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3 Bumps

Why do you use religion to define marriage?

I just read this and find it ironic that people use religion to define marriage when it was occurring for centuries before religion decided it wanted to be involved...what are your thoughts?

The B.C. Years
In the centuries prior to the first millennium A.D., marriage was a good way to ensure your family's safety. By marrying a daughter off to a fellow from a nearby tribe, you expanded the circle of people who you could rely upon in times of famine or violence. Marriage came to be respected as an institution, so much so that people who didn't marry were penalized outcasts. But marriage wasn't so respected that you couldn't escape its bounds once in awhile; in fact, it was expected that men would have romantic dalliances with mistresses (or even young boys) while maintaining a marriage for purposes of child-rearing. Women were married very young, whereas men tended to be a little older, and almost all marriages were arranged.

6th Century through 17th Century
No Valentines or romantic weekends shared between spouses to be found in this chunk of time. Marriages continued to be arranged affairs, particularly useful for solidifying status, wealth and power. Men of one family would present a potential bride to another family, and then they'd negotiate a dowry, or bride price. When the deal was struck, the men presented the bride-to-be with a ring to celebrate the successful transaction; of course, giving rings to celebrate betrothal has become much more romantic (and expensive) in recent times.

12th Century to 13th Century
The union between a man and a woman is described in the sacred texts of most religions. For many centuries, though, the Christian church took a decidedly hands-off approach to marriage. During the 12th and the 13th centuries, however, the church became more involved in performing ceremonies and dictating who could get married. Churches prohibited marriage between in-laws, blood relations and families who were linked by the bond of godparent and godchild. The church would often undertake investigations to assure that these conditions were met. It wasn't until the 12th century that a priest would participate in a marriage ceremony, and it would take another hundred years before the ceremony was actually performed by a priest.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:57 PM on Apr. 19, 2011 in Religious Debate

Answers (34)
  • I don't. The only thing God has to do with my relationship between my husband is that he loves us both. He's not telling us it's right that we're together and it's wrong that my aunts are together. He just loves us. I don't believe God hates or judges us for loving someone. I believe he hates that some of us hate someone.

    Answer by Imogine at 12:58 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • idk where some people get that idea. for me, my vows were a spoken promise, in front of my dh and others and God, which is where my 'religion' came into play, because we made a pledge and spoke it ''with God as a witness'', so to speak. KWIM?

    Answer by dullscissors at 1:06 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I always wondered this myself. good post

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 1:07 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Well, the passage you posted seems to cover marriage only from a Christian, or even more specifically, a Catholic view. Obviously there are other religions that predate Christ and they too had restrictions on marriage. Personally, I believe that God's ability and intent to join a man and a women in marriage predates even the creation of this world.


    Answer by TikiWiki33 at 1:18 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't know .... it's like many forget that you do not have to marry in a church or have the clergy officiate the ceremony. You can go down to the court house, pick the license (which I have issues with), and walk over to the JoP and get married all in the same day.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 1:46 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • All of these passages are generalizations for the people AND culture of that time. That doesn't mean that's how they all were. I use Christianity to define marriage because I believe in the Bible. There's my answer.

    Answer by Renee3K at 1:48 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Religion does define my marriage but that does not mean it has to define yours- keep your nose out of my marriage and I will keep my nose out of yours-

    Answer by soyousay at 2:03 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't use religion to define marriage - I believe marriage is between the two individuals, and it is up to them to include whatever other people or aspects that they wish. I personally did vow before God, just because it made it more meaningful for me personally to include that aspect of my life in my marriage. But that doesn't mean I believe EVERY marriage is or has to be that way just because it was that way for me. And if my husband weren't on the same page as me, had he wanted me to omit that part of the ceremony, I would have. We just happen to think and believe very similarly, and look at our marriage very much the same way. But that doesn't mean I expect everyone else to model their marriage after ours, or to allow religion to define their marriage or marriage in general...

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:08 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Love defines my marriage....and my hubbs gorgeous blue eyes. I am a Christian and I never wanted to mary in a church. (((shruggs shoulders))) I mostly agree with your post on the history of marriage but I am sure most marry for love. No mention of that?


    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 2:16 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I don't. My marriage is between my husband and me. No gods or goddesses needed.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 2:17 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

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