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by Anna Popescu
The first marriage took place in Eden, a glorious and beautiful Garden, that was part of God’s creation. God created Adam and placed him in Eden to care for all the trees, plants and flowers. He saw that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, so He created all the animals and birds to be his companions, and told Adam to choose a name for each one. But Adam still didn’t have a suitable helper for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept;
and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman,
and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked,
the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Initially life was wonderful for Adam and his helper. “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). The Garden of Eden had everything they could ever need to live an abundant life together.
This is when things get out of hand as the cunning serpent enters the picture. He questions Adam and Eve about the garden, challenging God’s command that they can eat the fruit of every tree except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had told Adam that if he did eat the fruit from that tree, he would die.
Knowing this, the devious serpent engages Eve (not Adam) in a conversation:
Serpent: 1 “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Eve: 2 “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” [Note that God did not tell Adam he could not touch the fruit of that tree!]
Serpent: 4 “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Well, you can imagine how excited Eve was as she heard the serpent’s sly words. Of course, God had not really meant that she and Adam could not eat such luscious fruit!
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.
She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8 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.
And that was how sin entered the world. Eve was deceived by the serpent; Adam went along with Eve’s decision. Adam, as God’s first human creation, should have taken the lead to make sure that they obeyed God’s command. Eve was created to be Adam’s helper (ideal partner 1). She should have consulted Adam before making the big decision herself.
God then made three declarations (Genesis 3:15-17):
- He told the serpent that he was forever cursed to be the lowliest of all creatures and would always have to crawl on his belly.
- He told Eve that she would give birth with sorrow and great pain, and that she would always be under Adam’s authority.
- As for Adam, God said that because he listened to Eve about the fruit of the forbidden tree and ate it with her, he would always labor with much difficulty to reap the harvest.
Through this series of events in the Garden of Eden, difficulties entered our lives and our marriages, and that brings me to this question:
How well do you look after your marriage garden?
Husbands and wives, we need to make sure we tend to our marriages as carefully as gardeners watch over their gardens so that weeds don’t have a chance to take over. What weeds am I talking about?
Our marriages will not always be perfect, but we should strive for peace and understanding. Sometimes it is the seemingly little things that begin to irritate us. If we give in to our frustrated emotions, the smaller weeds of discontent begin to take root. That’s when we need to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). That definitely includes negative thoughts. In other words, we need to pull those newly budding weeds of dissatisfaction before they grow deeper roots.
When we turn our attention and negative thoughts from ourselves
and focus instead on Jesus,
it is easier to see the positive aspects of our spouse.
There can be many weeds in our marriage garden if we allow ourselves to dwell on the negatives. All of us have irritating behaviors. How we choose to react to those annoyances in our spouses will make the difference between a marriage of two people merely existing in the same house to a married couple who share a home by living and serving each other in the love of Christ.
Marriages, like a garden, take time to grow.
But the harvest is rich unto those
who patiently and tenderly care for the ground.