- Susan Brown
Women of the Bible #1 — Eve
What is happening before the character enters the scene?
When Eve made her appearance in Scripture, we see that creation had just happened. God made the world, everything in it, and said, “It is good.” Then, he looked at man and said, “It is NOT good –Not good for a man to be alone. God made Eve to be a helpmeet to Adam. Helpmeet means “one who completes.” God saw that Adam needed something to be whole, he needed a woman to fill in the gaps, to make him happy, the man God intended him to be.
Tell briefly the story of this character’s life from Scripture.
Eve was perfect, and she had the perfect husband. She had the perfect home. She had no problems at all! Then Satan tempted her to sin. He pointed out the one thing that God had forbidden. She didn’t look at the perfect world God had given her. She didn’t look at all her blessings. She looked with discontent on the one thing she could not have.
Satan said, “If you eat this, you will be LIKE GOD.” That is a good definition of sin. We want to be like God — the one in control. The one making the decisions. Satan tempted Eve to do the very thing that caused him to be cast out of Heaven. Satan tempts us to do the same thing every day — to run our own lives, make our own decisions based on what WE want, instead of obeying our God.
Eve took the forbidden fruit and gave it to Adam. After that they were sinners. They weren’t friends with God, but enemies. She was ashamed and had made her husband ashamed. They no longer ran to God as their loving Father and friend. They hid from him. But God, in his mercy, made a way for them to be forgiven. He planned, even then, to send His own Son, Jesus, to pay the death penalty for their sin. He killed an animal, shedding it’s innocent blood and made clothes of skins for them. That was a picture of what He would do — that His own sinless Son would die so that Adam and Eve, and their children and grandchildren, all the way down to us, could be “covered,” their sins forgiven. Sin has its penalties, though. When she became a sinner, Eve lost her perfect home. Her husband was no longer perfect, but selfish. Work and childbirth became hard and painful. Her body began to grow old and die.
Look for the message God has for us in this story. We know that every story in Scripture is told for our benefit. (Romans 15:4) With Eve, we see God’s perfect, original plan for a family. It is still “not good” for a man to be alone. A woman’s job is to be a “helpmeet” to him. She is to be one who makes up for his lacks, one who completes him and makes him whole. She is used by God to make him the complete man God wants him to be. (Prov. 18:22.)
We see God’s order for the family, and why God set it up this way. Before they sinned, Adam and Eve were both perfectly unselfish. Each thought of the other person first. After disobeying God they had a sin nature. They each wanted their own way. They wanted to be the one in control. That is a good definition of sin, “I want to be the god in my life, in my home.”
They had no peace, no harmony. No longer could they have an equal role in their family. To stop the fighting, God put one partner in charge. Because Eve was the one who was tricked, He gave Adam the job of leading his family. Eve was to be the one to follow. Both jobs are hard! In Ephesians 6 we see that the husband is to love his wife, just as Christ loves His church. Jesus loves His people so much that He willingly died for them. Would that be okay with you to have a husband love you enough to die for you? A husband leads and loves by putting his wife and her needs first. When a man does his part, it is easy for a wife to submit and to follow.
The wife is to be the follower and the supporter. That isn’t always easy, either. Sometimes we have to give up our own way.
“But my husband doesn’t deserve to be followed. I can do a better job,” you say. That may be true. When your husband doesn’t deserve the type of treatment a godly wife should give, you can do it for the sake of your God. Say, “He is being unreasonable and selfish, Lord, but I leave his behavior to You to take care of. I am going to love him and treat him like a king, because YOU said to. I am doing this to show my love for YOU.”
What if he is making a mistake? Here is an important truth. God is bigger than your husband. The king’s heart is in His hand. So is the heart of your husband. You can ask God to direct your him.
What if your husband is rebelling against God? God is STILL bigger than your husband. Your husband may make a mistake, but God makes no mistakes. He can use even the bad situations you run into to become a blessing.
For example, your husband makes a bad mistake and you lose all your belongings. Can God teach you important spiritual things about trusting Him for your day to day needs? About forgiveness? Yes! We know God uses the trials and hardships of life to teach us to love Him and to cling to Him alone.
When he makes a mistake, your reaction can draw you together in your marriage, or it can tear you apart. Look at his mistakes as an opportunity to show that you love your husband and will support him, even when he makes a mistake. He will love you for it and your marriage will be better. God’s plan is wonderful! The man is to love his wife and always put her first. That makes it easy for the wife to love her husband, to submit to his leadership, and to do all she can to make his life happy and comfortable. If she is submitting and loving him, it will be easy for him to love her and put her first. One person has to start it. You can’t make him be a good husband, but you can control your actions. You can do your part and trust God to make your husband learn to do his.
Even if he doesn’t appreciate it — God sees. Do it for the God you love with all your heart.
Is God not worth it? Perhaps you should look into your heart. Are you really saved? Do you know that God has made you His child? That is one sign of a true Christian: a Christian will love his God! If you don’t care — perhaps you are not one of His.
Do you not really believe that He works all things together for good? Perhaps you need to get to know Him better!
We see that Satan can destroy by making us covetous. He always points out the things we don’t have — and tries to get us to ignore the blessings we have from God. (Luke 12:15, Prov.15:27) We see in Eve a warning against listening to the voice of covetousness.
We see that a woman can destroy her husband — his close relationship with God, his happiness in his work, his health. She can make him ashamed and want to hide. (Prov. 12:4)
Applying the truths.
How can you be a helpmeet to your husband?
What can you do to make him more the man he should be?” (Think of him and his needs first. Ask him questions about the Bible so he might be encouraged to learn more. Be a Christian who will inspire him to want to be close to God, too. See what is troubling him and do all you can to help fix it if you can.)
Have you ever let covetousness spoil your close relationship in your marriage? What can you do to avoid the “I want more” or “poor me” trap? (Focus on God and His word. Learn the habit of gratitude.)
Can you see ways your sin has caused hurt to others, particularly your husband and children? What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future?
Summing it up
Eve was not the helpmeet that she should have been, and as a result, her husband suffered, her children suffered, and millions of her descendants have suffered. Yet, God provided a way for her to be forgiven. We should take our roles as wives seriously. We can make mistakes and sinful choices that will hurt many. We can destroy the very ones we love the most. The good news is that God forgives. For those not saved, we have a way of being washed and forgiven. For those who are saved, but have messed up, we have a promise that He will forgive us. (I John 1:9) The Bible says that He lifts up those that fall.(Ps. 145:14) He will give another chance to do right and make things right.