About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Fragility Of Family
Throughout history the
foundation of any given society has been family.
I believe the health of a society depends on the health of what
was once called the traditional family.
I also believe the health of the family depends on the health of
the husband/wife relationship.
Among many things that
disrupt and destroy marriage and the family is the individualistic
approach that couples now bring into marriage.
Back when Judeo/Christian thought was a primary influence upon
western culture marriage was considered to be a union between one man
and one woman. Marriage was
based on the concept of two becoming one flesh as seen in Genesis 2:24,
not two remaining two as seen today.
One way individualism
To understand the concept
of two becoming one we must study the creation account as seen in the
Bible. In Genesis 2:7 we
learn that God molded the first man from the dust of the earth.
Once molded into the desired shape, God breathed part of Himself
into the lump of clay. Immediately,
the molded piece of dirt became a living being we know as Adam.
Once situated in the
Garden of Eden, God commanded Adam not to eat from one particular tree
(Genesis 2:17). Most English
Bibles state that when, not if, you (Adam) eat from the tree you will
certainly die. The word
"when" tells me that it was a certain fact that Adam would eat
from the tree, plunging creation into a world of death and decay.
If I'm right about this, the first Biblical command included the
first Biblical prophecy.
Unlike the animals, Adam
had no one like himself to share his life.
So, God surgically removed part of his side and created a woman
for him. Note that like the
animals, Adam was created from dirt, but, unlike animals and Adam, Eve
was created from living human tissue.
That made woman special. Maybe
some women are actually right when they say men are like animals.
The first moment Adam
laid eyes on Eve, I'm sure he thought she was special.
"This is now bone of my bone 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 (Genesis 2:23 - 24 NIV).
Adam expressed the Biblical reason why a man and a woman become
one flesh in marriage. It's
because woman was surgically removed from man.
After seeing the
perfectly and beautifully crafted naked woman God created for him, Adam
must have wanted that which was taken from him back into his life.
This accounts for the overwhelming desire a man has to unite his
body with a woman in sexual unity, which I believe, in Adam and Eve's
case was an expression of the oneness they had in all aspects of their
It's a sad story, but
this wonderful oneness died in one brief moment.
Satan deceived Eve into eating from the tree.
Adam wasn't deceived. He
willfully defied the command spoken specifically to him, and not to Eve
as I believe was the case. The
results of Adam's sin were immediate and devastating as seen in Genesis
How discouraged Adam and
Eve must have been when in one sudden sickening second their nakedness
became a shameful embarrassment. They
must have been utterly devastated when a dreadful depression sucked the
joy out of life. Then, fear,
something they had never known, filled every fiber of their being as
they tried to hide from God. Added
to this was the incursion of stupidity that inflicted their capacity to
think. Knowing God as they
did, how could they have seriously thought they could hide from God?
That defies all logic.
To make matters worse,
individualism sprouted from the seed of sin.
Adam blamed Eve for his willful defiance while Eve blamed satan
for being deceived. Neither
of them took personal responsibility for their actions.
Neither could admit they were wrong.
Such stubborn self-centeredness is the root of individualism that
has destroyed marriages ever since.
God eventually removed
the conflicted couple from the garden.
Existence in a world divorced from the immediate presence of God
was now their lot in life, as it is ours. We
can't escape the depravity. We
are fallen people struggling with fallen people in a fallen world.
Maintaining any kind of peace, tranquility, and oneness, is
difficult for us all and maybe impossible for many.
I acknowledge that family
is fragile. I admit that in
a fallen world we need our individual and personal space to maintain
some resemblance of peace. I
also realize that individual goals that supersede and usurp family goals
causes family to suffer and die. Our
only hope of marital survival is submitting our individual wills and
goals to the One who created couples in the first place.
I close with something
the president of the Bible college I attended told us in 1975.
"The best thing parents can do for their children is to love
each other." All
cultures would have done themselves a favour if they would have heeded
this advice, but it's obvious they haven't.