The Solution to the Problem of Shame in Marriage

February 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage | 8 Comments
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Last time I wrote about Adam’s and Eve’s response to the problem of shame. Now we see:

God’s Response to the Problem of Shame

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Genesis 3:9-11

God says, “Okay, admit what you’ve done – we both know about it. Then we’ll talk about whose lies you believed.”

Practical help #1: When your spouse has wronged you, make sure he or she knows you are open to honest confession and you are ready to forgive – before you start getting into the cause (whose fault it was, what was the motivation, etc.)

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

I Peter 4:8 (emphasis added)

Pursue the opportunity for your spouse to ask for forgiveness. Banish the idea of, “He/She is gonna have to come to me first!”

Practical help #2: Stay in the Bible. Almost all sins are the result of believing lies, and the Bible may be the only truth you hear all day.

The practical response of Adam and Eve to the problem of shame was a sinful attempt at hypocrisy – portraying themselves as something they no longer were: less shameful. The practical response of God to the problem of shame was:

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21

The purpose of clothing after the Fall was to be a reminder that we are not what we once were. In marriage it is important to remember that my spouse is a fallen sinner – and it is even more important to remember that I am a fallen sinner.

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 10:12

Love does not pretend there are no sins. Love deals with sin in reality – by recognizing that sin needs a God-ordained covering. Married couples in a redeemed, Christ-honoring covenant should not revert back to the state of physical nakedness which Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall – at least not in public. That would make a mockery of God’s prescription for depicting our reality. That would be the equivalent of saying, “My spouse is supposed to forgive me, and I’m wicked, so I might as well let my wickedness all hang out.” What sort of grace-recipient flaunts evil in the face of the grace-giver?

Another principle we learn from the way God dealt with the nakedness of Adam and Eve after the Fall is how He covered them. He did it with a covering that He Himself provided. It was a covering that was bloody, so that it pointed to the covering of righteousness which would one day be provided by Jesus Christ the Righteous. God’s response corrected their response. It pointed to their ultimate redemption. It allowed the correction of the broken covenant, so that, in Christian marriage, we can once again be naked and unashamed.

Clothing should not draw attention to what it is meant to cover.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Isaiah 52:7

Feet are beautiful when they go to people who need to hear the Good News. Feet are beautiful in marriage when they are the feet of husbands and wives walking toward each other, or alongside each other in God’s path.

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 31:20

Hands are beautiful when they are comforting, lifting up the hurting, extending in fellowship, raising up to God, building God’s kingdom, or giving to the poor. Hands are beautiful in a marriage when they caress, when they are held, when they are carrying the other spouse’s burden.

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

Psalm 104:15

Faces are beautiful when they are shining with God’s love, and when they are expressing the joy of His Spirit. Faces are beautiful in a marriage when they are beaming into one another, when they light up at the sight of one another, and when they are so familiar that they are a picture of faithfulness.

Most of my body ought to be covered up – God invented clothing as a reminder of who I am and of what He’s forgiven me. The parts of my body which are normally uncovered – my feet, hands, and face – are to show that I gladly serve the One Who has forgiven me.

God Is Real, God Is Good, and God Is REALLY GOOD!

February 14, 2011 at 10:24 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, Uncategorized | 16 Comments
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I sometimes have encounters with professing atheists. Most of them would call these encounters “debates” or “arguments,” but that’s not really what they are. What is really going on is that I’m just revealing the truth of God’s Word and they are trying to suppress it, reject it, rage against it, or pretend it isn’t real. Since the Bible is the source of Absolute Truth in this world, I believe it is important to use it when confronting someone who is pretending not to believe in God.

However, I do have another practical proof of the existence of God: my wife. If you knew me and knew what an awful jerk I can sometimes be (and often am) – and, if you knew my wife and how absolutely beautiful and wonderful and intelligent and wise and witty and spiritually mature she is, there is simply no explanation for why she would be married to me, other than: There is a God Who is all-powerful, and Who is loving and kind and sovereign and GOOD to me.

My wife is the epitome of what the Bible says a wife and mother should be. She loves God and His Word, and she is a constant source of encouragement to me, our children, her friends, and our church family. Some people jokingly call her “Proverbs 31 Woman” as a nickname, but if they knew her like I do, they would see that it’s not really that much of a joke. Proverbs 31 is actually a pretty good description of her!

I know a preacher who used to say that sometimes he felt like “God’s spoiled brat,” and I thought that sounded strange because we are not supposed to respond to God’s grace like over-indulged children. However, I don’t know a better way to put it myself! Hopefully, I don’t act like a spoiled brat, but I sure do feel like one when I think that, not only did God save me from hell, sin, death, the grave, Satan, and God’s wrath, all of which I richly deserved – as if that wasn’t enough, He then turned around and gave me the greatest wife in the world – and then, overwhelming me with His goodness, mercy, and grace, He blessed me with three [update: now four] wonderful daughters!

It’s been two years since I tried to celebrate Valentine’s Day by posting a poem about my wife. I thought it would be more thoughtful than a Hallmark card. Here’s a helpful hint: If you stink at writing poetry as bad as I do, stick to the Hallmark! However, I do want to tell my wife – in case she reads this – that I love her more than even a good poem could have expressed. Aside from the Lord’s salvation and the richness and joy and peace of knowing God in Christ Jesus my Lord, she is the greatest gift that God ever gave me.

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