Why the Metaphor of Marriage Helps Us Understand Our Relationship with God

 This 1-minute devotion explains the importance of the Marriage Metaphor used to describe our relationship with God.

Marriage is not God’s plan for everyone, but it's a relationship that most people can understand. No wonder it's one of the metaphors God uses to describe His relationship with His people.

A husband and wife have a unique bond of closeness based on a permanent commitment that should strengthen over time, bringing increased love, understanding, joy, and happiness. 
It’s the first human relationship described in Scripture, and it's the basis for the human family structure.
Ephesians 5:24-33 explains that marriage isa profound mystery” that helps us better understand Christ's commitment to us His people. This doesn't mean everything about human marriage applies, but it's a reflection of the commitment, oneness, protection, and joy we have in Christ.
Christ is a perfect Bridegroom, and one day we will join Him at the wedding supper that announces our eternal fellowship with our Lord (John 3:28-30; Revelation 19:9). See these full passages below.
All of this brings me to something I so appreciate about our God: He's a wonderful communicator. He uses metaphors, word pictures, examples, and parables to help us understand His love for us. 
We can't fully grasp the things of God here on earth, but He wants us to know that great things lay in store for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Peter 3:13).

This 1-minute devotion explains the importance of the Marriage Metaphor used to describe our relationship with God.
A glimpse at how this metaphor is used in Scripture

In the Old Testament when God's people followed pagan gods, the Lord would often compare them to an unfaithful wife.

Jeremiah 3:20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD.  

Ezekiel 16 describes Israel as an adulterous wife. And in the book of Hosea, the prophet Hosea experiences firsthand how painful it is to have a wife who treats her husband as Israel treated God. See His Love Knows No Bounds and Major Warnings in Old Testament Narratives.

We also find this metaphor throughout the New Testament. These are a few examples. 

The words of John the Baptist describe Christ as the bridegroom for the Church: 
John 3:28-30You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.” 

Under divine inspiration, Paul used this metaphor to warn the Corinthians of compromise and false teachings: 
2 Corinthians 11:2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” 

Yet, this is more than a metaphor. It is a divine mystery: 
Ephesians 5:24-33Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

It is a metaphor that describes our eternal relationship with the Lord:
Revelation 19:9: Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Bible Love Notes


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  2. I have been told that there will be no marriages in Heaven (except for the Church/Bride to Christ) based on MT. 22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven". I've heard other preachers say that there will be marriages and children born during the Millennium. Could you please expound on this? TY! Blessings.

    1. Actually, Jude, I don't think there is anything in Scripture that gives us an answer to your question. As you've stated, Jesus explained that there is no marriage in heaven, but I'm not aware of any passage that describes that aspect of the Millennium.

      Here's a short description from GotQuestions.org
      "At the second coming, these covenants will be fulfilled as Israel is re-gathered from the nations (Matthew 24:31), converted (Zechariah 12:10–14), and restored to the land under the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of the conditions during the millennium as a perfect environment physically and spiritually. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2–4; Isaiah 32:17–18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), and comfort (Isaiah 40:1–2). The Bible also tells us that only believers will enter the millennial kingdom. Because of this, it will be a time of obedience (Jeremiah 31:33), holiness (Isaiah 35:8), truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14). Christ will rule as king (Isaiah 9:3–7; 11:1–10). Nobles and governors will also rule (Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 19:28), and Jerusalem will be the political center of the world (Zechariah 8:3)."

  3. I guess that is just one of those things we will have to wait on for understanding. Either way, it will definitely be lovely and beyond the very best we can ever imagine. 1 Cor. 2:9. TY! Blessings.