“All of the phenomena we have discussed prove that the family, despite being despised and opposed, is far from being registered as dead. Its forms may change, but its essence abides.
It is an institution of God, maintained after the entrance of sin not by the will of man but by God’s power. And it will continue to be preserved, as long as the divine purpose with the human race has not yet been attained.
That purpose is familiar to Christians from Scripture. For Christians, the future is portrayed entirely differently than for those without faith in any revelation.
For apart from revelation, the origin, essence, purpose, and destiny of the human race are entirely unknown to us. Because without this knowledge we cannot live and cannot die, cannot think and cannot labor, the Christian faith is replaced by arbitrary guesses and the Christian hope by vain expectations.
People then dream of a future state that will arise automatically through evolution, in which everyone will live happily and contentedly.
But in this case it’s like a hungry man dreaming that he is eating, but when he awakens, his soul is empty; or like a thirsty man dreaming that he is drinking, but when he awakens, he is still parched and his soul is thirsty.
Christians know about other and better things. They do not look back to the past with homesickness, for even then not everything that glittered was golden.
They do not surrender their hearts to the present, for their eyes see the suffering that belongs inseparably to the present time.
And they do not fantasize about a perfect society, because in this dispensation sin will continue to hold sway and will constantly corrupt all that is good.
But they are assured that God’s purpose with the human race will nevertheless be attained, despite all the conflict involved.
Humanity and the world exist, after all, for the sake of the church, and the church exists for the sake of Christ’s will, and Christ belongs to God.
In the city of God the creation reaches its final goal.
Into that city all the treasures will be brought together that have been acquired by humanity in the course of time through fearsome conflict; all the glory of the nations is gathered there; and in the spiritual association of Christ with his church, marriage will also reach its end.
Marriage was instituted so that the glory of the King would come to light in the multitude of his subjects. Once it has attained this goal, marriage itself will pass away.
The shadow will make way for the substance, the symbol for the reality.
The history of the human race began with a wedding; it also ends with a wedding, the wedding of Christ and his church, of the heavenly Lord with his earthly bride.”
–Herman Bavinck, The Christian Family, ed. Stephen J. Grabill, trans. Nelson D. Kloosterman (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian’s Library Press, 2012), 160–161.