Marriage: Profound But Not Ultimate

What strikes the reader is both that this is a ‘one flesh’ relationship, and also that it is a ‘one flesh’ relationship. A ‘one flesh’ union is unparalleled in human relationships, which argues for the uniqueness of the marital bond – a point already established. But, additionally, any union defined in terms of flesh must be acknowledged to be less than ultimate in nature. It extends for the full length of this mortal life, but it cannot transcend this life. Marriage, therefore, is the deepest human relationship, but not even this relationship qualifies as a final experience… There comes a day when every married man, stripped of everything he cherishes in this life, must let go even of his beloved wife’s hand. Marriage is profound, but not ultimate.

Ray Ortlund, God’s Unfaithful Wife, New Studies in Biblical Theology, Ed. D.A. Carson (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 23.

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