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 (Manna 68: Succession: Generation Next)
The First Couple
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The First Couple

Timothy Yeung—Vancouver, Canada

Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

(Gen 2:22–24)

The first union of a man and a woman in the history of mankind: What a solemn moment for Adam and Eve, when God personally put them together for life! What joy, what bliss, what excitement! What bright hopes for their future! Their hearts were so close, to the extent that Adam called his wife “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.” There is no greater intimacy than that.

Unfortunately Adam and Eve’s bliss did not last. Only one chapter after their “wedding,” they sinned against God and, as a result, were driven out from the garden of Eden, away from the face of God. At the same time, they began to experience problems in their marriage. Note how Adam addressed Eve when God required an account of him for their sin: “The woman whom You gave to be with me…” (Gen 3:12). What a contrast to his previous way of addressing her! We can imagine how much they had drifted apart from each other… all because of sin.

In fact, our relationship with our spouse is directly related to our relationship with God, for if there is discord between husband and wife, their prayers are hindered (1 Pet 3:7).

Today, we may wonder why we encounter difficulties in our marriage even though God has put us together. While it may be true that God has matched us with our spouse, we still have to make efforts to maintain and manage our marriage.

Although Adam and Eve lived thousands of years ago, the challenges and problems they faced in their marriage were quite similar to those we face today. For this reason, it is worth looking into their mistakes to learn how we can preserve and manage our own marriage.


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. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

(Gen 3:1–5)

Initially, Adam and Eve never thought about eating the forbidden fruit because there were so many other fruits to eat in the garden of Eden. They were satisfied with what they had. However, when the serpent told Eve about the benefits of the forbidden fruit, her desire was aroused and she ate of the fruit.

Many marital relationships break down due to temptation. Just as Satan made use of the serpent to change the relationship of the first couple, he offers many temptations in the outside world to husbands and wives today.

There was once a brother who had a beautiful female colleague. He loved his wife, so he didn’t give any thought to this colleague. However, over time, he became attracted to her because he had to work very closely with her and they could communicate well with each other. When he realized that he looked forward to going to work everyday because of her, he knew that he was in danger. In the end, he changed his job to escape from this temptation and to protect his marriage.

Hence, if we are faced with temptations from the opposite gender, we must run. We may also need to share this with our spouse and ask him or her to pray for us. Eve did not flee from the source of temptation; she even talked to the serpent—in the end, this caused her to downfall.


When God put the first husband and wife together, He wanted them to become one flesh. Yet He assigned different roles to them.

God created the husband to be the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church (Eph 5:23). As such, the husband should provide leadership to his family, especially in spiritual matters. For example, he should take the initiative to bring his family for church services and in building the family altar. Furthermore, he should correct his family members when they are about to go against God’s commandments.

However, we see that Adam did not lead his family during a time of need (Gen 3:6–7). When his wife became weak, ate of the forbidden fruit and even gave it to him to eat, he did not stop her; instead Adam listened to her and compromised his own spiritual life.

When God formed Eve, He wanted her to help Adam tend the garden of Eden (Gen 2:18, 15) and to be his companion. In fact, this companionship was for both Adam and Eve, and should not be merely physical but should extend into the spiritual realm. Just as husbands have the responsibility to bring their wives before God, wives have the responsibility to keep their husbands close to God. Instead of doing this, Eve gave the fruit to Adam to eat, leading him away from God (Gen 3:17).

In our life and faith journey, we will inevitably meet with trials and setbacks. At such times, God wants husbands and wives to support each other.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

(Eccl 4:9–10)

Abigail left us a good example. When her husband Nabal risked losing his life because he had reviled David’s messengers, Abigail stepped in. She took up the responsibility for not meeting David earlier and appeased him with her gift of food and wine. She fulfilled her role as her husband’s helper and supporter, without blaming Nabal for his own folly.


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.

(Gen 3:6)

When Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, the Bible describes only actions; there was no communication between her and her husband. Eve acted on her own without consulting her husband, and was subsequently deceived.

This goes to show that there must be communication in a marriage. Quite often, we lack communication with our spouse because there are too many distractions. After a busy day at work, we often want to relax by watching our favorite television program, surfing the web or playing a computer game.

However, the less we talk to our spouse, the colder our relationship will grow because there will be less and less common ground between us. We need to remove these obstacles to our communication. Instead of doing our own thing all the time, let us try to share quality time together—even if it is just by switching off the TV and talking to each other over dinner.


When God looked for Adam and Eve after they had sinned, they withdrew from God and hid themselves (Gen 3:8). But did this solve their problem?

When we encounter problems in our marriage, we tend to think that this is due to personality differences, communication problems or temptations. Quite often, that causes us to repeat Adam and Eve’s mistake: they blamed each other and the serpent (Gen 3:11–13) instead of looking at themselves.

In reality, our marital problems are often linked to our relationship with God. Perhaps we are too stiff-necked and unwilling to change our bad habits or listen to our spouse’s opinion. That indicates a sense of pride; yet God has said that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jas 4:6). Maybe we are so busy pursuing our careers or caring for our children that we have forgotten about our spouse’s needs and neglected to draw near to God. Yet God has said, “do not worry about your [or your children’s] life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on… For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt 6:25,32–33). Therefore, we need to examine ourselves and our relationship with God.

Moreover, we need to come before God together with our spouse. If both husband and wife draw near to God, they will also grow closer to each other; for the Lord Himself will bridge the gap between us.

The importance of having a family altar cannot be underestimated. In fact, it is vital to establish our own family altar from the start of our marriage. When we study the Bible together, we can discuss and understand each other’s weaknesses and encourage each other with the word of God. We will also experience the joy of sharing with each other.

When we pray together, we can experience the strength of two people praying together. And as we allow the Holy Spirit to constantly fill us and work in us, we will be able to forgive and support each other, as well as to face the challenges in our marriage together.


Let us therefore draw near to God with our spouse in the garden of Eden…the place where God first blessed mankind with the joy of marriage.

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Author: Timothy Yeung