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'Never has it been so difficult for a woman to find a good man.'.
Table of contents
- God Designed Men and Women to Be Different in Many Ways - Focus on the Family
- What Is a Concubine? Why Did God Allow Men to Take Concubines in the Bible?
- Tempt Him to Apologize for God
- Promise of Faithfulness
Performance of certain Sastric ceremonies, which have been laid down in detail in Griha Sutras, are necessary for a Hindu marriage. Marriage has been an important social institution. It is the basis for the family. The functions of marriage include regulation of sexual behavior, reproduction, nurturance, protection of children, socialization, consumption, and passing on of the race. Hindu marriage is regarded as a means to establish a relationship between two families.
Free intermixing between two sexes is a taboo. Thus most marriages are arranged by parents or relatives, even in the educated class. For most people in India, marriage is a one-time event in life, which sanctified and glorified with much social approval.
Marriage is a social necessity; marrying children is the primary responsibility of parents in India. Daughters should be married as soon they become young in early twenties and sons married as soon as they start earning. Married couples are accorded respect in the community. Non-solemnization of marriage is a social stigma.
Social values, customs, traditions and even legislation have attempted to ensure stability of marriage. The goal of marriage in Hinduism is to foster, not self-interest, but self-restraint and love for the entire family, which keeps the family united and prevents its breakdown. India is largely a patriarchal society. The traditional dyad is the husband with high masculinity and the wife with high femininity. A recent study by Issac and Shah[ 3 ] reported a positive link between androgyny and marital adjustment, and a trend for couples to move toward gender-neutral dyads.
Dowry is a custom in Hindu marriage since times immemorial. These two aspects got entangled and in due course assumed the frightening name of dowry.
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For obtaining dowry compulsion, coercion and occasionally force had to be exercised. Ultimately most marriages became a bargain. Over the years dowry has turned into a widespread social evil. Surprisingly, it has spread to other communities, which were traditionally non-dowry receiving communities. Demand for dowry has resulted in cruelty, domestic violence, and death by homicide or suicide. The prescription of marriage is more stringent for women. Women must get married. After marriage, her husband's home is her home. In India, marriage and family dominate the life of women.
After marriage, husband and relatives control all outside relationships. No wonder non-solemnization of marriage of young daughters, separation or divorce is very stressful not only for the woman, but for the entire family.
Marriage brings security and dignity to Indian women. Unmarried status in India is stigma especially for females. The sociologist Susan Wadley after examining the identity of women in folklore, myths, and legends rooted in history, observed that the Indian woman is constantly made to adopt contradictory roles — the nurturing roles as daughters, mothers, wives, and as daughter-in-laws, and the stereotyped role of a weak and helpless woman. The latter is fostered to ensure complete dependence on the male sex. Consequently, the constant movement from strength to passivity leads to enormous stress placing the woman's mental health under constant threat.
Sati was prevalent in Ancient India.
God Designed Men and Women to Be Different in Many Ways - Focus on the Family
Ramasamy Periyar paved the way for social reform. In India, the first movement of marital rights of women centered on three major problems, child marriage, enforced widowhood, and property rights of women. The Dowry Prohibition Act[ 7 ] was enacted to curb the dowry menace. The law was found to fail to stall this evil.
Dowry Death B [ 8 ] was later enacted. Where the death of the woman occurred in unnatural circumstances within 7 years of marriage and it is shown that she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives in connection with any demand for dowry, it would be presumed to be a dowry death, deemed to be caused by the husband or his relatives. Marriage is the greatest event in an individual's life and brings with it many responsibilities.
Mental disorders can either result in marital discord or may be caused by marital disharmony. In predisposed individuals, marriage can cause mental-health problems.
What Is a Concubine? Why Did God Allow Men to Take Concubines in the Bible?
Greater distress is seen in among married women compared to married men and greater distress in single women as compared to single men. The ever married suffered more than those who were never married. This causes misery and stigma and further complicates their problems by making them more susceptible to development or exacerbation of psychiatric disorders after marriage. Batra and Gautam[ 12 ] found a high prevalence of neurotic disorders among divorce-seeking couples.
Tempt Him to Apologize for God
The neurotic problems encountered were either antecedents or consequences of marital disharmony. In a prospective study of subjects with obsessive-compulsive disorder being married significantly increased the probability of partial remission. There is research evidence to suggest that for men, marriage confers protection against depression, while it appears to be associated with higher rates of depression in women. There is some evidence that within marriage, the traditional role of the female is limiting, restricting and even boring, which may lead to depression.
Studies in China and India report that single individuals are not more vulnerable to suicide than their married counterparts. In countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, where arranged marriages are common, the social and familial pressure on a woman to stay married even in abusive relationships appears to be one of the factors that increases the risk of suicide in women. When dowry expectations are not met, young brides can be harassed to the point where they are driven to suicide.
Alcohol use in India on social occasions has a long-history. Social approval of alcohol use has generally been for men. Thus, rates for alcohol use are much lower in women. Alcohol intake by spouse results in marital problems. The divorce rate among heavy drinkers is high and the wives of such men are likely to be anxious, depressed and socially isolated.
Besides, women admitted with self-poisoning blame the drinking habit of the husband. The WHO data, in which confounding factors such as, age, pre-morbid personality traits, and family history were controlled, married men experienced significant delay years in the onset of psychotic symptoms compared with single men. The extensive review of gender differences in the epidemiology of schizophrenia has been reviewed by Picinelle and Homen.
The 5-year follow-up study[ 21 ] of patients attending a teaching hospital, reported a better clinical and social outcome for women. The better outcome could be because it was an out-patient sample with lesser degree of impairments. At the end of 10 years, however, there were no significant difference in the outcome. A year follow-up study of a cohort of 76, first episode patients with schizophrenia,[ 23 ] found that marital outcome in Indian Patients as good with no gender difference.
Being married before the onset of illness, presence of children, a shorter duration of illness at inclusion and the presence of auditory hallucinations at intake were all associated with a good marital outcome. Being unemployed, experiencing a drop in socioeconomic level and the presence of flat affect and self-neglect for 10 years were all associated a poor marital outcome. A greater number of female patients were in the category of patients who had been untreated for a long-time.
The main reason attributed for these findings was the low-priority is given to the mental-health of women compared to men. The fact that women generally are presented at a later age with schizophrenia raises issues about the losses these women sustain with regard to established relationships, careers and children.
Promise of Faithfulness
All except eight lived with their parents. Twenty children were taken care of by the patients themselves or their parents. Only six children were cared by the husbands. Lack of awareness and the widespread belief that marriage is a panacea for all evils prompted some parents to get their daughters married even when they were symptomatic. Several needs were expressed for the separated women including to simplify the legal measures.
It is noteworthy that women with severe mental illness are discriminated in a big way. While wives are more tolerant, husbands are not and many of the marriages women with the mental illness end sooner or later.
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The women with severe mental illness are ostracized on three accounts. The observations of other workers are in the same line. The relationship between marriage and mental illness has been examined by Nambi. Several studies show low marital rates for schizophrenic patients compared with controls and other groups of mentally ill patients; lower rate in women than in men, a poor clinical course and lower socioeconomic status among the divorced, and a clear evidence for selection of schizophrenia among those never married.
Domestic violence means violence that occurs within the family. Domestic violence is considered as one of the burning social problem of the present day in India. The married women with major mental illness form an extremely vulnerable population at high-risk for various forms of abuse.
The incidents of wife battering, harassment by husband and in-laws, dowry deaths, suicides, kitchen accidents occur on a large scale. Many cases go unreported. The victims are unable to raise their voice, nor protect against violence. Domestic violence is an age-old phenomenon.
In the past, it was mainly hidden behind the four walls of the house. Those within did not wish to speak about it.