Wounded Relationships

God gave Adam and Eve a key to a beautiful garden. The place emanated grandeur and fruitfulness of every kind. No one had to pull weeds or pick stickers out of their feet. It was an amazing, sculpted piece of landscape. They could do anything they wanted—except eat the fruit from one particular tree. I imagine Adam and Eve’s marriage as perfect in every way. They were pure, lovely, innocent, and without sin. But Satan entered the picture, disguised as a snake, and changed it all.

Today, Satan is still trying to nudge his way into relationships and marriages. Eve seemed easily deceived by her desire. She lusted for a piece of fruit that would supposedly turn her into something fantastic. Satan deceived her into thinking she could be something far greater than the perfection God created.

"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." (Gen. 3:6)

After she chose to cross a boundary, unlock a door she should have kept sacred, and step into sin, life was never the same. From that moment on, hardship awaited Eve and her family. Does the first part of the Scripture sound familiar? What fruit has the enemy enticed you into believing is good for you? That symbol of “fruit” continues to destroy marriages.

The truth is that men and women today are facing crises in their marriages. Adam blamed Eve and God for his actions, while Eve blamed the devil for hers. No one was willing to take full responsibility for what happened. Eve was, indeed, at fault and responsible for her actions, but Adam was also wrong, and he bore responsibility, too.

In the midst of arguments, disappointments, and misunderstand­ings, we often blame others instead of taking responsibility. I wonder how Eve felt when her husband was asked by God, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” and he answered, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Gen. 3:11–13). Adam wasn’t lying, but he didn’t own up to his part, either.

Tom Pals—a friend, counselor, and pastor—says, “What must that have been like, for Eve to listen to her husband not only shift the responsibility for his choice to her, but to God Himself? When Adam said, ‘The woman you put here with me . . . ,’ he was blam­ing God for his decision to sin! In effect, Adam is telling God, ‘You know God, if you hadn’t created her and put her in this paradise with me, none of this would have happened.’ Listening to Adam, Eve follows his lead, but softens the accusation and says, ‘The serpent deceived me . . .’ In effect, Eve is saying, ‘I was lied to. How can you hold me responsible when it was the serpent you put here that led me astray?’”

You see, love does not dishonor (shame, disgrace) others, it is not self-seeking, and it always protects (see 1 Cor. 13:4–7). Adam didn’t need to lie in order to share those qualities with Eve. He could have been honest with God and respected his wife at the same time. Adam could have, as Tom, says, said, “‘Yes, I ate from the tree,’ and let that simple truth stand as a confession of his sin. But he didn’t.”

We wound when we blame. Let us remind ourselves to take the blame out our relationship and live in love and respect.

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