The unity of marriage is a mystery. The union of two individuals is something miraculous. No wonder, life itself begins when the two, both man and woman, come together in the holy matrimonial covenant and consummation of that agreement. But as beautiful as marriage is, it is still an earthly and a temporal agreement. It is not eternal. Both men and women are heirs of a more eternal covenant with God. One that transcends this earthly era.
Matthew 22:30 describes marriage as an earthly institution. Jesus tells the Sadducees that they are mistaken when they think otherwise, and they do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God. He says to them, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven,” (Matthew 22:30, NKJV). It’s no wonder when men or women try to get their full identity, fulfillment, and satisfaction from an earthly bond, that there is an emptiness that only a heavenly, supernatural, and eternal relationship with God, and a personal position of belonging in His family, can bring. Life in heaven will not be just an extension of the life we have on this earth. The power of God will make it possible for us to have relationships that transcend anything we have experienced in the present order.
While the covenant of marriage will not exist eternally, as we understand it now, it is still helpful to better understand it’s purpose and significance while here on the earth. In the passage of 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul teaches how the intimate sexual relationship between husband and wife should be observed only in the bonds of a marriage, and that each one should not be selfish, but give themselves, selflessly, to the other in their covenant. “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband,” (v. 3, NKJV). Verse 5 says, “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” We can see that it is an important role to maintain the intimacy in our relationships so that we can love one another well, and also maintain our obedience to the Word of God, which is our instruction for all things in life.
The mystery of marriage is a thing that requires our prayer and spiritual understanding to better comprehend what roles we now have on earth, and what things will look like in the time to come.
“Oh God, we thank you that you are in heaven and we know that we are on the earth at this present time. We thank you that you are above all things, and by you, all things were made that are made. We thank you that you have called some of us into a relationship of marriage on this earth to accomplish your good purposes while we are here. Now, Lord, we surrender our will to yours, and we ask that you would show us how not to operate according to our own wills, but according to Your will, and according to Your Word. Lord, we ask that for those of us who are married, that you would show us how to show the affection to our spouses that would be the greatest blessing to them, and not to withhold that from them, so as not to deprive them of the necessary love they need, and also to keep the enemy from succeeding at the temptation he has set for them. Fill our hearts with your loving kindness and your tender mercies, and help us to do Your will, so that we will receive your greatest blessings, in Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Article Written by: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.