Marriage and the Family

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Christian attitudes to sex outside marriage

Teaches that sex should only take place between a man & woman married to each other.

-Sex was given to humans by God for the joy of a married couple and the procreation of children. Children should be brought up in a Christian family, and therefore sex shouldn't take place outside marriage.

-The Bible says fornication is sinful and Christians should follow these teachings.

-Catechism of the Catholic church teaches that pre-marital sex is wrong.

-All Christians are against adultery, as it breaks the marriage vows, is banned in the 10 Commandments, and is condemned by Jesus in the Gospels.

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Purposes Of Christian Marriage & the wedding

The purposes of Christian marriage & how they are shown in the wedding ceremony.

-Life-long relationship of love and faithfulness shown in

exchange of vows, exchange of rings symbolising unending of nature of marriage, readings from Bible, Priest's/Minister's intro.

-Support & comfort in each other shown in

prep for ceremony, priest/minister asking the couple if they will love & honour each other, vows & rings, prayers give God's grace.

-The procreation of children shown in

prep for ceremony with priest, service refers to gift of children, prayers may pray for gift of children

-The bringing up of a Christian Family

prep for ceremony with priest, prayer for gift of children

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Catholic opinion on divorce

no religious divorce or remarriage (this doesn't mean no civil divorce, though it is discouraged) bc

-Jesus taught divorce was wrong in Mark's Gospel

-By having a religious marriage, a couple have made a covenant with God. This cannot be broken by any earthly power.

-In the Catechism it states clearly that marriage cannot be dissolved, so religious divorce is impossible & Catholics should follow the teachings of the Church.

-As there can be no divorce, there can be no remarriage as this is bigamy and adultery, serious sins. Annulment is allowed if it can be proved the marriage was never consumated or not a proper Christian marriage.

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Non-Catholic opinion on divorce

Allowed but wrong bc

-Jesus allowed divorce in Matthew 19:9 because of adultery, therefore Jesus shoewd that divorce can be allowed if the resons for it are severe enough.

-If a divorce is the lesser of two evils, then Christians allow divorce. EG in the situation of domestic abuse.

-Christians are allowed forgiveness & a new chance. This should surely apply to divorce and remarriage, if they are determined enough.

-It is the teaching of the Church that it is better to divorce than live in constant hatred.

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Why family life is important for Christians

Family life is important for Christians bc

-One of the purposes of Christian marriage is to raise children in a loving Christian environment.

-The family was created by God as the basic unit of society, and is therefore the most important part of society as without it society would collapse.

-The family is where children are introduced to Christianity and is therefore very important for the Christian faith to continue and grow 

-Christian chlidren are expected to care for their parents when they can no longer care for themselves. This is based on the 5th Commandment, 'Honour thy father and mother'.

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How Christian Churches aid upbringing & family lif


 -Church schools provide Christian education.

-Classes for 1st Communion/Confirmation/Believer's Baptism

-Sunday School/Children's Liturgies

-Churches run youth clubs to keep children away from bad influences

Family life

-Reminding parents during service of wedding vows to keep family together

-Exploring new ways to become family friendly and encourage the family to worship together

-Creating organisations to make sure the youth's spiritual needs are met EG CoE Youth Council

-Offering financial support if the main wage-earner is unable to work/made redundant

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Catholic & Evangelical attitude to homosexuality

Catholic- Being homosexual is not a sin, but homosexual sexual relationships aren't allowed.

-The Bible condemns homosexual sexual activity

-It isn't possible for homosexuals to be married and sex isn't allowed outside marriage.

-It is the teaching of the Magisterium in the Catechism, which Catholics should follow.

-The Bible teaches that everyone has human dignity, as they are made in the image of God, so homosexuals shouldn't be discriminated against.

Evangelical- Homosexuality is a sin & homosexuals can't be Christians.

-The Bible is the direct word of God and it condemns homosexuality.

-They hold prayer meetings to pray to change homosexuals to heterosexuality.

-The Bible condemns homosexuality in the Old Testament & the New Testament.

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Liberal attitude to homosexuality

Lifelong homosexual relationships are accepted but cannot be equal to Christian marriage. Ministers & Priests may be homosexual, but must remain celibate. Some provide blessings for civil partnerships. This is because

-They believe the teachings of the Bible need re-interpreting, and anti-homoexual texts are a reflection of culture at the time.

-Major belief in love & acceptance means homosexuals must be accepted.

-If Christians feel the Spirit approves of their homosexuality, it cannot be denied.

-Christians should be open & honest, as refusing rights to homosexuals encourages them to be dishonest and hypocritical.

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Christian attitudes to contraception

Catholic- natural methods are allowed, but artificial methods are condemned because

-In Casti Connubii (1930) Pope Pius XI said so

-Pope Pius XII said naturl methods were acceptable as they were part of God's creation

-Some methods have an abortifacient (early abortion) effect. 

-The Catholic consider contraception the cause of fornication, the rise in divorce rates & STDs

Non-Catholic- all methods acceptable as long as used to limit family size not not having children 

-Contraception improves women's health & raises living standard for children 

-Nothing in the Bible that forbids use of contraception.

-It is better to combat HIV/AIDS using condoms than expect everyone to follow Christain rules.

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