Clarifying the True Purpose of Marriage

by Percival J. Meris on September 27, 2010

true purpose of marriage

Purpose of Marriage Photo Courtesy of Kostya Kisleyko via stock.xchng

WHAT IS THE TRUE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE? Over the years, the true purpose of marriage has been forgotten, and confused for something else. For this reason, the institution of marriage has been misused and, at times, abused.

Love Is Not the True Purpose of Marriage

You love somebody, and you marry her because of that. Wrong! Love is not a primary reason for getting married.

You should love the person you marry, but you should not necessarily marry the person you love, Much less should you marry a person you don’t love. Since people often choose to marry the person they love, they confuse love as the main reason for marrying.

True love is a necessary ingredient of marriage. It serves as means to the end purpose. But if you cannot achieve the true purpose of marriage, you have no business getting married.

Children Is the True Purpose of Marriage

The bearing and rearing of children is the true purpose of marriage. This requires a family structure in which to nurture them to maturity. The family is environment of first resort where child rearing effectively take place.

Homosexual Marriage Cannot Fulfill the True Purpose of Marriage.

Homosexuals cite love as reason for wanting to get married. If bearing of children is the purpose of marriage, how can homosexual marriage bring this about?

Only heterosexual marriage can produce offspring. It can also provide normal and balanced rearing-up experience with the presence of both father and mother, whose personalities complement and synergize in carrying out parental functions.

Marriage as a Contract of Partnership

Couples who enter this institution of marriage commit themselves by a contract of partnership. It binds the partners to one another to ensure family solidarity for the child’s sake.

Most laws support the exclusivity of this partnership by declaring it illegal for one or both to marry somebody else while the partnership is binding. Should dissolution of marriage inevitably take place, proper parental custody and financial support are arranged for the child.

Dissolution of Marriage Shatters the Child’s Family Life

A broken family, the unfortunate result of a partnership breakdown, is highly detrimental to the psychological upbringing of the child. The family is the child’s most important social environment for attaining maturity.

The presence of both a father and a mother is important during his growing-up years. Together, they provide love and a sense of security in raising a well-adjusted individual.

Commitment to Preserving the Family Saves Marriage from Dissolution

Spousal love may fade away, but the partners’ concern to put the child interests at the forefront of their values is sufficient to keep their commitment to maintaining family solidarity. Some loveless marriages persist, because the parents are not so selfish as to prioritize their own interests over that of the child.

Immature couples who do not live by this principle have no business getting married. Otherwise, the resulting divorce, separation, or annulment would bring down havoc on the poor child.

Preventing Dissolution of Marriage

Young couples rush into marriage at the compulsion of infatuation, which they mistake for love. This immature decision is dangerous, and has resulted in many broken families.

These misfortunes do not have to happen, if young people only would wait till they reach the age of full emotional maturity. And, in preparing for marriage, they follow the formula of long courtship and short engagement.

Long Period of Courtship

Persons preparing for married life have the responsibility of choosing a candidate most likely to hold on to the partnership “till death do us part”. A long courtship period (about a year) gives them ample time to honestly assess themselves and the other person for marital compatibility and parental fitness.

Since this is still a period of quest and decision-making, each person may still enjoy freedom of exposure to other marital opportunities. This gives them time leverage for wider and wiser choices.

Short Period of Engagement

The engagement period is a time of intention and commitment. Couples close the doors of their hearts to other marital opportunities. Preparations should now be under way for wedding arrangements.

This period should last only for a few months. Otherwise, engagement should not yet be entered into.

How Romantic Love Serves the True Purpose of Marriage

Love is not the true purpose of marriage, but its presence is a requisite to fulfilling this purpose. In other words, you do not have to marry the one you love, but you have to love the one you marry.

Marital love is romantic in nature. It is characterized by heightened feelings of affection for and desire for sexual relations with one another. This is nature’s way of motivating humans to participate in the propagation of its species.

The Development of Romantic Love

At a certain age, a person begins experiencing some physical changes that influence emotional behaviors. They stimulate gland secretions of certain types of hormones (the so-called love chemicals, such as dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine) inside his body.

The hormones are responsible for feelings of infatuation to begin a love relationship, erotic passion to engage in sex, and long-term attachment to hold the family together. These three phases of romantic relationship are ordained and intended by nature to be in full support of the true purpose of marriage.

To Fully Fulfill Its True Purpose, Marriage Should Endure

Every effort should be undertaken by the couples concerned and by those directly or indirectly involved in them to save a marriage from impending break-up. The intention is not so much for the couple’s sake as it is for that of their children, who are most adversely affected by it.

In my previous article Do Not Become Another Divorce Statistic! Save Your Marriage Now, I gave practical suggestions for saving an endangered marriage from dissolution. Saving a marriage saves the true purpose of marriage from not being fully fulfilled.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali September 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Very valid points you make, Sir Percy. You break down things in an organic, natural way, eliminating ego & self-fulfilled emotions. Many do not have to agree with your assessment but it makes total sense.

Percival J. Meris September 28, 2010 at 2:56 am

Thank you very much, Ali. I appreciate your comment. Yes, I don’t expect every reader of mine to agree in my ideas. This makes interaction really dynamic. At least, I have presented them with an alternative way of looking at an issue, which they may not have thought of before.

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