Eternal Triune Marriage as a New Vision of Marriage
[a new, substantially revised version]
Mar 16, 2016
“Till death do us part” has long been the ultimate pledge of fidelity and love between a man and a woman joining together in marriage. Yet, 50 percent divorce rates demonstrate that remaining faithful until death is not an easy task. No matter how much couples may be in love on their wedding day, keeping the spark of love alive has proven very difficult indeed. I believe that one reason marriages collapse before death intervenes is because the pledge of love until death contains an inherent limitation. If one assumes that marriage is only for one’s physical lifetime, then it may make sense to move on to a better marriage if the first one isn’t working out.
Marriage, it seems to me, contains within it a “God or No God” question. If there is no God—or even if God is distant and not truly relevant to marriage—then marriage simply becomes an arena of humans looking for love and pleasure according to their own preferences. With that view, morals, ethics, and boundaries become relative and, ultimately, anything goes.
If a couple believes that God exists and is intimately concerned with the institution of marriage, the resulting definition and parameters of marriage flow naturally out of an understanding of the relationship between God and each human being. One way of looking at that relationship is to say that each person is a projection of one unique “atom” of God’s infinite personality. Each of us can relate to a unique part of God that corresponds only to us, and thus we can say that we are truly “part” of God. If we all are destined to have an intensely mystical relationship with God, living lives of love as God’s literal temple, then what should our marriages be like?
First, they should be as eternal as the Creator of love itself. If God doesn’t want our relationships of love with Him to end, why would He want our marriages to end? Compared to eternity, pledging love until death is only a bit longer than pledging that one will love until next Thursday. On Friday we won’t love anymore, just because we moved to the spirit world?
Considering the mechanics of male-female sex, and the lovely children that are frequently the result, and considering the mystical relationship of love that God wants to have with each person, it seems logical to conclude that God’s spirit is present at the conception of each child and is also present during the lovemaking process that precedes conception. If God wants to live mystically with each person, resonating with each person’s thoughts and feelings and actions, then why would God want to leave the room when a husband and wife made love? It’s easy to forget that God, as the Creator of everything, also created sexual organs and the desire for the experience of sexual union. If one assumes that He did so out of a motivation of love, why would She not want to participate in the breathtaking and transcendent union of two people in love? (Note that my usage of both “He” and “She” is deliberate, as you will see below.)
In the book Transcendent Sex, by Jenny Wade, Ph.D., the author writes of “unio mystica,” mystical union with spirit, or “devekut,” meaning “cleaving” to God, in the Jewish tradition. Dr. Wade interviewed many individuals who experienced union with God in the midst of their sexual experience.
It is no coincidence that many couples who love each other say that their partner “completes” them. Men and women each reflect a male or female part of God and can experience a feeling of being completed when they meld themselves into oneness with God and their beloved “other half.” The process involves three: the husband, the wife, and God as the living Creator and Partner and Essence of both. This is the basis of the concept of “triune marriage,” which should not be confused with the usage of the word triune as it applies to Christian theology and the triune God.
The melding between the man and woman and God doesn’t just happen over coffee on the terrace; it happens when a husband and wife join together sexually, creating a spiritual and electric current between them, with God generating the power that allows the husband and wife to unite together.
Here we must dig deeper into what it means to say that God is “all of me” and that God is omnipresent. If God is all of the man, and also all of the woman, and is always present with each of them as they sexually unite, then it becomes apparent that the man and woman are not just making love to each other, but are also making love to God who is present with their partner.
It also reveals that God is indeed the origin of each gender and is present with each gender as that gender. This is a major departure from the patriarchal traditions that view God as either “all male” or at least primarily male (articulated as the view that God may have created women, but “He” is not female).
It is both deeply illogical and profoundly unfair to women to say that men can be the temple and incarnation of God, while denying that status to women. It is illogical because the femininity of women could not have been created by an Origin unless that Origin contained the same feminine aspects. Imagine a God who is only male, with no knowledge of what it means to be female. That God wouldn’t even know where to begin to create the wonder and glory of women.
Thus, God must be perceived as both male and female, and therefore women are the projections of the female part of God. When a woman says that “God is all of me,” she is declaring that God’s sacred feminine essence is dwelling in the woman and living as the woman. And it is the same for men: God’s masculine essence dwells in the man and lives as the man.
When a woman makes love to a man, she is making love to the man and the masculine personality of God who is dwelling with and as that man. Based on the patriarchal view of God in history, this isn’t that controversial—at least to some men. However, the logical extrapolation of the concept of the “omnipresent, indwelling God of personality” becomes revelatory when one considers that the man is not just making love to his wife who is the “embodiment” of God’s feminine attributes, but is also making love to the actual feminine part of God who is present with his wife and living as his wife.
I realize that exploring these ideas may be new to many. They are not “mainstream” ideas. To me, the search for truth should be guided by the virtues, common sense, and a willingness to be open-minded. I was raised with the view that God was male, even though “He” created both men and women. For many years, I called God “Heavenly Father.” However, as I explored the idea that God was “all of me,” and how that applied to both men and women, I came to the conclusion that God was not just a male Creator who had a feminine aspect that was stored in a drawer somewhere, hauled out when He needed to create a woman.
It seemed inescapably logical to me that God was thoroughly and equally both male and female. In many religious traditions, God’s male aspect has been perceived as the dominant side of His personality. That doctrine has been very comfortable for men—but not so much for women. It often became the root cause of the domination of women as lesser creatures. I now believe that neither gender is dominant in God. Instead, I think that God relates to each person in a multifaceted way, according to their need and situation.
I had often wondered about relating to God as a Mother, not just as a Father. Ultimately, I had to go beyond traditional doctrines to continue exploring a new way of relating to God. My motivation in doing so was based on the primal desire and conviction that since God is “all of me,” no one can be closer to me than God.
If anyone or any doctrine blocks a person’s path to God, then in my opinion the person should go around that block and continue on their unique journey toward God. Of all the human rights, the right to relate to God in our own way is the most basic and the most important. One’s relationship with God is absolutely personal and cannot be dictated by anyone.
One may wonder then, how to relate to a God who is both male and female, and, as the Creator of family relationships, both a Father and a Mother, as well as a Lover. When I prayed about God as a male and female being, and how I could relate to God’s feminine essence and personality, I received this message:
It seems to me that our relationship with God can change at various times in our life. Someone may need to relate to God as a Father, and then at a later time, relate to God as a Mother. When a husband and wife join in sexual union, the man or woman (or both) may feel comfortable relating to God as a Lover. In all cases, it is a deeply personal journey toward the Divine.
Our search for intimacy with the omnipresent God will hopefully lead us into the arena of sacred love and beauty, a realm in which the tenderness and fidelity of marriage is of paramount value.
Sacred love and marriage centered on God as our Lover gives a priceless and unique value to the role of human sexual organs. Since men and women are indeed spiritual in nature, and since God is the origin of all things spiritual, the marriage of one man and one woman becomes an “eternal triune marriage,” in which God and the husband and wife become utterly and completely one. A union of this type is unlike any other relationship. The depth of union in an eternal triune marriage is telepathic, empathic, resonant, and interwoven to such a degree, with love and God as the glue, that the man and woman finally become “complete.”
This does not mean that the man and woman lose their unique individuality, personality, or autonomy. In fact, a prerequisite for a triune marriage to work is that both the husband and wife have already established their own unique relationships of love with the indwelling God. Doing so completes them as individuals. Based on that, their marriage completes them in a new way.
This definition of marriage clarifies why one should have only one husband or wife. We can love all the members of the opposite sex, but we should love them as brothers or sisters, not as a spouse, for an eternal triune marriage is possible only when one husband and one wife unite in an exclusive, eternal, unbreakable bond that allows God to live with them forever in an utterly unique way.
Engaging in premarital sex, or casual sex with many partners, prevents a person from establishing the depth of transcendent sexual union that a person could potentially find with a committed and loving long-term partner. Casual sex is like a blindfolded visit to a spiritual garden that offers treasures that cannot be adequately perceived if one’s focus is only on physical pleasure.
Tragically, casual sex can damage a person’s emotions and spirit to such a degree that the person’s sensitivity to the spiritual luminescence of loving and transcendent sex is severely decreased. Everyone can be healed, without exception, but why go down paths that can damage us, when we don’t have to?
Eternal, triune marriage may seem like an impossible dream, or it may make some people feel like they would be trapped. What if the years go by and the man and woman discover that the relationship isn’t working? Must they stay together in a marriage that has become a prison?
Some will answer this question with doctrinal beliefs. I think it’s far more logical to examine the kindness and compassion of God who wants every person to find a life of joy. Freedom (with all of its consequences) is the central tenet of a spiritual life, and thus no one can be forced to love. Existing in a loveless marriage is of no benefit to the man, the woman, or God. Committing to the vows of an eternal, triune marriage is something that someone should do with a sincere desire to make things work. However, I believe that more than anything, God wants us to follow the calling of our heart and soul, even if that means relinquishing the vows of a particular marriage. I also believe that should not be done lightly, most especially because of the immense value of sacred love. A loving marriage takes a great deal of work and it most certainly requires commitment.
Fortunately, with eternal triune marriage as a couple’s goal and commitment, one’s perspective about marriage changes. Today’s troubles become small against the vision of living together forever, having tea by a riverbank in the spirit world many years from now. True love forever is a much more attractive idea than love that ends at age seventy-five. At least I think so.
Since all of us, without exception, are unique reflections of a compassionate and loving God, the destiny of an eternal triune marriage belongs to each and every one of us. Our journey toward that destiny will be hastened by our own efforts, for we reach the world of true love by creating it as we travel along the way.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”
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