The Attack on Marriage in the Fall of Eden

Directly after sinning against God by entertaining and agreeing with Satan’s accusation against Him, Adam and Eve got straight on to sinning against one another and against their marriage. The result has echoed throughout the ages. There is a principle in scripture that the older and more original a thing is, the more power it has. What this means for us is that the sin that Adam and Eve committed against one another and against their marriage tends to be a powerful stronghold present in many marriages today.

Genesis 3: 9-12 records that as the snake engaged Eve in conversation, Adam was present, witnessing the exchange. As we all know, the outcome of Eve’s encounter with Satan was that she believed his lie, acted against the instructions God had given them, and invited Adam into the same sin. Adam then made the same choice as Eve. When God confronted the pair, Adam blamed Eve for his choice and indirectly blamed God (“the woman You gave me”), while Eve blamed the serpent for his deception. In the end, both Adam and Eve sinned against God, but also against one another in very specific ways.

What Adam Learns from Eve’s Behavior

Consider how Adam was wounded in the garden. Eve has made a terrible choice—one that will cost her both her life and home. And now it is Adam’s turn to choose: his marriage and the companionship of Eve or his place in Eden. He chooses the woman. The woman who has put him in this position by her bad judgment and the use of her influence with him. We know that Adam implies that Eve is responsible for his downfall. His statement reveals one of two possibilities:

  • He knew that his choice was not Eve’s fault (she was not holding a gun to his head) but chose to blameshift as a way of not dealing with his own part in what happened.

OR

  • He actually held Eve responsible for the choice he made.

If the latter is true, then several negative beliefs/consequences would have entered Adam’s heart from wounding, and it is these beliefs that were passed down to every son of Adam since.

  • Eve (women) will hurt you, betray you, and lead you into ruin.
  • Eve was not a good thing and God is to blame for giving her to him.
  • These beliefs create suspicion of Eve and lead to viewing her as manipulative and as an enemy.
  • They also create suspicion of love and lead to hesitancy to reveal oneself, the slowness to commit, and the belief that relationships are more costly than they’re worth.
  • These thoughts create hostility between them—a “sleeping with the enemy” scenario wherein Adam believes that loving Eve will make him vulnerable to acting in ways he normally wouldn’t, acting to his own detriment.

So men, my question for you is whether you’re able to identify any of these same beliefs and practices in your own heart. If so, what is the fruit of that in your marriage now? What are your core beliefs about women in general and your wife in particular? To what degree do you hold back your heart out of fear of the cost? Do you have difficulty trusting that your wife is for you and not against you?

What Eve Learns from Adam’s Behavior

Eve was wounded in the garden because of Adam’s passivity. He watched the serpent confront her and listened to the smooth lies and manipulation that were spun. And he did nothing. Eve’s takeaway from Adam’s failure to rise up and intervene in the encounter with Satan include:

  • Adam (men) will passively stand by rather than act to protect you. This creates suspicion towards Adam and results in self-protective and/or controlling behavior. Many women don’t trust men to take care of things, to take care of them. This creates nagging, over-responsibility, and falsely independent behavior.
  • Adam will blame you for decisions that he makes (e.g. she made me do it)
  • Adam will see you as a good thing only up to the point that you make a mistake or cost him something. This produces the phenomenon where women work hard at keeping men because they fear the loss of his affection if they have flaws or if they cost him too much.

Women, do you see yourselves anywhere in this? What do you believe about men in general and your husband in particular? Will he come through for you? What sort of self-protective measures are you taking if you believe that he won’t? To what degree do you fear abandonment, and how does that fear drive your behavior?

Your Marriage Can be Repaired!

What was broken in Eden’s fall can be repaired. Men and women can be restored to one another. Marriages can flourish in love and trust, partnership and companionship. It takes work and a willingness to examine ourselves and our relationships in order to root out the wounding that was done all those generations ago. And we, here at the Marriage Recovery Center, are here to help. We invite you into healing and having a marriage that is worth having. To learn more contact our Client Care Team here.