Blog 4: Healing of Sin Through Christian Marriage

Augustin finds Christian marriage as a form of healing sin. The main aspects of marriage that he focuses on are procreation, friendship, and sacrament. Augustin sees sex as a venial sin that is permissible through marriage. I conclude from his writing that he seems to say the that by creating human life through marriage one is giving a sort of offering to God as a way to repent for sin. Augustin feels that giving children to the world is a way of paying it forward and giving back into the world.

Augustin’s idea that marriage could exist without sex shows that although he speaks of procreation is important that the existence of God’s presence in a relationship is more important. The bond with two people that can exist in a way that does not include sexual attraction is unique. I wonder what Augustin would think of a woman who decides to marry a man that she is platonically friends with. If the two had God as a part of their relationship and a great friendship with each other would that constitute the potential idea of a marriage?

Another common Christian belief that Augustin argues is that having a partner to travel through life with is a way of becoming a better person. When making life decisions with two minds one is more likely to make the right one. The union of a man and a woman to each other specifically through God is a way that can heal sin by creating the ability to prevent future sins.

It is interesting to compare Augustin’s opinions on marriage and religion to the occurrences where people marry outside of their religion. Even in 2017, it is still, for many families, a controversy when someone marries outside of their religion. Many people have converted in order to have a marriage with the person they choose and many have issues when children are raised under two religions. Some people may even think of marriage outside of the religion is a sin. I think this shows that despite the pornification of love, religion is still united with marriage in American culture. The values that are associated with marriage are reinforced within peoples religious experiences their entire lives. I think Augustin would be pleased to know that religion still plays a role in our societies relationship with marriage no matter how pagan it becomes.



  1. I appreciate your musing about the relationship between two good friends oriented towards God. It makes you contemplate what really distinguishes a marriage from a friendship. In some ways, marriage is a form of friendship, in that it represents the bond and unity of two people, referring back to creation and the purpose of communion between two people. However, a friendship is clearly different from a marriage. I think the solution to this conundrum is that all marriages may be a friendship but not all friendships are a marriage. I also appreciate your consideration towards marrying outside your religion or switching a religion only to marry. With this frequent occurrence, I think this not only weakens the sacramental aspect of the marriage but the faith as well.


  2. I really liked that your response questioned the idea of a platonic marriage. Like an earlier comment, I agree that it makes you examine the difference between a marriage and friendship. It also made me think back to the question posed in class concerning a same sex marriage. That type of relationship would definitely be a friendship but not necessarily a marriage, especially in Augustine’s eyes. This obviously has been debated in many different areas of society but the classification of marriage is something so unique and based in Religion that it warrants a deeper examination. I would be interested to hear your view of this topic and Professor O’Malley’s comments in class.


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