RE Unit 3 Marriage and Family Life

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  • No sex before marriage
  • Married young and in a church
  • Nuclear families
  • Homosexuality was illegal
  • Cohabitation was uncommon
  • Mother looked after children whilst husband worked
  • Divorce looked down on

Reasons for change:

  • Effective contraception
  • Media and celebrities
  • New laws make divorce cheaper and easier
  • Increased equality for women
  • Cohabitation and sex before marriage are more popular
  • Law changes make homosexuality easier
  • Media coverage and Gay rights organisations
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Christian Sex Before Marriage

In favour:

  • God gave sex for pleasure
  • Using contraception stops the risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Now commonly accepted in society
  • It is a natural result of 2 people who are in love


  • The Bible says that sex before marriage is sinful
  • God gave sex for the procreation of children in a christian family, so should only take place in marriage
  • The Catechsim says that it is wrong


  • Breaks wedding vows
  • Banned in the Ten commandments
  • Condemned by Jesus
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The Purpose of Christian Marriage

1) Have a life long relationship of love and faithulness       

2) Have the support and comfort of each other

3) Have the gift of children

4) Brings children up in a Christian family

These are shown through:

1&2) Exhange of vows and rings, preparation course, promises made by the couple to love, honour and support and prayers.

3&4) The preparation course, service refering to the gift of children, prayers relating to children.

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Christian views for (non catholic):

  • Jesus allowed divorce
  • The lesser of two evils
  • If Christians confess their sins then they can be forgiven and get another chance at marriage.
  • These Churches believe it is better to divorce than live in hatred

Christian views against (Catholic):

  • Jesus taught divorce
  • Catechism teaches that marriage cannot be dissolved
  • Couples made a covenant (promise) with God which cannot be broken
  • Remarriage is both bigamy and adultery
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Family Life

  • One main purpose of Christian marriage is to have children
  • Christianity teaches that the family were created by God
  • Important for Christianity to continue and grow through the family
  • The family is too important to be broken up by divorce
  • Without the family, children would not learn the difference between right and wrong

Non religious:

  • See family as the most important thing in their lives
  • Have just as good of a family life
  • Non religious families respect their children more as they do not force religion
  • Religion cannot make a difference how much parents love their children
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Christian Churches and family

Churches help with upbringing of children:

  • Church schools
  • Classes given before childrens first communion
  • Sunday schools
  • Youth clubs

Churches help keep families together:

  • The Priest reminds parents of their marriage vows and reasons not to divorce
  • Christian organisations provide support
  • Priests give help and advice if there are family issues
  • Running parenting classes
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  • Homosexuality is not a sin but sexual activity is
  • Welcome homosexuals into the Church
  • Sinful to criticise homosexuals
  • Asks homosexuals to live without sexual activity
  • Homosexuals can be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Similar to racism which is sinful
  • Bible says that homosexuality is a sin
  • Church teaches that people cannot help their sexual attraction
  • The Bible condemns homosexual activity
  • The salvation of Christ can remove all sins
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Catholic View:

  • Believe all forms of artificial contraception are wrong

Non Catholic:

  • They agree as long as they are used to restrict the size of the family
  • Christianity is about love and justice- contraception improves womens health
  • God created sex for enjoyment
  • Nothing in the Bible that forbids the use of contraception
  • Best way to combat HIV/AIDS
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