Gentlemen, let me ask you a question and be honest with yourself. Is your family perfect or flawed? If you are honest with me today, you will agree that your family has quite a few flaws. And so do you for that matter! The fact is that we are all flawed, but we’re not flawed beyond hope! With God’s help we can overcome the impact of our flawedness. GOD’S GRACE IS GREATER THAN OUR FAMILY FLAWS!
“Where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased and superabounded…”
This verse gives us hope for our lives and our families! So let’s take a good look at the first family!
Adam and Eve – The First Family
We’re not going to rehearse all of the familiar details of Adam and Eve’s family flaws. What we’re going to look at is HOW GOD RESPONDED to their flaws. Because it is in observing how God responded that gives us hope!
Here’s a snippet of the story from Genesis chapter three. This happens right after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.
20 Then the man — Adam — named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.
21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”
23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:20-24 (NLT)
God had given the first couple complete liberty to enjoy everything in the paradise in which He had placed them. He even walked with them daily. We don’t know exactly how this was done but apparently he had daily personal unfettered communication with them. Which is what God still wants with us! God wants you to know Him.
Just One Thing
There was only one thing the first couple couldn’t have. God gave them specific instructions NOT TO EAT from one tree – only one tree. You know the story. They blew it. The serpent lied to them and they fell for it and they did the one thing God told them not to do.
Where was Adam? Wasn’t he supposed to be the spiritual leader here? Why did he eat? Men, take note here… Adam chose Eve over God. He chose to “follow” his wife instead of following his Creator. Adam set the tone for every man, and the price to pay would be high.
Next, God confronted them about their rebellious behavior. He came down for their daily evening walk and they were hiding from Him. When God asked them what happened they passed the buck. Adam blamed Eve for the fall and Eve blamed the serpent.
After sadly rehearsing their error, God immediately does something very interesting in the Scripture we just read. The Bible says in verse 21,
“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
The first thing He did was not to evict them. The first thing was not to pronounce the consequences of their sin.Before God expels them from the Garden of Eden, which, by the way, was in their best interest, since He was protecting them from eating of the tree of life and living forever in a fallen state. So, before becoming an evicting landlord, He becomes their personal tailor and fashions them clothes from animal skins.
PETA wouldn’t have been too happy with God, but God created the animals in the first place so He had every right to use their skins as clothing for the only living beings that He had created in His image. Since we know the rest of the story, we know that God wasn’t just trying to clothe them to keep them dry and warm. If that would have been His purpose He could have done that much earlier.
Clearly this is a statement about the shame they felt after the fall and how God wanted to help them cope with their guilt. We all know what guilt and shame feel like. We have all been caught. Our hands have been found in the cookie jar and no one has to pronounce our guilt. It’s self-evident. Our conscience already told us that our selfish actions had been hurtful towards someone who loves us. God wasn’t simply judging them. He was establishing the shedding of animal blood as a prototype of the shedding of His Son’s blood, the sinless Lamb of God, for sin’s atonement. God was providing for the covering of their guilt and shame.
Our sin must be paid for but God was illustrating right away that we couldn’t afford what sin costs! But He can! And furthermore, He’s willing to pay the price to redeem us! You can’t take a tour of the earliest chapters of the inspired biblical record without right away seeing God as our Redeemer as well as our Creator!
We need to remember that the bad press often given to God isn’t true. He isn’t a hateful cosmic killjoy that wants to rain on our picnic. He loves us. He’s given us boundaries in life for our own good. If no one had broken God’s rules we would all be living in paradise. God’s rules are for our benefit. God doesn’t want to steal our joy – He wants to promote it!
Now – what does this have to do with family flaws? I am glad you asked. Next Monday I will share one sober warning with you and two positive principles on “Surviving Family Flaws” based on the story of the very first family. So don’t miss the next installment in this series. Subscribe and get notified as soon as the next article gets published. Until next time …. be a man!
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