Definition of Marriage

The other day my English students were trying to define irony. It’s a tricky one.

We hear a lot about marriage these days and the right of everyone to get married.

Is this ironic?

Because on the other hand, so many couples say they don’t see any value in marriage. It’s just a piece of paper, an outdated institution or a big party where you wear a white dress.

Marriage can mean very different things to different people. Sometimes I’m talking about marriage to a friend and I realise that we are speaking of two dissimilar concepts. It’s like eating a dish of fried rice and comparing it to risotto. Similar but not the same.

I’m been trying to work out how I would define marriage.

For me it’s a commitment, made in public, to love my husband for the rest of his life. As a Christian I also believe this commitment is made before God who will help me live up to this mighty big promise.

I will choose to love my husband in bad and good times. A marriage is not just about romance although I’ll work on keeping that there. Marriage is about friendship. Hopefully the greatest friendship you will ever have in your life.

Since having a baby I’ve realised how important our marriage is for children.
A happy, stable marriage is probably one of the best things I can give my child.

So marriage is about creating a family. Marriage is about creating a home.

Lastly I think marriage is about service. Being married helps me to give myself to others.

Not that a single person doesn’t have the chance to be selfless. However I’d argue that marriage (and kids) throw you in the deep end.

So that’s my definition of marriage.

What’s yours?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robyn
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 23:23:50

    After 41 years of marriage, 3 children, 16 grandchildren and one great grandchild we are not sitting back touring Australia as some do, we are being a service to our families and supporting their marriages and their child-rearing. This brings many graces and privileges. We had many trials in our own marriage and through difficult times we stayed together with our children and with our Catholic faith keeping us strong. Our families we have are now benefitting from our endurance; it is helping them through their times of troubles. Marriage isn’t for the faint hearted it takes commitment, patience and a growing love intertwining through it.


  2. Louise Jeffree
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 11:40:24

    The Jeweler’s Shop – Karol Wojtyla : Our darling George Cardinal Pell was in the audience during Carnivale Christi’s production of this during 2005. Afterwards, many of us young adults drew around His Grace as he commented to me how beautiful the first couple of Act One is, especially the wife- who becomes a young widow, composed and tranquil.

    And the actress was perfect for the role, exhibiting such strength of faith, making her personality responsive to her son and indicating such lightness of being.

    But it was the actual words of the play, which I studied later after obtaining my own copy which sustained my ‘action in waiting’ as I sought the married condition for myself. When the Jeweller, a mystical figure, claims that the weight of the two rings (of each person of a married couple) is negligable when separated, but only to be weighed on his special device as a unity. The weight, yes, the weight, and the dirt of being redemptive in one another’s families and lives. St Francis of Assisi compared himself to a worm, for whom all is sensitive yet blind skin, enveloping the ugly and transforming it into the fragrant earth which, when added to the base of plants, empowers them to bear much fruit.


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