By Eric Blauer
“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons….They will say it is wrong to be married….”
1 Timothy 4:1, 3Why?What is behind spiritual deception in regards to marriage? Why of all the eschatological matters Paul could highlight, did he first mention an assault on the institution of marriage?
Nothing about blasting trumpets, unfolding scrolls, world wars, catastrophic disease, anti-Christs, dragons toes, natural disasters, injustice, famines, celestial anomalies – nope, he mentions marriage.
What is it about marriage that demons want to deny?
Why do they work to deceive people with teachings about how marriage is wrong?Those questions beg us to discover the true meaning of marriage. For too long Christians have made the defense of marriage a battle about sex, when to do it, when not to and with whom. These days most of the debate is about heterosexual sex vs homosexual sex, but I fear we often miss the forest because of the trees.
All these issues are important and rooted in aspects of biblical truth about marriage but fall short of unfolding the spiritual meaning of marriage. Telling someone to be ‘pure’ without teaching the purpose or point of purity is to miss the biblical reason for it, we do the same thing with marriage these days.
The apostle Paul gets to the ultimate meaning of marriage in Ephesians 5:31-21:
“As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.”
Here Paul pulls from the story of Genesis to Revelation which tells the story of God’s eternal purpose which speaks of the love story between the divine and humanity. It’s a tale told throughout the bible and its full of all the stuff love songs croon about: attraction, desire, courtship, marriage, passion, betrayal, jealousy, adultery, divorce and remarriage. It’s all there, every genre of music spins tales of the heights and depths of human love, little do some people know that such realities speak of a higher and deeper divine mystery too.
Christian marriage is a simile and analogy of a covenant between God and his people. All that is sacred in marriage is made so by the sacredness of all it speak of and reflects. Like a wedding ring is supposed to speak about a human paradise far beyond the natural beauty of the jewels. So the institution of marriage and all the glories of human togetherness and sexual delight, echo of a reality behind them. These fruits we taste are mere roots to a eternal tree we’ve yet dared to imagine. This story, this good news, is opposed by the fallen ones. The deadly serpent’s poison has been whispering lies since the beginning of time and the frontline of this fight always involves a naked man and woman. Every marriage is a paradise in which God seeks to be found, known and enjoyed and don’t be deceived in every Eden a snake slithers.
The fall is a love story that our most intimate relationships retell at every sacred altar, divorce court and with each kiss, be it good morning or goodbye. It’s a sacred story you are living, don’t let anyone tell you differently, if they do…it’s a demon’s lie.
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