Chapter 25, Paragraph 4.
“Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity, or Affinity forbidden in the Word;…”
Confusion surrounds the issue of marriage today. There has been a rebellion against the idea of only one man and one woman constituting a married couple, and the rebellious view is widely touted as just and fair. As long as two adults love each other and consent to the union, it should be legal, they say.
If marriage is simply two people who are of age and consent to be wed, then couldn’t any combination of people become a marriage? There are those who already would like to see marriages that include consanguinity and affinity becoming accepted by society. But just what is consanguinity, and what is affinity? Consanguinity is being closely related by ancestry to another person. Affinity is being closely related by marriage to another person. Scripture prohibits joining a man and woman in marriage that have a close degree of either consanguinity or affinity.
Rather than being oppressive, barring marriage based on consanguinity and affinity protects children and upholds the dignity of the individual. The genetic disorders that are prevalent among incestuous relationships are well known, thus the well-being of children are cared for with this restriction. Forbidding such unions also lessens the abuse of power that may occur within some family structures, where consent might not be as free when there is a closely shared history.
The Bible says that a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife (Genesis 2:24). Family trees are meant to branch out, to be united with others. Marriage extends the family; to marry within the family is sin.
Questions to Consider
- How do the purposes of marriage forbid close relations from marrying?