The Bible story of Adam and Eve is one that is familiar to all Christians. But did you know that the lessons offered there can be applied to modern-day marriage? Here, Christian writer and former Christian Mingle author Andrew Hess shares his insights about marriage in the garden of Eden.
Have you ever read different stories in the Bible and wondered what it might have been like to be there? Imagine being on the boat when Jesus calmed the storm, or watching the face of the man born blind as he received his sight. Many Bible stories stir my imagination. But there’s one story that really stands out.
The First Couple
I’ve recently been thinking about humanity’s first couple, Adam & Eve. I wonder what their lives would have been like. I imagine those first moments in the garden of Eden as Adam looked around and experienced everything for the first time.
I also think about that moment when God placed Adam into a deep sleep. He woke up and there was a woman beside him. I can hear the excitement in Adam’s voice as he exclaimed, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23). I bet he literally jumped for joy when he first saw her.
Marriage In The Garden Of Eden: A Different Approach
Adam and Eve didn’t have time to warm up to the idea of marriage. They didn’t get to scope out their options and make a calculated choice. The first couple didn’t become friends, date a while, get engaged and finally marry. We don’t know the exact timing, but from the Bible, we observe the creation of Eve, God’s explanation of marriage and their marriage in the garden of Eden within four verses.
Adam and Eve knew marriage was God’s idea. God didn’t consult with Adam before creating Eve, asking him for his opinions and preferences. God created their gender and every gender distinction: each physical, emotional, social and personality difference was God’s idea, and Adam and Eve knew it.
Secondly, Adam and Eve knew God provided for their particular marriage. It was God who made Eve and declared that the human pattern would be children leaving their families to form new families. They knew this wasn’t their idea. By the time Eve was created, Adam had already named all the animals. He knew none of them could compete with Eve as his companion. God continued in His pattern of providence and once again provided everything Adam needed.
Adam and Eve also knew marriage was a good gift to them from God. I love the way the ESV translates Adam’s first comment on the woman, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” or as “The Message” paraphrase captures it, “Finally!” (Genesis 2:23). Adam desired someone like her and responded with excitement upon her arrival.
God’s Plan All Along
All this might seem a little obvious, but I believe it reveals something we often forget. Marriage was originally God’s idea and He provides for every marriage. Many today mistakenly take a narrower perspective in which we must go out into the world and make marriage happen by ourselves. We think men just need to get out there and ask women out and pick one to marry.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being proactive. I agree we shouldn’t sit around waiting for God to drop somebody in our laps. But I believe we also should take on the prayer posture of a child coming before our heavenly Father. As men, we come before Him and ask for the privilege of marrying one of His precious, beloved daughters. We keep in mind that He might say yes, no or not yet. And as women, you each also come before Him as daughters asking Him to bring you one of His beloved sons to be your husband.
I think we sometimes neglect this important aspect of pursuing relationships: belief that God responds to the prayers of his people. We spend a lot of time pursuing relationships in our own way and perhaps don’t spend enough time asking God to lead, guide and provide.
For those of us who are already married, what if we built up our marriages with this perspective: “God gave us this marriage, and he wants us to take good care of it.” It’s not something to take for granted, but like make of God’s gifts, requires stewardship and attention. It takes work.
I write these thoughts as a recently married man who met my wife in at a conference. We lived a thousand miles apart and could have easily missed each other. I believe God brought us together. But I also had to be intentional and pursue throughout our relationship. Like Adam and Eve, and their marriage in the garden of Eden, may I never forget God’s pattern of providence throughout my life, including a marriage that he provided at just the right time.
You may also be interested in 4 Ways To Live God’s Plan for Marriage