marriage in the resurrection

July 26, 2005 | 6 Comments

Some of my recent thoughts about the resurrection led me to think further about Matthew 22:23-33. In this story, Jesus describes that there will not be marriage in the resurrection. This has always been a less than exciting thought to me. What is the appeal of living an eternity where you don’t have that one intimate partner to share it with you? Will this also mean that my daughters will no longer be my daughters? That doesn’t sound like much fun either.

In Tortured Wonders, Rodney Clapp describes how perhaps our view of sex will someday be like our view of chocolate. When we were kids, all we wanted was chocolate. We thought it was the greatest thing in the whole wide world. As adults, we still enjoy chocolate, but it does not consume the entirety of our being. We know of better things now.

Perhaps this is how marriage will be in the resurrection. It will be something to be cherished from this life, but there is something actually better. Maybe we won’t need it because every relationship will be whole and intimate. The fruit of the Spirit will be fully evident in every relationship. Would this water it down too much? Is it possible that every relationship could be perfect, trusted and special? If so, it’s certainly beyond my comprehension at this point.

This might have you wondering about whether there will be sex (or chocolate!) in the resurrection. I’ll let you wrestle through that one on your own…

  • great post john but i can’t help thinking about Eddie Murphy in “Coming to America” screaming out “Sexual Chocolate!!” which was the name of his wedding band in that movie. That’s probably the best band name of all time. Sexual Chocolate!

  • Hmmm…I’ve thought about this many times as well and have come to look at it a bit differently. I do not look at relationships in the ressurection in respect to individual interaction as you have suggested (“every relationship will be whole and intimate”), but rather that the awe and love for our Creator and Savior and our desire to display this glorious affection, intensified by our proximity to Him, will overwhelm all other desires or physical need for intimacy.

    Though I rather like your concept as well. All the more desire to see the resurrection come to fruition.

  • Think of it, John. In heaven I will be just as intimate with your wife as you are right now.

    Sorry – had to throw in that really funny story that Briggs used to tell about Mark Moore from Ozark.

  • Yes, it was the first thing I thought about too, Adam. John – not sure if you heard that one, but Mark Moore said that during an Adult D-Group (we didn’t know how “adult” it truly would be) to one of the other youth pastors, who was sitting next to his wife.

  • I sure wondered what Adam was talking about, but I almost had to tussle with him…

  • In case anyone is still reading, a positive (though possibly speculative) case can be made that male-female relationships similar to marital bonds can continue between the redeemed into the next life. This may then also imply a romantic, physical or even sexual aspect in such a relationship.

    Below are some websites that make this positive case (across Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant strands of Christianity). Each website does deal with the marriage pericope of Mt 22 to a lesser or greater degree –
    1. http://rezfamilies.googlepages.com
    2. http://www.ewtn.org/library/Marriage/zmarrheavn.htm
    3. http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&id=YSSCUO1tonkC&dq=meyendorff+marriage%20&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=5NSzvkqo5M&sig%20=hBJchN5_JtqohBFEy0xFHYABFJI#PPA15,M1
    Whether you find these arguments convincing is ultimately up to you.

    PS. please note according to historic Christian doctrine, the next life involves the resurrection, which is physical in nature, and is not to be identified with “heaven” (where the redeemed go after death to await future physical resurrection of their bodies) – please see this link for more explanation –
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1710844,00.html