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How might Christian beliefs about marriage and divorce be applied to a Christian living. In your answer consider one or more situation in which Christian belief would “make a difference”. Consider whether all Christian couples would respond in the same way.
Christian beliefs are to be applied to everyday life. The teaching affects couples and guides them to a content marriage. Every couple should strive to live up to their vows to successfully live-out their vocation. It’s a full time vocation and for the marriage to work, there needs to be constant effort and work. Overtime people mature and develop; this may lead to the couple becoming closer or further apart. Action and alteration then needs to be applied and the marriage should grow and change accordingly. Christians have to truly commit to their vows and have to promise love and fidelity and apply it to their daily lives.
Some Christians may ignore God’s intentions for them by dismissing the Christian beliefs. By disregarding these beliefs, couples will not only gradually disconnect from eachother, they will disconnect from God as they’re rejecting his vocation for them. Some may say that the Christian beliefs are not being applied to life as much anymore, which is proven by the increase in divorce rate. However, The religious beliefs are lived out by the vast majority of couples. Those who do not fully apply the beliefs to their marriage but realise the beliefs importance, have something to aspire to and the beliefs can guide them to a successful Christian marriage with God. This is why the beliefs of permanence and exclusiveness of marriage are important and people still try to live to values outlined in the Gospel.
I can only aspire to living in a joyful, stable marriage. I’ve been brought up in a fortunate atmosphere as my parents have been married for 30 years and hopefully will grow old blissfully together. They’ve followed the Christian beliefs closely, except for a few dents to the relationship but managed to pass through them, which can only inspire me to follow in their guidance. I’ve seen how beliefs are still present in their marriage and how the church teaching is certainly not out of date.
As outlined in AO1, the beliefs of the life-giving potential of marriage are central and when couples enter marriage they must realise the affects their behaviour has on children. As I’ve been brought up in a successful co-operative marriage, I’m inspired to do the same as I realise the importance of Christian beliefs, so if one is brought-up in a unstable marriage this can affect the relations the children subsequently have.
The grace given in the sacrament gives couples strength which can furnish couples concentration towards the Christian beliefs. Someone who takes their faith seriously is more likely to live up to the vows more rather than one who just simply goes through the marital service as tradition, without really regarding the ceremony for it’s deep meaning. These Christian beliefs taught to them can then encourage them to leave divorce as a last resort rather than take the easiest way out.
Catechism teaches that “The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith – Catechism 1665” Although they will not accept divorce; the Roman Catholic Church will accept an annulment which is a way of saying that the marriage was void
Different Christians approach marital breakdown and divorce in different ways. A Roman Catholic would have immense difficulties if their marriage broke down and ended in divorce, yet they are unable to get an annulment from the Church They feel that they have disowned the church by divorcing. Also, if that person remarries, in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church it would be classed as adultery.
This situation may involve them being asked to refrain from taking the Eucharist. This can result in real hurt and a feeling of isolation from the Church as the Eucharist is at the very heart of Catholic belief.. Whereas, someone belonging to the free church in the same position would have no such problem with remarriage in their church. Other Catholics may choose not to remarry and live life alone because their first marriage did not work and they do not want to go against their beliefs.
Although some marriages conclude in divorce, marital help services such as Marriage Care and Relate offer support to couples so they understand the full responsibility they’re undertaking.
Couples who haven’t got the deeper understanding of marriage may break the exclusive aspect of marriage and not consider preventing adultery as much as a couple who follow the Christian beliefs.
Different Christians have various responses to contraception. Catholic teaching does not permit the use of artificial contraception. Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (1968) expressed it this way; “It is absolutely required that any use whatsoever of marriage must retain its natural potential to procreate human life.” This means that sex in marriage should be natural and always open to the possibility of creating new human life. All artificial chemical and physical methods of contraception are rejected by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.
In conclusion, I think the church does have a positive role in supporting couples through the sacrament; it blesses the couple with married life. With Christian belief and practice, the couple gain strength, while guiding the couple through the sacrament of marriage.