Family and Kids

Mom and Dad visiting graves of our ancestors

My dad died almost two years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will no 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?

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.

(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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Tears Singing Good Ole Baptist Hymns

by Steve Ray on February 10, 2015

The old Baptist hymns still stir me and bring tears to my eyes. They take me back to my childhood when the family would dress up, us kids in our little suits with cheesy ties and short-legged pants. Dad would always give us candy during the service and put his arm around us while tickling our ears. The good old days.

Dad used to tear up at the old hymns. As he lay in his bed dying a few years ago we put the Bill Gaither Trio (YouTube) albums on the iPad I bought him. He would listen to the classics over and over again. I think he could already see the Lord and was ready to go.

Sunday we sang two of those old classics at Mass. I looked over expecting to see my dad and mom sitting their in their 50′s suit and dress, smiling as their three boys fidgeted in the pew waiting to back to our ponies and swimming pool. Yeah, I had tears running down my checks.

When I got home I called my brother Tim. He said he cannot even sing those hymns at Mass without choking up and the words stop coming. Mom and Dad were the best; those old Baptist hymns are surely sung in heaven and I have fond and loving memories on my Baptist upbringing.

The hymns from last Sunday were “What Can Wash Away My Sins, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” and “How Great Thou Art” (YouTube video).

Put the hymnal away — I can sing those by heart and from my heart. I still sing them with my mom who still love them and with dad who is surely watching from heaven — still praying for his boys.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

    Oh! precious is the flow
    That makes me white as snow;
    No other fount I know,
      Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

For my cleansing this I see–
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea–
Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ’tis all of grace–
Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

This is all my hope and peace–
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness–
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

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What Grandkids Do at Night

by Steve Ray on February 6, 2015

Caught them!  Our grandkids prowling around at night. My son Jesse had his camera ready!

This is 2 1/2 year-old Joey and his 1 year old brother Johnny.

The expression on little Johnny’s face as he looks – up watching his brother from inside the fridge is just too cute!

 

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My 60th Birthday and Touring Upper Galilee

December 29, 2014

When you turn 60 you have to do some soul searching. At best, with good health I have 20 good years ahead of me. What will I do with them? How will I best use my last good 20 years? Here is my list of priorities: 1) to serve my Lord Jesus to the best [...]

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Families are Cool! An Evening with Grandkids and our Piano Prodigy

December 17, 2014

Last night we took dinner over to my son Jesse’s house. Anna is our daughter-in-law who is a most remarkable mother. No TV in this home but lots of books and fun. I couldn’t help but make a short video of our evening together along with some excerpts of my grandson Joshua’s piano playing. The [...]

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Steve Ray’s Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends: Getting Ready for Christmas :-)

December 15, 2014

Joint us on a pilgrimage. Visit FootprintsOfGod.com. Today I was on Relevant Radio with John Harper discussing my Six Rules for dealing with family and friends who disagree with us, oppose us, want to argue and are against the Catholic Church and our morals. For my Catholic Answers show two months ago on this, click here. [...]

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Today I Have Been Married to Janet for 38 Years

December 4, 2014

It was the best thing I ever did — marrying that girl! I couldn’t have found a better friend, partner, lover, or mother for our children. I thank God for her. I have always written her parents on our anniversary to thank them for letting me marry their incredible daughter. She reminds me of the [...]

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Our Daughter’s Wedding was Beautiful and Emotional – Pictures and Video

September 15, 2014

Beautiful, artistic pictures of my daughter’s wedding HERE I knew I would cry and I did. My daughter loved it and laughed at me affectionately. When I walked her down the isle it was a bit surreal. My grandson Josh played the piano and all my kids were there in their fine wedding clothes watching [...]

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My Baby Girl Gets Married Today; Already have Tears Thinking of Walking her Down the Isle.

September 13, 2014

Emily is a sweetheart and I thank God that he gave me this beautiful and lovely girl to raise. Now she will let go of my hand to hold that of another man. Sean Regan is his name and he is one lucky man. Janet and I are listening to Daddy-Daughter songs deciding which one [...]

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My Grandson Josh Plays Pachabel – this kid is amazing

September 13, 2014

We don’t know where he got this talent – a gift from God – because I don’t have any musical talent! But from a young age he fell in love with piano and now plays with amazing beauty and grace.

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My 11-Year Old Grandson Joshua Ray Playing Piano at Mass Today!

August 17, 2014

We were very proud of Joshua. He has a gift from God and loves to share it. He also does concerts for Retirement Homes and the elderly people love him. Enjoy!

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Where is Ronald Reagan When We Need Him? Why I Felt Pain at the National Anthem. May My Grandchildren Still Celebrate the 4th in Liberty When They are My Age!

July 4, 2014

(Watch Reagan video below) Not long ago we were on a boat sailing across the Sea of Galilee. The captain raised the United States flag and played the national anthem. My heart was ripped in half. I love my country, but I no longer love my country. Let me explain. When I pull out my [...]

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Twentieth Anniversary into the Catholic Church!

May 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary to us! Exactly 20 years ago today our family was received into the Catholic Church. There is nothing we’ve ever done that has made such an impact on our lives. It was Pentecost Sunday, May 22, 1994. To say it was a very special day for our family would be an understatement. Twenty [...]

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My Wife’s Dad just Died

April 7, 2014

My wife Janet’s father died this morning after a heart attack last week. He was in the arms of his wife and four daughters who were praying the Our Father. He was a great dad for those girls. I thanked him many times for raising such a wonderful daughter and for allowing me to marry [...]

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Our Conversion Story in Easy-to-Read Format with Lots of Pictures

March 13, 2014

I can still smell the green vinyl of the used couch in our living room as I knelt with my mom, with my face buried in my hands and my nose pressed into the vinyl. She had decided I was old enough — after all I was four years old. She didn’t want to wait [...]

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Newest Member of the Ray Clan – John Mary Caleb Ray

December 21, 2013

Elizabeth Bella Rose Ray holding her new baby brother. The 12th grandchild has just arrived at 11:30 AM Saturday (after only three pushes by his incredible mom). The Twelve Tribes are now complete! We now have our own Jury! Wonder how many priests and religious? Wonder how many great-grandchildren who will help change the world. [...]

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