The Greatest Gift



He said-she said. It’s not my fault.

People like to reason. In nearly every situation or interaction with others we work hard to answer the question, “why did this happen?” Sometimes we can’t find the reason and we wake up one day feeling like something in our marriage or family is really off. Where did it go wrong?

If you have ever been in this place, you probably figured out that the problems have been growing over months or maybe years, which makes it much more difficult to know where things started going south.

At times we are ok allowing issues go unresolved. Other times we tell ourselves that it was his fault for whatever we were fighting about and go on our merry way feeling superior for not causing conflict. But these choices do have their affects over time.

When we allow conflicts to go unresolved the ultimate effect is much like a heart attack. Pain, guilt, and anger build up along the proverbial relationship walls until one day there is no room for the expression of love or joy and all the life is choked out of our marriage.

imageLikewise, when we develop the narrative that our husband is an uncaring jerk who is unwilling to act like a man and lead his family, it becomes difficult to see the good in him at all. We start to avoid his company and withhold intimacy; a cycle that perpetuates destructive detachment.

The ultimate effect of the above examples of what can happen when we don’t resolve conflict, is a loss of hope. When hope leaves divorce happens. To have enjoyable, enduring relationships we need to work at resolving conflict as they arise.

Let’s take a look at the first conflict between husband and wife in Genesis 3. Starting in verse 7 we get a glimpse of the interaction between Adam, Eve, and God right after Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree.

Verse 7 “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
First, Adama and Eve became aware of their vulnerability to each other. We see that vulnerability caused Adam and Eve to become guarded against the other through their act of covering themselves. Right off the bat, a barrier was placed and they become guarded against intimacy.
Verse 8 “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Second, their shame kept them from relating intimately with God. No longer did they have the freedom to walk with the creator.
Verse 9-12 “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.””
In Adam’s eyes blame went to God and Eve. God, because He was the one who provided Eve for Adam and Eve, because she gave him the fruit. Adam didn’t take responsibility for his lack of leadership, nor did he attempt to cover for his wife’s sin.
Verse 13 “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.””
God gave Eve an opportunity to confess her part in this situation and she chose to blamed the serpent. I found this particularly interesting because I think that wives do the same today. We would much rather blame someone or something else for our husbands shortcomings than to admit that we don’t have a strong marriage.

As we read through more of Genesis chapter 3 we come to the redemptive part of the story.

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Genesis‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

After Adame and Eve disobeyed and blamed everyone else, God took it upon himself to help them with the consequences of their sin by creating garments for them. I hope you find this as amazing as I do. My heart is full seeing God be so present in the lives of his people. Adam and Eve learned that their actions came with a price (being taken out of the garden and now knowing guilt and shame). Their ability to receive God’s covering was necessary if they were going to repair their relationships with God as well as with one another.

Today, God holds out this same gift for us. As we look to resolve conflicts with our spouse, God’s covering is ready for us. It isn’t in the form of animal skins, but in the spilled blood of his son, Jesus. God didn’t wait for us to be perfect, Romans 8 tells us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Like Adam and Eve we can receive God’s gift even in the midst of conflict.

When we sin against each other we want to hid from one another and from God. We attempt to shift blame and make understanding so we feel better. Often, we feel like God leaves us during conflict, but if we accept verse 21 we know that God doesn’t leave us even when sin is BIG. Conflict is difficult to resolve but we are not alone or forgotten. God exampled through his relationship with Adam and Eve that he is forever for us.

Questions for reflection:
1. Do we truly know God’s gift of life he has for us?
2. Are we willing to accept His gift as a way to begin repairing conflict in our marriages?
3. What do you blame your spouse for?
4. What do you think needs to happen to resolve the conflicts in your marriage

If you are having a hard time answering these questions on your own, perhaps this is the time to reach out for coaching. I have openings for new clients and would be priveliaged to work with you. You can contact me through the form below, just Let me know you want to connect in the comment section. More information and contact info can be found at www.kristinlawrence.com 

 

Leave a Reply