Sanctity of Marriage: The Ultimate Guide

There are many different views on the sanctity of marriage.

This article will explore the topic and answer many common questions. This is your ultimate guide to the sanctity of marriage.

What Is The Sanctity of Marriage? (Answered)

The sanctity of marriage is the respect and value of the marital covenant between two people. Marriage is an institution that has existed since before recorded history, with the first marriages taking place as far back as 2350 B.C. in Mesopotamia.

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Bride and Groom making hearts with their hands—the sanctity of marriage
Image by author via Canva

The word “sanctity” means “holy” or “sacred.” Marriage is a sanctified state, which sets the union apart from other forms of human relationships.

There are many different types of relationships, from casual dating to committed partnerships, and many of them can be quite confusing.

Marriage is further sanctified by a formal ceremony, typically led by clergy members that represent the uniqueness of marriage. The wedding vows are then exchanged and read out loud as both a public declaration and as a means for family and friends to hold the couple accountable for their marital promises.

Why Is Marriage Considered Sacred?

There are many reasons why marriage is considered sacred. One of the biggest and most obvious factors is religion, but there are also secular reasons as well.

Broadly, marriage is considered sacred because it is the most serious commitment that two people can make to each other. It is often considered the foundation of family life and an institution in which children are raised. Marriage also represents love, companionship, and intimacy between spouses who have made vows to be faithful for their entire lives together.

Many religions and spiritual belief systems view marriage as sacred because it is an institution set up by a higher power (such as God in Christianity or Allah in Islam).

Further, many spiritual systems view marriage as a symbol of the connection and commitment between humans and their higher power.

Why Is the Sanctity of Marriage Important?

The sanctity of marriage is important because it maintains the value and respect for the institution of marriage and the marriage commitment.

To some, marriage is just a legal contract to make sure that both parties get their fair share in the case of divorce or death. Others are passionately opposed to any form of secularism and believe that sanctity means something more than merely respecting religious values when entering into marriage.

The sanctity of marriage is important because it protects the privacy of individuals’ lives as they live out their vows to each other without undue interference from society or government.

Marriage has always been regarded as a public contract between two people who are in love with one another while maintaining that what occurs within this committed union is strictly confidential.

What Is the Sanctity of Marriage Act?

The sanctity of marriage act is also known as the sanctity of marriage law and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA, which was created by the 104th United States Congress, defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman with a stated intention to protect the institution of marriage.

Unfortunately, this act resulted in massive inequality for same-sex marriages and limited parental rights for adults in same-sex marriages.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that sections of this legislation were unconstitutional in cases such as the United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).

These changes granted same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry.

Why Do We Need To Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage?

There are several reasons we should preserve the sacredness of marriage.

Here is a short list of some of the reasons:

  • Marriage is considered by many to be the most basic building block of society.
  • Marriage creates stability in our culture, leading to more healthy and happy children who grow up with strong family values.
  • Marriage protects us from some diseases by promoting monogamy.
  • Marriage provides a sense that we are valued because it requires two people to commit for life.
  • Marriage builds trust between partners due to lifetime commitment pledges.
  • Marriage helps prevent fatherlessness and child abandonment.

There is also religious and spiritual relevance for many people all over the world. For them, preserving marriage is a way to honor their spiritual tradition and higher power.

On the other hand, it’s only fair to mention that some people don’t think we need to preserve the value or respect of marriage. There are many people who do not think marriage is required for a happy or fulfilling relationship.

How Do We Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage?

First, we can preserve the sanctity of marriage by respecting and valuing the institution and commitment of marriage. Talking it up, celebrating it with friends and family, and setting marriage as one of our long-term goals. Also, by not entering into marriage lightly without proper preparation to handle the inevitable ups and downs.

Second, we can also preserve marriage by not cheating or breaking marital vows for any reason. This means working things out when life gets hard, when misunderstandings happen, or when job loss and illness threaten to rock the relationship boat.

Dating, itself, can be very hard. In my experience, marriage is much harder, so it makes sense to make sure that you are ready.

Third, we must understand what it means to have sexual intimacy outside wedlock, and how essential faithfulness is for couples to keep their marriages holy and set apart from any other relationship.

Fourth, if applicable, we can adhere to our spiritual practices such as prayer, fasting, and scriptural study.

What I don’t think is an acceptable way to preserve marriage is to exclude two adults who want to get married because of their gender or sexuality. Accepting and celebrating same-sex marriage does not erode the strength of a marriage between a man and a woman.

This YouTube video makes some good points that I think are worth considering:

Video by The Not Adam via YouTube

Does Divorce Break the Sanctity of Marriage?

Divorce is a choice that many people make when they feel like their marriage isn’t working or has broken down in some way.

If the sanctity of marriage means fidelity and commitment to one person, then divorce does break the sanctity of marriage because it’s an act in which two parties agree to end their marital relationship with one another.

The significance of marriage can be considered intact so long as both spouses continue working hard on themselves while remaining committed and devoted despite any obstacles they may face (such as children).

The sanctity of what we are discussing here, however, is not only about being faithful to your spouse but also faithful to yourself and what’s ultimately best for the both of you.

In the case of infidelity, abuse, or other major fractures to the relationship, divorce can be the best way to honor marriage.

What Does Defrauding the Sanctity of Marriage Mean?

Defrauding the sanctity of marriage is rarely a wise choice.

Defraud means to deprive, but in the context of sanctity, it means to abuse or violate. Defrauding sanctity may involve any form of cheating or manipulation of the terms of the marriage.

Here are ways someone can defraud their marriage:

  • Having an emotional affair
  • Having a physical or sexual affair
  • Any form of abuse
  • Gaslighting, manipulation, or repeated lies
  • Gross misuse of finances

The sanctity of marriage is a view that many people hold, and most religions take seriously as well.

For many spiritual traditions, marriage means not only the physical act of consummation but also remaining faithful to your spouse in every way possible. This includes thoughts, words, glances, fantasies, and actions.

What Is the Sanctity of Marriage in the Bible?

The sanctity of marriage was first mentioned in the Bible when God created Eve from Adam’s rib (Genesis, Chapter 2).

There is also Matthew 19:9, which says, “I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” According to his passage, the marriage commitment is to be kept intact except in extreme cases of marriage violations.

Other Bible verses about the sanctity of marriage:

  • Ephesians 5:23: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (This represents the symbolism of marriage, not the dominance or superiority of men).
  • Matthew 19:6: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

In Christianity, marriage is viewed as a sacred union that symbolizes the deep spiritual connection and commitment between God and the church.

What Is the Sanctity of Marriage for Catholics?

In the Catholic tradition, marriage is called a sacrament, a ceremony that Catholics believe was ordained by God. These rites are believed to be channels of divine grace.

The Catholic Church accepts sacramental marriages that are celebrated before a Catholic priest or deacon, but it also allows some exceptions. By dispensation or the unavailability of a priest or deacon, Catholics may enter into a sacramental marriage outside the presence of an ordained minister.

What Is the Sanctity of Marriage in Islam?

In Islam, marriage is seen as a sanctified act that honors Allah. It is both a social contract and a spiritual covenant.

In order for the couple to sanctify their marriage, they must read a part of the Quran and proclaim their intentions before witnesses. An imam is usually present but is not required.

Finally, the groom typically provides a marriage gift to the bride.

Sanctity of Marriage Quotes

To offer a broader and more nuanced look at the topic, I thought it might be helpful to consider some quotes.

“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalize the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation.” ~ Pope Francis

This quote comes from the head of the Catholic church. I really appreciate the directness and inclusion Pope Francis offers with his accepting view of marriage. I think many of us can learn from his example to embrace everyone around us and to celebrate marriage in all of its many variations.

“The great marriages are partnerships. It can’t be a great marriage without being a partnership.” – Helen Mirren

Indeed, a strong partnership is the foundation of a successful marriage. If you want to honor marriage, then honor the time and effort it takes to build such a strong partnership that the marriage is destined to succeed.

“A husband and wife may disagree on many things but they must absolutely agree on this: to never, ever give up.” – Unknown

This is a beautiful sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. One huge way to maintain the value of marriage is to forge a commitment to never give up on each other, especially when the marriage and life become hard.

Every relationship is difficult. What matters is how you respond.

“A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.” – Pearl S. Buck

The sacredness of marriage is in the unique caldron it creates for personal and couple growth. There is a sense of flexibility and of freedom to explore your authentic self. There is room for change, for expansion, for transcendence.

“There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” – Martin Luther

I think it makes sense to save Martin Luther’s quote on marriage for last. What beautiful simplicity and profound expression. And I think that’s very much like marriage itself.

Final Thoughts

I wanted to write this article because marriage means something deep and personal to me. I believe the value and respect we place on marriage can create outsized dividends for all of us.

Celebrating healthy, loving, long-term commitments raises us all to new standard of joy and life satisfaction.