Marriage is pre-political. It did not originate in any one nation, under any one government. It was born in the heart of the Creator. He created humanity as male and female and described them together as manifesting His image upon the earth. God dared to represent Himself in the union of one man for one woman.
That is audacious! Knowing our propensity for misusing power in the name of love, God entrusted humanity to manifest who He is in how man honors woman, and how woman honors man. Marriage is the main and plain of that manifestation; it is the window on earth of something akin to God, the Creator Himself!
But creation is only the first part of how significant marriage is in the divine plan; redemption rounds out the powerful good of man for woman and woman for man.
Jesus describes Himself as the bridegroom who gave Himself up (His death on the cross) for His bride, the Church. He will come again in order to become one with her. In the meantime, He as the bridegroom is serving and loving us, His bride, in order to make us ready for His return. That return is the consummation of God’s plan of redemption that began on the cross.
Marriage matters: it conveys the essence of who God is, and how He is towards us, His people. Theologian Christopher West writes in The Love that Satisfies:
The Bible begins in Genesis with the marriage of the first man and woman, and ends in Revelation with another ‘marriage’: the union of Christ and the Church…The whole story of our salvation is contained between the love initiated by the bridegroom and the response of the bride…These nuptial bookends area key for interpreting all that lies between. (p.12)
In other words, marriage manifests God. Marriage supports and protects a whole union between a man and woman; that union is a window to God. As we shall see, marriage reveals something about Him. It makes known an aspect of His personhood.
How a man loves a woman in marriage helps us to understand how God wants to prepare us, His bride, for an increasingly pure, passionate relationship with Himself.
As a man initiates and loves a woman, and as a woman responds to that love, rounding out the whole, so does God seek to love us into wholeness.
Marriage is one key to knowing and honoring God. It reveals His plan for creation and redemption. California, vote YES on Prop. 8. Honor Marriage for the Good of All.
“Who can know Your mysteries, O God? Thank you for giving us marriage as one of the keys that helps us understand who You are, how You love, and what You plan for us.”