Traditional folklore tells the story of a Vacation Bible School teacher, who, after having shared the biblical Creation account, asked her class to draw pictures from the Creation story. She received pictures of the sun, moon, stars, rivers, trees, animals, and a serpent with an apple in its mouth. Because the learners were young and had drawing skills appropriate for their age, the teacher was not expecting perfection, but one picture completely baffled her. She wondered at the picture of a long, modern limousine with massive blazing flames coming from the vehicle exhaust system, two passengers in the back seat, and the driver wearing a cap with a halo over his head.
When gently prodded to explain his picture, the young boy said emphatically, “Teacher said God drove out Adam and Eve from the garden!”
While we smile at the interpretation of this child’s limited understanding of Adam and Eve being driven out of Eden, we can only imagine the pain it must have caused our loving God to remove them from their home. After creating this earth in six literal days, our Creator established marriage, one of the greatest blessings of God to humanity, only for sin to progressively mar this divine institution.
Nevertheless, from the Edenic narrative several foundational principles for the marital structure have been laid. For one, Adam had vocational responsibility before he had a wife, according to Genesis 2:15. The ability and willingness to provide for his family became two integral parts of his existence after Creation. Hence, having employment was not foreign to the experience of men from the very beginning.
Second, we learn that God took a rib from Adam to use as He created Eve (Genesis 2:21). The choice of a rib from which to create Eve provided an important lesson for us. God chose a rib from Adam’s side, because the woman was to be neither above nor beneath the man, but to stand by his side. The rib was taken from under his arm, which symbolically suggests that the woman was to enjoy the man’s protection and support. Also, the rib was located near his heart, indicating that the woman was to be the object of his affections and love.
God then brought Eve to Adam as a complete woman so Adam would know that he was neither the Creator nor the cause of woman coming into existence. God created both Adam and Eve, and intended this sacred union between a man and a woman to be indissoluble.
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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:23-25, KJV).
Despite the devastating effects of sin on marriage, when husbands and wives apply these general principles of responsibility, respect, protection, support, and love to their marriage coupled with committing themselves not only to one another but also to God in a saving relationship, the beauty and blessings of marriage are plenteous.
The prophetic positioning of your family
- Parents obey, and teach their children to honor, obey, and respect God. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8).
- “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19, KJV).
- Watch for the tendency to conduct family affairs lightly,
or even enter into the decision to start a family as if nothing eternal were at stake, and as if there were no God to whom we are accountable. “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:37-39).
- Make the home the symbol of God’s heavenly home, rooting out the key indicators of selfishness common today. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).