Principle 1: Recognize the Temporal Nature of Marriage
When Jesus was posed a question by the Sadducees regarding divorce and remarriage in light of eternity, He responded by saying: “For in the resurrection they neither marry or are given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30 and Luke 30:34). According to Jesus, marriage for better or for worse ends at death. The temporal nature of the covenant of marriage leads us to make several observations:
- We Must Reform the Place of Marriage in Our Lives and Thinking: Marriage is no longer the ultimate aim and pursuit of our lives. Our pursuit should be first and foremost after Jesus Christ to which we will be married in intimate relationship to throughout all of eternity. This means that, for the single person, marriage is not the highest aim and should not be the sole pursuit of our lives. This means, for the married person, that our marriage relationship should flow from our relationship with our eternal Groom.
- Dating Should Not Distract From or Take the Place Of Our Relationship with Jesus Christ: If the temporal relationship is taking precedent over the eternal relationship, there is a balance problem, which must be addressed. To let the other person we are in a relationship with take the place of Jesus Christ is to make them an idol, which makes this problem a worship problem. This misplaced worship is sin that needs to be repented of and address both personally and in the context of the relationship. Our fulfillment and satisfaction cannot be found in anyone besides Jesus Christ. To try to place that on another person is also misdirected worship that must be addressed.
- We Must Make God’s Primary Pursuit for Us Our Primary Pursuit: Our lives should be spent in pursuit of Jesus Christ not a spouse. If Christ is our primary pursuit, He will redefine our standards for dating and our definition of our relationships within a dating relationship.