Its primary purpose is to be vertical, between each individual and God. In our most essential being, we were created for a loving relationship with our Creator.
God's Plan for Happy Marriage | Tomorrow's World
To that end, marriage, the most intimate of human unions, was designed by God as a picture of the bond between Christ and His Church. This is true of all marriage, Christian or otherwise, regardless of whether the participants recognize it as such. Instituted by God at creation, marriage offers a ubiquitous but temporary image of His final, eternal relationship with His redeemed people in the New Heaven and New Earth.
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So then, there is indeed marriage in heaven — one great, ultimate consummation between the Lamb and His Bride, described at length in the book of Revelation:. For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Likewise there is no need for sun or moon or lamplight because the Father and the Son will be the source of light for the city. Just as a lamp is unnecessary in the light of the sun, so the sun itself will be unnecessary in the light of God.
And so it will be with the marriages of this present world, fleeting as they are and inevitably severed when death do us part. They will be superseded by that which is far more intimate and beautiful — our perfect, everlasting union with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Why then do we struggle at times with accepting this truth?
Why do we fear the perceived loss of emotional and physical intimacy? In his book, Miracles , C. Lewis addresses this difficulty with one of his typically insightful metaphors:.
Relax, I'm a hopeless romantic too.
The letter and spirit of Scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternatives either of bodies which are hardly recognizable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time.
The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it.
This side of heaven, we can indeed only catch glimpses of the things God has prepared for us. We cannot grasp what it will be like to no longer be married or given in marriage, or how that could possibly be better than the relationships we now enjoy. If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below. I was filled with awe. I longed to go there and explore its wonders and lose myself in something greater than myself. My wonder was trumped by an unbearable sense of loneliness and separation.
I wept because I felt so incredibly small. Unknown to me, God was using the wonders of the universe to draw me to himself. A universe one hundred billion light-years across, containing countless trillions of stars, and the Bible makes them sound like a casual add-on!
I quickly realized this book is about a Person who made the celestial heavens — including that great galaxy of Andromeda, and the earth — and me. But when I reached the Gospels, everything changed. I was fascinated by Jesus. At first, I thought Jesus was fiction — a superhero like in the comics. But everything about Jesus had the ring of truth.
Then I realized something incredible. While reading the Bible, I had come to believe Jesus is real. By a miracle of grace, he transformed my life. I was hungry for truth, so I regularly visited a Christian bookstore, which featured thousands of spine-out books in the remodeled garage of a private home. One day I came across a book called The Problem of Pain. It was my first encounter with C. I was stunned by his insight and clarity. He remembered what it was like not to know God, just like I did.
He spoke of longing, like mine. Yet this same author with the great insights had also exercised his imagination by creating engaging science fiction. Perelandra contained deep theology, with Maleldil and the oyarsa, the Green Lady, and Ransom, the Christ type, fighting Weston, the Unman and Devil figure.
I was transported to another world while taken deep into the gospel itself, and I ate it up. My telescope had sat unused for years. Again I wept. But this time for a very different reason: gratitude. Now I knew personally the God who had spun into being the trillion stars and countless planets of the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way.
Finally, I knew whom to worship. I was on the inside, not the outside. I was no longer the star of a pitiful little drama about me; I was a role player, a character actor in a story of infinite greatness. Then I read the Chronicles of Narnia. Truth leapt at me from every page.
Happily Ever After is Coming
When he refused, she determined to find another stream. I did then and I do now still find the never-changing God to be ever-bigger in my eyes. Lewis was the first one to help me grapple with the big questions. In The Problem of Pain , he described how he used to argue against the Christian faith:. History is largely a record of crime, war, disease, and terror. The universe. All stories will come to nothing: all life will turn out in the end to have been a transitory and senseless contortion upon the idiotic face of infinite matter.
If you ask me to believe that this is the work of a benevolent and omnipotent spirit, I reply that all the evidence points in the opposite direction. Either there is no spirit behind the universe, or else a spirit indifferent to good and evil, or else an evil spirit. The Problem of Pain , 13— I loved that Lewis clearly articulated the problem of evil and suffering better than most atheists, including Richard Dawkins. Yet he embraced a biblical worldview that had a far greater explanatory power than his atheism.
And he passed it on to me and countless others. Lewis on evil and suffering before they hear the rants of atheist and agnostic college professors, most of them intellectual pygmies compared to Lewis. It was Lewis who first showed me that. The Problem of Pain is more reasoned and logical, while A Grief Observed contains raw suffering as Lewis expresses overwhelming grief after the death of his wife, Joy. The books are supplementary but, given their contexts, not contradictory. There are two movies about C. Lewis named Shadowlands. In the Hollywood version, Lewis is played by Anthony Hopkins.
The movie portrays Lewis as an ivory-tower professor who knew little of suffering.