The Marriage of Good and Truth

The Lord designed it such that people are supposed to be teamed up to take on the world together. People are not meant to be alone. Men are not meant to be alone, and women are not meant to be alone. The Lord intends for everyone to find a teammate along the way.

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and cleave until his wife and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

So why are some people alone? Freedom is the obvious answer. If the Lord wanted it to be so, He could just make it so that every person found their partner and lived happily ever after, but He values our freedom above our happiness and even above our salvation. It is a necessary part of life for us to choose Him, for us to choose each other, and for us to make each decision in freedom.

Now that isn’t to say that the single people of the world have freely chosen this path. Some have chosen to be single — but that’s not why I’m single — and I’m sure there are a lot of other people who would choose to be married if they could.

Why are there people who want marriage and are not married? Did something go wrong? Single people are not lesser people. The Lord loves everyone. Though single people aren’t entitled to less of His love, do they perhaps feel it less? Are they as happy and fulfilled?

That the state of marriage is to be preferred is because this state exists from creation; because its origin is the marriage of good and truth; because its correspondence is with the marriage of the Lord and the Church; because the Church and conjugial love are constant companions; because its use is more excellent than the uses of all else in creation, for thence is the propagation of the human race according to order, and also of the angelic heaven, this being from the human race. Add to this, that marriage is the fullness of man; for by its means man becomes a complete man. (Conjugial Love 156)

Depending on your current state this passage could be powerful, or disheartening, or downright depressing.

Later in CL 156:

That from creation there was implanted in man and woman an inclination to conjunction as into a one, and also the faculty thereof, and that these are in man and woman still, is evident from the Book of Creation and at the same time from the Lord’s words. In the Book of Creation, which is called Genesis, we read:

Jehovah God built the rib which He had taken from man into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; her name shall be called Ishah [woman], because she was taken out of Ish, man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. Gen. II. 22-4.

[2] From these passages it is evident that woman was created out of man, and that there is in both an inclination and a faculty of reuniting themselves into a one. That the reunion is into one man is also evident from the Book of Creation where both together are called Man; for we read, In the day that God created man, male and female created He them, and called their name Man. It is said here, He called their name Adam, but in the Hebrew language, Adam and Man are the same word.

It’s clear that the ideal state is the married state. If it is ideal, it is what the Lord hopes for for all of us — yet He will not take away our freedom and just grant us that marriage. Why do some people who are following the Lord and His Word get to be married and other people do not?

Marriage is special. Marriage is ideal. Though some of the ideas surrounding it have been completely misused and abused, this does not negate the importance and use of marriage. That’s one of the reasons I care so much about marriage — and wish to be married myself: I want to reclaim marriage and use it to build and create something that is valuable to the Lord.

Going back to Conjugial Love 156, is it really saying that being married is the only way to become a complete human? Unfortunately, this idea gets reinforced if you live in a community that puts such a strong emphasis on marriage

I love living in a society that loves and supports marriage and recognizes its value and importance, but something has got to be done about the inferiority complex that single people often develop.

Note that the passage says the origin of marriage is from the marriage of good and truth.

As married or single people, as humans, the Lord wants to conjoin good and truth in our lives. The passage is truly indicating that it is by conjoining good to truth that man becomes a complete man.

While the emphasis on marriage is a good one, wouldn’t it be amazing to see more of an emphasis on supporting the conjunction of good and truth in our neighbors?

Today is Valentine’s Day, and that can be a difficult reminder for a lot of single people — especially when it feels like romance and relationships are being pushed in our faces. I’m not suggesting that we change Valentines Day because some people are offended by it, nor am I suggesting changing Mother’s Day or any other holiday that isn’t a universal joy for everyone on the planet. Even people who celebrate the birth of the Lord can have a hard time with Christmas, but we don’t call if off or try to change the nature of it because someone wants it to be different.

What I am hoping for is a focus on what the Lord is looking for in us: the marriage of good and truth. The marriage between one man and one woman is the precious jewel of human life and the repository of the Christian religion (CL 457), but that is because it springs from the marriage of good and truth. Conjugial Love 457 goes on to say, “This makes the inmost of his life, being the life of wisdom cohabiting with its love, and of love cohabiting with its wisdom. Hence it is the life of the delights of both. In a word, by this love man is a living soul.”

We become living souls by allowing the Lord to unite good and truth in our lives. This is something every person should be striving toward, married or single.

I will leave you with this question: What does it look like to be supportive of the marriage of good and truth in individuals? And not just supporting, but valuing and appreciating those efforts as sincerely as we celebrate the union of two people!

“As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (Isaiah 62:5)

About Alison Cole

Alison Cole likes to describe herself as “a freelance useful person”. There are all kinds of people and jobs out there, but she likes the freedom to drop everything when someone is in need and go off on adventures to help out with new babies or anything, especially when it's supporting marriages and family! When Alison is not off nannying, she likes to occupy her time with drawing, painting and writing!

6 thoughts on “The Marriage of Good and Truth

  1. hi Alison
    Several points
    Firstly : Single people …… unmarried or widowed can have conjugal love within them ……
    A strong desire to be in a marriage with one’s soul mate either not yet found or missing through transition to the spiritual world.

    I can say that my experience as a widowed woman there is a feeling of being less than half the partnership …… yes there are only two people in a marriage but they add up to more
    than two somehow. …………when one is gone the one left behind feels less than half the marriage.

    Secondly : A single woman (either never married or widowed ) is definitely socially disadvantaged; unless socialising with other singles.
    Couples are welcomed as visitors to clubs , churches , dances etc in a totally different way from singles.
    (wives may feel threatened by a single woman …. a risk to their marriage ) ?

    Thirdly : what does it look like to be supportive of the marriage of good and truth in an individual ?
    Not sure : it’s difficult to support because it is “ invisible “ ?
    In a marriage one can see the give and take between a husband and a wife and either feel uplifted by their mutual love and conjunction or feel repelled by disfunctionality.

  2. Thank you, Alison, for this honest and thought provoking way of thinking about a topic that’s hard to find the right way to talk about. The fact that some people don’t get married on this earth feels SO bitterly unfair. I often don’t really know what to do with it, aside feel peeved at the Lord, which is far from useful. I love this way of talking about it because it is proactive about what each human being CAN do, married or single, while also acknowledging that it just is a deeply hard thing to not get marriage when you hope and work and long for it. Thank you for finding the words to express these big ideas. <3

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that space between Order and dis-order (aka sin)– my husband calls it out-of-order. There are so many times in this world where we begin in a space of out-of-order and have the choice to progress towards order or regress into sin. That space of out-of-order is not a bad thing– it’s exactly where the Lord starts us. Perhaps a better phrase would be not-yet-in-Order? We all start this life single. Everyone of us. And we all have the choice to progress towards Order which is a true married love between a man and wife or regress into all the nasty stuff. Thinking of this as a progression rather than boxed categories feels both more accurate and more kind to me– through this lense a not yet married woman who is intentionally seeking to understand the Lord and live by His rules may, in reality, be further along that progression towards true married love than a woman of 50yrs marriage who has yet to prioritize the Lord in her life…

    Still thinking through all this…thanks for the article!

  4. Thank you for laying all of this out so clearly and with so much thought given to what the Lord actually says. I would love to think of more practical ways of celebrating the marriage of good and truth as you suggest. It grieves me that single people feel less than. It also grieves me when marriage is attacked because single people feel less than. Thank you for standing up for single people while championing marriage so beautifully. I love the way your think through such important and relevant topics in your writing.

    1. Alison, I have always admired your open love and support of the Lord’s Truth (and it’s marriage to good, of course). I can’t tell you how much this article strengthens me. The easier path is the one where you say, ” fine! It’s obviously never happening so you know what? I actually don’t care. It’s not that important. Being single is actually more convenient anyways….” This is a line of thinking I sometimes adopt. There are lots if things wrong with this – yes it shields me from feeling sad, numb, lonely, hopeless but…it also turns me away from the Lord little by little. I’ve been reminded recently that we are supposed to pray for marriage!! So to me that says rip the bandaid off and start asking the Lord again what I can be doing to advance in the marriage of good and truth in myself through shunning evils and doing uses so that I can be moving closer to my heavenly marriage whether it takes place There or here. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.”

  5. So many good thoughts, here — both from you, Alison, and from fellow commentators!

    I appreciate this perspective on singleness (singularity?), Alison; I’m so glad some peace can be made of it, because it really does – outwardly – seem unfair. I feel pretty sure that if I weren’t married, I would be pretty bitter. 🙁 And, Mary’s comments about being single after marriage – in widowhood – has cast a new light on this, too! There’s so much to grapple with, at both ends of the spectrum. I wish you both (and all singles in every circumstance) every best wish in dealing with the hells which attack you as a result of your ‘singularity’.

    This segues nicely into Eden’s comments, too – which I was thinking as well – about how a single woman who is intentionally seeking to understand the Lord and live by His rules may well be much further along ‘the path’ than her long-married cohort. (And, we marrieds have our own hells which attack us as a result of our marriedness!)

    And, your query as to what it might look like to be supportive of the marriage of good and truth in individuals has got me thinking!! I really don’t know, at this point; food for thought, and I look forward to reading what others might suggest about how to do this.

    Thank you! 🙂

Comments are closed.