Jesus said, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Matthew 22:30
For the first few years of my marriage, this verse obscured my happiness. Its implications hung over me like a small storm cloud on a sunny day; although I had sunshine, the possibility of rain seemed imminent. For some strange reason all my married friends wanted to analyze and interpret this verse, but I just want to pretend it was never penned.
Was it possible that the covenant I made with my husband would one day be eradicated and he and I would no longer be as we currently were? Married, in love, connected and satisfied in one another?
Would my marriage really end once I arrived in eternity?
There were times when I actually shed tears over this scripture and asked the Lord to show me its true exposition. My only solace was the hope that it didn’t, in fact, mean what it appeared to mean.
I don’t know about you but as a newlywed, the thought of parting with my husband under any circumstance; even if it meant uniting with Christ at the precipice of eternal paradise, made me sad. I didn’t want to be without him and I didn’t want him to be without me. Imagining my husband loving and marrying another woman made my heart sick.
I know. I’m dramatic and way over the top.
Or maybe not.
After all, wasn’t it God who designed love?
He fashioned it to be intense. Love is fathomless; a unique emotion evoking unparalleled happiness. It births unwavering, relentless passion that literally binds two souls together in such away that mere physical separation could mean the utter ruin of a lover’s heart. If it weren’t so, God wouldn’t have said that love is as strong as death. Yes, God knew exactly what He was doing when He created the covenant love between a man and woman.
And He even knew it would be His rival for the human heart.
I’m certain that God purposefully allowed me to put my husband in His place for a season. It was as if God “stepped” aside and said,
Jennifer, I want you to learn and deeply understand that even the pinnacle of all human relationships, the covenant love between you and your husband, will NEVER saturate your soul like I will.
I needed to learn, as every disciple of Jesus does, to love God above all of the wonderful, amazing blessings He bestows upon me in this life. God does not want to be one of my many loves. He wants to be my greatest love. He wants me to see that even if I have the best of everything in this world, His love is still far better.
And that is why He brings other things, other people, into our lives. So that we learn to love Him supremely.
Over the last seven years, my marriage has been beautifully sanctifying; filled with laughter and tears, loneliness and comfort. My husband and I have faced adversity and, as a result of those dark times, I’ve concluded that there are just certain areas of my heart that God alone can touch.
When I faced depression after my son’s birth, only God could restore my joy. When my daughter had open heart surgery at just 2 days old, only God could offer me true comfort. When my husband and I were emotionally distant and our passion for each other dwindled, God remained closer than a lover. When fear invades my heart, only my Lord can reassure me that my life has been hidden with Christ in God.
My husband has never left my side during any tumultuous season of our marriage. He is devoted and faithful to me. I truly love him more now than I did on the day I married him.
But he is not my Savior; he is my fellow sojourner.
And our relationship was never meant to become an Idol.
Today, I say with passion that if Matthew 22:30 means what many great theologians and scholars say it means, then I look forward to the day my husband and I stretch out our hands, exchange our temporary covenant for our eternal one and unite with our One True Soul Mate; Jesus.
My heart for your marriage is that you and your beloved would delight in one another, love one another deeply and experience the depths of blessing gifted to you in the covenant of marriage! But never allow your marriage to eclipse the true Love of your life, Jesus.
Learn to love Him supremely!