issue of marriage and divorce with special reference to Matthew 19: 1-12. This biblical exposition will lead us to the intent of God in creating marriage. It will expose divorce whether

God sanctioned it or it is caused by hardness of the human heart (Deut 24:1-4).

2.        Investigate the role of culture on divorce. To what extent does Pedi and Tsonga customs and their traditions have on marriage in this community. The minority cultures will also be explored as well as the influence of foreign cultures. 

3.        To explore the role of the church in maintaining and restoring stability in marriages

4.        Make recommendations to alleviate the problem of divorce among church members. 

 

1.4. Need for the study 

Many scholars have done research on marriage and divorce. To give examples, (Maleba 2004:5) has done research on divorce among AFM pastors in South Africa. His objective was to investigate the motivations and justifications for divorce among AFM pastors and find out if Pentecostal doctrine of the church has an influence on divorce or not. Smith (2005:3) researched God‟s intention about marriage where, he discussed, marriage, divorce, separation and remarriage amongst Christians based on his background in Liberia. Smith talks about rediscovery of God‟s ideals and makes a call to families to revisit God‟s intention when He created Marriage. Du Plessis (2006:6) has done research about divorce and remarriage of pastors in the Bluff area in Durban. His aim was to investigate factors that are responsible for the increase in divorce cases amongst ministers in the church. Although the findings of these scholars are scientific and used throughout the world, none of them have focussed on the causes of divorce amongst the Evangelical church members found in Namakgale Township under Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in the North-Eastern part of South Africa. Moreover, this research also focused on the role of culture on divorce amongst members of the Evangelical churches.

 

This study will investigate the causes divorce and the role of culture on divorce amongst the Evangelical church members in Namakgale Township. It is hoped that this study will add new knowledge and fill a very critical gap in the existing body of knowledge. In practice this information will be useful to the community at large. It will assist pastors to be able to teach their members especially in terms of premarital counselling. It will help the married couples to avoid the repeat of the same mistakes done by colleges. It will also help social and community leaders who deals with issues related to family. 

 

                  1.5      Clarification of concepts

The following are concepts that will be used frequently in this study:

1.5.1 Marriage

Elbridge (2002:15) defines marriage as “an exclusive and intimate union of a man and a woman that is established when they make a covenant to leave their parents and form a new family unit. It is a pure and holy union that is similar to the eternal union of Jesus Christ and His church. Ferraro (2004: 194) defines marriage as establishing legitimate relationship between men and women. He tends to assume that all marriages are heterosexual. However, some culture does recognize men to men and women to women as being legitimate.

 

 

1.5.2 Culture 

Culture as defined by Ferraro (2004:24) means everything that people have, think and do as members of society. By everything, Ferraro is referring to possessions, ideas, values, attitudes and behaviour.   He also believes that culture is not an inheritance but is what a person grows with.   Coetzee and Roux (2002:58) define culture as a property, a way of life of a people. Coetzee and Roux continue and say that culture is man‟s contribution to the nature of environment. It is a general way of life whereby it demonstrates their achievement of a society in thoughts, morals and material production.  They conclude that Culture includes a body of knowledge, beliefs, values behaviour, goals, social institutions plus tools as well as the material constructions.  According to Khoza (2005:111), there is culture in everything, for example, culture of people and culture of business. He advocates that there is Culture of the people underlies the social identity of the people and Culture of

Business refers “to that which pervades business and business organization.”      

 

1.5.3 Divorce

  Englbrecht and others (1999:4) defines divorce as a choice that two people make, not to live together as husband and wife. This means that legally they sign the documents of divorce, but the other partner might sign against his or her will. In South Africa it is possible that one person can process divorce and end it without the knowledge of the other. Some people divorce their spouses by desertion.

 

1.5.4 Love 

Kunhiyop (2008:192) states that “there can be no doubt that when there is love and pleasure, a marriage stands a better chance of surviving and being a good environment for raising Children”.  According to Truesdale and Lyons (1986:57), to love is to act in the best interest of another person, in a way that seeks to create fellowship with another and  tries to create a bond of loyal friendship. Truesdale and Leyons indicate that that mature love is based upon concern, compassion, and commitment for another person and it regards the needs and feelings of the other person as equal to one‟s own. However, Baron and Byrne (1994, 319) mention six types of love, namely: 

1.  Eros: Passionate Love – where two people are attracted to each other when they first meet.

 

2.  Storge:      Friendship Love – where love relates on deep friendship.

 

3.  Ludus:      Game-playing Love - where a person has more than one lover  at the same time but does not want this to be known.

 

4.  Mania:  Possessive Love – where a person cannot relax if he or she suspects that the lover is with someone else.

 

5.  Pragma:  Logical Love – where one loves another person because they share similar backgrounds.

 

6.  Agape:  Selfless Love – is the love that sacrifices for the sake of the other. This is a love that God demonstrated when He sent his only begotten son who came to die for us. It is the love that should exist between Christ (groom) and the church (bride). The same love should exist between husband and wife.

 

In this study, the above different types of love will be looked at as far as to see how a relationship is affected to a point of divorce or how some of these types of love may strengthen a relationship.

 

1.5.5 Evangelical

This concept describes those Christians who stress the message of justification by grace through faith alone (Truesdale and Lyons, 1986 94-95). According to Truesdale and Lyons the concept comes from the Greek words meaning gospel (good news) and the leaders of the protestant reformation were among the first Christian called evangelical. Today, there are numerous evangelical church denominations. They are united in their stress on the need for personal salvation. They stress doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone. They believe that justified Christians should live holy lives. They also emphasize the deity of Christ and the authority of the scriptures 

1.6 Research methodology and design

Maleba (2004:38) explains that “the phrase “research design” can be explained as

“the plan or sketch for the drawing of the final product of the study”. In this study both qualitative and quantitative research designs will be used.

 

1.6.1 Data collection 

The following methods will be used to collect data, namely, literature survey and empirical study.

1.6.1.1 Literature Study

Literature review will be used to collect data on the problem. Sources related to the topic will form the core of the study and be used to enhance the research and the interview questions. Literature study will include Biblical exegetical materials which elaborate theological resources that conceptualize marriage and divorce. The Bible will be exploring marriage and divorce sections such as Genesis 1:27, 2:24; Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Matthew 5:31-32; Mark10 1-12; Luke 16:18, I Cor 7:15 with a special exegesis of Matthew 19:1-12. Prominent theologians that have used critical exposition on the biblical passages both in Old and New Testament will be used. Since this research also investigates the role of culture in divorce it will be critical for the researcher to interact with literature based on the cultures of this community. This study will compare and contrast these critical resources to arrive at the conclusion of what the Bible teaches and what these scholars teach. This critical evaluation will help the researcher to apply these findings to the Namakgale Evangelical church members who are continuing to divorce in this Township.

 

1.6.1.2 Empirical Study 

The researcher will use both an interview and a questionnaire.

 

(a)  Interview

Maleba (2004:38) says this method concerns the lived experiences of people as they occur .While,  according to Creswell (1994: 1-2) this method is  an inquiry process of understanding a social or human problem, based on building  a complex, holistic picture, formed with words, reporting detailed views of informants, and conducted in a natural setting. A person-to-person interview technique will be used. The advantage of this technique is that the researcher will be in a position to approach the affected and non-affected informants regarding divorce issues. Since the researcher is a Reverend, and is used to talking and discussing with different types of people about sensitive topics, the researcher is capable of handling lengthy interviews.In this case, the interview will be unstructured.  The researcher will, as suggested by Leedy and Ormrond (2001:153) work together with participants to

arrive at the heart of the matter” namely, factors that cause divorce

 

(b) Questionnaire

Welman, Kruger and Mitchell (2005:6) advocates in a questionnaire method

“underlies the natural-scientific method in human behavioural research and holds that research must be limited to what we can observe and measure objectively, that is, that which exists independently of the feelings and opinions of individual”.  Maleba (2004:38) suggest that this method use data of Numbers.

 

1.6.2 Sample

 A sample of 32 respondents is earmarked. The following groups will form the sample: 

(a)          Those that have divorced

(b)          Those who are in process of divorce

(c)          Those who are marriage specialists such as pastors, church elders, social workers and divorce lawyers.. A total sample size of thirty-two is earmarked however, when a saturation point is reached during the interviews, the sample may be reduced.

            

1.7 Delimitation of the study

This kind of study appears to be of national relevance but it will be delimited to the Evangelical churches at the Namakgale Township of Phalaborwa, Limpopo Province, and Republic of South Africa. 

 

1.8 Research framework.

Chapter 1 will focus on the background of the problem under investigation. The problem was formulated and the purpose of the study was stated. The concepts, which will be used often in the study, were identified and defined and the research methodology was clearly described.

 

Chapter 2 will focus on a biblical and theological teaching of marriage and divorce as intended by God: with exegesis of Matthew 19:1-12. This chapter will explore the Old Testament and the New Testament passages in issue of marriage and divorce. This will include biblical exegetical resources that conceptualise marriage and divorce. In order to achieve this, the work of prominent theologians will be used; especially those who have written critical analysis about marriage and divorce. This chapter will compare these critical resources to arrive at the heart of the matter what causes divorce in the Bible. This will help the researcher to apply these findings to the Evangelical church members in Namakgale Township.

            

Chapter 3 will focus on the role of culture on divorce. Church members have a tendency to carry their culture, traditions, and customs into the church. This chapter investigate to what extent does the culture in this community influence marriage and divorce amongst church members in the Evangelical church members. In other words this chapter will discuss and compare views of cultural and that of Christianity. Cultural practices such as Lobola, initiation, types of marriages, and many others will be explored to find its impact on marriage in this community.

 

Chapter 4 will focus on the empirical research design, data analysis and interpretation. This chapter shows the instruments that were used in conducting the empirical research. It shows the interview schedule used and the responses from all thirty two respondent interviewed. This chapter will show how data was collected and interpreted. It will also show the findings of this empirical research from sample found in Namakgale Evangelical church members.

 

Chapter 5 will focus on overview, recommendations, suggestion for further research and concluding remarks. This chapter summarises chapter two, three, and four; in other words this chapter serve as a conclusion to all that has been discussed in all chapters in this research. This chapter suggest ways and means that the church in this community can used in order to reduce divorce at least among Evangelicals church members. 

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