By allowing easy divorce, the court opened a Pandora's box

 Marriage or civil partnership hanging on by a thread. [Getty Images]

The Bible asks the rhetorical question, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3).

The answer is an emphatic – No! For any journey involving two or more people to succeed, there must of necessity be a common purpose and mutual agreement, especially on the fundamental issues. Otherwise, even a seemingly mundane matter – such as which route to take – could easily bring the journey to an abrupt end. Splits are therefore not totally uncommon in human engagements – even in the Bible.

Paul, arguably the foremost Apostle, had to part company with his missionary colleague and mentor, Barnabas. They could not agree on how to handle the apparently casual attitude and conduct of their mentee, John Mark. Their disagreement was so irreconcilable that they could not continue together in their God given mandate. Abraham also had to part ways with his adopted nephew, Lot, when they could not resolve incessant disputes between their workers.

Apart from these Biblical examples, stories abound of tight business partners who founded their enterprises on strong bonds of friendship, but whose eventual separation was noisy and messy. This underlies the truth that human relationships can be tough. That is why every partnership or contract must have an exit clause. It is with this attitude that many get into the marriage “partnership” – ready to jump ship if the relationship goes sour.

What many do not realise, though, is that marriage was NEVER designed to be a partnership or a contract, that you can walk into and walk out of at will. Marriage is not missionary partnership, or a business contract, but a covenant binding the couple together “until death do us part.”

A covenant is an obligatory agreement that cannot be broken casually. That is why in any marriage ceremony, the couple is admonished to give serious consideration to their decision before saying “I do”. They are accorded an option to change their minds even at the altar – for it is better and easier to walk out of a wedding than out of a marriage.

Sadly, foremost in the minds of many young people today is the funfair around the wedding – often with wanton extravagance designed to impress. Little or no thought is given to the marriage thereafter.

Many rush to the wedding altar to seal the deal even before they know each other well. It is no wonder that many young couples want to exit their marriages in less than three years. But what is it that you would discover about your partner in less than three years which you could not have foreseen before marriage?

While it is true that there are chameleons out there that can conceal material facts, they are not that many. A little due diligence – devoid of romantic fantasies – will reveal the true colours of any prospective wife or husband.

In the absence of such sobriety, many find themselves hitched to other than the angels they dreamed or sang about, and they soon head to court to untie the knots. This has given rise to a high frequency of newly married couples with “irreconcilable” differences and who want immediate divorce.

Unfortunately, when marriage is treated with such nonchalance, the divorce rates can be expected to rise steeply. Well, some entrepreneurs are already positioning themselves for a rich harvest. An article in Reuters Life, reports that with divorce on the rise in Japan, some couples are choosing to celebrate the end of an unhappy marriage in a divorce ceremony – akin to a wedding ceremony.

Pioneered recently in Tokyo by a former salesman, Hiroki Terai, couples pay upwards of Sh60,000 to hold a ceremony with all the pomp and grandeur of a wedding. Well, the demand is high. In the business world, that would be considered a big market.

“And not only is the market underserved, it has not actually been looked at as a niche.” The implication here is profound. Just like death management has become big business, divorce may be the new business frontier – flung open by the appellate judges Gatembu Kairu, Pauline Nyamweya and Jessie Lesiit. But it could be a serious Pandora’s box.