Stories of “they lived happily ever after” bring dreamy sighs from girls of all ages (from some guys, too). Movie producers know it. Book writers know it. Fairy-tale endings are big business. The fair maiden becomes a damsel in distress, and the knight in shining armor comes to her rescue and whisks her off into the sunset, where they live “happily ever after”! Why are we suckers for a story like this? What does this have to do with God anyway? Can we talk of fairy-tale endings and God’s thoughts on Love and marriage in the same breath? Can, or do, our fairy-tale stories and reality come together–ever? What does God think of Love and Marriage and our fairy-tale endings?
Many questions. Let’s go to the Bible for some answers. God is the Original “fairy-tale ending” Writer, Who began His story by placing His characters, Adam and Eve, in a blissful paradise, the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2) It was perfection on earth. There was no sin, only perfect love between the couple and between them and God. This was His idea of a fairy-tale story: perfect love between God and man living together in the perfect place, forever. Only one thing. God said, “You can have everything in this perfect world except “this one tree”–this one little thing: Don’t eat it. Everything else is yours. He gave man “free will”. You know the story. Eve looked at what was forbidden (instead of being content with all God gave), she saw that it was good for food (she thought and dwelled and focused and dreamed about the forbidden thing instead of dwelling in her thoughts on all God had given) and she took of the forbidden thing (didn’t ask God—well, He’d already told her “No,” and didn’t consult her husband, well, he was standing right there, but she obviously was putting herself before him in leadership, and he obviously was letting her.) She ate it and then she gave the forbidden thing to her family (just a husband at that time) and he took it and ate it—and sin entered the world. (Genesis 3:1-6) This was not God’s idea—sin—violating His will and command. He knew, though, that this would happen when He gave His created beings free will. So, He had made a plan before the beginning of time to give His Son to die and pay the penalty for sin. Because whenever someone sins, well, it says in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Someone had to die. God said, “I’ll do it because I love you.” This is the definition of Love. This is the original Prince on the white horse saving His beloved. God had warned Adam and Eve. But they sinned anyway, and we’ve been looking for the perfect ending ever since.
God obviously loves bringing a man and woman together (maybe that’s why we’re such “romantics”.) He demonstrated this in the beginning by bringing Eve to Adam. Can’t you just see the Big Grin on God’s Face watching Adam wake up to see the Woman of His Dreams before him? God sets the lonely in families. He thought up sex. God loves children and calls them gifts from Him to us. “Godly seed,” as He calls children, is His plan and purpose.
God’s goal for us is marriage and children. How do we know that? We have only to look at the meaning and symbolism that He attaches to them. He says marriage is symbolic of the union between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5) He says Christ comes into us when we are married to Christ (becoming Christians and indwelt by the Holy Spirit) and that once saved we are to produce “spiritual children”. (We are commanded to make disciples which we can do only through His being in us.) We are told to reproduce ourselves. New lives are born out of our union with Christ when we make disciples, which is His command and our purpose. New life is born. Our disciples are called our “spiritual children”. Bearing spiritual children is His goal for us, but we are not to try to do it (it’s impossible) without Christ indwelling us. In Malachi 2:15 God speaks of “Godly seed” as the intended outcome of Christian marriage, just as bearing spiritual children (making disciples) is His intended outcome of His spiritual union with us through His Spirit. Just as in earthly marriage, our relationship with Him, our Husband, cannot be neglected or forgotten. Love is always at the center of it all.
On earth, it’s just a picture. But in heaven, when we, the Church, are united with our Bridegroom, His Bride will finally be truly one with Her Beloved, Who will whisk her away on His white horse, and the Real Happily Ever After will begin.
Scriptures referred to
(and there are many, many more that I could have on this list):
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 Timothy 1:15
1 Corinthians 13