Origin of this proverb
This English proverb probably derives from a French proverb from the early sixteenth century. This proverb states ‘les mariages se font au ciel’: ‘marriages are made in heaven’.
Meaning and explanation
This proverb, ‘marriages are made in heaven’, means that ‘good marriages have a divine element to them’. The suggestion is that ‘a marriage goes beyond human love and includes spiritual love as well.
The proverb is often used in a religious context, to express the belief that ‘a divine being has a role in bringing people together and in making their marriage into something sacred’. The proverb suggests that:
- there is a deterministic force controlling our actions.
- marriages are decided on in heaven perhaps even before the couple meet.
- it is a deity or divine power that organizes marriages.
- marriages are not just down to luck or human action.
- higher powers bring married couples together.
- the coming together of two individuals in a loving relationship is guided by heavenly forces.
This proverb is about the importance of marriage. For religious people, it has an obvious significance that the deity they believe in has created their marriages. People feel that there is something special about weddings.
This proverb encapsulates the idea that love is beyond human volition and understanding. Even when they are not religious, many people feel that love is something extra special.
The essence of this proverb is given below:
- This proverb feels realistic – it captures the special essence of love.
- Marriages involve commitment and responsibility, precisely because they are so special.
- Who we love often seems to be outside our control.
- Love can be thought to be eternal.
- Marriage has a special status among relationships.
This proverb is sometimes made longer with the addition of an additional clause: ‘marriages are made in heaven, but they are consummated on earth’. A slightly different version of the idea of marriages being made in heaven is the phrase ‘a match made in heaven!’ which is often used to describe a couple who seem particularly good together.
The importance of the idea that ‘marriages are made in heaven’.
1. Giving weight to marriage: This proverb suggests that there is a divine power behind marriages, and so lends weight and justification to a couple’s desire to marry. Couples can then feel they have the backing of the heavenly world as well as the earthly world when they desire to marry.
2. Expressing spiritual beliefs: Many people believe that there is a spiritual dimension to romantic love and this proverb encapsulates this idea.
3. Motivation within marriage: Whenever there are challenges within a marriage, remembering this proverb reminds the couple to keep on working at the problem and to save their marriage if possible. Feeling that their marriage was ratified by heaven can also help couples to value their marriage and want to sustain it through both hard times and good times.
4. Celebrating the importance of love: Saying this proverb is a great way of showing that you celebrate the importance of love. This is because the proverb suggests that love and marriage have a cosmic significance behind them.
5. Attesting to the permanence of marriage: This proverb suggests that, though a marriage happens within a fixed point in time on earth, it actually has a permanent element to it as well. This is because the proverb indicates that perhaps marriages are made in heaven before the couple even meet on earth.
The proverb ‘marriages are made in heaven’ is a very popular phrase. This proverb expresses the importance of marriage and it can be used to motivate people to respect the institution of marriage. Religious people often use the proverb to express the way in which their love for their spouse intersects with their faith. However, even non religious people use this proverb as a way of expressing their feeling that human love has a cosmic significance and an element of destiny to it.