Marvin Olasky

Wives often loved being loved. Margaret Dunham, wife of a Glasgow University professor, wrote in 1668 of the "love-faintings?...?high delightings ... love-languishings?...?and heart-ravishings" that characterized both love of Christ and love of husband. She noted "those beautiful blushings [and] humble hidings?...?on the Bride's part, and those urgent callings and compellings?...?on the Bridegroom's part."

Since it's beyond us to know the depths of God's love but not to grasp marital love, the Bible describes the former by the latter, and so did some pastors. Francis Rous, preaching on "Mystical Marriage," noted "a chamber within us, and a bed of love in that chamber, wherein Christ meets and rests with the soul." John Cotton of First Church in Boston, describing how we should long for Christ, wrote, "It will inflame our hearts to kiss him again."

A satisfying marriage points us to the satisfactions of God. As the Desiring God website states, "God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him." And what if, instead of learning satisfaction in God and the good gifts He provides, we proceed on our own path? What if we have a run of encounters commemorated by sexting photographs and asterisking phone numbers on iPads? What if we cohabit without covenant in the way we might try out a variety of gods?

"You shall not commit adultery," like all of God's commands, has an implicit promise: "You shall enjoy the sweetness of God's goodness in providing marriage." In C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, Digory arrives at an Edenic garden and finds Jadis there. She has gorged herself on one of the apples, despite a sign forbidding that. She could have relished goodness, but instead becomes the White Witch. Whenever we advise the unmarried, we need to ask: God, or Jadis?

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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