A veil is a covering that conceals and separates. It is designed to keep people out and maintain holiness within. As with the priesthood of Israel, so too in marriage. For some other guy to go behind the veil without the necessary credentials spells disaster (Leviticus 16:2).
Clothing is mercy, hiding the shame of sin. But it is also the barrier to holiness that began immediately after the fall.
Clothing protects us from shame, which is a good thing (Isaiah 61:10). But it also keeps us from intimacy.
In Scripture, clothing is not incidental to marriage. Ruth asked Boaz to spread the wing of his robe over her, a token of his intention to marry her.
Leviticus describes immoral sex as “uncovering nakedness,” and Ezekiel allegorises Israel’s history as a romance between Yahweh and his bride, describing how at Sinai God spread the robe of His tabernacle over Israel (Ezekiel 16:8).
Marriage is a union. It lifts the veil so that a man and women now share a single covering. It unites them behind a single veil. Between a husband and wife, there is to be no barrier of clothing, no veil to inhibit intimacy.
In marriage, the veil must come off, but that doesn’t mean it can be thrown away. The veil now surrounds them both, separating husband and wife from everyone else but not from one another.
These are all good things. However, let’s face it, sharing a single covering with someone else also leaves you vulnerable in ways that you’ve never experienced before.
One of those vulnerabilities is the nakedness.
But another, equally serious vulnerability is to think that having joined forces they can now face married life alone. Yes, they have a veil that separates them from all others, but they must now enter behind another veil to ensure that their marriage has an anchor.
A relationship without such an anchor is what sociologist Anthony Giddens has described as a “pure relationship.”
A “pure relationship” is one that, “exists solely for whatever rewards the other party can deliver.”
A pure relationship has no external anchors or supports but depends entirely on the commitment of the people involved. A pure relationship is about “us,” always about “us,” and only about “us.”
Consequently, a “pure relationship” is one that only lasts as long as it continues to satisfy whatever emotional demands are made of each party.
The tell-tale sign of a pure relationship is that everyone’s energies are concentrated on self-analysis: “How are we doing? Is everything going all right? What did she mean by that? And that? And that?”
Your marriage calls you to intimacy. It calls you to lift the veil and to look upon one another and shout for joy. But, your marriage does not depend solely on your self-supporting mutual gaze, lust or trust.
You are no more self-supporting in marriage than you were when you were single.
In a Christian marriage, like all covenants, the bond must be anchored by something else outside. Those anchors will include family and community. But the ultimate, “something else” is God and our covenantal relationship with Him through Jesus.
At the crucifixion of Jesus, the veil to the holiest place is torn in two and, through Jesus, we the bride are given access to the presence of God (Hebrews 10:19).
A thriving Christian marriage is one that acknowledges the need for God as the anchor outside themselves.
Being anchored in God means that together, the married couple is finding their protection, safety and intimacy behind the covenant-veil that He has provided.
Like the Gospel it represents, biblical marriage is trinitarian. Trust, vulnerability and safety are anchored in a third party – who is Himself three in one.
Behind this veil, you will find enough mercy from God to show mercy to one another.
Behind this veil, where Christ is your anchor, your assurance, your security, vulnerability and nakedness become a means of joyful and satisfying self-giving.
Marriage Preparation PDF
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. He came to kill the dragon and get the girl. Which He did.
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