So, the majority of us want to get married one day, or maybe you are married already. As I was reading the book of Genesis the other day, it really started to speak to me about marriage and the things we can learn from the first ever marriage: that between Adam and Eve. These are a few of the lessons that I picked up. I pray that it blesses someone in their marriage or gives you wisdom for your marriage to come (if that is what you desire). Lets get right into it!
TEMPTATION & THE DESIRE OF THE FLESH
Sometimes I wonder, what would have happened if only Eve ate the fruit and Adam refused to eat it. I'll be honest I have not come to an answer and the truth is that we will never know. But the reality is that one party's actions in a marriage clearly affects the other party. After all, they are one flesh right? Sometimes we overlook the impact that our wrongdoing can have on our spouse or even other people in our family. Now don't get me wrong, none of us are perfect and unfortunately sometimes we will fall into temptation. But in the context of marriage, how often do you think about your actions and how they could affect your husband, wife, or even your children? Or if you are not yet married, how often do you think about how your actions now may have an impact on your future marriage or children (either positively or negatively)?
Sometimes we think that we are stronger than we really are. Anyone can fall into temptation or the desires of the flesh. (Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. - Mark 14:38). Adam and Eve's journey really teaches us that anyone is capable of falling, but there are instances where we can avoid falling and this is where the power of agreement comes in.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AGREEMENT
Adam was given an instruction and after they had both disobeyed and tried to hide from God, God called Adam. It's very interesting that God gave Adam the command ("and the Lord commanded the man, saying... - Genesis 2:16-17) but it was Eve who was in conversation with the serpent (she even gave a slight variation of what God actually said). The funny thing is that God still called to Adam first (that's a word in itself!). This really spoke to me about the importance of agreement; the importance of a husband and wife being on the same page in terms of the direction they are going, decisions concerning their household, the instructions God has given them and the purpose of their marriage.
The biggest thing I have taken on this point is the importance of standing together in agreement on what to do rather than doing what we know may have damaging consequences. Or one party trying to do things their own way. Why? Because two are better than one, and a marriage involves two people, not one. Together they are better! It is very interesting that God said "it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Genesis 2:18) right after instructing Adam not to eat the fruit. This shows me the important role Eve had to play as "helper" (but we won't go into that right now - maybe in a future post).
Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Very often I hear the reminder that in marriage it is important for each party to know who their true enemy is rather than seeing themselves as enemies to one another. We may not be speaking to a serpent as Eve was in the garden, but we do know that we have an enemy and unfortunately that enemy does not like godly marriage. So as long as both parties are in agreement on this point, all should be well right?
But what if there is a lack of agreement, or if there is confusion on an instruction God has given, or the direction in which Mr and Mrs should go (because it does happen), what then?
GOING BACK TO THE WORD OF GOD
Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Adam and Eve literally had the privilege of going back to God and asking Him to confirm His word to them, the instruction He had given to Adam. For us that might mean going back to seek God as a couple in prayer (an element of coming in agreement), or perhaps it means going back to the word of God to ensure that we know for sure what God said before taking any further action. The thing with us humans is that sometimes we first take the action before then going back to God. This is a key lesson we can take on approaching times where there is a lack of agreement, or perhaps times when we don't understand what God is saying. Like they say, 'prevention is better than cure'.
Third parties to a marriage will always have an opinion and the serpent being in Eve's ear taught me about being cautious of who or what we allow in our ear and ensuring that what they say aligns with God's word. Essentially, as highlighted above, going back to the word of God is key.
Sometimes we don't like to go back to the word of God or even read the word of God because it just seems long. Don't worry you can be honest here! But as crazy as it may sound, that could save you your marriage, it could save you from taking a wrong turn or making a negative lifechanging decision. In our generation, we consume content and information all day long. Whether that is on social media, on billboards, the general media or the news and eventually that begins to shape our mindset and thoughts, "teaching" us how we should do marriage or treat our spouse. Now don't get me wrong. Of course we can learn some things via social media, even via some movies but ultimately making lifechanging decisions cannot end there. Going back to what the One who created marriage says is key.
Wise counsel is also very important. This may possibly mean being surrounded by the right people or seeking godly counsel through counselling. The truth is that we may not always get it right. At the end of the day, we are all trying to figure out this thing called life. Obviously Adam and Eve did not have any other humans that they could seek guidance from but fortunately for us we do, and when needed I believe we should take advantage of it.
THE WOMAN HAS INFLUENCE
Now that doesn't take away from the fact that marriage is between man and woman and it is not everyday one needs to be running to a third party. As a woman, it is important for us to know that we carry influence. As with anything, that could be positive or negative. But we can choose the type of influence we want to have on our husbands, our family and those around us. When God addressed Adam, He said to him, "because you have listened to the voice of your wife..." showing that those words Eve spoke carried weight. This is a word to myself and to my sisters. Know the influence that you carry. We hear of the term "influencer" all over social media (be that instagram, twitter, youtube etc...) but understand that we are all influencers. We may not always get it right, and we may not even have a stage or platform to speak, but through our conversations and actions we can really have an influence (whether we know it or not). As godly women, let us use our influence in the right way with the help of the Holy Spirit.
These are just some of the lessons on marriage that I have picked up on from the biblical account of Adam and Eve. What lessons have you picked up on? Be sure to share them in the comments section below. Marriage isn't easy and from what I know we learn on the way. I hope these lessons are things you can add as you walk your journey of marriage now or in the future.
I look forward to discussing more topics such as this when and as inspired. Remember, when we know better, we can do better and we can also help others along the way. So share this word with someone else and I pray that they are blessed.
Written by Maria T