- Marriage is instituted by God at creation.
- Marriage is leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh
- Marriage is for sex
- Marriage is a permanent life-long bond.
- Marriage is heterosexual
- Marriage is monogamous
- Marriage is not compulsory
- Marriage is regarded as a covenant Proverbs 2:17 Malachi 2:14
- Marriage is a personal union
- Marriage is not the central meaning of life.
- Marriage is a pledge of troth
- Marriage is ethically, not legally, qualified – its purpose is love
- Marriage is based on fidelity
- Marriage is an essential structure for the family
- Marriage is a vocation: a gift and a calling
- Marriage is a community – it is not hierarchical, there is mutual submission between husband and wife (Eph 5:21)
- Marriage is an image of the relationship of God with his church
Is marriage culturally bound?
What is the relationship to marriage of a wedding? Do weddings make a marriage?
Does becoming one flesh constitute marriage? If so, then should only virgins be married in church? – as to marry any other would be to condone adultery. If we allow non-virgins to marry in church why the problem remarrying divorcees?
What about rape? Does that constitute becoming one flesh?
What about cohabitation? It involves a leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh. Is that marriage?
- Marriage, for some, becomes absolutised.
- Marriage is under threat
- Marriage is a struggle
- Marriage has become based on passion and not love
- Marriage has become a contract that can become broken at a whim
- Marriage can easily be broken: divorce can even be done by text message
Easy divorce may increase the number of foolish marriages.
Divorce carries many consequences – particularly for any children involved.
“Just as the concentration camp has marked the breakdown of the rule of law in the life of the state, so the divorce court marks the breakdown of the rule of fidelity in private life. More than all else, divorce is the logical and inevitable outcome of unbelief and of a society which has turned its back on the moral and religious values it once held sacred.” Hebden Taylor 1970, p. 31.
Christian marriages should be a picture and preview of the coming kingdom.
Forgiveness a key characteristic
It may require a campaign for more stringent divorce laws.
Marriage counselling and marriage enrichment programmes are important.
Divorce is permitted within certain circumstances to alleviate the effects of a fallen world, because of the hardness of hearts.
Divorce is never considered an unforgivable sin.