MARRIAGE & DIVORCE: THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHURCH AND MODERN SOCIETY
C THL 101- Theology
Professor Tom Park
November 17, 2017
What do you perceive marriage to be? For example, do you see marriage as a contract? A gift? A union? Approximately ninety-six percent of all Americans will eventually marry, and of those ninety-six percent about forty percent, will get divorced.[footnoteRef:0] Marriage, in legal terms, is the union of a couple of spouses; however, that can mean anything. The legal name does not go in depth about what marriage is: whether there are love and commitment between two people, just companionship and physical needs, or all of those things. There are many perspectives about marriage and even divorce. However, the two aspects that I will be focusing on in this paper will be the church and modern society perspective. [0: Stephen Grunlan, Marriage and the Family: A Christian Perspective (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers), p.40]
In the church, more specifically the Christian church, marriage is a unique calling. Just as we have callings to be students, professors, doctors etc. we have a calling to be wed. We are to fulfill these callings to be right with God and please Him. Marriage is also troth, to clarify, troth is faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, and truth. “In a sentence, marriage is a mutual, permanent, exclusive, one-flesh union between husband and wife, characterized by troth and fidelity.”[footnoteRef:1] It is a state, institution where troth should distinguish its many aspects. Where both the husband and wife can count on each other’s loyalty. Marriage is of the Lord, it is the Lord's institution for men and women, and permanent trust for life.[footnoteRef:2] “What God has joined together let man not separate.”[footnoteRef:3] It is God's institution for one man and one woman to unite and become one and not be separated. [footnoteRef:4] Furthermore, marriage is a commitment where husband and wife submit to one another out of reference for Christ. It is a miracle of God’s creativity and a gift. God designed marriage for friendship and companionship. “Then the Lord said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.”[footnoteRef:5] He formed out of the one man himself, his wife for the man not be alone, but have a companion and have the enjoyment of affection.[footnoteRef:6] Lastly, marriage is procreation, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”[footnoteRef:7] Children are a result of one man and one woman who are united and are one. They are a gift from God just as marriage is. [1: James Olthuis, I Pledge you my Troth: A Christian View of marriage, Family, Friendship (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989). p.20] [2: James Olthuis, I Pledge you my Troth: A Christian View of marriage, Family, Friendship (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989). p.20] [3: Scripture: Matthew 19:6] [4: John Darby, John Darby’s Synopsis of the Bible (D. Morton, 1909)] [...