The Urantia Book-- Part III. The History Of
PAPER 83: Section 1.
Marriage As A Societal Institution
Marriage is society's mechanism designed to regulate and control those many
human relations which arise out of the physical fact of bisexuality. As such
an institution, marriage functions in two directions:
- In the regulation of personal sex relations.
- In the regulation of descent, inheritance, succession, and social order,
this being its older and original function.
The family, which grows out of marriage, is itself a stabilizer of the marriage
institution together with the property mores. Other potent factors in marriage
stability are pride, vanity, chivalry, duty, and religious convictions. But
while marriages may be approved or disapproved on high, they are hardly made
in heaven. The human family is a distinctly human institution, an evolutionary
development. Marriage is an institution of society, not a department of the
church. True, religion should mightily influence it but should not undertake
exclusively to control and regulate it.
Primitive marriage was primarily industrial; and even in modern times it is
often a social or business affair. Through the influence of the mixture of the
Andite stock and as a result of the mores of advancing civilization, marriage
is slowly becoming mutual, romantic, parental,
poetical, affectionate, ethical,
and even idealistic. Selection and so-called romantic love, however, were at
a minimum in primitive mating. During early times husband and wife were not
much together; they did not even eat together very often. But among the ancients,
personal affection was not strongly linked to sex attraction; they became fond
of one another largely because of living and working together.