As we continue in our series of husbands of the Bible, let’s take a closer look at Adam. Adam had everything going for him and was off to a great start. God walked and talked with him every day in the garden of Eden. He had meaningful work to do, and he was able to do it with his wife by his side (naked, mind you!). Joanna and I get to work together every day, too, but we wouldn’t call it the “Paradise” Adam was able to experience.
Adam and Eve’s wedding was a high point in the creation story. God recognized Adam’s need for a spouse who was perfectly, beautifully suited to become “one flesh” with him. He formed her with heavenly hands from Adam’s own bone and flesh. Finally, he “brought her to the man” to behold Adam’s awe and delight in the incredible gift of his wife.
Adam was excited to receive his bride. How do I know? He wrote a poem. You know a guy is madly in love if it stirs his heart enough to write a poem!
“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.”
The two had a completely open, trusting, satisfying relationship where they were “naked and felt no shame.” Can you imagine walking side-by-side with your wife in every aspect of marriage without feeling any shame or regret, ever? Unfortunately, in over 25 years of marriage I know Joanna has felt shamed by my words and behavior at various times.
Sadly, a few verses later in Genesis 3 shows the tragedy of sin and the resulting breakdown in Adam and Eve’s relationship with each other. Here are three lessons we can learn from Adam about loving our wives:
Fight for your wife.
In the middle of Eden, surrounded by beauty and with her love by her side, Eve met the devil himself. In this epic battle with evil, Adam just stood by and watched it happen. The woman who was “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” encountered a lying snake who was bent on her destruction. She fought his lies alone while Adam watched it go down.
I, too, have chances to step in when my wife is facing spiritual, emotional, and physical battles. In certain moments I’ve chosen to protect myself or passively waited to see how things played out. When facing a struggle only God could fix, I’ve failed to pray and lift her up. Adam reminds me how easy it is to look out for my own interests instead of fighting for my wife when she needs me.
The enemy is feeding lies to our wives all the time—he’s telling each woman that she’s unloved, unlovely, and unwanted. Are we stepping in to rebuke those lies with truth? Do our wives know we’ll have their backs in every situation? Do they have to wonder if, like Adam, we’ll sell them out and let them take the fall? The enemy is determined to divide our marriages and families, and ultimately, the church. It was his tactic in the garden and he’s used it in every generation since. Let’s pray for our wives and wash them in God’s Word every chance we get.
Own your choices.
Adam wore his cowardice on his sleeve when he stood by as Eve ate the forbidden fruit. When he saw she survived without dying on the spot, he went along with her and tasted the fruit as well. Yet when God called him out for his disobedience, he was quick to lay blame right at Eve’s feet: “…she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12)
When I run into conflict, challenges, or failure, I need to be man enough to admit my fault in it. My pride wants to say, If only my wife were better, or smarter, or stronger, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Yet her weakness requires grace and forgiveness, and my own weakness demands confession and repentance. I’ve got to take the “log” out of my own eye before I worry about the speck in hers. (Matthew 7:5) Let’s show integrity and humility as we navigate the struggles of life with our wives.
Count your blessings.
How easy it is to forget that marriage is a blessing from God. We’re so busy working and pushing to get ahead, we forget the one we’re called to love. Our own happiness takes center stage in our heads and hearts. Over the years we forget our wife is our greatest asset and view her as a liability.
God gave me Joanna as the best gift I’ll know in this life. It’s true that “he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) According to God, she’s “worth far more than rubies,” and “she brings me good, not harm, all the days of my life.” (31:12) The way I cherish my wife is a sign of how much I value her worth.
Adam’s words betrayed his heart when he referred to Eve as “the woman you put here with me.” (Genesis 3:12) What happened to the excitement and gratitude for the “flesh of my flesh” he received from God? Resentment and shame crushed the love he held for her in the beginning. Let’s pray for fresh eyes to view our wives once again as priceless gifts from God.
Today, let’s choose to value our wives. Count every blessing they bring to our days. Take time to remember the help, encouragement, and support they give all the time. Join them in their fight against the enemy. Become students by listening and learning what gives them joy. Give generously, serve humbly, and love unconditionally just like Jesus loves us. Prove our thankfulness by giving all we’ve got for their well-being and happiness.
Word to the Wives: I love my husband and recognize God’s call to respect and help him every day. To love him well, I need the Spirit’s help. My challenge from Adam and Eve’s story is to consider who I’m listening to. Will I act on my emotions or submit to God’s Word? Can I resist the temptation to put myself first and reject God’s authority? Do I believe God when he tells me where true joy, hope, and life are found? Loving and surrendering to God begins a transforming work in my heart and our marriage. (Joanna)