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Thus marriage is about "fruitfulness," or bringing children into the world and raising them to maturity (procreation and education).

In addition, we read in Genesis -25 that God created all the animals and brought them before Adam to be named.

What is a Christian marriage according to the Catholic Church?

In the law of the Church, many ingredients make up a Christian marriage. The New Catholic Encyclopedia provides the following insight about the word covenant: "The theology of the covenant in the Bible is consistently a theology of divine promise.

The Church commonly refers to the good of the spouses and the good of children as the two elements of marriage.

All genuine marriages, whether Christian or non-Christian, must contain these elements.

Such a partnership is commonly referred to as a "natural marriage." We base this understanding of natural marriage on the text of Genesis -25, which teaches that God's will has established all marriage.

True marriage is heterosexual (between a man and a woman); it is monogamous (one man and one woman); it is exclusive (the two form a new and unique relationship; the two become one); and it is permanent (if the two become one, this new union cannot be divided; a conclusion Christ confirms in Matthew 19:3-12).

Whether in a profane or a sacred sense, the sacred authors utilize the berit [Hebrew for "covenant"] to trace the line of salvation history toward its divinely willed goal." In short, the idea of covenant in the Bible is one of a strong pact between humans or between God and humans, in which each promises to assist the other towards a common goal.

In marriage, the covenant is between a man and a woman.

Often, the people who come into our offices question the need for an annulment before approaching a new marriage.

Their misunderstandings commonly arise from misconception as to what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage, and consequently, why the Catholic Church judges some relationships not to be marriages.

A marriage between baptized persons is a sacrament, a visible sign of God's love in the world.