THE CHALLENGES OF CHILDLESSNESS TO IGBO TRADITIONAL FAMILY: THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

Author: Ndimaeme Fred Onuorah
Department: Religion and Human Relations
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This study examined the challenges of childlessness on Igbo family and supply some acceptable ways of coping with the situation from the Christian perspective. It investigated also the Church’s teachings on childlessness in an Igbo Christian family, the Igbo traditions in relation to this. The study made use of survey design, using both the primary and secondary sources for data collection. Area culture method of interpretation was used for data analysis since the work deals with the culture of the people, and also to avoid over-generalization and to locate the places of the event under study. Besides, missiological method was also applied for the interpretation of data. The study revealed that childless couples in the Igbo family witness great challenges which include; state of constant fear, anxiety, helplessness, neglect, abandonment, frustration, stigmatization, emotional turmoil, cruelty from mothers-inlaw, societal brutality, among others. The results show that both men and women perceive childlessness to be caused by evil spirits, ancestral cursed, God/ as a punishment for past promiscuity. Childlessness in the Igbo family has serve health, psychological and social implications especially for women. The findings of this study will help childless couples to understand the problem better and this will give them an advantage in overcoming the effects of it on their married lives. Having understood the causes of childlessness, not as a punishment for sin committed in the past by the couples, the society would aid in seeking for better ways of solving the problem rather than stigmatizing them (Childless couples). Community education on the actual causes of childlessness helps to dispel the myths about the causes and ways of preventing infertility.

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