Marriage refers to the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman) and matrimony refers to the state of being married; marriage. Marriage is a fundamental institution for society due to its importance in uniting spouses as potential parents and in providing for the upbringing of their children.
A rise in divorce numbers are evident in today’s society. There has been a lot of discussion as to who earns the money and who manages the household meaning that there is less correlation which can weaken the need to be together as both women and men can work, providing for themselves without the income of another person as it used to be. People wander whether marriage is worth the effort while others say it is an old-fashion that doesn’t fit the expectations they have for their lives. People tend to spend more time thinking about themselves and their personal needs and worry less about the relationship/partner which can lead to disagreements among others which in turn affects the overall purpose of the relationship.
The Sacrament of Matrimony is the matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
We were created in God’s image meaning that men and women reflect different aspects of God as well as having two different but complementary bodies. Justice and Mercy, Strength and Beauty, Initiation and Response. The different, but reciprocal aspects of men and women mean that marriage is best represented when it is between a man and a woman. The different bodies show they are physically corresponding and also fit together in body, soul and spirit.
Men and women are brought together by marriage becoming one. Marriage is established by God to be life-long, faithful relationship which is intended to be fruitful. Marriage was designed by God to join a husband and wife to each other and to be mother and father to the offspring they have. They knew that “children are a heritage from the Lord” (psalm 127:3) and that the mother and father are the best people to provide for and educate their own offspring.
How the Catechism informs and/or influences Catholics:
- Marriage is a sacrament which must be followed just like laws in politics etc. as it is something that must be complied with.
- If you don’t agree with matrimony and its ‘norms’, influences a person to not get married in the Church
- You need to be disposed to have children as stated by the Catechism making Catholics to re-think about marriage.
Marriage in Islam is similar to the doctrine of marriage in Catholicism and is held in high regard. However, Islam permits marriage of up to four women where Catholicism requires one man and one woman. Furthermore, in Islam, a man is permitted to beat his wife for disloyalty and ill-conduct (“34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” Surah 4:34). Muslims are not supposed to marry non-Muslims, and they are not to force women into marriage. However, lying is permitted in Islamic marriage in order to harmonize the relationship between spouses.
Tensions between the Catechism and Catholics:
- Marriage, procreation and education of offspring are a must, but many don’t want to marry/have children.
- By nature, many people are materialistic and maybe money would need to go towards the offspring/matrimony as a priority.
- The church requires marriage through the Church as a sacrament, but some people might only want to marry through civil marriage because different religious beliefs (which is not permitted in Catholicism).
Divorce is a major issue in today’s marriages which will continue to rise in the future presenting issues to the Church. This is because the Catholic Church does not allow or recognise divorce as marriage/matrimony is for all of life until separated by death. It is unclear as to how the Church might respond to this challenge but if it continues to happen, it might even cause many people to change faith/religion to accommodate for their needs resulting in a decrease of Catholics.