No Marriage in Heaven? Isn’t that a Downgrade?

Yes, Jesus taught that marriage is an institution for the Earth. At one point, Jesus told some religious leaders that were trying to trap him with a riddle that “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:29–30)

Something seems wrong with this picture. We commit ourselves in love to one person. We grow more and more deeply together as we spend decades doing life as a married couple. Then bam! You’re dead. That’s it. Friends forever.

Many people find that picture less than attractive. If going to heaven is actually a relational contraction — less intimacy and depth of friendship than we experience in marriage now — I would agree with them. But I don’t think that’s the case.
This is going to sound a little weird, but here’s what I think: when we go to heaven, it’s not that we aren’t married to anyone — it’s more like we are married to everyone.

On Earth in human bodies we can really only maintain so many relationships and can, perhaps, only maintain one that is as close and intertwined as a good marriage, especially since we go through cycles of failure and forgiveness, moving apart and coming closer.

When we die, I think it’s not going to be like our relational ability contracts. I think it’s going to expand unbelievably. While we don’t have the capacity on Earth to have deep intimate relationships with very many people, when freed from the limitations of our earthly body, we will have deep intimate relationships with everyone.

It’s a kind of bandwidth issue. Early in the internet, we had very limited bandwidth. As our bandwidth expands, we can video conference with several people at once. In fact, the bandwidth of the internet to support multiple person simultaneous communication exceeds the ability of people to support simultaneous communication with multiple people.

So in heaven it’s not going to be that there is less intimacy than now because you aren’t married. It’s going to be infinite intimacy and deep friendship with everyone such as isn’t even possible on Earth.

That’s what I think, anyway. I, of course, have some scripture to back it up. But this is a blog post not a persuasive essay.