Marriage Doesn’t Mean Fun, It Means Dedication

Marriage
Courtesy of Jason Corey (Flickr CC0)

What is marriage? It is a lifetime institution conceived of two people who wish to derive individual and joint benefits that are only possible from the properly functioning marriage they themselves create. Marriage is not a random relationship. It is the ultimate joint venture, legally binding to the families of the bride and groom. The agreement also indicates the rights and obligations of the bride and groom. 
The origins of marriage

A Little History

The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies dates back to around 2350 B.C. Marriage was embraced by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. But back then, marriage had little to do with love or with religion. Marriage’s primary purpose was to constrict women to men, not the other way around, for the guarantee that the man’s children were in fact his. This meant the child or children would legally be entitled to the property or rank of their father after death. The secondary purpose of marriage was that a woman became a man’s property. In the ceremonies of ancient Greece, a father would hand over his daughter with these words: “I pledge my daughter for the purpose of producing legitimate offspring.” If marriage doesn’t mean fun, it means dedication, were a person, it would be the ancient Greeks. 

As the Roman Catholic Church became a powerful institution in Europe, in order for the marriage to be legally recognized, the blessings of a priest became a necessary step.  In 1563, at the Council of Trent, the sacramental nature of marriage was written into canon law. Marriage was widely accepted in the Catholic church as a sacrament, or a ceremony to bestow God’s grace. Due to this, Men were taught to show greater respect for their wives and forbidden from divorcing them. Christian doctrine declared that man and woman shall be one flesh, husband and wife exclusive access to each other’s body. This put new pressure on men to remain sexually faithful. However, men were still the head of the family, while women were subjected to be “behind” the man. 

Marriages in the Middle Ages were reformed and referred to as “Courtly love.” Written in the Romance languages to describe the romantic expeditions of knights and chivalry. They were initially used for teaching the nobles about the art of romance. Most of society began to look up to these writings as a source of guidance for romance in their own marriages and relationships. These romantic poems demonstrated the concepts of passionate and powerful love, and they also elevated the woman above her suitor. Elevating the status of noble women as society changed its attitudes towards her.

Marriage in the 21st Century

Similarly, today, women are being pushed on a higher platform than the opposite sex. The elevated woman is emotionally aware, she is self-defined, and is a cycle breaker of the highest degree. The elevated woman in marriages today is a phrase looked at through an idealistic lens. In America, women are almost half of the labor force and make a good amount of money. They increasingly hold leadership positions, have equal rights to men in most things, and are more than capable of leading fully independent lives.

Marriage is a commitment to bringing out the best in each other that two individuals can find. The idea is being dedicated to one person under legal and moral intent. Marriage isn’t something you sit in, rather it’s you’re working through the growing pains of falling in love with one another. It is patience. It’s not fast, yet steady in the understanding and learning of your partner. It is also a partnership. A covenant and sanctuary to love, build, evolve, and produce a generation of morality (whatever that means for the individual marriage) and stability. Hence, why marriage doesn’t mean fun, it means dedication.  Although, one can find “fun” or enjoyment through it.

Written by Johnitha Brown
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

The Marriage Foundation: The Best Definition of Marriage: The True Meaning of Marriage by PAUL FRIEDMAN

The finer times: Marriage in the Middle Ages by Simon Newman

The week: The origins of marriage by THE WEEK STAFF

Linkedin: We are Entering the Age of Elevated Women by E.B Johnson, NLP-MP

Usnews: Independent Women by  Susannah Wellford

Featured and Top Image Courtesy Jason Corey of Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Stephen Poff Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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