The first type of marriage is between one man and one woman. It is – in a sense – not the real marriage.
I say it is not real because it is temporal: it has a beginning, an end and some illusive stuff crammed between called ‘time’. A man and a woman make a covenant – joining masculinity and femininity together – but only briefly. One of the two lays their tired bones to rest and the marriage is no more. Its fruit is children who will grow to see the tide of their days come in and go out. They and their marriages will die and be as if they have never been.
This vaporous and simple institution is not impervious to sin during the few days it lasts. Though it is ordained by God and brings joy to many, it also - due to sin - brings pain. Some break the covenant before it has fully run the chalked out course. Others fail to love and respect each other as they should. The relationship is often as broken as it is temporary. Contrary to what one Supreme Court Justice recently wrote, marriage does not mark the end to loneliness.
But there is a second marriage.
A real one.
It cannot be broken. It will never fade. Neither party vows, ‘Till death do us part’ because - for that marriage - death is less than a ghost. The structure of that marriage is unfazed by any human referendum, legislative pronouncement or judicial ruling. The bride has been elected unanimously by the triune God and has been justified by her groom. She bows the knee to the one king with whom she is forever joined.
All the temporal marriages only gain a sense of reality to the degree that they point us to the eternal marriage. It's the bride made from a redeemed humanity - united in eternal loving friendship - joined to her God forever. That has always been the direction of human history and its destination in inevitable. The groom has secured the people he loves at the cost of his own life that he laid down in love. Soon, there will be no more loneliness or unreciprocated love and the thing your heart has always really longed for will appear.
The space between now and beyond closes up fast. The groom awaits. The question: will you be part of the bride? ___________________________________________________
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