In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, remember all that?  Recall how God tactically went about creating things each day?  After each day, God would assess the day’s activity and nod with approval: “It is good.”

Then God made man, and remember what He said then?

“Very good.”  How great is that? Isn’t it awesome to think that God saw placid seas and majestic mountains and surreal, unpolluted sunsets and animals untold and all the rest, but in view of all these fascinating, good things, He looked at mankind and said, “While that was all good, this is very good.”  God truly is love.

But then in Genesis 2 God sees something He doesn’t much like and comments on it: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

And hence, man and woman are linked together from that day forth.  Man needed woman, and woman was made to be a “life-saver” for man.  It is a beautiful picture.  Imagine Adam and Eve skipping around the Garden, subduing the earth and building dominion.  You can’t picture them too vividly for the perfect beauty of the scene.  We can only see it through fallen eyes, but they were there and there was much joy.

Linked they remained, even in sin.  Woman fell prey to the wiles of the serpent, and man stood passively by, waiting his turn to join in the disobedience.

And when the punishment came down from the Lord in the form of a curse, naturally it had consequences for this symbiotic earthly relationship.

For woman, pain in childbearing would follow.  She was made to multiply, yet now this mandate would be painfully undergone, as each mother on earth can attest. Furthermore, the woman was told that her “desire” would be for her husband yet he would rule over her.  This statement implies that what was meant as a peaceable, lovely relationship would somehow turn and the woman would be met with anguish and trouble rather than the unwavering joy which was intended for the relationship.

For man, dominion would be made difficult.  The earth he was supposed to subdue would no longer be a willing participant. Toil and hardship would dog the man’s steps.  And while the woman is not mentioned in the curse of the man, it is folly to think she was not affected.  As man turns repeatedly towards his toilsome work, it causes him to neglect and forget his partner, the very one given to help the woebegone soul!

And such is a picture of the modern marriage and a reason for the great divide that gender can be.  As we heard this weekend, men plod along neglecting the very gift given toward easing their existence.  Husbands neglect their wives in pursuit of promotion, identity, or some far-fetched goal they dupe themselves into thinking will make all the difference in life.

But there is hope for restoration in Christ.  While the world will remain fallen, our families can be havens, relics of a former world and a picture of the model of perfect union that is Christ and the Church.  And that isn’t to say we won’t slip up.  We’ll have arguments and make mistakes. We’ll sin.  But if a generation of men would look to Christ for strength and begin leading courageously, marriages would become more akin to their created purpose.

For bible-based instruction on how to be a courageous, godly man who honors marriage and family while striving for holiness, listen to the past weekend’s three Men’s Weekend Messages on the Chapel website (www.capebiblechapel.org).  We hope men will be blessed and challenged by God’s Word on the subject of biblical manhood.

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