Family and Kids

Mom and Dad visiting graves of our ancestors

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. This is for my mom.

My dad died almost six years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven.

I wrote the following to comfort my Mom…

Mom, I know it is important to you since Dad’s death as you look forward to eternity and speculate about relationships in heaven. It is important to me too, knowing I want to be with my wife Janet in heaven.

You quoted Mark 12:25 from the Living Bible where it says husbands and wives “won’t be married in heaven.” It is the Living Bible translation – which is not a translation but a paraphrase – that renders the words “they won’t be married.” The paraphrased Living Bible takes great liberties and is quite inaccurate.

Here is how other Protestant translations translate the verse (since I know you like the Protestant translations even though the Catholic Bibles word it the same):

The King James Version renders it:
“For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

New American Standard Bible says:
“For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

New International Version (NIV) says:
“When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

No reputable translation translates this in a way to deny there are people continuing in love with earthly spouses. The original Greek language says there is no giving or taking in marriage. In other words, there will be no weddings in heaven.

Interestingly it says that before the flood the people were “marrying and giving in marriage” until the flood came. But after the flood Noah and his wife in the ark were still married :-)

There will be male and female distinctions in heaven. Jesus appeared as male after his resurrection. Mary is seen in heaven as a woman (Revelation 12:1). Marriage will be known in heaven since the Church is the Bride and there will be the great marriage in heaven with Jesus the Bridegroom and the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

The Pharisees set up a trap for Jesus in Mark 12:18-27. They propose a situation with seven brothers. The first marries a wife and dies with no children. The second brother “takes” the woman to procreate children for his brother. This was the law of the Jews — a brother must take the wife of his dead brother to preserve his brother’s name in the land by propagating offspring for him with his widow.) This happens seven times. Who’s wife will she be in heaven.

The woman who was the wife of the seven brothers did not marry the seven brothers.  She married the first and was given to the six in order to procreate children in the name of the first.  All their children would be credited to her first husband who was her true love and spouse.

Jesus is not intending to teach on relationships in heaven but he is refuting the Sadducees’ denial of the existence of angels and the resurrection. He is cleverly eluding their question and in no way denies husbands and wives will know and love each other in heaven. This is not a treatise on relationships in heaven but a clever response to his opponents about the existence of the supernatural world.

Mom and Dad with my older sister Patty c. 1940

The purpose for marriage was companionship and procreation. The propagation of children and the population of the earth was God’s plan for marriage on earth. The meeting of sperm and egg will not be needed in heaven.”Marital love” to produce children will not happen in heaven so marriage in that sense will not exist. But that does not eliminate the continuance of earthly relationship.

We will recognize each other in heaven just as the three disciples recognized Moses and Elijah on the mount of Transfiguration and John recognized Mary in heaven (Rev 12:1).

Family and matrimony are very important in Scripture and the way God fashioned the universe and created man and woman to be one flesh. There must be spiritual discernment here. The reason why the Jews buried family members together is because they will rest together in heaven. There is a spiritual permanence to family. And an extraordinarily strong spiritual permanence to matrimony. This is why it is described as “one flesh”.

We will not know and love less in heaven – we will know and love more. And can we comprehend that God would command us to love each other down here and would expect us to forget or deny that love in heaven?

Interestingly, Doctor of the Church St. John Chrysostom, in writing on fidelity in marriage said that young husbands should tell their wives, “I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.… I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you. (CCC 2365, St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Eph. 20, 8: PG 62, 146–147.)

Would God work to perfect something here on earth, even a sacrament, and not consider it important in heaven?

Nothing in Scripture leads us to believe that relationships between spouses will be eliminated. There is every reason to believe relations will be maintained in heaven though for different reasons – enhanced reasons which we will understand when we get there.

We cannot understand our new spiritual bodies and heavenly existence any more than a caterpillar can comprehend what it will be like to be a butterfly. We cannot anticipate how personal relationships will flower in glory any more than acorn can anticipate standing 50 feet tall.

I’m convinced you and dad will have a wonderful and much better relationship. It will be different. We cannot even comprehend how much better or more in love we’ll be with our spouses, any more than an unborn baby can speculate about the taste of a delicious steak dinner.

Mom and Dad’s Wedding in 1939 (middle couple)

Referring to Jesus’ words J. Vernon McGee 9 (one of your favorite Baptist preachers) writes, “This doesn’t mean that a man and a woman who were together down here can’t be together in heaven. They won’t be together as man and wife. They are not establishing a home up there, nor are they raising children. That’s the thing that He’s saying to them here.”

Marriage is an earthly word to serve an earthly purpose. Marital relationships, on the other hand, will transcend time because love is forever. Faith and hope will pass away but love will never pass away (1 Cor 13:13).

Dad is sitting in his favorite chair having coffee with Our Lord Jesus waiting for you to arrive to love you better than ever before. In the meantime he is praying for you and very intent on your we’ll being.

I also asked Mom to read Hebrews 12:1. ”

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”  This is the language of sports. We on earth are running a race. Heaven in the goal. And who is cheering us on? A whole stadium full of cheering crowds. “Run, run!” and who are these crowds? The saints in heaven. 

I told my mom, “Dad is in heaven watching and cheering you on! Of course he knows what is going on down here and it anxious for you to run and win the race and join him in the stands to cheer on the rest of your family and loved ones.”

(Thanks to De Maria for suggestions and insights which I have included)

Further thoughts from Whalter:

The divine declaration was that it was “not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18) The text reveals that God and the man enjoyed a genuine, interactive relationship in the pristine environment of the garden (Gen 2:15-19, 17; 3:8­-9), but God had created man as a relational being a being with capacity for a relationship with God, as well as a capacity, indeed, need for relationship with others like himself.

This divinely created need for companionship and relationship was part of the original creation to which the new creation returns. Granted, after man’s lapse into sin in the garden, the need for relationship in humanity was seriously marred and deformed.

Mom and Dad in 2006

But, did God declare a law of marriage in a perfect world?  There are no such law. There were no laws of marriage imposed on Adam and Eve either. The only laws were “Don’t eat from that tree” and ” Be fruitful, start multiplying”.

They were made man and wife. In a perfect world, no laws of marriage were needed…But, they were commanded to have sex and multiply. This is what made Adam and Eve to be man and wife. She came out of his rib.

This made them related. Was this a law or an act of God? What law of marriage was imposed upon Adam and Eve? In the portion of Scripture above, God was silent. Adam did all the talking. Adam was prophesying about FUTURE relationships (Adam didn’t have a Mom and Dad).

God didn’t need a law to make Adam and Eve to be man and wife. In a perfect world, no laws of marriage were needed. Why would you even need laws of marriage in a perfect world?

In a perfect world, when God did the pairing, no law was needed. Adam and Eve were made to be man and wife while they were in an immortal state intended to be forever without death.

So, did God intend for them to be man and wife forever? In Heaven, will God undo what He originally did in a perfect world? Think about that. In a manner of speaking, will He return Eve back to the rib and stop their relationship which he made and said was good? God will not undo any laws of marriage over Adam and Eve because there never were any to begin with. They will have their bodies and a wonderfully fulfilled loving relationship, though they will no longer be procreating children.

Heaven will be a perfect world, and no laws of marriage will be needed there either. Jesus made it very clear that in the age to come there will be no laws of marriage, no earthly ceremonies, no contracts being made where the father gets paid to sell his daughter (given in marriage).

Yet, as in the perfect state of union that Adam and Eve had — a relationship God made them to need and to have — in heaven he will not undo what he did in the Garden. A man will know and love his counterpart that God gave him. They will love each other in that relationship for all eternity. Mom and Dad will still be “married.”

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The Story of the Birth and Adoption of Baby Charlie

by Steve Ray on January 23, 2017

 AdoptionNow that my daughter and her husband Wes have received the new baby and begun to learn the fine art of changing diapers and bathing such a precious human life, she has taken the time to write the story of the incredible experience.

We were able to “live through it” with them though the marvelous technology we did not have when our kids were born–videos, pictures, and Facetime. I hope you enjoy their story and the pictures as much as we did (and do).

The birth and adoption story of baby Charlie
Monday, January 23, 2017

Meet charlie“I’ve been really excited to write down and share the birth and adoption story of our new baby son. It’s long, I apologize, but it was such a beautiful experience and I just can’t leave out good details!   We have a son. A perfectly healthy and beautiful son with a head full of shiny brown hair and sparkling gray/blue eyes.

He is sound asleep on me right now, all wrapped up in a baby wrap pressed up against my chest, making cute little noises with each breath.

My heart melts a little more each time I feel his little lungs rise with air. My nose is constantly pressed up against his head so I can smell him and kiss him. I can’t believe I’m his mom and Wes is his dad. We are literally overwhelmed with so many emotions and so much awe.

Newborn“We got to Florida Monday the 9th in the afternoon and took the birth mom to dinner. (We are staying pretty private about the birth family to respect them and also to respect Charlie’s history. It’s knowledge for him to cherish, and not for everyone to know all about).

I spent most of the day Tuesday and Wednesday with birth mom. We had such a special time and really bonded even more. The love and respect that I have for her is indescribable. She is my hero. I only hope that one day I can be as selfless as she is…

For the whole story visit Charlotte’s Finding Baby Sorrill website.

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The paperwork is done. It is official!

After finding out she had endometriosis our beautiful daughter Charlotte and her soon-to-be doctor husband Wesley decided to adopt. After praying, working, reading, fund-raising $40,000 today culminated with a dream come true for our whole family!

The paperwork is done and it is final. Yahoo!

We welcome Charles “Charlie” Thomas Sorrill into our loving family as grandchild no. 13. He has 12 cousins who can’t wait to cuddle him, kiss his pudgy cheeks and welcome him into the club.

Processed with VSCO with s2 presetWe are so proud of Charlotte and Wes! They will be marvelous parents. Everyone in the family is already in love with this little fellow. Can’t wait to get a whole family picture again. The last one was over two years ago with 22 of us at our youngest daughter Emily’s wedding. Now we are 23 and hopefully we can get this picture at the baptism of lucky little Charlie.

By the way there are two words that start with “a” and have the same number of words — adoption and abortion. We really need to make the first easier and cheaper and the later non-existent. Imagine killing this little baby instead of giving him to a lonely and loving couple. We have discovered how many couples would love to adopt but it is so difficult to find a baby and it is so expensive. This needs to be changed! 

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 5.57.05 PMGod bless this birth mother who decided to give Charlie birth and to make a childless couple the happiest people in the world. May God bless her every day for the rest of her life.

Who knows what this young baby will be or do someday. I hope I live long enough to see. We are so happy and proud! Family is a great creation and gift of God.

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Daughter Charlotte to Receive her new Adopted Baby any Minute!!

January 12, 2017

Daughter Charlotte waiting for adoption mother’s c-section to see and hold her new baby boy for the 1st time. As soon as the baby boy is born they will bring him directly to my daughter so she can be the first to hold and feed him. She is so excited, the whole family is excited. […]

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Short Story of the Ray Family Conversion with Pictures

December 27, 2016

A while ago I decided to write a brief story of our conversion story. It is easy to read in about 15 minutes, about our coming into the Catholic Church. Janet and I converted to the Catholic Church in 1994 but it still seems like yesterday. It has not grown old and we are still thrilled […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

October 28, 2016

Contributed by Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting… I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. […]

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My Daughter Found A Baby

October 20, 2016

My wonderful daughter Charlotte writes: BABY SORRILL HAS BEEN FOUND!!!!!  With great excitement  we announce – we are matched! Our baby boy is due January 16th! We can’t believe how fast this happened! God’s hand was truly in every detail and we are so very thankful and over the moon excited! We met the birth mother today and […]

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Grandkids Reciting Books of Bible in Galilee

October 6, 2016

One of the requirements for our six oldest grandchildren to come to the Holy Land is they had to learn the books of the Bible. They did it and could recite the books of the Old and New Testaments.They can recite them all in under a minute. Here’s a video of them demonstrating their skills […]

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With 6 of our Grandkids in Galilee

October 6, 2016
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Proud of My Quiet Wife Doing Evangelism

August 25, 2016

Janet is usually quiet and reserved but today she surprised me. We went to Jimmy John’s to get sub sandwiches for our grandkids. On the sidewalk was sitting a young black man asking for money. I walked into the store but she turned around and went back to talk with him. She said, “I won’t […]

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Riddle in Pictures for my Grandkids: Where in the World are Nana and Papa?

August 2, 2016

Hints for the Grandkids: 1) We were on a plane, 2) heading home, 3) on the other side of the world, 4) in picture 6 look through the haze of sand for a hint – tallest building in the world. Pray for us on the rest of our journey. Pray that our humble efforts in […]

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Granddaughter Elizabeth Arabella Rose Ray’s First Holy Communion

July 17, 2016

What a lovely thing to see. Wish we were there but pictures will have to do. 

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Am I Sick? Naw, I Don’t Think So, Just Feeding the Turkey Vultures

July 8, 2016

The lady at the pet store told me I was a sick individual. I didn’t think so, but then again I am biased and think I’m OK – and my wife tends to agree with me. The whole thing started because of a small hobby of mine. When I was a little boy my dad bought […]

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The Kiss of Mercy

June 14, 2016

My daughter-in-law Anna is very insightful about spiritual things, and in raising our grandkids. Couldn’t ask for a better daughter (in-law, though we consider her our daughter by now :-) She put this up on her FaceBook page and I was compelled to share it. Janet and I read this with tears in our eyes […]

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Want to do something loving and ProLife today?

June 4, 2016

Want to something nice & Prolife today? Purchase a puzzle piece on my daughter’s Adoption Puzzle, help her find her baby. Visit her website, read her story and buy a puzzle piece HERE. When you “donate” on the right side of the page it purchases a puzzle piece.

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Visit My Daughter’s “Finding Baby Sorrill” Blog – She’s a Great Girl, Let her know you will pray for her and Wes

May 16, 2016

It is painful to want a baby and a baby does not come. Years of longing and trying and praying and … Well, my daughter Charlotte has put her sorrow in the hands of God and now plans to adopt and rescue a baby who needs a loving home. Her sorrow has turned to joy, […]

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