The purpose of marriage varies from culture to culture, but the core purpose remains the same: to commit oneself to love. Marriage is a bedrock of stability and a touchstone for lasting love, creating a structure and framework to hold on to. A marriage vow, if properly pronounced, expresses the couple’s commitment to each other. A marriage contract is a legal contract, and divorce is a betrayal.
Permanency, exclusivity, and faithfulness are essential to a marriage
Marriage requires mutual fidelity to each other for life. Whether it be in marriage or in a relationship, the permanence of marriage helps a couple live without fear of abandonment. Satan’s greatest targets are marriage and family life, and polygamy, divorce, and so-called free love undermine the beauty of marriage and family life. It can also encourage excessive self-love, which leads to the worship of pleasure and other illegitimate practices, such as abortion and sterilization.
Marriage is the source of new persons. In a marriage, the spouses will each other into perfectness as persons. The relationship between the couple should be a profoundly intimate, all-embracing interpersonal communion. Without these three essential components, a marriage is doomed to disorder. Therefore, it’s important to protect the gift of marriage. For Catholics, these principles are enshrined in the Sacrament of Marriage.
Divorce is betrayal
For a spouse, divorce is betrayal. A spouse who has been betrayed will shut down any desire for relationship. The betrayed spouse will feel that no one is trustworthy and will only expect minimal in return. This type of emotional flooding will persist for years. The unfaithful spouse may have an understanding of the cause of the crisis, but the betrayed spouse may not. Emotional flooding is often accompanied by a host of physical symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
Once a betrayed spouse has confessed to the indiscretion, he or she may experience feelings of disgust, sadness, anger, and betrayal. Infidelity is an extremely emotional time in a marriage, and the betrayed spouse may not be able to find a way to reconcile. In such cases, couples counselors can help. Marriages that stick together are more stable and happy than those that are splintered apart.
Relationships are a covenant relationship
The idea of a covenant is an ancient one. It is a legal arrangement between two people, invoking God, defining what the relationship will be like. It is permanent and unchangeable. Man can only accept or reject covenant obligations. God is the only one who has the right to change it. Covenant relationships are beautiful and deep. They offer the opportunity to know ourselves and experience true unconditional love. They are the highest form of relationships.
A covenant relationship is a more permanent commitment between two people. This means it is based on more than just feelings. It involves a lifelong commitment, and a covenant relationship is a commitment that has to be maintained even when the relationship gets hard. People who don’t share power in their relationships will eventually run into problems and conflict, and their patterns of not sharing power will be transferred to the next relationship.
Legal function of marriage
Marriage has many legal functions, not the least of which is to define the relationships between partners and to ensure the rights of children. Traditionally, marriage is an institution that defines a person’s relationships within a community. While it is based on sexual attraction and intimacy, marriage also creates a legal contract to ensure the rights of the partners and to define the relationship of the spouses and children within a society. Listed below are some of these functions.
The most important legal function of marriage is to model the calling of the authorizing state, and to provide for the children. In some cultures, the productive family is still seen as the staple institution of feudalism. But these days, the legal function of marriage has evolved to reflect changing cultural norms. For example, the Toda people allowed married women to have intercourse with male priests. In some societies, the Kalinda people institutionalized mistresses. In these societies, the women acted as a medium between the men and mistresses.