- Marriage Pt 3 – God’s vision for marriage
- Marriage Pt 2 – safe with each other
- Marriage Pt 1 – God is so good
- (OLD POST) Men, women, love and attraction
- (OLD POST) Creating deep intimacy (into-me-see) in relationships
Bit by bit during the last few months, I feel as though I have a wonderful sense of a woman’s inner world and her ability to love. In fact I am flat out impressed. There is such potential there. But. In the real world I have experienced so many emotionally ‘out of control’ people (male and female) that the idea of marriage just doesn’t make sense to me. Why get that close to someone who could just flip out and ruin my very enjoyable life? A nuclear power plant seems like such a good idea… until you’re in the blast radius of a meltdown.
Note: Today I bought yet another book on marriage. It answered so many questions I had washing around in my head, like “how do you make a woman happy?” and other questions about why I feel the way I do and why I stonewall and why I need respect more than anything else. The book is “The secrets men keep” and it is based on research, it’s not just opinion. A great book, I recommend it.
But still… I just couldn’t get it. Everyone seems to be hurt in one way or another. How can it work? How can two hurt people with needs and issues gel and make it work?
Tonight while driving home tonight, I had a revelation of what God has in mind for my future marriage. See what you think of this. I got this as a revelation, with video/images and feelings.
When Adam was in the garden with God (before Eve). God “came to” Adam. So we can assume that Adam did not always have God there. So that means God also “left” Adam alone sometimes. Maybe because of this alone time, God said “it is not good for man to be alone”. Even though Adam had some access to God occassionaly, he still had needs and perhaps he was lonely? Just like many of us.
Note: Loneliness is not bad or sinful, it is just how people feel when they are alone. To say “it is not good for man to be alone” clearly indicates he was alone… and if someone is alone for an extended period they feel a-lonley.
Then Eve came along and they “knew” each other. Parents often have code words for nookie when kids are around. Many people say “knew” is a code word for nookie.But I think it actually means more than that. Adam KNEW all about his wife. He knew her strengths and limitations. And she knew and accepted him – his strengths and limitations too!
Note: The word for “man” before Eve was separate from Adam is genderless. Not male or female. After Eve was separated, then we have Adam and Eve. Male and female. Two halves that made a whole when they come together again.
And the bible says they were “naked” all day around each other (Gen 1:25). I can’t imagine standing naked in front of anyone… let alone walking around all day!
But again, this probably means more than just physical nakedness. In my revelation, it meant that they didn’t hide things from each other, they shared their inner stuff. In my revelation they nakedly embraced and I sensed that it was a naked emotional embrace as well. An acceptance of each other.
As soon as He gave a law “don’t eat” they were tempted and they ate. Again we see their limitations are just like our own.
Note: In the same way that God prompted the discussion over Job (which led to the difficulties in Job’s life), God introduced a tree and introduced the first law: “don’t eat from that tree”. As Paul writes in the book of Romans, the strength of sin is law. Where there is a law, sin grows in strength. The giving of law resulted in an opportunity for sin. They had not yet sinned, but now that there was law, they would shortly begin sinning.
Clearly Adam and Eve were not super-people. They had not experienced sin or death until this point, but they appear to have needs just like we do: a need for companionship and they were clearly able to sin AND were just about to do it! You and I also get lonely and are tempted to sin.
It is reasonable to assume that they had inter-personal and communication issues as well – just like all couples do. It is true that they were two halves of the same whole (she was taken from his side). BUT they weren’t telepathic. They had to communicate complex inner feelings through the limitation of words. Just like we do.
Now we come to the good stuff of the revelation. This is the part where they fall (not good), but in the fall I learned to see what God wants us to go back to. The naked acceptance. It is that which gives me hope for a future relationship.
After they ate from the tree of knowledge, they hid themselves from each other. Why?
They had been naked with each other (Gen 1:25) and wonderfully accepting of the other person’s limitations. But that was before they received the “wisdom” from that tree. (Gen 3:6 NIV) What is this wisdom and when it opens our eyes, why would it result in shame?
I suggest that one example of the wisdom that comes with the knowledge of good and evil, is that they became aware of contrasts. Before they simply had innocence, but now they could contrast and compare and judge each other as good or bad, better or worse, acceptable or not acceptable. Before the concept of good or bad, they had no way of judging the performance of their spouse.
Note: But now with their eyes open, they hid themselves from each other (Gen 3:7). I emphasize from each other because they didn’t hide when God came (v8), but they hid while in each others company.
So let’s speculate a bit. Let’s put away the religious approach and let’s get our hands dirty in the day to day life of human beings.
If you eat fruit that allows your eyes to be opened to concepts such as as good/better/best, or bad/worse/worst, then what is to stop you from using this wisdom on your spouse?
I suggest that after eating the fruit of knowledge, they used their wisdom on each other and this is what created their shame. She looked at him and judged him… and he judged her.
Perhaps she wanted him to be a better bread winner. Perhaps he wanted her to be prettier. Mybe she thought he could have better abs or less flab. Perhaps he judged her ability to cook. Just as Adam had been lonely, perhaps she became self conscious of her elevated need for companionship and unhappy that he seemed to be able to meet his needs by enjoying sport and playing on computers… oh wait… that’s a bit too modern for this story. But I think you get the point!
Whatever it was that they did with this open eyed wisdom, they no longer felt safe with each other, they no longer accepted each other as they were (Gen 3:7). They became aware of their own limitations. They had “wisdom” and understood good and evil. They began to judge, rank and evaluate each other.
So they hid themselves in order to protect themselves. They saw their own limitations and perhaps they understood they were not as “beautiful” as they could be, or somehow they were not “up to standard” in some way… and they felt shame.
Note: What other practical reasons can you feel shame for? Shame is always connected to being judged and valued. We can be judged on just about any part of our performance.
This same problem exists today. People get together with a loving attitude and then change the rules and jack up their expectations of each other, raising the bar too high. We stop accepting each other’s limitations and instead demand that we become more acceptible in the sight of friends or family.
But our problem is worse than what Adam and Eve faced. They released death into the world through that sin, but now it’s several thousand years later and death and sin has grown and embedded itself within our culture. Porn, drugs, abortion, greed, divorce… we’re dealing with things that are quietly accepted by society as a norm now.
This was the basis of my deep concern. Having gone through one disastrous marriage, I couldn’t see how two fallen and broken people could make an intimate marriage work.