The Problem of Shame in Marriage

January 30, 2012 at 9:30 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage | 5 Comments
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Adam and Eve broke the covenant that God had made with them. You and I have done the same thing. When we break covenant with God, we are not trustworthy to be in a covenant with someone else. Not only that, but, as a proven covenant-breaker, I become skeptical that the love of my spouse will cover my sin. Right after Adam and Eve sinned, they were still naked – but now they were ashamed.

Adam’s and Eve’s Response to the Problem of Shame

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:7

The opening of their eyes was more than just a realization that they did not have something covering their bodies. Nor was it a realization that suddenly sin had made them unattractive. They “knew” they were naked – they had a flash of insight about their vulnerability before each other and before God. Their response was, “Cover it up! We don’t understand this new condition, but it’s shameful and we don’t like it!” Suddenly, for the first time, the man and woman were struck with fear that they might no longer be liked or accepted by each other or by God. For the first time, human beings felt the desperation of fearing that their Creator would not be pleased with them.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:8

Our response when we break covenant is to hide or cover it up from the one person who is mostly likely to know about it – and from the one person we must deal with in order to receive forgiveness. “Scatter and hide” is the first instinct of a covenant breaker. But it is not the first instinct of our Covenant Keeper. He came to Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, and He comes to us in the “arbor” – the safety zone – of our marriage, and He lets us hear His voice. God’s response to the problem of shame, which is vastly different from Adam’s and Eve’s response, is what we will examine next time.

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  1. […] Last time I wrote about Adam’s and Eve’s response to the problem of shame. Now we see: […]

  2. […] Adam and Eve’s response to the realization that sin had made them “naked” in a shameful way (and the response we are often guilty of in our Christian marriages) is: “COVER IT UP!” Our response when we break covenant is to hide or cover it up from the one person who is mostly likely to know about it, and the one person we must deal with in order to receive forgiveness. In other words, our response is a sinful attempt at hypocrisy: portraying ourselves as something we no longer are. […]

  3. […] pretending and covering up. That’s what sin did in Eden – it cost the man and his wife their “unashamedness” – their freedom to be uncovered with each other. God tells us to abhor iniquity. Don’t […]

  4. […] lessons back, we studied the Fall in the Garden of Eden and the Bible made such a big deal out of saying that […]

  5. […] POV of Marriage 17. Marriage: The Long and the Short of It 18. Regaining What Was Lost in Marriage 19. The Problem of Shame in Marriage 20. The Solution to the Problem of Shame in Marriage 21. Suffering in Marriage 22. LONGsuffering in […]


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