I love my marriage. My wife and I have been married for 7 and a half years and it has been a joy. Not always easy, but an incredible joy.
There’s nothing on earth more precious to me than my wife. She is my best friend. My closest confidant. My truest companion. My lover. My helper. My greatest encourager. My most truthful advisor. The mother of my children, and so much more.
But a marriage such as ours is not the end all of life.
There will be a time when we are no longer married. When death parts us, our marriage does as well. This is the teaching of Jesus. Matthew 22:30:
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
I’m not the greatest fan of this verse. The reality that there will be a time, a much more significant amount of time, in which I will no longer be married to my wife is not the most joyful thought in the world.
But as I’ve come to understand what marriage is for, my thoughts on this verse have been transformed.
The picture that Jesus is painting here is made more complete in Ephesians 5 which tells us that the marriage of a man and a woman is meant to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church. As it is in the kingdom of God, so it is in marriage. The husband lays his life down for his wife, and the wife follows the leadership of her husband.
If marriage is only a picture, then it makes perfect sense why it would cease when the saints stand before God. No one stares at a picture of the Grand Canyon, no matter how spectacularly it captures its essence, when they’re standing before the real thing.
Marriage is my favorite picture, one that I treasure with my whole heart, but not one of God’s children will be pining away for the days of matrimony when they are seated at the eternal Wedding Feast of the exalted Lamb who was slain.