What Kind of Relationships Will We Have in Heaven?

Not many details about recognition and relationships in heaven are given in Scripture. There are, however, several inferences which show that we will recognize one another in heaven and that we will remember our former relationships.

The rich man recognized Lazarus in “Abraham’s bosom,” even though he was in a different place and separated by a great gulf ( Luke 16:19-31 ). In addition, the disciples recognized Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration, even though these two men had lived many centuries before ( Matthew 17:1-5 ).

The apostle Paul said that we will have more knowledge in heaven than we have now. This may indicate that we will know and recognize more people in heaven than here on earth ( 1 Corinthians 13:12 ). He also said that for him it was “far better” to depart and to be with Christ than to remain in his body on earth ( 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ; Philippians 1:22-23 ).

In all of these Scriptures, heaven is depicted as a place of greater experience than we now know on earth and with more knowledge and understanding, joy and delight. It will be a place of celebration of the interconnectedness between God, us, and one another. Part of the joy of heaven will probably be the unfolding of the tapestry of life and viewing how God has masterfully interwoven our lives together.

What about our marriage relationships? While the Bible teaches that the marriage relationship will change after the resurrection ( Matthew 22:23-33 ), it is safe to assume that because of the very nature of heaven, the quality of the relationship between a man and a woman will be better in heaven than it was on earth — even if they are no longer husband and wife. Certainly the joys of heaven will far exceed the pleasures of marital intimacy.

Scripture leads us to believe that we will enjoy such a state of wonderful intimacy with our glorified brothers and sisters that there will no longer be a need for the exclusive relationships that protect us from loneliness and despair in a fallen world.

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