This devotion is part of the "Tying the Marriage Knot Tighter" series.
A marriage seminar hosted for us by Adam and Eve!
Given that we have learned over the past few lessons what God's design for marriage clearly is, what has happened to that design today, what has happened to the ideal marriage relationship such as Adam and Eve enjoyed? It has certainly been marred, has it not? What do you think is the source of the broken relationships between husband and wife? The openness and ease, which Adam and Eve equally enjoyed, was lost as a result of their sin and their rebellion toward God. Things are still the same today; our sinful nature and rebellion toward God is also at the root of our present day marital problems. In Genesis chapter 3, we are all familiar with the satanic allegations presented to Eve in her conversation with the serpent. Listening to these faithless insinuations led Eve down the path of wrong thinking toward God, which led to her sinful behavior and their eventual rebellion toward the Lord as a couple. There were immediate changes produced between Eve and her husband that sinning against God brought about in their relationship. Let's look at them as we read verse 7 of Genesis 3…
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The above verse is certainly quite a contrast from Genesis 2:25, the verse we left off with last lesson…
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Previously, Adam and Eve were both naked and they were not a bit ashamed, yet now they were quite uncomfortable with each other! Think of all the closeness they enjoyed before their disobedience, and how much pleasure they lost. Shame had set in and marred their intimacy, and we see that they immediately tried to cover their nakedness. From whom? First from self, then from spouse, and ultimately from God... Ladies, our sin does cause us to hide, to cover ourselves, to feel shame and to be ill at ease with others. It also mars God's design for marital intimacy, and especially our intimacy with the Lord! Therefore, we must strive to live in obedience to the Lord to keep all our relationships in healthy condition. I'd like us to read over Genesis 3:8-13 and focus primarily on the startling questions God asks of Adam and Eve after their rebellion toward Him. In fact, in this text we will actually sit in on the first session ever of marriage counseling! What questions will God have for Adam and Eve? As you read these verses, realize that God is not asking these particular questions of them because He needs information, for He knows all, amen? We find instead that the Lord is doing something for Adam and Eve by posing these questions to them. He is trying to extract from them the admittance of their sin…
And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou was naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Let's highlight and review the Lord's questions:
1.) Where art thou?
2.) Who told thee that thou wast naked?
3.) Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
4.) What is this that thou hast done?
As husbands and wives, we behave just as Adam and Eve did! We hide ourselves from the presence of the Lord because we really don't want to come under the conviction that the Lord's presence carries. We don't want to answer specific questions we know His Word will confront us with. Ladies, conviction is for the purpose of confession! Put yourself in Adam and Eve's place today, and if God were to ask these express questions of you, what would your response be - to confess or cover up? Would you own up to the areas whereof you are wrong? Would you cover your guilt with the apron of blame or drape yourself with excuses?
Psalm 32:5 (KJV)
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Exactly where have you been hiding today, dear lady? Scripture makes it clear that those who by sin go astray from God should seriously consider where they are. What "tree" of the garden did you pick to run behind? The tree of a career outside of the home seems mighty appealing, doesn't it? Are you hiding behind the tree of anti-depressants? How about the tree called romance novels? Maybe you've enjoyed the tree of alcohol just a little too much. You wouldn't be hiding behind flirtatious relationships via your computer, I hope! Where art thou today? Perhaps you've picked a tree right out of your own back yard, and have been hiding behind the tree of your husband? Do you blame him for the marred state of your marriage, or can you see and admit where your actions have also contributed to the problem you two might be experiencing? Who told you that you were naked? Who told you the things you are acting upon, the devil or the Lord? Better make sure, for the one voice ends in the deterioration of your marriage, and the other ends in it's restoration!
Romans 14:19 (KJV)
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Ladies, the time has come to think about these important issues! Have you been eating of the tree the Lord commanded you not to? In other words, have you been involved in such things that God clearly defines as sin, things you know He would want YOU personally to stay away from? How have these choices affected your marriage? What have YOU done?? You see, if sinners will stop to consider where they are, they will not rest till they return to God! It is the common fault and folly of those that have done wrong, when questioned about it, to acknowledge only that which is wrong with the other person. We always seem to dwell upon the sin of others and even like to go so far as to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are victims of their behavior - just as Adam and Eve believed. In fact, that's the way most marriage counseling starts out… However, only when we own up to our own sinful choices and actions will we be on our way to restoring our marriages. Rather than hiding behind some form of justification, why not clothe yourself in the righteousness of Christ through confession…
Psalm 51:3 (KJV)
For I acknowledge MY transgressions: and MY sin is ever before me.
You see, when they disobeyed God, Adam and Eve changed in their attitude toward each other and immediately their intimate relationship began waning. Married life - what they once deemed wonderful, seemingly had become one of the worst things that ever happened to them in one short moment! Why, if it weren't for their marriage partner, each would probably be doing just fine... Ever felt that way, ladies?? Adam and Eve not only began blaming their mate and the devil for their sin and the fallen state of affairs in which they now found themselves, but also the Lord! Might you be caught in that trap as well? You see, God in His great love and concern for you will repeatedly ask you these same startling questions He presented to Adam and Eve. This God will do until you realize what it is YOU alone have done, so that you can repent of your sin and be on your way toward restoration - first with the Lord, and then with your husband. If you're hearing God's voice today, don't go into hiding…
Hebrews 3:15 (KJV)
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Yes, the Lord would have you to identify your excuses and come out of hiding! Realize that they have been your tickets for your wrongdoings. Stop laying the shame and blame in other places. Learn also, that Satan's temptations are all beguilings; his arguments are all deceits; his allurements are all cheats; when he speaks with flair, believe not his insinuations! It is by the deceitfulness of sin that our hearts are hardened… Is that the condition of your heart today, dear lady? Though Satan's subtlety may draw us into sin, it will not justify us in sin. Though he is the tempter, WE are the sinners! Get right with God and the man to whom you are married, restore the quality of these relationships, and don't let the devil have his way in your heart or home anymore. Confess - don't cover. To respond any other way would be to choose less intimate relationships in your life and miss God's best for you!
Psalm 51:4 (KJV)
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. PamOther Rise and Shine DevotionalsNew Beginnings Baptist Church Website
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