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“Life long marriage is too difficult for man people today. The church should be willing to drop this vow.” Would a Christian agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer showing that you have considered more than one point of view.Some Christians believe that marriage should be the ultimate relationship. When two people get married they make a vow to stay in a life long committed relationship. . It is a Christian promise made before God and is significant and of great importance amongst all Christian denominations despite certain differences in opinions.However, sometimes a variety of different circumstances can affect the longevity of a marriage. For example adultery is considered as a valid reason for a divorce as it is the breaking of one of the Ten Commandments, as Jesus taught “if a man divorces a woman for any other cause than her unfaithfulness, then he is guilty of making her commit adultery if she marries again” (Matthew 5:32). Another reason people may use to claim life long marriage is too difficult is domestic abuse. If a man were to be abusing his wife, then she should not be expected to stay with him in fear of being harmed.Roman Catholic teachings state that once two people are married they have become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) and no one can separate them. If they are then divorced by the state, in God’s eyes they are still married so any other relationships they have are considered to be adulterous. The only accepted reason for remarriage in the Catholic Church is if either husband or wife has died. Despite these strict beliefs, the Church does leave the possibility of the marriage never actually taking place. This is when for specific reasons, the couple’s union was never genuine, for example one of the partners may have still been married or one may have lied when making the marriage vows or may not have understood the vows they were making.Recently, many Christian denominations, excluding Catholicism have begun to accept divorce and altered their rules accordingly. An example is in the Orthodox Church the Church will grant a divorce and allow remarriage. There used to be a special service where the marriage would be ended, and when a second marriage takes place within the Orthodox Church, it is less joyful than the first. Although the Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage, very rarely is a third marriage permitted. Quakers believe that if there is no spiritual union between husband and wife, then there is no point in having a marriage.However some Catholics believe if a marriage is not life long then the sacrament is not as special as it should be. It should be life long because vows for a life long relationship were made before God and “what God has joined together let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Within a marriage people are also given the opportunity to start a family. To some Catholics, this may be reason enough to stay in a marriage. Marriage is also important as it controls sexual behaviour by encouraging abstinence until marriage.In my opinion marriage is a very important sacrament and marks a milestone in two people’s lives. I think it should be taken seriously and cherished as it is a declaration of love and commitment to each other as well as to God. I believe it is possible to have life long marriages; however I understand that in some circumstances this may not be easy. If a person has to decide on whether to stay in a marriage that is failing, despite every effort to make it last, for example through marriage counselling, then only as a last resort should divorce be acceptable. Most people who get married have the intention to stay together for life and uphold their vows but other issues may affect how successful their union is.Explain how in the course of their marriage, a Christian couple would apply the beliefs that you have mentioned. In your answer consider one or more situations in which Christian belief would make a difference. Consider whether all Christian couples would respond in the same way.In the Roman Catholic Church, marriage is one of the seven sacraments. It is a gift given to two people by God. A sacrament is a visible sign of the special way God can bring people close to him. The idea of marriage is that it will be “until death do us part”. When the marriage ceremony takes place, the vows that are made by both people signify the moment that the actual sacrament occurs. The vows that are made stand as proclamations of the couple’s intent to stay in a committed, loving relationship as husbands should “love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave his life for it.” (Ephesians 5:25), in marriage we must try to give ourselves fully as Christ did for his Church.One of the vows that are made during the ceremony is that you will stay together, “for better, for worse”. This means that through good times and bad times, the couple will stand strong in their marriage and despite certain flaws each other has, they will not be enough to “separate what God has joined” (Mark 10:9) this love and commitment to one another is like the love and commitment Jesus showed towards his disciples in the calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41) despite their lack of faith, he was there for them. An example of when this may affect a couple is if they have grown apart and are no longer making time for one another because of other commitments like work, they should try and prioritise their marriage and ensure that they take time to work out their issues.Another vow made is that they will stay together, “for richer for poorer” so no matter what financial difficulties the couple suffer, they will still be rich spiritually and with love for their partner if they stay joined in Holy matrimony. “I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt- but if I have no love, this does me no good.”(1Corinthians 14:3) This shows that nothing else will matter if there is love. An example of when this may affect a Christian couple today is if one person, lost their business or job and their partner, would be supportive and comforting as this is what they vowed to do when they were married.A husband must take his wife “to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Likewise, a wife must promise the same. This means in a marriage there should be love and affection, respect and admiration between the two, in order for it to be as fulfilling as possible. The inclusion of these vows in the marriage ceremony, signify that marriages will all have their ups and downs and couples will be faced with tremendously difficult obstacles to overcome throughout their journey as husband and wife, but “Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) This shows that with perseverance and using the vows as reminders of what you as a married couple have pledged before God and the community, marriage will help you grow as individuals as well as “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).Marriage is an indissolvable relationship both made with your husband/wife as well as with God. Preparation classes are usually taken by the couple about to be married, this offers them time to reflect upon the vows they are about to make and to understand full y the idea of a permanent and exclusive relationship with another person before God. This time for reflection, allows the couple’s relationship both with God and one another to deepen.The actual marriage ceremony usually takes place as a part of the Mass. The basic structure of the ceremony is very similar within all Christian denominations. Initially, the bride and groom are greeted by the priest, before the Mass begins. The priest represents the Christians joy at the marriage. During the Homily, the priest explains the ideals of marriage; he will speak of the love between two people, responsibility and growing closer to God through marriage. When the actual marriage ceremony begins, the priest will question each person about their understanding of marriage.He will ask them “will you give yourself freely?”, “will you love and honour each other?” and “will you accept children lovingly from God?” These are public and open declarations of their acceptance of the principles of Marriage. It shows their understanding of what they are about to undertake and that they are freely accepting the responsibilities of marriage. The marriage vows are when the actual sacrament takes place in the Roman Catholic service. Quakers see the vow as a declaration of intent and not a life long promise. They also do not believe marriage is a sacrament. The views of the Anglican Church vary from person to person.In Catholic marriages, it is essential for a priest to be present; he not only stands as a represent of God but also of the people of God. The priest also accepts the consent of the bride and groom. Then the rings are exchanged and are blessed. These rings are “a sign of love and fidelity” between the two. The ring is a token of their promise to stay in an exclusive and permanent relationship. It also has no beginning and no end which signifies their love for one another. Then after the Our Father has been said, the nuptial blessing takes place, here the priest speaks of how a husband’s love for his wife, must be like Jesus’ love for the Church, again the emphasis of faithfulness to one another is explained. Then the couple sign the marriage register, to make the union legal. A marriage certificate is also given to the couple.All Christians believe marriage is a very important ceremony; however Catholics also believe it to be a sacrament. That it is a unique and special relationship with God and it cannot be ended. However if the marriage does come into difficulties the Catholic Church recommends organisations that are there to help work out the problems within a marriage. Care is a Catholic organisation which assists couples with their problems in a marriage. Relate is an organisation that helps marriages, families and personal relationships. It offers a confidential counselling service that gives help and guidance as they believe the well being of marriages, and other personal relationships are fundamental in the way society work.

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