What do you guys think of the idea?
I know, modern, secular times who would even bother, right? If you want to live with someone and have sex, you just do. It's a non-issue unless you come from a highly religious background or live in a very religious area.
But I'm thinking about it in the context of religion.
I know that in Islam there's the concept/practice of mut'ah nikah. I've hardly studied it in depth or anything because I don't have a horse in that race, but the basic idea as I understand it is that it is something that is permitted in Shi'a but not Sunni practices. The idea is that a man may take a wife for a limited, specific amount of time so that he does not commit the sin of zina. So a man goes off to war or on a long trip or what have you and his wife does not come with him. He finds himself *unbearably* in need of the ability to have regular sex. Rather than just find a woman and have sex with her (implying seduction, rape or simple prostitution) he finds a woman and marries her. But before they're married there is the understanding and (I believe) a contract that the marriage is only to be for, let's say four months. And he will pay her mahr and then they're married for the four months, with almost all the same rights and obligations as a permanent marriage. At the end of the four months they separate, no divorce necessary and life moves on.
There's some controversy about this because some claim that the practice was made haram, etc. etc. And there is some criticism of it because it doesn't seem to be very different from prostitution. *holds up hands* I know it's not viewed as the same thing at all by Muslims who believe that it's permitted. I'm just saying, from the other angle that it *resembles* it in many ways. There are also many ways that it differs - a large one being that provision is made for the possibility of children from the mut'ah nikah which is clearly not the case in prostitution.
In a similar vein there was a little furor a week or two back about Mexico (I believe) allowing temporary marriages. These would be marriage licenses with an expiration date of a year (or possibly whatever the couple wanted). There is also the historic practice of marriage only lasting a year and a day. This was practiced by the Norse tribes, as I recall and probably many others. The marriage could be renewed every year.
Okay. I can hear you wondering why in the hell I'm thinking about these things.
Well. I don't have any problems with these concepts. Different cultures, times, etc. I might not enter into such an arrangement, but I don't judge the people who do. However, I just recently found out that one of the men who works at our office told someone else that he 'gets married whenever he wants to have sex'. And this bothers me and makes me think less of him. So why should that be? If I have not issues with other kinds of temporary marriages, why do his actions bother me?
Two reasons: the hypocrisy and the deceit.
Hypocrisy - This is a man who claims to be a sincere and practicing Christian. He has made statements that express his heavy disapproval of those who engage in premarital sex. He's polite about it, but he's *judgy*.
Now there are, as there are in so many, many things differing opinions on the permissibility of divorce in Christian circles. They range from those who believe that divorce is never, ever on option to those who allow divorce without any penalties. But it is (I believe) universally understood within Christianity that it is not the normal state of things. That it is not what God desires for people. That it is *frowned upon* if nothing else.
But here is a man who judges others by his version/understanding of Christianity who marries and divorces with seeming disregard for the deeper meaning of what marriage is supposed to be. He is abusing what the marriage, from a Christian religious view point, means.
Deceit - I don't think that any of the five women he has been married to knew that he viewed the marriage as just a legal/moral way for him to have sex. I think that they were deceived as to what the marriage would entail.
So that's my problem. If both of the people were entering into the marriage with the same idea of the purpose and what it would entail, no problem. And if he were less of a 'better than you' kind of person, if wouldn't bother me as much most likely.