Adam and Eve.
Even if you don’t believe the biblical account of our creation, humor me with your time as I delve into the first marriage relationship on planet earth.
Genesis 2:18 says, “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
God saw the loneliness in Adam’s heart and wanted to bless him with a wife, a helper who would stand by his side through thick and thin. This is why the marriage vows in Christian marriage include “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
God wanted to create a relationship on earth that would model the same type of relationship that He wants with each human being, a love relationship of honor, integrity and trust. Marriage is a biblical covenant designed and ordained by God. His desire was to see Adam and Eve as helpmates who placed the interest of the other before self.
Today, fewer and fewer people are choosing marriage.
Take a look at this data of young adults from the Population Reference Bureau.
www.prb.org/Articles/2010/usmarriagedecline.aspx . In the past ten years, there has been a more than 10% decline in those choosing marriage.
At the same time the national divorce is hovering around 50% for Christians and non-Christian households.
Marriage is on the verge of extinction.
I believe marriage vows are becoming rarer because society is becoming more centered on “self” verses “others.”
There is a great need for all of us to examine our hearts and try to figure out ways that we can get along through the relational storms that are sure to come.
Focus on the needs and wants of the other person and you might be surprised that your needs and wants will be met too.
It might not happen immediately but you are more likely to get your desires when you place your spouse before yourself.
One of the best tactics we can use to strengthen a marriage is found in the creation story. Genesis 3:1 says “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’?” You may not believe in Satan but think of any enemy that wants to destroy your relationship or marriage. Nine out of ten times they will come to you when your partner is absent. You are alone and unguarded in your spirit. You are lonely and feel left out. You are angry and want revenge. Maybe you are sad and wanting company. The bottom line is this: temptations that destroy marriages and relationships come to us when we are not “together” - physically or emotionally.
The team is broken up and the fortress of love is left defenseless for a moment. This is what the devil did to Eve. She was alone; Adam is nowhere to be found. Adam had told her about the tree in the middle of the Garden. He told her what God said, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Satan would not have dreamed of appearing to both of them when they were together. His strategy is divide and conquer. Whether it’s a marriage, a family, a church, a region, or the country itself, he wants to sow seeds of discontent and half-truths to destroy the relationships that make us happy and are vital to our welfare. Jesus said, “A kingdom divided amongst itself cannot stand.”
Intentionally deciding to “stay together” with your time, emotions, spirit, and physical bodies will do wonders for your marriage.
I’m sure you know the rest of the story. The snake lied to her and she bit, hook, line and sinker! Lies are like a cancer that will poison our marriages and friendships. Cancer doesn’t go away, it needs to be treated with the utmost diligence and speed to try to eradicate it and contain it’s spread before it’s too late. The consequence of believing the lie was brutal for Adam and Eve. They were kicked out of the garden of Eden and told to go into a different type of world where they would have to work and sweat for everything that would sustain them. Their heaven on earth was over. You may be “Mary and Steve” and are reading this article, and most likely, separately. Your “heaven on earth” marriage fast mutated into a “Mars and Venus” drudgery of an existence. Remember, after Adam and Eve sinned, God immediately came from heaven and entered the Garden of Eden. Why did He do this? I believe He wanted to restore their relationship with one another and with Him. He wants to fix things! Our choice is simple; keep doing the same things that don’t work and expect a different result or go to God for the help He desperately wants to give.
Do you remember the rest of the story? God confronted both of them about their disobedience. Genesis 3:12-13 says, “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’”
The key to successful relationships is found in the tragedy in the Garden of Eden. Adam decided to blame the woman and God for his mistake. Eve decided to blame the serpent. Neither one wanted to take responsibility for their actions and say, “the buck stops here.” God judged their defiance exceptionally hard and kicked them out of the Garden. What if they had come clean and admitted their mistake? Maybe God would have forgiven them and we would all still be living in that paradise. Nobody knows for sure but I do know this: To maintain healthy relationships and marriages, we must place the other person before ourselves. We must admit when we have made a mistake and promise to do better the next time. Trust me…I’m a recovering weatherman, and I know all about mistakes. Blaming others for our own problems and pain is a sure way to the death and destruction of your marriage, your sanity, and your relationship with your Creator.
Humility is the secret ingredient to relationships. It’s so secret, few have considered it, and fewer have practiced it.