There are many things in the Bible that cause a lot of emotions in me. Sadness, gratitude, awe, devotion, immense love, confusion, and, sometimes, anger are all things I have felt when reading different passages. There is one thing in the Bible, however, that almost always gives me heart palpitations when I read it. I get a lump in my throat. It can even bring tears to my eyes.
In Matthew 22:24-30, the Sadducees pose a question to Jesus about a women being married to seven different men, all at different times. They want to know who she will be married to in heaven when she dies. Jesus answers:
“At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.”
Most of my heart screams out, “Noooooooooo!!!! Jesus, what are you saying? Are you trying to crush my heart?”
Here’s the thing: I’m madly, deeply in love with my husband and I just can’t imagine not being married to him in heaven. I just cannot imagine it. What do Jesus’ words mean? When I get to heaven and I see Dustin am I going to just pass by him and say, “Hey, what’s up?” Like we were never one? Here come those heart palpitations again.
I have thought about this a lot…a….lot. Here’s how my mind thoughts go.
“Jesus was just kidding, right? Right? RIGHT?!”
“Jesus didn’t mean that like it came out.” Lord have mercy on me, because I’m telling God He didn’t really mean what He said.
“Marriage has a different name in heaven. It’s called…it’s called…well, it’s called marreaven. Get it? Marriage and heaven combined.” I was reaching here–really reaching.
The reality is, is that I have to take Christ at His words. He says there is no marriage in heaven and I have to believe Him. When I calm down enough to think about it, I know it must be true because of what marriage means here on earth. Marriage is a sacrament where a man and woman join together to become one flesh. The purpose of marriage is to love each other as Christ loves us. We are to help our spouse get to heaven and when marriage is done right, it can sanctify us. Marriage should mirror the love that Christ has for his Church. Many times the Church is referred to as the bride, Christ is the bridegroom. Marriage mirrors that–or at least it should. Marriage also is to bring about new life. It is where new souls are created through the love of a man and woman.
When I think about it, well, neither one of these things are needed in heaven. In heaven you don’t need a sacrament to mirror anything, because sacraments are things that point towards and guide us to Christ. Sacraments would be pointless in heaven because all the angels and saints there get it. They get it, because, well…they’re there. Also, in heaven babies aren’t being born; there is no labor and delivery room. Basically, in heaven there is no need for marriage anymore. So, what does this mean?
You know, I don’t know. Nobody does. What I do know is that heaven is better than anything I can imagine. In my limited human mind, the best I can come up with for me and my husband is marriage in heaven. I wonder, though, if that oneness Dustin and I experience here on earth is magnified and more glorious in heaven. I wonder…
What’s important for me to remember is that while I want and like the idea of Dustin and I still being married in heaven, Jesus says that it’s not like that there. I can’t just ignore Christ’s words and go along with my own made-up version of what I think it will be like. When I do that I set my marriage up as an idol, which I must never do. I must trust that Christ will give Dustin and I something even better than what we’ve experienced in this life. I must trust that Dustin and I will know each other in heaven and that the love we shared on earth will be even greater in heaven. Earth has its limits: It has sadness, frustration, annoyance, arguing, selfishness, failings and faults. Those things won’t be in heaven, which will hopefully allow Dustin and I to experience our love in an even more fulfilling, joyful way.
God bound Dustin and I on our wedding day in a way that only God can bind us–supernaturally. We are not allowed to break that bond in this earthly life, I can’t imagine God would sever it in heaven. I trust that what awaits us there is greater than my human mind can imagine.
Two souls intertwined, that’s what we are