Relationships – Adam and Eve

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

  • Genesis 2:15-25

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”
To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

  • Genesis 3:1-24

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

  • Genesis 4:1-2

A Quote

“That simple sentence [Genesis 3:21] suggests three powerful scenes.
“Scene 1: God slays an animal. For the first time in the history of the earth, dirt is stained with blood. Innocent blood. The beast committed no sin. The creature did not deserve to die. Adam and Eve did. The couple deserves to die, but they live …
“Scene 2: Clothing is made. The shaper of the stars now becomes a tailor.
“And in Scene 3: God dresses them. ‘The LORD … dressed them.’ Adam and Eve are on their way out of the garden. They’ve been told to leave, but now God tells them to stop. ‘Those fig leaves,’ he says, shaking his head, ‘Will never do.’ And he produces some clothing. But he doesn’t throw the garments at their feet and tell them to get dressed. He dresses them himself. As a father would zip up the jacket of a preschooler. God covers them.”

  • Max Lucado, A Love Worth Giving

What Do We Know about their Relationship?

The poem about Adam calling Eve “woman” because she was bone of bone and flesh of flesh is more intimate than they way we treat those in which we have a relationship today, whether that relationship is a romantic one, one of friendship or workmates, roommates, etc.  The closest relational thing to it today are our children who share the DNA of the parents.  But Adam and Eve were literally of one flesh.

Before Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they were not ashamed.  They were naked, but they had no concept of what naked was.  After both Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they were ashamed.  Shame, then, especially shame of nakedness, was a direct result of our knowledge of good and evil.  They knew what thoughts went through the minds at that point, and they knew something strange had just happened.  They felt the need to cover their bodies and they sewed fig leaves together to do so.  Then they hid as God entered the garden.

Adam was with Eve when she ate the fruit.  The Bible clearly states that she was with him at that moment.

Then, now with the sin nature at top speed, Adam blames Eve with a thinly veiled blame of God for having created a defective woman.  Eve quickly blames the serpent.

After being thrown out of the Garden, the first sexual encounter recorded in the Bible is when Adam and Eve made love and Cain was born.

Adam lived 930 years.  He was 130 when Seth was born and afterwards had many sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4-5).  These further sons and daughters would be the spouses for each other.

What Can We Infer about their Relationship?

We can infer that Adam did not hesitate to eat the fruit.  He was there he took and ate the fruit.

We can infer that lust may have been the first thought that they each had toward each other.  Sure, they were the first couple.  You could infer that through being the only humans on earth, marriage was assumed at that point.  It is obvious that one sin to follow that was the blame game to throw off the wrath of God onto someone or something else.

And it is not much of an inference to state that God killed an animal or two to make animal skins for Adam and Eve to wear.  Sure, God had created everything else.  He could create a “skin,” but that makes little sense, since the week of creation has already passed.  Thus, the first death was directly a result of their sin.

There was probably some sisters born for Cain and Abel since Cain will be banished with his family.

In What Ways Can We Fill in the Gaps about their Relationship?

I have heard sermons about what was going through Adam’s mind while Eve was talking to the serpent and then tasting the fruit, but that is very dangerous ground.  Adam, at that moment, did not have a sin nature.  He would not have thought “Okay, let’s see how this goes before I make a move,” but in effect, that is what happened.  I doubt he thought “If Eve dies, God can make me a new one, less defective.”  And it seems obvious that he did not reach out and slap the fruit from her hand to prevent her from sinning against God.  So, did he think about doing that and something caused him to pause?

Afterwards, it is rather obvious that while they were feverishly sewing fig leaves, they were thinking of their excuses and who to blame.

What Can We Learn from this Relationship?

First, I have heard a lot said about how Eve embellished God’s rule by saying not to touch the fruit, but maybe Eve was wise in that regard. If you do not touch the fruit, then it would be rather hard to eat it. And if you had the fruit in your hand, you might eat it absentmindedly.

We are born with that sin nature.  Thus, it is extremely difficult in imagining what the relationship between Adam and Eve before the fall was like. But we should own up to our mistakes.  Excuses are not acceptable in a good relationship.  I will stop short of the famous line from Love Story, “Love means never having to say your sorry.”  We will often say that we are sorry, but that is necessary in establishing that we have sinned, and once said that the other party has forgiven.

When we see someone that we love going down a destructive path, we should intervene in love.

And while we could come up with a fictional conversation between the couple after they were tossed from the Garden, “I told you so” could not be part of the conversation.  The best course of action is admission of the mistake and then discuss the path forward.

As for Adam and Eve, their path forward was one new discovery after another.  They were the first to discover that as the earth fell and was cursed, some of the animals that they had named in the Garden were now eating each other.  Adam and Eve had to learn self-defense.

From that thought, we, in our relationships, need to see the dangers ahead and plan accordingly.  We need to know the strengths and weaknesses of those we have a relationship with (spouse, family, or friend).

In thinking of everything Adam and Eve faced for the first time as they entered this fallen world, we could write about that and how that relates to our relationships, but that is also seen as more people enter the earth, as in Cain and Abel, and how we humans first dealt with other issues.

A Closing Prayer

We have sinned against You.  Those that we encounter, like our spouse, other family members, and our friends, are not perfect either.  The blame game and excuses get in the way of developing a relationship.  That is important in loving one another, but also in loving You, Lord.  We confess our sins before You.  Help us in putting that sin far behind us.  And only through Your Grace and Mercy are we able to forgive others, and we praise You for that ability as we strive not only to be more like Jesus, but to have stronger relationships here on earth, and with you.
In Thy Name we pray,

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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