Marriage in heaven

I was reading Mark 12. 18 to 28 which is speaking about marriage in heaven. Is it saying that because we unite with jesus our groom that we will not be united to our partners anymore. This makes the concern about remarried people easier if they don’t need to be concerned about who they united to in heaven

4 Likes

@Michael_Ryan Great question :slight_smile: First, you need to understand that Jesus was speaking to the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection. The illustration the Sadducees gave was one commonly used to show that the idea of resurrection is self-contradictory. However, Jesus points out that the Sadducees misunderstood the resurrection. The Sadducees thought of resurrection as our same old bodies coming back to life, but Jesus, like Paul later, makes the point that we will have new spiritual bodies not like these old bodies. Resurrection is not just reanimation—it is so much more.

We must also remember that in the Bible when one spouse dies, the other is free to remarry. That means that the death of the body dissolves the marriage covenant. Likewise, when both partners die and go to Heaven the marriage covenant is dissolved and they receive new spiritual bodies.

The Sadducees denied not only the Resurrection, but the existence also of angels and spirits (Acts 23:8). In His reply, therefore, our Lord embraces the whole area of their unbelief. He refers to the angels in heaven as persons, whose personal existence was a fact. Moreover in these words we have one of the few revelations which He was pleased to make as to the state after death. They imply that, as St Paul teaches, at the Resurrection “we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:44), and the “spiritual body” will not be liable to the passions of the “natural body.” Cambridge Bible

5 Likes

Thanks for the help. That’s quite a somber thought though. One of my favourite aspects of marriage was that the fact that you were bound to that person for eternity but now to know you won’t be with them in heaven it kind of lessens the magisty of marriage for me. :disappointed:

1 Like

@Michael_Ryan Cheer up :slight_smile: We will be with our loved ones forever and the relationships in Heaven will be deeper and more beautiful than on earth, for there will be no sin to mar them. And we will go on loving and being loved by our spouses forever, just not physically. Not to mention we will have a much bigger family then!

Here are some quotes from C. S. Lewis regarding Heaven where I think he really captures the joy of finally being in God’s new creation.

Quote from “The Last Battle”

It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time there were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.

The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”

Quote from “Letters to Malcolm”

“I do not think that the life of Heaven bears any analogy to play or dance in respect of frivolity. I do think that while we are in this ‘valley of tears,’ cursed with labour, hemmed round with necessities, tripped up with frustrations, doomed to perpetual plannings, puzzlings, and anxieties, certain qualities that must belong to the celestial condition have no chance to get through, can project no image of themselves, except in activities which, for us here and now, are frivolous.

For surely we must suppose the life of the blessed to be an end in itself, indeed The End: to be utterly spontaneous; to be the complete reconciliation of boundless freedom with order–with the most delicately adjusted, supple, intricate, and beautiful order?

How can you find any image of this in the ‘serious’ activities either of our natural or of our (present) spiritual life? Either in our precarious and heart-broken affections or in the Way which is always, in some degree, a via crucis ?

No, Malcolm. It is only in our ‘hours-off,’ only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were place here to live.

But in this world everything is upside down. That which , if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

–C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (San Diego: Harvest, 1964), 92-93.

1 Like

I understand what you’re saying. My wife of 40 beautiful years passed away unexpectedly last March. We sometimes talked about the afterlife, and wondered if, even though we weren’t married in heaven, would we still be close. Well, the truth is, we will be one as the Father and Son are one (John 17:11) - which is far more unified than we ever were on earth. As beautiful as our relationship was here below, it was nothing like what it will be in the resurrection. As much as we loved one another here, it’s nothing like the perfect love we’ll have there.

And the reason was because of Christ - we both loved Him and spent our lives drawing ever closer to Him - and the closer two people draw to Christ, the closer they draw to each other. But when we see Him as He is, we will be perfectly like Him (I John 3:2), perfectly unified with Him, with each other, and with all the saints of all the centuries.

So the unity and love that we enjoyed in our 40 years together was just a preview of the unity and love that we’ll have forever in the world to come with each other and with all the Bride and Groom together.

The passion, devotion, intimacy and unity that husbands and wives find in marriage is the closest thing this life has to the spiritual rapture that Christ and His Bride will have in the resurrection. That’s what Paul means in Ephesians 5:31-32 when he says that a man leaves father and mother, joins to his wife, and they become one flesh - and then he calls this is a great mystery, but says he’s really talking about Christ and the Church.

It is a great comfort to know that even though Ruthie is not here with me as she was, she now loves me far more than she ever did on earth!

6 Likes

That depends on our view of God I feel.
We all know marriage is ultimately a relationship, of getting to know another soul in the most intimate way and all the wonderful things that come along with that.
It is an imagery which God uses to portray His Son’s relationship with the Church. But when we get to heaven we will have the very object of that image- i.e. face to face relationship with Christ Himself. And in the midst of this great joy all other small joys(wonderful as they are) will fall under it. It is the ultimate good for ourselves and our loved ones. And out of this fullness of joy will overflow into others, in ways which we cannot fully know. It is like when a child is born; a husband and wife love each other a lot but when their child is born, in the joy of the moment, they forget their joy in each other, in a good way, though that doesn’t diminsh it. To love each other
at that moment and ignore the beauty and cuteness of the baby would be almost like profanity, an abnormal thing to do.

Also God is the source of all pleasures; everything that we enjoy in this life(good food, etc) came out from Him and are a foretaste of who He is. They are just the streams of the Fountain Himself.
There will be many paradigm shifts and surprises like these in heaven as we see Jesus face to face and see Him in all of His glory and beauty.

And this ultimately raises the value and sanctity and joy of marriage more, that this is not the end but the shadow of something better bigger and far majestic, not only for me but for both of us. It is like enjoying the beautiful nature- you can enjoy it only to an extent, but when you go beyond it to the very source of the beauty, God Himself, you begin to appreciate and enjoy and value it more. It is this relationship with God in heaven that gives true meaning to marriage here on Earth.
Like Ravi used to say- “God is like the light and blessings/joy like the shadow. If we chase the shadow we will never get it, but if we chase the light, the shadow will follow us wherever we go.”
Cheers :slight_smile:

1 Like

@Michael_Ryan I would also suggest we look at what marriage is supposed to be.

Genesis tells us that Eve was created for Adam because “it is not good that the man should be alone.” Before anything else, marriage is a relationship of intimacy (not sex, btw; that is just a means to an end). It is a sharing between two people what they share with nobody else. It’s warts and sickness, it’s fuzzy slippers and cheering on your spouse as they sing off-key but they sing with all their heart. In a healthy, Godly marriage, you are never alone because there is always somebody there that knows the REAL you, the vulnerable and imperfect you that the world can never know.

That being the case, consider what eternity will be for us. After all the trials of life are done, after sin has finally been excised from our being, we will finally be with the Lord as we were intended to be. We won’t have to reserve part of ourselves from the world, because we will know each other perfectly and BE known perfectly. Everything that marriage is supposed to be, the trust with vulnerability, the intimacy, will be perfectly met THROUGHOUT God’s creation. So when Jesus says that we will neither marry nor be given in marriage, it’s because there will be no need for it. What marriage now serves as a dim reflection of will finally be crystal clear reality.

That of course begs the question. Will we still be close to our spouses? Absolutely, and I dare say, far closer than we are now. But there again, we will (I think; don’t quote me on this hehe) be that close with EVERY soul… because we will have entered into our ULTIMATE relationship, that with our God and our Savior.

1 Like

Sho thanks everyone. That really clears things up and has me looking at things in a new light