Every good painting has shadows. Every good story has an antagonist. Every good marriage has conflict. Every good person has pride.
Eve was created by God to be Adam’s ezer, his helper. In her second scene, she is in the garden talking with the snake. He is trying to convince her that what God has said is not exactly true.
Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” Genesis 3:1
Eve does what most women have done from time to time–she adds a little drama.
You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden (true), and you must not touch it (insert drama), or you will die. Genesis 3:2
God gave a clear do and don’t do. She muddied the waters, making His restrictions more restricting. I would say that we modern-day Eves are guilty of this drama. Especially when it comes to the s-word. Submission. We hear that word and cringe. We envision a mousey woman, afraid to speak. We see a tired and frazzled woman chained to a stove with a spoon in one hand, iron in the other, and a child wrapped around each leg.
Submission is a beautiful thing. It is God-given order and protection in our marriages. It means someone else carries the burden of directing our family. The husband is given the daunting task of providing servant-leadership. Our role is to support his efforts as leader and rest in his protection. More on that in a few weeks.
Back to the tree. The serpent lays a trap for Eve. It is one that he is all too familiar with as he found himself in this same trap before the creation of the earth. He uses pride to grab her.
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 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. Genesis 3:4-6
Pride shows up in my marriage more often than I would like to admit. My discipline strategies are better. I know the best way to get the baby to sleep. It is certainly better to build up the emergency fund instead of eating out. I have my priorities in order.
I am full of pride. And I serve this fruit to my family. I see it show up in my kids when they correct petty mistakes in each other. I serve it to my husband on a platter of nagging and disdain. I turn a deaf ear to his instructions and suggestions; after all, I know how to do it better.
The blackness of my heart sickens me. After pride comes shame.
The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked. . . and they hid from the Lord God. Genesis 2:7-8
Pride destroys our fellowship with God and each other. Eve walked with God in the garden prior to the fall. Now she is hiding from Him, ashamed of what she has done and who she is. The sweet couple now stands before their Creator with fingers pointed, placing blame on others. It’s his fault I am the way I am. If he were a better spiritual leader I wouldn’t have to be so pushy.
Pride leads to conflict; those who take advise are wise. Proverbs 13:10
Is it possible that I am not always right? Could my husband have something valuable to offer? Is it okay to let the little things go in exchange for peace and harmony?
Yes. Yes. And yes.
Something caught my eye while reading the oldest story in the Book. In Genesis 2:16, before Eve was created, God gave Adam the command to stay away from the fruit. We don’t get to walk with Adam when he shows his bride around the garden. I can imagine that they stood before the beautiful tree in the center of the garden and he told Eve what God said. When Eve took that first bite, she not only disobeyed God, she also ignored her husband’s instruction.
A godly wife will embrace humility in her marriage. Listen before you speak; maybe even chose not to speak. Ask God to show you areas of pride in your own heart. Consider asking your husband to forgive you for taking the bite and then passing the fruit.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2