The Ultimate Goal of the Marriage Union

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The Ultimate Goal of the Marriage Union

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The five points in this article ("What Are the Keys to a Happy Marriage") for building a happy marriage deal with the relationship in a mental and emotional sense. But there is more to this physical union than what is commonly experienced. Whether one marries or remains single, God wants us to understand there are spiritual implications to the marriage relationship.

The marriage union has an ultimate purpose that few understand. The apostle Paul gave us a glimpse of this truth when he wrote: "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:31-32).

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ reveals that in the future, at His return to earth, He will marry the Church—the believers who have been faithful to Him and His Word. "'Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [the Church] has made herself ready.' And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints ... 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" (Revelation 19:7-9).

Today's physical marital union depicts tomorrow's greater spiritual union—the marital union between Jesus and His Church. Some Christians are now preparing for and are actively a part of that future, permanent union. The spiritual growth of a Christian is the very process of proving ourselves ready for the ultimate goal of marriage to Christ, to be one with Him, resurrected to spirit as He is spirit (1 Corinthians 15:49-53; 1 John 3:2-3).

This is one of the underlying reasons that God instructed husband and wife to "become one flesh"—to portray the fact that we are ultimately to become spiritually at one with Christ and God the Father. Jesus prayed to the Father regarding His followers, "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one ..."(John 17:22-23).

For a man and woman, the marriage state is modeled on the Church's relationship to Jesus Christ. Both relationships take sacrifice as both marriage partners work to become one with each other and with Christ.

The Church of God is now betrothed to Christ, which means the Church is promised to Him as a virgin bride (Revelation 19:7). Since human beings cannot make themselves pure, we are made clean by Jesus' sacrifice and saved by His life (Romans 5:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19). However, with God's assistance through His Holy Spirit, we are still required to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13).

The institution of marriage between a man and a woman is a tool to teach us of the Church's eventual marriage to Jesus Christ. That marriage will be permanently and luxuriantly happy. Now is the time to begin modeling that eternal relationship with your husband or wife today, building a happy, fulfilling and productive marriage. GN