A pastoral evaluation on the issue of ‘vat en sit’ with special reference to the Black Reformed Churches of South Africa
This article investigates the practice of vat en sit to offer solutions to church councils of the mainly Black Reformed Churches in South Africa and also to the couples and families involved in such a relationship. Vat en sit is fast becoming a common phenomenon in South Africa. It should be noted that some of the couples in the vat-en-sit relationships may enter into it with no formal agreement. However, there are partners who may enter into this kind of relationship through a universal partnership agreement whereby the couple plan to live together without marrying one another or a domestic life-partnership agreement whereby the couple opt to regulate their rights and duties in a vat-en-sit relationship. It does not, however, affect only the black members of the Reformed Churches in South Africa but also the family structures of society. The article thus endeavours to determine the reasons why many couples go this route and also how church councils could be assisted in dealing with the issue of vat en sit. This concept will be disseminated under the following headings: (1) The causes of vat en sit relationships (2) Implications of vat en sit (3) The effect of a vat-en-sit relationship in the church (4) The solution to the issue of vat en sit is to assist church councils, couples and their immediate and extended families.