Sacrament of Marriage: One Man and one Woman

th[5] Everywhere you turn today, you can’t get away from the debate. You will find it on television news, headlines in the newspapers, magazines and discussed in just about every state legislature. It is impossible to escape the debate over same-sex marriage. So, what is the true meaning of marriage? For a Christian, the answer is a no-brainer. So why all of the fuss? It seems that if someone holds to the true definition of marriage, then the politically correct crowd will be all over you like “white on rice.” Now, I understand that the topic of marriage is a sensitive issue for some people with same-sex attractions. They feel that they should be able to marry someone of the same sex. But, the problem with that, is the real definition of marriage. I would have to respond politely to someone who makes that argument with, “you don’t have a beef with me, but with God!” Instead of redefining the meaning of marriage, another word could be used in it’s place.  

What is Marriage?

If marriage is just a relationship between people who care for each other, then that could mean a host of things. You could have two men marry two women. With that definition, who’s to say that polygamists, swingers, adult siblings or friends who do not have a sexual relationship but love one another platonically should not get married.

Webster’s definition: act of marring, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife…

What is the Sacramental Marriage? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “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 (1601).”

The Catholic Church—along with other faiths that profess belief in the one God—assert that marriage is God’s idea. It originated with him. “God himself is the author of marriage (Gaudium et Spes 48).” In paragraph 1602 of the Catechism it states: “…Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.”

th[6]In the Old Testament; marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).” In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms this: “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’ (Matt. 19:4-5)?”

Marriage can’t be anything we choose it to be because marriage is sacred. By Jesus’ teaching on marriage and his blessing of marriage with his presence at the wedding feast of Cana, and through the Church he founded, it elevated marriage to a sacrament. What does that mean?

Every sacrament is a transforming encounter with the living Christ and a means of receiving grace, the very life of God. In the sacrament of marriage, husband and wife “…are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving.”154 This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony…(CCC 1644).”

For a Christian, Marriage is also a vocation, a call from God to seek holiness in a particular way, in a particular state of life, and with a particular person. This truth has been largely lost in today’s society. At least in America, a vast majority of people profess to believe in God, but do not consider what God has to say when entering marriage. It is seen as simply another personal choice to be made. Well, until next time, God bless.

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