In Luke Chapter 20, in answer to some Sadducees, Christ states that marriage will not exist in the resurrection of the dead. I am wondering, does this mean that the love a married couple shares with each other, and their union as one flesh, is all temporary? I’ve always been a bit of a romantic and, if I am reading the verses correctly, am kind of sad to see the end of the husband and wife relationship in eternity.
Pope John Paul the Great taught that all forms of love are perfected in heaven.
Talking about love in English is not so easy, because that one word (love) is used for many different feelings. The love a man has for his wife (Greek: eros) is different than the love he has for his children (Greek: storge) or his fellow man (Greek: agape).
All forms of love will be perfected in heaven - none of them perish, and they retain their distinctive character.
So, yes, you and your spouse will still be “special” to each other in a way that nobody else is.
The marriage of husband and wife is actually only a type of the relationship between Christ and his Church. I’m pretty sure we will have a special bond with our spouses since we had a sacramental connection with them in this life, but it will no longer be marriage because our fulfillment will be in our eternal communion with God, of which our marriages were just a shadow. Our joy with our former spouses will be found in our common life with God.
The Scripture tells us we will be like the angels not given or taken in marriage. Angels are sexless and do not procreate. Presumably, our desires will also be changed in our new bodies. So, marriage as we know it here will no longer exist. D
The purpose of marriage is to bear and raise children; there is no need for that in heaven. In heaven the relationships we have had here (parent/child, husband/wife, brother/sister…etc) will change; we will all love God above everything else.
Aren’t we supposed to love God above everything else in this life? I can see why marriage as a procreative union won’t be necessary in Heaven but does that necessarily preclude their marital love from continuing to exist for eternity?
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. You’ve given me plenty to think about. Thanks.
Marriage and sexual behavior are for this life only, perfect love is not.
Marriage and sexual behavior are for generational procreation, but spiritual bodies are not procreated.
I agree with you, I think. There will be no marriage and no sexual relations in the life to come. However, if we were especially close to someone in this earthly life, we will be able to love them all the more in our resurrected life to come. People who had a close marriage will still be able to enjoy the closeness of their love, but it will be changed in character, perfected, as others have said.
I would think the idea that there will be no marriage in heaven would be a blessing to those Catholics who have been widowed and remarried. Which one would be their heavenly spouse?
Love will be perfected, but that perfect love will not include marriage or sexual relations, and don’t worry about it. We won’t miss it. Those are things for this life only.
Marital love is an imperfect expression of the unity that we desire to have with our spouse in a covenant before God (same as sexual relations with our spouse are a form of unification and procreation). In heaven, we will be perfected in our Union with God and, through God, in our union with and love for others. The communion we share together will be perfect.
As such, marriage will have no place. The love and union we share for everyone will be perfected and won’t need sex or a single partnership in marriage to be complete.
In other words, you think you love your spouse now? We broken and sinful humans don’t even understand how much MORE we will be able to love once perfected. You will still love your spouse, but you will also love all people with perfect love (and, as one poster already pointed out, not in the romantic sense of the word, since English is deficient in expressing nuance when one word means multiple things).
As others have already pointed out, love is perfected in heaven, so in that sense the love we share on earth is not temporary. However, I think an important point that needs to be kept in mind for the sake of this discussion is that the sacramental bond of marriage between a couple is, indeed, temporary. The vows stipulate that the bond does not last forever, but until the couple is parted by death. This is why the Church teaches that a widow or widower is free to enter into another marriage.
Spouses (should they both reach Heaven) will not be spouses there. The bond of marriage is broken upon death. There is no marriage in Heaven.
One of the reasons I don’t believe in a married priesthood. Priests serve an eschatological function, giving us a glimpse of how we will live, chastely and unmarried, in God’s Kingdom.
Thank you GEddie and David. That is so sweet of you. You made my day a good one! God bless.