Welcome back for week 4 of the Meaningful Messy Marriage devotional! Last week we learned the extreme importance of both husband and wife fulfilling their biblical roles and the catastrophic effects it can have if they don't.
Both Adam and Eve neglected their God given roles as husband and wife. Eve, by making major decisions without the support and input from her husband and Adam by failing to protect and look after his wife's well being. He was off in La La land while Eve was proceeding to make life altering, destructive decisions, that ultimately destroyed the beautiful life God intended for them to have.
Eve fell for Satan's evil scheme, hook, line and sinker. Rather than Adam telling her what she had done wrong and leading her back down the right path, he joins her in her sin. Now... the damage has been done and God knows this. We are now going to find out what happens when God approaches Adam and Eve regarding their disobedience.
Prior to Adam and Eve sinning, they were roaming around the Garden naked and had no issue with this. They had no idea that there was any other normal but to be naked and unashamed. Nakedness was normal and comfortable for them.
When Satan approached Eve in order to tempt her, he told her that if she were to eat from the forbidden tree they would have the power to know good and evil as God does. As soon as Adam and Eve took a bite from the forbidden fruit, their eyes WERE opened but not in a good way.
That one act of disobedience caused them to go from a sinless world of innocence and purity, where all they saw was God's beauty in creation, to vividly seeing and feeling sin and evil. It would be as big of a leap as a blind person, suddenly being able to see.... and the very first thing they could see when the blindness was taken..... was murder or brutality. Evil was their first vision.
Adam and Eve could feel and see immediately that something was very different and it was not good. Being naked and pure was no longer normal or pure.... they felt a need to hide themselves and cover their bodies. They had never once felt shame or guilt due to living in God's sinless paradise BUT NOW... they knew what shame felt like and they immediately felt a need to hide their bodies, even from one another.
So, you can conclude from this, that God's perfect design was for a husband and wife to be completely naked and unashamed in one another's presence, but when sin entered the world, even Adam and Eve, husband and wife and the only two humans on earth became ashamed of their nakedness in front of one another. If this is a struggle in your marriage, you can link it back to the very first sin committed.
This is an issue that God did not desire in marriage. He longed for husbands and wives to embrace and accept one another completely stripped physically and mentally. Sin caused shame. And shame has caused a desire to hide who we are. This is not God's desire. This is Satan's evil scheme..... still being carried out.
Our next question was what Adam and Eve's first response was when they heard God coming. What was their first response? They ran and hid!
YES, after they covered and hid their bodies from one another, they then ran and hid from God, possibly believing the deception of Satan that God is an unfair and unloving God that did not want the best for them.
Adam and Eve knew they had made a terrible mistake but rather than running to God, their loving Father, in repentance and asking for forgiveness, they ran and hid form Him, trying to avoid accountability.
Does this sound at all familiar in your marriage? When you sin or transgress against your spouse, do you try to run and evade accountability OR do you run to them with an open heart in repentance asking for forgiveness?
We will get back to this.... but ponder that for a moment because it is a VERY important question!
Now, when God finally found Adam and confronted him asking him if he had eaten from the forbidden tree, what was Adam's response?
Did Adam own it and take accountability? NOPE! He did not. He immediately attempted to shift blame onto Eve, stating, "THAT woman you gave to me, gave me the fruit!" Adam not only tried to throw his wife under the bus by placing the blame on her, he did not even refer to her with love or a term of endearment, he called her THAT woman. Adam did not run to God feeling convicted for not protecting his wife, his only concern was himself. This is a heart braking part of the story that unfortunately,, too many couples can relate to.
While it is true, that not every negative happening in a marriage can be pinned on the husband as women surely sin too, in the words of a great and well known Pastor, Mark Driscoll....
"Men, it may not be your fault, BUT, it is our responsibility."
Yes, Eve ate the fruit first, BUT, Adam is STILL responsible for Eve and failed to protect her in every sense of the word.
Now, when God confronted Eve regarding her part in the sin, what did she do? Did she own it and take accountability?
NOPE! She didn't either! Her first course of action was to pin it on the serpent. While it is true that the serpent was very crafty and manipulated Eve by twisting God's words and blatantly lying to her, ultimately, Eve CHOSE to go against God's commands and sin. She could have squashed that serpent with a rock but she didn't. She allowed temptation to overtake her and she took a bite of that darn fruit!
Did God fall for any of their nonsense? NOPE! He didn't! God was very much aware of what happened and there would be painful consequences to come from their disobedience.
How does this play out in our marriages? How can we apply this to marriage? I think very easily. Complete 100% openness and honesty is imperative for any marriage to flourish. Taking accountability for our wrongs, asking for forgiveness and placing our trust in God to keep us from further temptation is an integral part of a successful marriage!
Sins and transgressions kept in the dark......will destroy your marriage....One.Dark.Secret....at a time.
Adam and Eve lacked INTEGRITY! Integrity.... is doing the right thing... even when no one is watching! Integrity makes you a trustworthy person. In my book if you lack integrity, it is IMPOSSIBLE to eve have real and meaningful relationships. You can't be trusted.... you are not a "safe" place for people to put their trust and faith. It is difficult to even know WHO you are.... as your character is based on deceit.
Learning to be open with God first and then your spouse, lays a foundations for an unshakable union. Your spouse needs to be your safest haven on earth, this cannot happen when there is a lack of accountability.
We can learn much from Adam and Eve's mistakes and we can glean what God truly intended. I pray your marriage is touched in a beautiful way. I pray you live a life of integrity. I pray you understand failing and sinning is a part of life, but hiding from these failures and choosing deceit does not have to be. Ultimately.... hiding from sin.... will not only kill relationships.... it will kill your character.
Today.... if there is a sin you need to bring to light and repent to God and possibly your spouse for.... do so. Don't focus on the possible outcomes from being honest.... focus on the eventual blessings.
Peace and Blessings
Missy and Garrick