Marriage is a gift from the hand of God, rooted in the divine plan of creation. It is the intimate union and equal partnership of a man and a woman.
The Catholic Church teaches that the valid marriage between two baptized Christians is also a sacrament—a symbol of Christ’s love for his church (Ephesians 5:25-33).
In every marriage the spouses make a contract with each other. In a sacramental marriage the couple also enters into a covenant in which their love is sealed and strengthened by God’s love.
Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love. It also opens the couple to giving life.
According to Sacred Scripture, God instituted marriage as the pinnacle of creation. On the sixth day, in the first creation story, the Book of Genesis tells us: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1: 27-28).
In the second creation story, God says “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.” (Genesis 2:18). This suitable helpmate was formed from the very rib of man and thus woman was “flesh of his flesh”. (Genesis 2: 22-23).
Woman, then, is man’s equal in dignity and the one closest to his heart. Because man and woman were created for one another, “a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body”. (Genesis 2: 24).
Scripture teaches that marriage is not a mere human institution, but something God established from the foundation of the world.
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