Christian Marriage, also called Matrimony is a sacrament in which a man and a woman publicly declare their love and fidelity in front of witnesses, a priest or minister and God. The It is seen by all Christian churches as both a physical and spiritual fulfillment. Christianity emphasises that the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a lifetime commitment. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate. “‘ —Matthew 19:6.
Saint Paul interpreted the word of Christ on divorce and wrote “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband, but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband – and that the husband should not divorce is wife” (1 Cor 7:10-11). Christian views on marriage were first documented in the Gospels. ‘The Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”‘ —Matthew 19:4–5.
Christians believe that marriage signifies a male and a female becoming one in flesh, soul and spirit. It represents the love that the couple share for each other and represents God’s love for humanity. When a man and a woman get married they are blessed by God in the same way that Adam and Eve were blessed upon creation. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. —Genesis 1:28. When God blessed Man and Woman, he gave them his permission to procreate.
This established the Christian lore that premarital sex is forbidden as the relationship has not been blessed by God. Christian beliefs, as portrayed in the sacrament of marriage. Fidelity is a value that all Christian adherents believe they should poses. When Christians marry, they agree to be forever faithful to their partner. The Ten Commandments are the foundation of Christian ethics and morality, the seventh being “Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The fact that God included this as one of his commandments to Moses as part of the covenant with his people is a reflection of the importance of the sanctity of marriage withing the Christian churches. Saint Paul reinforces God’s message that fidelity and faithfulness within marriage is essential in his Letters to the Hebrews ‘Marriage is to be honored by all and husbands and wives must be faithful to each other. God will judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
In Pope Pius XI’s papal encyclical, the Casti Connubii, he reinforces the importance of fidelity in upholding the sanctity of marriage. He elaborates on Christ’s teachings on adultery of the heart, as seen in the Gospel according to Matthew. “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ”—Matthew 5:28. Pope Pius explains that the sanctity of marriage can not be disregarded even with permission from one of the parties of the marriage.
Which words of Christ Our Lord cannot be annulled even by the consent of one of the partners of marriage for they express a law of God and of nature which no will of man can break or bend. —Casti Connubii (1930) Love is an essential part of a marriage within the Christian churches. God’s love for mankind is replicated in the process of marriage within the couple. Saint Paul speaks of the importance of love between a husband and wife in his Letter to the Ephesians. “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it…
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He hat loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. ” . —Ephesians 5:25-30. Saint Paul acknowledges that a man and woman become one flesh upon marriage and compares hatred towards one’s spouse with hatred to one’s own body. He stipulates that man must love give himself to his wife, as Jesus gave Himself to the Church. Marriage amongst Christian variants.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the ceremony is conducted within the house of God; some circumstances can warrant the marriage to take place outside of a church, for example one party is unable to appear in the church due to illness. In Catholic marriages, is believed that God blesses the couple and completes the union and it is the couple who marry each other, the priest or minister does not, rather he is a witness of the Church. The couple recite the marriage vows in front of each other, the witnesses (attendees and the priest/minister) and God.
These vows serve as a promise to each other and to the church to fulfill their marital obligations, as they are now considered to be ‘one flesh’. Within the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Sacred Mystery of Marriage recognises, under the church, the union of the couple; however God’s union of the couple has been in progress throughout the relationship. The married couple’s unity represents the unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the joy, sadness and suffering that the couple experiences throughout their marriage emulates Jesus’ own life, death and resurrection.
The Orthodox Churches teach that the husband and wife are the ‘King and Queen’ of the family unit which replicates the Kingdom of God. During the ceremony they are given crowns which are blessed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The priest recites “O Lord, our God, crown them in glory and in honour. ” The crowns are also a symbol of martyrdom, as the couple give their life to each other and to Christ. In the Anglican Church, Holy Matrimony is the union between a man and a woman who acknowledge God’s presence in their lives.
The couple exchange their vows and receive God’s blessing via the priest or minister. Once this has taken place, the couple are declared married by the priest, the blessing and exchange of wedding rings is a popular custom, however it is not a requirement for the union to be recognised by the Church; however without a clergyman present, the marriage does not exist. The ceremony is regarded as an extremely formal, significant practice that marks the start of the couple’s life together as one.
The effect of Christian Marriage today: evaluation and conclusion. When modern Christians get married, they are reenforcing Christ’s message of love for his people and his church, the couple are accepting God into their relationship and dedicating their lives to each other. The readings during the ceremony explain the continued importance of the marriage sacrament. The key beliefs of Christianity- fidelity and love, have transcended time; from the establishment of religious traditions from the times of Paul, to a modern society.
It establishes a route for a couple to begin a family of their own in accordance with Christ’s teaching of love and purity. Marriage is an imperative component of a Christian’s life. It is a reflection of Jesus’ love for human beings which strengthens the Christian community. It provides a medium for various Christian denominations to form their own identity whilst still maintain God’s message of eternal love and faithfulness.