12 Notable Quotes from Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel

This article is part of the Notable Quotes series.

A Truer Reality

Marriage was created to evidence Christ’s love for his bride, the church. Our earthly relationships, though marred by our sin, can point us toward this true and ultimate reality, and give us hope. Be encouraged by the following quotes, excerpted from Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund.

“Marriage is not a human invention; it is a divine revelation. Its design never was our own made-up arrangement of infinite malleability. It was given to us, at the beginning of all things, as a brightly shining fixity of eternal significance. We might not always live up to its true grandeur. None of us does so perfectly. But we have no right to redefine it, and we have every reason to revere it.”

Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel

Ray Ortlund

By laying out a cosmic vision of marriage as the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation, this volume honors and exalts marriage as a grand display of the gospel, offering hope for our marriages today.

“I yearn for a recovery of joyful confidence in marriage as God originally gave it to us. This requires a humble, thoughtful return to biblical teachings. We will never see human sexuality restored without a rediscovery of Scripture as the consensus of our culture.”

“The Bible helps us see that we live in a universe where ultimate reality is relational.”

“Headship did not come down to us historically as an artifact of oppressive patriarchy; it began in heaven and came down into this world creationally as a pathway to human flourishing.”

“When we trust God enough to accept his account of manhood and womanhood, the relational quality of our marriages today can open up to deeper possibilities than we could ever create out of our own personal or cultural narratives.”

“The first step in every marriage back toward an imperfect but real taste of Eden is not to cover our anguish with loincloths of self-approval. That is a false remedy. Our first step is rather to face our failures, deceits, and sins with utter honesty before God and each other.”

“Without peace with God, we inevitably shatter the peace we desire with one another.”

“Only God sees the full impact of our fall. Only God can absorb into himself the final penalty of it. And he will, through Jesus Christ.”

“The most remarkable thing about marriage today is not that it can be troubled but that we still have this privilege at all. When God justly expelled us from the garden of Eden, he did not take this gift back. He let us keep his priceless gift, though we sometimes misuse it. But what every married couple needs to know is that their marriage is a remnant of Eden. This is why every marriage is worth working at, worth fighting for. A marriage filled with hope in God is nothing less than an afterglow of the garden of Eden, radiant with hope until perfection is finally restored.”

“Your marriage has the potential, by his grace, to bring redemption into the broken world we all live in now. Your imperfect marriage is, therefore, worth celebrating.”

“The new heavens and the new earth will be created for the marriage of Christ and his bride. The whole of cosmic reality exists as the venue for the eternal honeymoon of the perfect husband with his perfect bride in marital bliss forever and ever. This is the breathtaking claim of the Bible.”

“Human marriage has always been intended by God to serve as a prophetic whisper of the eternal marriage.”

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