The Resurrection and Marriage

Having Teckla as my worship leader is, and has been, one of my greatest joys. It has also given me a glimpse of something difficult to grasp: the relationship of a husband and wife after the resurrection.

It has always bothered me that Jesus said that “in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” The longer I am married, the more this bothers me—the less I want to be like an angel.

Every sappy and cloying thing a couple could say about their love, we say with all sincerity. It feels like we have an eternal love. We have been married almost 40 years and would still rather be with each other than anyone else. Start the syrupy Hallmark movie music; we have undying, everlasting love for each other. Not being married seems terrible and unimaginable—nothing heavenly.

I blame this on my parents who were crazy in love for over fifty years. Last year when my mother was bedridden and dying, I mentioned something Dad used to do. Because of her stroke, she couldn’t talk, but I saw a tear slide down her cheek. I asked, “Why are you crying? Are you hurting?” She nodded no. When I asked if she was missing Dad, she nodded yes and shed a few more tears. It had been twenty years since Dad died. I know she looked forward to being reunited with Dad, but what does that look like if there is no marriage in the resurrection?

Several times I have gotten a glimpse of this while Teckla leads worship. When I see her face alive with joy and love for God and watch her pour out her heart to God in love and celebration, I fall more in love with her. I also rejoice that God has blessed me with a wife that loves Jesus with wild abandon.

But quickly there is a shift in my thoughts and spirit as I follow her example and give all my attention to God. As I fling all my adoration Godward and sense God’s presence in our midst, I realize that Teckla and I are brother and sister in Christ. Our love for each other is flooded with God’s love for us and our love for Him. Just as the rising of the sun makes stars grow dim, our love is submerged in a greater love. In that moment, it feels like nothing is lost—every good thing is found. It feels like eternity—all joy. Teckla and I are the Bride rejoicing in Jesus, the Bridegroom.

It is biblical, of course, that being married gives us glimpses of eternity. I will be okay not being married in the resurrection; Teckla and I have an invitation to the wedding that matters most.

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About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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