Chapter 1, Article 1: “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life...”
This is no less than the third look and reflection on the above-cited declared pronouncement of the Family Code of the Philippines that understands and affirms the nature, attribution and finality of marriage in the light of objective truth. After forwarding the fundamental features of marriage as a “special contract” and as a “permanent union between a man and a woman”, this time, it is but proper to look into the meaning and finality of marriage for the “establishment of conjugal and family life”.
The objective of marriage may be commonly mouthed but hardly understood in its intrinsic relevance and fundamental finality. A good number of books and other reading materials have been written about this key purpose of marriage – and more are being written in the course of time. Without the least pretension of saying it all and saying it right, the following general observations could be of help – no matter how little.
One, the term itself “establishment” already connotes something permanent and stable, something lasting and enduring. As old folks say, marriage is not something you swallow and then spit out when you find it is hot. In other words, both the man and woman concerned should know well and must be really convinced that the well-known phrase that marriage is “for better or for worse” is anything but mere drama or poetry.
Two, the word “conjugal”, strictly speaking, means the sharing of burdens, the joint fulfillment of obligations, the bilateral bearing of pains and trials, of difficulties and sufferings that infallibly accompany married life every now and then in the course of time. When husband and wife together face and bear the hardships in marriage life, the latter become lighter.
Three, the reality called the “family” is a domestic unit composed of father, mother and children without whom the former remains but husband and wife. What really and definitely counts is neither the small nor big number of children but their sound value formation, the proper socio-relational upbringing through the conjugal teaching obligation of the parents.
By the way, just like any other state of life, marriage is a continuously interchanging episodes of joys and tears, of hopes and fears, of victories and losses. And this is true as well for those who prefer to be single or to live a celibate life. But for those intending to get married, please: “Stop, look and listen” before you cross the bridge – so to speak.