When you think of “Happily Ever After” what do you think about? Perhaps you think of Prince Charming and Cinderella? I think about my wedding and how I want to be married to one woman for a lifetime. I’m reminded of Adam and Eve. They were the first Valentine, experienced the first marriage, and lived in a perfect environment. The Garden of Eden was where they walked and talked with God (Genesis 3:8). It was utter perfection – a perfect God, perfect environment, and a perfect love. But they were the first perfect couple to have a perfect failure. They committed the worst mistake in the history of mankind by disobeying God and ruining a perfect thing (Genesis 3:1-12). How would they recover from such a huge mistake – sin that carried over to the entire world (Romans 5:12)? Let’s examine it for a moment. Each day, after God created, He saw His creation and recognized it was good (i.e. Genesis 1:10). When He created man, He recognized it was VERY good (Genesis 1:31). God’s greatest creation was mankind. But did you know God said something was not good? When He saw the need of a helpmate and complement of woman for Adam he said that was not good (Genesis 2:18). God made the first man, the first woman, and was the first Father to walk His daughter down the aisle and give her away at the first wedding (Genesis 2:18-25). God loved Adam and Eve and although they had disobeyed, rebelled, and sinned against Him, He sought them out to restore their relationship.
Maybe your marriage isn’t the “Happily Ever After” you envisioned it would be.
Maybe your perfect marriage isn’t perfect anymore? Perhaps the dream and romance has faded from that perfect wedding day? Think about it – Adam and Eve had it all! They lived in a perfect environment and woke up every morning to walk with God. There were no bills, no sickness, no worries, and no problems. And they blew it! But God didn’t abandon them. As was His custom, God came down to visit with them (Genesis 3:7-9). He knew exactly what they had done and where they were but said, “Where are you?” Once they sinned, they realized their sinful state and were immediately ashamed and separated from God (Genesis 3:10). Before sin, they were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). They were hiding in their sin, unable to restore their relationship to each other or God on their own. They were hiding in their sin, shame, guilt, and condemnation from the very One Who could heal their marriage and sin problem. That’s what sin makes us do – it separates us from God and from our relationships as well. God killed an animal and covered their nakedness and shame (Genesis 3:21). The Bible doesn’t say, but I think this first animal was a lamb to foreshadow Jesus the Lamb of God who was slain to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Maybe your marriage and relationships aren’t going well and someone has hurt, shamed, or betrayed you. God can heal it. Like Adam and Eve, we too experience shame, guilt, and condemnation from our sins. We tend to hide from God instead of running to Him in repentance for forgiveness and restoration. Are you hiding from God today? Maybe you are ashamed of what you’ve done and how you’ve messed up your marriage and life? You’re thinking, “How can I face God with all the wrong I’ve done?” The irony is we try to hide from God but He already knows where we are and what we’ve done wrong – and He still loves us! The Bible says, “While we were in our sin, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Also ironic is how we run from and delay forgiveness and restoration when God wants to instantly forgive and cleanse us when we run to Him in repentance. If you have sinned, been disobedient, rebelled, damaged your life or marriage- He can forgive and heal you. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse our unrighteousness.” Stop hiding from God in your shame and condemnation. He already knows and still loves you! Run to Him today for forgiveness, restoration, and healing in your marriage and life.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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