Marriage today faces a number of threats. Divorce, redefinition, and infidelity undermine the status and special importance of marriage in a society.
Divorce threatens marriage by destroying the permanency of marriage. Marriage, as defined by the Catholic Church, is a life-long union of a man and women through the sacrament of matrimony. Divorce undermines that marriage is a commitment before God until the end of one’s life to love and support one’s spouse.
Catholics are not permitted to divorce so long as the marriage is sacramental. A sacramental marriage cannot be undone by human beings. What God has brought together no man shall break. Conditions for a sacramental marriage.
What is even scarier is that the general public’s understanding of marriage as being based purely on feelings and one’s attraction means that genuine opinion about the traditional definition of marriage is considered hate speech or civil discrimination.
The Catholic Church believes in clearly defined purpose for marriage that is simply more than a relationship status. Marriage is a commitment to God, one’s spouse, and one’s children (if the couple is capable of bearing children). Its purpose is to unite a male and female together to bring each other closer to God and to participate in God’s creative act through sexual union. God designed male and female to be joined together for this special purpose.
Two people, regardless of gender, are capable of having close, loving relationships with one another, but inherently a relationship between two people of the same sex cannot ever be a marriage because such a relationship inherently lacks the ability to join together in union to participate as co-creators with God.
This is why the Catholic Church must be against so called same-sex marriage because of the special purpose of marriage. To equivocate same-sex legal unions to marriage undermines marriage because it diminishes the special purpose of God’s co-creativity which is never possible in a same-sex union. Homosexual sex acts distort the true purpose and gift of sex given to us by God.
Infidelity destroys marriage because it breaks what is fundamental to the relationship: exclusivity. Infidelity can come in a number of ways. There is physical infidelity and emotional infidelity. Watching pornography is infidelity. Masturbation is infidelity; it is having sex with oneself. Becoming emotionally attached to someone else in a spousal way is infidelity. Sex is a gift to be shared with one’s spouse within the bonds of marriage; this is the proper order of sexual relations.
What is even more at the root of each of these three threats is the lack of understanding of marriage and a lack of commitment to marriage. Marriage is not about convenience. Marriage isn’t something you do because you love someone. Marriage is something to which people are called. God calls people to marriage in order to help the spouses help each other get to heaven through each other. Marriage is a particular vocation, a state of life, to which God calls people.
These things all threaten the institution of marriage and its importance to creating a safe and stable society.