The following is an excerpt from Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. I have invited him to write some guest posts discussing the consequences of the Fall for husbands and wives. First, we’ll discuss how the Fall took place! Although God commanded Adam, the Devil tempted Eve.
Genesis 3:1–4 says:
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”
Notice an important contrast between the Creation account in Genesis 2 and the Fall in Genesis 3:
- In Genesis 2:16, “the Lord God commanded the man.”
- In Genesis 3:1 and 4, “[the serpent] said to the woman.”
God spoke to Adam, but the devil spoke to Eve. Why? God created Eve to be Adam’s helper, but he quickly tried to twist that relationship. Mankind’s first temptation involved the devil’s attack on Adam’s headship in his relationship with Eve.
When the devil tempted Eve, she had two choices:
- She could trust her husband who had given her God’s command, thereby submitting to him.
- She could trust the devil, submitting instead to him.
Sadly, Genesis 3:6 reveals her choice: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”
At this point, Adam also had two choices:
- He could obey God who gave him the command (Genesis 2:16-17), thereby submitting to Him.
- He could obey his wife, submitting instead to her.
Adam chose to obey his wife instead of obeying God. Genesis 3:9–12 gives us the outcome of that decision:
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
The Devil tempted Eve, but Good still held Adam responsible!
It is significant that this conversation about the Fall took place between God and Adam. God did not address Eve until Genesis 3:16 when He explained how sin’s curse would affect women. God went to Adam because—as the New Testament reveals—He held him more responsible for the Fall:
- Romans 5:12–19—Through one man sin entered the world . . . death reigned from Adam . . . the transgression of Adam . . . by the one man’s offense many died . . . by one man’s offense death reigned . . . through one man’s offense judgment came . . . by one man’s disobedience.
- 1 Corinthians 15:21–22—By man came death . . . In Adam all die.
Since Eve sinned first, we would expect to read that sin and death entered the world through her, but God placed the blame squarely on Adam’s shoulders. Why? As recipient of God’s command and head of the relationship, Adam had higher accountability.
So how does all this apply to husbands and wives?
- Wives should consider how poorly it went for Eve when she stepped out from under Adam’s headship. While staying under a husband’s headship is no guarantee everything will go perfectly, wives can be encouraged that this is God’s plan for their own best interests and safety. By staying under their husband’s headship, wives are placing themselves in positions for God to work through and bless their obedience.
- Husbands note that even though Eve made the initial wrong choice the sobering fact is that God still held Adam responsible! This should serve as a warning to all husbands regarding the accountability that is on our shoulders. When God confronted Adam, he tried to blame Eve (Genesis 3:12). But it did not work for Adam, and it does not work today for husbands to blame their wives. As God-appointed heads of the relationship, husbands will be held responsible for what takes place in our marriages and in our homes.
Next post we’ll discuss the results of the Fall on Adam and Eve’s relationship!
- Why do you think the devil went after Eve?
- Do you think it’s fair or unfair that despite the fact that Eve ate first, Adam is still held responsible for the Fall?