Most Christians believe marriage is an important part of life. They believe the purpose of marriage is to:
Christians believe that marriage is a covenant before God. Their marriage will take place in the presence of family and friends who act as witnesses. This shows that they are committed to each other.
But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.Mark 10:6-9
There are different Christian attitudes towards cohabitation:
There are different Christian attitudes towards civil partnerships and same-sex marriage:
When Christians marry they are making a promise in the presence of God to love each other for the rest of their lives. This love is reflected by their wedding rings which symbolise everlasting love. The bride may also wear a white wedding dress. This is a symbol of her purity and respect for God.
Some Christians may choose not to get married in a church and will have a civil marriage ceremony. Although the marriage is legal, some Christians believe that only a church ceremony is binding in the sight of God.
Some Christians will choose to cohabit as they believe their love for each other is enough to demonstrate their commitment. Many members of the Church of England believe they may only cohabit if it will lead to marriage. If they are right for each other then living together will give them an insight into married life.
Many Roman Catholic Christians will not cohabit as they believe it is sinful. This means that a couple will only live together when they are married.
The Church of England does not regard homosexuality as a sin. However it regards sex outside the confines of marriage as being sinful. The Church defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, although it supports civil partnerships for same-sex couples. The law prevents ministers from the Church of England from carrying out same-sex marriages. The Church does not allow its clergy to enter into sexually active relationships outside of marriage.
Some Roman Catholic Christians who believe they are homosexual will not express these feelings sexually as they believe these sex acts are sinful.
Some Evangelical Christians also believe acting on homosexual feelings to be sinful.