Marriage is defined differently, and by different entities, based on cultural, religious, and personal factors. A commonly accepted and encompassing definition of marriage is the following: a formal union and social and legal contract between two individuals that unites their and lives legally, economically, and emotionally. It is the coming together of two people in the presence of God and witnesses to unite, multiply and fulfill the commandments of their Lord.
For or a lot of people, marriage is no longer just a union between the opposite sex’s, but a commitment between two people who are in love with one another. Even though most marriages are built from love and trust, patience and understanding is the ultimate foundation. The major reasons why our generation has the highest rate of divorce today is because we fail to understand and recognize the true meaning and value of relationships, and what it entails to truly love someone and be faithfully committed to them for the rest of your life. The reason why marriage has gotten a lot of criticism lately is that many no longer not believe in the possibility of faithfully committing to just one person emotionally and physically for the rest of their lives.
Even though the spiritual books encourage that a man and a woman needs to be united first in the presence of God and witnesses so as to become each other’s backbone, this doctrine may be perceived and considered as orthodox and old fashioned by some from the younger generation. Due to personal reasons and experiences, most people no longer believe in those values and go ahead searching for their happiness the best they could.
The best definition of marriage and its meaning
Marriage can be best defined as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by God and the law.
Another famous definition of marriage is the intimate union and equal partnership of a man and a woman. It comes to us from the hand of God, who created male and female in his image, so that they might become one body and might be fertile and multiply.
The contractual marriage agreement usually implies that the couple has legal obligations to each other throughout their lives or until they decide to divorce. Being married also gives legitimacy to sexual relations within the marriage. Traditionally, marriage is often viewed as having a key role in the preservation of morals and civilization.
Since the world is fast advanced and things are fast evolving, so is the union of marriage itself. It’s no longer perceived as just a union of a man and a woman, but can also be a union of two men, two women, same sex’s coming together to unite as one and loving each other unconditionally.
What is a civil marriage
Civil marriages require a certificate and at times a license, that testify that the couple is fit for marriage. A short time after they are approved in the superintendent registrar's office, a short non-religious ceremony takes place which the registrar, the couple and two witnesses must attend. Guest may also be present, but the difference between this wedding ritual and other marriages is that references must not be made to God or any deity, or to a particular religion or denomination. this is strictly enforced, and readings and music in the ceremony must be agreed in advance.
Even though most wedding ceremony requires reading out vows and making promises to one another, the civil court is not exceptional, but instead of reading vows, the legal part of the readings is considered as the vows. You are declaring before witnesses that there is no legal reason why you cannot marry the other person (such as already being married to someone else) and that you are choosing the other person to legally become your spouse. It has to take place in front of an authorized person, usually, someone legalized by that country. It provides protection for the spouses in case of death or divorce, when issues regarding property may arise.
What is an annulled marriage
There are two major different ways in which you can end a marriage, one is an annulment while the other is a divorce. The ways to get legally detached and separated from a spouse, but are different in their legal proceedings.
An annulment is a legal procedure which cancels a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased legally, it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.
An annulment case can be initiated by either the husband or the wife in the marriage. The party initiating the annulment must prove that he or she has the grounds to do so and if it can be proven, the marriage will be considered null and void by the court. The following is a list of common grounds for annulment and a short explanation of each point:
3. Forced consent
4. Marriage prohibited by law
5. Mental illness
6. Underage marriage
And many different reasons not mentioned above. While a divorce or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the ending of a valid marriage between a man and a woman. While each individual state has its own laws regarding grounds for marriage annulment or divorce, certain requirements apply nationwide.
What is an open marriage
Open marriage is a form of non-monogamy in which the partners agree that each may engage in sexual activity with others without being regarded by them as infidelity. Even though this is a reality that is hard to hear, it is widely practiced around married couples all over the world who strongly believe it helps improve their marriages and relationships.
A lot of people involved in open marriages has faced a lot of heat and criticism from people outside the community. They believe in the freedom to have sex and love with anyone, not just their spouse.
People accused those who practice open relationship as being selfish, sex addicts, inconsiderate and totally not caring about their marriages and relationships. Well for us, It’s all about finding balance in what you do and ensuring you don’t overstep your boundaries. We are all about supporting individuals in doing whatever you feel works best for your marriage and relationships.
What can we expect from a customary wedding
A customary marriage is one where the spouses are married in terms of custom as opposed to the laws of a country, usually referred to as civil marriage. Civil marriages are registered with home affairs and usually the couple are provided with a marriage certificate. Civil marriages are not the only types of marriages recognized in most countries, customary marriages are also given recognition provided certain requirements are met with:
1. The couple must be of age
The parties must both be over the age of 18 years if not, special written consent from the Minister of Home Affairs must be obtained. Depending on the customs, some Men are allowed to have more than one wife but woman are not allowed to have more than one husband
2. Consent of parents/guardians
The consent of the father of the bride or any legal guardian is essential.
3. Consent of the couples
The two parties must be ready and be in agreement with the marriage.
4. Payment of bride price
The bride price is a token given to the bride or the bride family to officiate and legitimize the wedding. It can come in a form of money, jewelry, or any item of value.
5. Handing over the bride
After all the marriage rituals and ceremony has been fulfilled, then it becomes necessary for the brides family to officially hand over the bride to the groom and his family.
Marriage is a union that requires two individuals who are fully committed and ready to work through their differences and challenges for the purpose of loving and complementing one another.
It requires a lot of compromises, patience and understating to be able to work through your marriages and overcome all obstacle thrown your way, ( trust me, there will be a lot of them). It is a union that is recognized around the world and encourages by God. Marriage isn’t just about a man and a woman, it’s about two beautiful Individuals coming together as one entity.