This post is a bit of a continuation from “Love or Obedience?”. I had recalled something I had previously written and felt that it applied to the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall. If we take the view that Adam did willingly choose Eve over God, choosing to eat of the fruit with its consequences in order to be close to Eve even though it meant being separated from God, how telling that is for us today.
How many men after seeking God for a length of time (be it a few months, years, or their whole lives) have gotten sidetracked from their faith after getting involved with a woman? I’m not necessarily speaking of a sinful relationship even — it could be a completely pure relationship, striving to ‘do everything right’ and yet the man can take his eyes off of God, even while trying to please Him. And this doesn’t automatically fix itself by marriage (marriage doesn’t fix anything in that sense, as we tend to think!)
As I mentioned in a previous post, our relationship with God is much like tending the garden; in order to cultivate it into something meaningful and sustain it, constant effort is required. If you are a single guy and your attention gets divided while spending time with a future mate, that time typically is taken away from your time with God. This applies to women seeking God and juggling that with a man as well. This is no doubt why Paul said:
“One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-34
Trust me when I say these words are very true! I know for me personally, although getting married was one of the most wonderful events in my life, it had a very negative impact on my time of studying, reading and praying to God. I, like many men, had lofty thoughts of having times of reading the bible and praying with my new wife regularly, but it didn’t manifest as easily and quickly as I assumed it would. Now finally a few years into our marriage I have gotten back to a somewhat regular quiet time schedule (though It took me a while to realize that it often means waking up at 5:30 AM.) And I’ve heard similar stories from other married men.
So let us learn this lesson from Adam and Eve early on – that in the worst case scenario, the woman (or man) can pull us down spiritually when we are not grounded in our relationship with God. And in the best case scenario, even genuine love for our spouse can still be a fierce competitor for our time with God and ministry.