By Clifton Angel
Male and female, united, non-disposable, and not perfect—four lessons taken from the first marriage. A fifth principle from the holy matrimony of Adam and Eve is this: It was not easy.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Gen. 3:16–19).
The world teaches us that marriage has to be easy in order for it to be right—any difficulty may mean the two are “just not meant for each other.” Such is in direct opposition to God’s divine directives.
Consider the difficulty Adam and Eve experienced according to Genesis 4:1–16. I believe Adam and Eve taught their children the Word of God. And yet, they lost a son—not by disease, and not by accident, but by cold-blooded murder at the hands of their other son. Therefore, essentially, they lost a second son because of Cain's expulsion (like someone’s son being sent to prison for life today). Even the very first marriage was not easy. They had already faced temptation (3:6). They had already fallen prey to the enticement and lies of Satan (3:1–5). They had sinned (3:6–7). They faced the major/serious consequences of sin:
(1) shame (3:7),
(2) separation (3:8-15),
(3) sorrow and suffering (3:16-19, 22-24), and
(4) the need for salvation (3:21, 15).
They lost an amazing son, Abel, to tragedy. Their firstborn, Cain, chose pride, disobedience, envy, and murder. They likely trained him correctly, which in no way negates the general truth of Proverbs 22:6 — “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Every parent should live by this principle; yet, grown children must answer for their own actions, also. Notice that Adam and Eve did not make excuses for Cain’s actions (Genesis 4:25–26). Later, they were given a third son who would be a godly leader: Seth. Truly, even the first marriage was not easy.
May these truths bless your marriage and glorify our God.
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/