A Driving Force in Relationships
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31; 2:18-3:13
The foundation of relationship is laid out in creation. In this story we discover the essential element for healthy, vital and high functioning relationships. We also see the basic roots of conflict and relational.
It all begins with God. Before time, before creation, God was. Have you ever wondered what God was up to before all this? This is more than mere speculation. The answer points to the essence of God’s existence.
We get a hint of the answer by the wording in the creation account of mankind, “Let Us make man in Our image.”
Before all time, before the foundation of the world, at the center of God’s nature is relationship. God exists as the Triune God—Father, Son and Spirit. His moral attributes flow from and must be understood in the context of relationship
This relationship is marked by other-centered love, respect, honor, enjoyment and validation. It’s the perfect relationship. The Triune God is perfectly whole, sufficient, comfortable and secure. There’s no lack, no need, no desperation, no demanding-ness, no jealousy, no forcing one’s way over the other.
Out of this relationship God creates. Much like a couple decides to create out of their love for each other, decides to create another to share in this relationship, so God creates us to share in this relational dance.
This defines the purpose of creation and is loaded with all kinds of meaning. One thing is clear, that being made in the image of God we are designed for relationship—relationship that reflects the Trinity.
However, we soon see a breakdown of this relational quality. And in this we come to realize what drives much of our conflict and relational struggles.
Things break down quickly when the man and the woman take the forbidden fruit. First there is hiding—from each other and from God. The openness and transparency are gone. Intimacy breaks down. The sacred trust and honor that the Father, Son and Spirit share are shattered.
Shame drives them to hide. The enemy succeeded in convincing them that it’s not safe to be with God when one disobeys. This leads me to believe that there had been more conversation between Adam and the serpent than the text cites. Adam and Eve already have a severe case of insecurity with how God handles disobedience.
Second, there is blame and conflict. Eve at least tells the truth. She admits she was deceived. She takes ownership of her downfall.
Adam, like many males, becomes defensive. He makes a startling accusation in his shift of blame. He not only blames the woman, but he attacks God.
“The woman YOU gave me. She tricked me and persuaded me to eat the fruit. This is Your fault, God. You’re not really good after all. You cannot be trusted.”
He sounds a lot like he’s siding with the serpent. Adam no longer has clear and accurate thinking about his Father. Adam no longer trusts. Adam no longer believes he’s fully and unconditionally loved. Adam no longer is convinced that God is truly good.
With that kind of thinking, insecurity, fear, jealousy, and shame take over. Adam resorts to blaming. He dishonors and dismisses and marginalizes Eve—the one created to be his soul mate, her companion, his lover and his helper.