Genesis 3:3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
I recently read an article about a famous couple who were divorcing after being married for over 30 years. Their legal reason for divorcing was “Irreconcilable Differences;” after so many years, they severed their marriage for of all things, incompatibility. I find that very difficult to process, and while I’m sure there were many other unpublished reasons, could they be enough to erase so many years built together? What is it that has caused over 75% of all marriages (including over 70% in the church) to end in divorce? So many who believe in their vows still choose to call it quits. I think we can learn a great deal from the first Couple, Adam & Eve.
Now while I continued to read the article, I kept hearing “too many voices.” But, what did that mean? Well Adam only heard one voice, God’s. Then came Eve and they only heard God’s voice an each other’s. Problems began when they allowed voices from outside override that which they knew as Truth. When we allow other voices to influence our marriages, we put ourselves in position to make poor decisions. Often decisions that can destroy our marriages & families.
We need to change the narrative; if any marriage should thrive it should be those who believe Jesus Christ is Lord. And Adam & Eve can help us learn from their mistake.
- Listen to God (& your Spouse):
Adam & Eve were influenced by Satan because they allowed someone from the outside speak into their situation (“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”). We cannot allow other people (Family, Friends, Co-Workers or even Famous Stars) to give advice, question our decisions and in this case speak against the Word of God. Satan questioned God’s Word and that opened Eve up to make a poor decision. We make equally poor decisions when we listen to the world tell us that God’s Word is not true; like “if you’re not happy you should leave your marriage.” God told us marriage was a covenant until death. Be very mindful of those speaking ill of your spouse and your God; if they do then they’ve got to go. They might not have to be completely cut off, but they need to be cut off from the access to speak into your marriage. Family and Friends may need to be adjusted like a Facebook category. However, there are Family & Friends that encourage your marriage, they speak positively or confirm the Word of God that you’ve already heard. Understand that when they Confirm the Word of God, they agree with God and therefore it’s God speaking to you again.
- Know & Play Your Role: Now you might say, well maybe you shouldn’t listen to your spouse after all Eve told Adam to eat the Fruit (She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate). However, the fact that they did not communicate before he ate the forbidden fruit is a major problem. Adam did not step up, he did not Speak the Word to and over his wife, nor warned her that this Serpent was not to be trusted. We as the Men, Husbands and Priest of our homes have a responsibility to cover and protect our wives & families (VERY often I don’t meet the mark as either). We should be constantly Praying God’s protection over our family; giving our wives the attention and affection that THEY desire or being the model Man, our children need to see? It is not easy to “Play the Role,” but with God’s help we can be all that we are called to be. Now God was very clear with Adam, he knew what God said and it was NOT what Satan told Eve, but rather than step up he said nothing. He sat back and did not do a thing a decision that would impact all their descendants. This is the same when Men do not know & play our Roles.
- Don’t Hide; Take Responsibility For Your Actions: I’m sure you all remember the story (And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.). Adam & Eve made a poor decision that impacted their family and when they were in God’s Presence. They HID!! How many times have we hid from the Truth, blamed others or shook responsibility. In this era of hate crimes, partisan politics & fear tactics to sell products; everybody has a problem with somebody, but no one is willing to be transparent about their own actions. We must stop hiding, be honest with God, others and ourselves, then take responsibility for our actions. Adam & Eve Hid from God, but as God does He asked the right questions; questions geared to get to the root of the issue. ”Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Rather than answer, they played the blame game, then tried to cover their sin with fig leaves (their own efforts). We are never enough to cover our sin, but Jesus was sacrificed so that all of our sin would be forgiven. We no longer have to hide, we can be honest with God & ourselves because Jesus loved away our sin. This is a pretty good example for us in marriage, sometimes we should just love away hurt/pain our spouses cause.
Marriage is wonderful, painful, beautiful and a struggle all at the same time. More than anything marriage is worth it and it is worth fighting for. However, sometimes fighting means changing some things up, doing something different so you both can win. Maybe even pushing the reset button and starting all over. When we listen to God, know our roles and take responsibility for our actions we can see success in our marriages.