By Clifton Angel
We have learned that Adam and Eve’s marriage was: (1) male and female, (2) united, and (3) non-disposable. Let us consider a fourth lesson from the first marriage: It was not perfect.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be like God, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:1–6).
God is not at fault, but man and the adversary. They sinned. The wife superseded her role. The husband receded from his role. The husband is to be the head of the wife (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23), not the other way around, and yet there will still not be perfection because we have our moments of weakness. This is not a license to sin. However, sin is universal. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8). Even the FIRST marriage was not perfect, and we need to tell ourselves the truth in understanding that our marriages will not be perfect, either. Yet, the world presses into our minds that marriage has to be perfect in order for it to last. So many today want the "perfect" family. They feel they are so different from others when their children do not follow in their footsteps. I wonder how many times Eve cried, "I just wish my family was normal!" In a decaying, dying world filled with sin, what is "normal"? There are absolutes, and those belong to God. In a world where it is inevitable that we age, what is perfection? Let’s stop striving for physical perfection and strive for spiritual perfection. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.”
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/