Marriage: Are you Satisfied?
by Linda Noble
We all have longings related to marriage: to be in a marriage that meets my needs, to be out of a marriage that doesn’t meet my needs, or to just be married! Many have attempted to address these longings and give helpful advice. However, I’m fascinated with Jesus’ take on marriage. In Matthew 22:30, Jesus made a statement that should make us stop and consider, “For in the resurrection (eternity) they neither marry or are given in marriage.”
If we’re honest, even Christ followers have been so influenced by culture that many of us have come to conclusions that finding “the one”, or sexual experiences, or marriage or some combination are prerequisite for a satisfying and full life. And yet there is no marriage in heaven? Maybe our conclusions are very distorted pictures of reality. Maybe that which we’re really longing for during our lives on earth is more than finding “the one”, exciting sexual experiences or even a great marriage.
What if our longings for union, intimacy and ecstasy point to a reality greater than anything we can experience in an earthly relationship?
CS Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, commented on the problem of these longings, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We mistake the meaning of our longings and pursue their fulfillment in places that cannot possibly satisfy us. In doing so, we destroy ourselves and our relationships with expectations that can never be met.
But these longings can and will be satisfied as we move deeper into relationship with God.
In Psalm 63, the psalmist declares his earthly experience of God: “You O God are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you… I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life my lips will glorify you. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods.” God invites us to a union and communion with Himself that will satisfy our longings beyond what we could ask or think.
John Eldredge wrote, “God employs explicitly sexual language to describe faithfulness (and unfaithfulness) to Him. For us creatures of the flesh, sexual intimacy is the closest parallel we have to real worship. Even the world knows this. Why else would sexual ecstasy become the number one rival to communion with God? The best imposters succeed because they are nearly indistinguishable from what they are trying to imitate. We worship sex because we don’t know how to worship God…”
So why then, did God create us as male and female and then call the two to become one flesh? The marital relationship is an earthly picture that gives us a glimmer of the relationship God is inviting us to. The marital relationship is not our destination in life, in spite of what the culture around us espouses as true. Earthly marriage can never satisfy us and yet it is a clear picture, instituted by God, to help us to comprehend God’s invitation to perfect love, communion and ecstasy. We understand our destiny in relationship with God as we contemplate the picture of the marital relationship.
If I accepted God’s invitation to move into relationship with Him that satisfies my deepest longings, where would I go? Journey’s Pathway offers opportunities to learn to connect deeplywith God and to break down barriers that are hindering this connection.
Here’s a couple of opportunities to step into at Journey:
Dive in with us as the next round of the Pathway begins January 19, 2020
Learn more about Theology of the Body at www.theconversationsworkshop.com
Linda Noble is the Discipleship Pathway Coordinator at Journey Community Church, co-founder of THE Conversation Workshop, helping you talk to kids about the body, relationships and sex (www.theconversationworkshop.