Or: This Woman You Gave Me……
Proverbs 17:1New International Version (NIV)
17 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.
One of the great blessings of the slower paced retirement years has been the joy and satisfaction of sharing a home with my best friend. Sure, we’re lovers too, and the fires of romance and passion still burn steadily, thank you very much. But beyond that, we really like each other. We enjoy one another’s presence, whether it’s sharing a quiet evening reading stuff on our laptops, reading a novel together or browsing through shops at the beach, or traveling together to see our kids and grandkids, there’s the deep satisfaction of knowing and being known.
Sure, we irritate one another sometimes. We can frustrate each other with ourt very different ways of perceiving, communicating and processing information. But as a wise man (or maybe it was a wise guy) once said, vive la differerence. So I’m grateful for you, Honey. Our marriage gives me great peace and satisfaction.
It’s no wonder that many of the spiritual sages over the generations have observed that Satan seems to harbor a great enmity and hostility toward marriage, despite ( or perhaps because of) its being such a great source of stability and comfort and blessing in our lives. He started waging war on this divine institution almost from the beginning of Creation.
When Christians discuss the Genesis 3 account of the Fall of Man and the onset of this war, and we get to the part where Adam, confronted with his sin, tries to shift the blame to Eve (“this woman you gave me, she brought me the fruit and got me to eat it”), we sometimes laugh. We chuckle: “ornery old Adam, trying to duck responsibility for his own boneheaded choice and put it on Eve!” Snicker, snicker.
We don’t get it. Otherwise, we’d be weeping.
Think about it this way. Before the temptation, Moses observes, the couple were “naked and unashamed.” Think about when your marriage has been at its absolute best; when the communication flowed freely, the intimacy was at its peak and the sense of cherishing and being cherished by your mate just bubbled all over the surface of your heart. I suspect that’s only a rough approximation, a fleeting shadow or aroma of what this first couple shared.
Then came the Fall. And God’s confrontation. And Adam’s ugly response: “It was the woman. It’s her fault.”
Look, Adam knew what God had said: you eat, you die. So Adam, in his fear and cowardice, proposed, however indirectly, the death of his wife as an option for saving his own sorry skin.
I wonder how Eve felt at that moment.
Look at what was destroyed: pure, unbroken intimacy, naked and unashamed, became brutal betrayal and abandonment. Why don’t we weep??
And so the war began, and so it continues. From the very beginning of civilization, Satan focused his wrath and malice on the cornerstone of civilization: marriage and the family.
Guys, we’re at war. So here’s our heartfelt request and commitment-mine and Sheryl’s- to you: pray for our marriage and we’ll pray for yours. This is a war we mustn’t lose and we don’t have to.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.