Genesis and Relationships.
Last night I spoke with a class of teens and young adults about relationships. I broke down a majority of Genesis chapter 2 for our lesson, explaining to them that the bible is rich with wisdom and insight if we look deeper. God's mind is infinite; there's always a lesson in everything that he does.
Genesis 2:7 (NLT) Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
The first thing to notice is God formed the man from the ground. From the lowest of materials but also the richest. God exalts the humble. There is richness in humility. Are we humble? Pride is a killer. It kills relationships, situations, opportunities, etc. Do we only look out for ourselves and what we want? Do we think about what someone else can do for us in a relationship before we think about what we can do for them? Be humble.
Also notice in this verse God breathed the breath of life into the man, and then he became a living person. You can be alive and not living. I see it all the time. A lot of people are spiritually dead. A lot of people have a soul that needs some spark. A lot of people are just floating through life, don't know where they're going, what they're here for, but want someone in their life? Why? So they can be lost too? Look into the eyes of people, look into your own eyes in the mirror... a lot of people are dead inside. We are not truly living until we breathe in and live what God says about us, in other words, our purpose.
Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.
What we see here is that the man did not ask God to put him somewhere else. There was much more land than just the garden. Even this verse says "in Eden in the east" so there were even other parts of Eden that the man could have said "hey God, man, I think over there looks better, can I go?"
Many of us don't know how to appreciate the atmosphere God has placed us in. We don't appreciate the relationships and situations God has put us in, but we think we can handle a serious romantic relationship? A better romantic relationship? A marriage? A better marriage? A better house with our spouse? We need to appreciate what we have before we get more.
Genesis 2:9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
At this point God did not yet tell the man what was good for him and what wasn't. See, too many of us jump ahead of God without hearing the instructions. We think prayer is just us talking to God, but it's also listening. Did God tell you that person was good to talk to? Or did you decide to do it on your own? That's why there are so many trainwreck marriages and relationships, they didn't listen.
Genesis 2:15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.
The place where God has you is a place where you need to grow. Don't try to skip the process. Every situation, from a job to a class to a family you grew up with can be used to learn people, learn yourself, and ultimately make you a better person to be with for that other person. The life you have right now, watch over it.
Genesis 2:16-17 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
In our class last night, the question was raised: "Why would God put that tree there if it was bad?"
I love this question, because it is a frequent yet sincere question that has been asked for generations upon generations. I asked the class, if I approached a girl and told her "hey, you're my girl, we're together, and that's that" would it be love?
They screamed no. They emphatically said most definitely not.
So I said that's exactly what God did with the trees. It's what he does with us every single day. True love is a choice. True love has chosen one thing over the other. God doesn't want robots. He laid out the consequences of a bad choice, so he wasn't trying to be a mean trickster. Much like we do, "if you cheat on me, it's over". Cheating is one of my deal breakers. When two people are together, when two people get married, they still have the option to not be faithful. When two people decide to be faithful to each other, it's more meaningful knowing both had other options. True love is not forced. God loves us but he wants us to choose to love him. Jesus said "I stand at the door and knock" (Revelation 3:20) not I stand at the door and kick it down.
Genesis 2:18-20 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
Hmm. Did you notice God said it's not good for him to be alone, and that he will make someone for him, but then immediately made other things instead of someone for him? Quite comical. See, before God gives you the desires of your heart, he has to make sure you're able to handle life first. If we can't handle life now, what makes us think we can handle another?
Are you handling your money well? Do you do your homework and housework to the best of your ability? Do you even work period? Do you handle the family and people in your life with love? Everything adds up. Something might seem small to you but it all adds up, so name that bird. Something might seem too big to handle right now but you can do it, so name that bear.
Genesis 2:21-23 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
“At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
God didn't need the man to do a whole bunch of talking. He knows what we need and want better than we do. I look back at my life and realize I wouldn't have been happy with past choices now, and it has nothing to do with anything bad. I'm sure they wouldn't have been happy with me either. They were great women; it's the fact that we need someone who is a match for our purpose in life. Liking the same things, having fun together and finding each other attractive are all very important things, but it gets old quick if there's no substance and reason for living beyond each other. You two need to know why you're alive and why you're here.
Genesis 2:24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Are you too attached to your family to the point where you can't have a healthy marriage?
Genesis 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Naked. Bare. No secrets. Honesty. Transparency.
If you can't be honest with yourself, you can't be honest with someone else. If you can't be honest with someone else, you need some more growing to do. Also, you can't know someone else if you don't know yourself. Lastly, love yourself. To truly love someone is first loving yourself.