Divine Principle says the things of the natural world reflect God “symbolically” and human beings are God’s “image.”
What does it mean to reflect God “symbolically”? It is like how a person’s pet, dwelling place, clothes or car “symbolizes” the person. A puppy symbolizes a happy child. A wedding dress symbolizes a bride. Dusty jeans and a sweat-soaked bandana symbolize a farmer.
Then what in the creation symbolizes God? Partnership.
“Marriage is a decision to love, made in freedom. Organic beings’ instinctive coupling is not a decision made in freedom. “
Partnership permeates all existence. The positive—negative partnership in inorganic entities, and the male – female partnership by which organic entities reproduce, symbolize God. How does partnership symbolize God? God is true love, and partnership is the phenomenon of two becoming one, which symbolizes love.
Then how are we human beings God’s image? How are we “true love itself?” We are true love itself by the marriage of male and female.
There are two reasons.
One has to do with the marriage part. Marriage is a decision for true love, made in freedom. Organic beings’ instinctive partnership is not a decision made in freedom, so it only symbolizes true love. True love itself arises from a partnership decision that is eternal, absolute, unchanging and unique. We call that marriage.
“Partnerships other than the marriage of male and female produce pleasure or profit, but they do not reproduce persons.”
The other has to do with the male and female part. Male and female leads to reproduction. Partnerships for other purposes symbolize love, because they produce. But they are not love itself, because they do not reproduce. Partnerships other than the marriage of male and female produce pleasure or profit, but they do not reproduce persons.
Male-female partnership is how the cosmos works, and we are at the center of it. Our next blog, by guest blogger Jeffrey Kingsley, is about how we human beings are forging male-female partnership throughout contemporary society.