Introduction to Marriage • To define marriage • To describe trends in marriage • To contrast legal and religious ideas of marriage
Choose from these definitions & explain what the term “marriage” means to you. **Why do you think you need to learn about it in GCSE RE?? What is it? A social convention, something you are expected to “do” when you meet the right person? A religious ritual, giving you God’s help to make a lasting commitment? A way of showing your commitment? A set of promises, to live for the other person ? A way of making your relationship public and official? A legal definition, giving you certain benefits, rights over your partner? Other?
Legal and Religious Definitions The legal definition of marriage is about giving public and legal recognition that a couple have committed themselves to each other in a permanent and faithful way. The religious definition of marriage, is about recognising that man and woman are made by God to be together, and this union is not only a permanent and faithful commitment, but life-giving as well ( children). It calls the couple to show God-like self-sacrificing love – it is a special vocation from God to live & love in a certain way. It is celebrated as a Sacrament – a ceremony where the couple receive this vocation & God’s grace to live it out. • Bullet point or mindmap what the religious definition of marriage includes. • How are the legal and religious definitions of marriage similar? • How are they different? • **Why is gay marriage possible in a legal but not in a religious definition of marriage? (Which criteria does it NOT fulfil from the religious definition?)
Trends in Marriage Social reasons less important (making alliances with powerful families, marrying into money, improving social status) 95% people think you should marry for love. Marrying older (average age for marriage is 33 for men, 29 for women) – why? Numbers of weddings have dropped: 50% adult population is single/ divorced/ widowed. Divorce rates have dropped – those who do mean it & get married, stay married more? 30% of all marriages are religious marriages. Drop from 50% 20 years ago. 80% couples co-habit before marriage for up to 2 years – doubled from 20 years ago. How do you think • the reasons people get married for, have changed? • the way people see marriage has changed? 1. Choose & explain 2 of these trends – why they happened. **Do you think co-habiting is as good as marriage? Why/ why not?
Why do some marriages work and survive? Read the comments, and rate the advice. • “Marriage is 3 parts love and 7 parts forgiveness” • “Marriage is not a noun: it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” • “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together”. • “More marriages might survive if the partners realised that sometimes, the better comes after the worse.” • “Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” • “The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” • “A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” Explain what you think are the ingredients of a happy, and long-lasting marriage.