Eve’s Failure & What we can Learn From It

Brody Holloway |
March 6, 2023

God called Adam to lead, provide, and protect. God called Eve to love and help her husband. In Genesis 3, we see both Adam and Eve do the exact opposite of what they are called to do. Women in our culture tend to flex their independence or are content with being dominated. Let’s consider Eve’s interaction with God, her husband, and the serpent.

We need to recognize the way we are naturally bent toward sin. Let’s fight our flesh and restore relationships to the way God intended and designed them to be.

RESOURCES:

  • Genesis 3
  • Genesis 1
  • Ephesians 5
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Read the Transcript here!

Today, I wanna talk to the ladies. I wanna talk to the ladies, the girls, the women. And I wanna talk to men because, as men, we are fathers and husbands. And I wanna talk about some things that I think will be helpful looking at the conversation between Eve and God in Genesis 3. The idea for this episode has come out of some conversation that I’ve had with some of the ladies here at Snowbird, and those conversations came about after our recent conference on biblical sexuality. It was a student conference called Pure and Holy. And we talked about the responsibility that God places on men and women in relationship, and then stewarding and having dominion over his creation, and specifically, and particularly as women, what is to be learned from Eve’s failure? We focus a lot on Adam’s failure around here.

We really spend a lot of time addressing the failure of men, the void and the gap that’s created from dads abandoning their families and marriages and children, and men not leading as they should. Men tend to abandon, they tend to abuse, they tend to abdicate responsibility. They tend to avoid. They run away from reality that men like to hide. Adam hid behind a bush. Men will hide anything they can find, they’ll hide behind it. A job, a hobby, a midlife crisis, a girlfriend. It could be something noble like theology or spirituality. Men will sometimes abdicate responsibility. And they’ll push away from those like not take responsibility. We hammer that stuff. We talk a lot about God’s responsibility or man’s responsibility, those things that God has laid on men. But I want to talk today about the responsibility that women have to be faithful and obedient to God’s calling on their lives. And that comes from recent conversations with the ladies here at Snowbird. So thanks for tuning in. Hope this is encouraging and helpful. I’m not a girl, I am a man. And so this is a little bit more of a challenge, but let’s just see what God’s word says. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for tuning in and welcome to No Sanity Required.

All right, so let’s get into this, and I think I will be brief ’cause there’s just, there’s three things that I wanna look at. Three repercussions from Eve’s behavior, what Eve says and does in Genesis I want to consider. And then I wanna look at two of the struggles that women face as a result of the fall, the curse in their association with Eve as their first mother. Now keep in mind this is not, this is not like, a man saying, Hey, here’s what’s wrong with women today, or something like that, they were just doing a study on the interaction between Eve and God. We’ve talked about Adam and his failure, and lemme just reiterate, God called Adam to provide and protect, that is to work and keep and providing, and protecting is providing spiritually, emotionally, physically, protected spiritually, emotionally, physically.

Adam Fails and Abdicates God-given Responsibilities.

1. Failed to take dominion.

Men are called by God to lead, to invest in their family, to invest in their community and their church, to establish governments, to grow businesses, to build institutions of learning. I mean, God has put a huge responsibility on us as men, and we have failed miserably. God told Adam to take dominion and he told Eve to take dominion over creation and instead they submitted to the dominion of creation. And it took Jesus coming along to re-establish dominion. And we referenced that a little bit in last week’s episode.

2. Abdicates Responsibility

But what I wanna focus on today, we’ve talked about how God.comes to Adam in the garden, Adam abdicates responsibility, he points a finger at Eve. And Adam’s behavior is what leads to the major failures we see in our society right now. If we were gonna identify those failures of men, it would be men tend to either abandon, so physically they leave or they stay physically, but they abandon emotionally.

They abandon communication and conversation and listening. They abandon interaction, or they abandon literally and physically by leaving. Men will often abuse. Statistics of physical abuse are staggering right now. I mean, completely staggering, emotional, verbal, internally damaging abuse, spiritual abuse, men abuse, men abandonment abuse, men abdicate responsibility. We see that in Adam specifically, one of the fundamental tenets of biblical masculinity is the taking of responsibility. And God did make, God did not… I think this is important to understand. God did not make work a consequence of the fall. Work was part of God’s original design. And that original design included a day of rest from work. Men are doers, we’re cultivators, we’re engineers, we’re inventors. Men can’t leave things alone. We can’t, we tear apart car engines and lawnmowers and we remodel houses and we do things like that.

3. Men will abdicate responsibility and then avoid.

We’re creators, but men tend to abdicate responsibility and then men will avoid. I think that’s a big one. Avoidance. Adam hides behind the bush, you know, in that scene. So I want to take a few minutes here and look at what Eve does in the garden. Let’s consider Eve’s interaction with God. Let’s consider Eve’s interaction with the serpent. And let’s consider Eve’s interaction with her husband.

The Interactions of Eve and their Repercussions.

Let’s start in Genesis 3:1. Now, the intro to this should probably be Genesis 1:27. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him, male and female, he created them.” So this is not an episode about gender, but there’s gender distinction and what the progressive movement right now would say is no, that’s sex distinction. Gender distinction is something else. No, it’s not. It’s male and female He created. He created male and female and God blessed them. And God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. So God gave them this responsibility to have dominion over creation. And that dominion included plant life, the physical earth and it included animal life. You hear that there in, Genesis 1:28. So let’s pick the story up in Genesis 3:1. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.” I don’t know what a serpent was at that time. Most historians and theologians don’t think it was a snake as we know it. I think it was something maybe more dragon like. It was something that was attractive because it was very seductive.

“He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden. Neither shall you touch it lest you die. But the servant said to the woman, you will not surely die for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like God knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin cloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, where are you? And he said, I heard the sound of you in the garden. And I was afraid because I was naked and hid myself.Genesis 3:2-10

There’s, Adam has now abdicated responsibility, avoided answering for himself, and now he’s hiding. You know, avoidance is that idea of hiding. And you see traces of that when a man will hide behind his job, hide behind his, you know, machismo, his bravado, he’ll hide behind his past. You know, whatever, men are good at hiding, we’re good at getting behind something else rather than facing our failures. He said, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? The man said, the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree and I ate. Then the Lord God said to the woman, so Adam abdicates responsibility right there points at the woman and says, the woman you gave to me. Now that’s important.

That’s real important. Adam blames Eve, he blames the woman. So that’s the most… Here’s the first point for the ladies and men. But here’s the first point that I want, in setting this thing up for where Eve’s gonna go. Adam blames Eve, which is the most unloving thing he can do. In Ephesians 5, God tells men, husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church, which is sacrificial love. Adam should have sacrificially here laid his life down first to fight the serpent and then to take responsibility for Eve’s mistake. But the most unloving thing he does is he blames her. Okay. So he doesn’t love her. Well, women flourish and thrive on love. Men flourish and thrive on respect or honor. That’s why in Ephesians 5, it also says that wives are to honor their husbands, respect or honor your husband.

As a man I can tell you this, if a person doesn’t really love me, that’s not as, that’s not a big deal to me if they respect me. That’s just the way men are wired. And with a woman, you’ll see, I don’t know how many times we’ve had this situation where we’re counseling somebody and a woman is in an abusive situation or you know, it’s a mom who is being, is not being loved well, maybe the husband is a cheater. Maybe he’s an abuser and we’re trying to get a mom, a wife out of that situation and she won’t leave. And she’ll say, but I love him. And you say, well, do you respect him? No, I don’t have any respect for him. I just love him. So women are kind of motivated by love. This is not a hundred percent, it’s… But the majority of what motivates a woman is love.

It doesn’t mean a woman doesn’t care about respect or doesn’t care about honor. It doesn’t mean a man doesn’t care about being loved. But it means what motivates and drives a man is more, that piece of being respected and honored and what motivates and drives a woman is being loved. Adam does an unloving thing here. So he attacks his wife in pointing a finger at her and he blames God. He’s like the woman you gave me. It’s horrible what he does to Eve. It was horrible what he does to her. Then the Lord God said to the woman, what is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me and I ate. All right, I wanna talk right here about this. The serpent deceived me and I ate. When God comes to Adam, he looks at Adam and says, what’d you do?

1. Eve is resentful of Adam for being unloving towards her, so she pushes herself away from him and establishes her own independence.

Adam points at the woman and says, the woman you gave me, boom, boom, boom. When he blames Eve, he is unloving towards her. When God comes to Eve, He says, what did you do? She points to the serpent. Now I want you to notice something. This is the thing that has blown me away recently. She doesn’t point the finger at Adam. She doesn’t even acknowledge Adam. She points the finger at the serpent. Now why is that noteworthy? Well, I can’t figure this out, but go with me here and we’ll talk about the repercussions regardless. One of two things is happening here. Maybe one of three things. Either she is so resentful of Adam that she’s pushing herself away from him and establishing her own independence. This is the first option. So she’s saying, this is between me and the serpent. I don’t need Adam to protect me from the serpent. I don’t need Adam to guard the garden. I don’t need Adam to provide and protect. I’m my own person. I’m my own woman. This is between me and the serpent. And so she’s establishing sort of this independence, that’s option one.

2. Eve is excusing Adam. He does not want to see him be thrown under the bus.

Or the second thing might be, that she’s excusing Adam. Okay it could be that she doesn’t wanna throw Adam under the bus, so he throws her under the bus, but then she’s like, I don’t wanna, I don’t want him… Oh man, I love him. You know, I love him. I don’t want him to pay for this horrible thing, so I’ll take responsibility for it. So it could be that, and you see those are drastically different things. But think about this. Do you see women? And if you’re a woman, have you personally maybe struggled with one or the other?

I tend to see women either in ministry, we tend to either see women that are very feminist and independent and I don’t need a man. And that sort of drove the feminist movement. And now it’s distorted within the LGBTQ+ movement where when we break down God’s design for men and women, there are repercussions to that. We’ve all seen, and some of you are women who struggle with, I want to be independent. Listen, I’ll tell you, my wife is very independent, Little’s a strong independent woman. And she doesn’t, I mean, I would say that would much more be her struggle which is part of what drew me to her to begin with. She’s not needy. I know there’re women in this ministry. I know a couple of wives that are just like very doubting of their husband.

There’s one couple here, they’ve been married, gosh, I dunno, 15 years maybe more. And still to this day, she, the wife really, you know, the tension, and they’ll tell you this, the struggle is she puts him on a pedestal and she just like, he’s the thing, he’s the bee’s knees where others, the struggle might be a fight to give that husband respect because it’s the other extreme. I don’t know what’s going on with Eve here, why doesn’t she, but it just jumped out to me. Why doesn’t she point the finger at Adam or at least bring him into the conversation like, well, God, I ate this fruit, but that serpent came here and deceived me. He tripped me up, he tricked me and I should have known better. But I don’t know what Adam was doing.

He’s just standing here. He’s standing right here beside me and he didn’t do anything about it. You know, is she saying Adam should have done something or is she saying, I don’t need Adam. Or is she saying, or is she trying to get Adam off the hook? Like, it’s so interesting. It’s so interesting. But she doesn’t address Adam. She doesn’t point at Adam. So when God comes to her, she says, the serpent deceived me and I ate it. So she… I think that as a woman, what you’ve gotta consider is your tendency to do one of these two things. We see women who flex their independence. They want to be in a relationship with the man that they can control, dominate, rule over, steer, guide, possess or we see women that want to be, that are content to be ruled over, dominated, abused, controlled.

I mean, right now there’s a situation Little and I have been counseling where this lady, her husband is promiscuous, he’s an alcoholic. He’s quit his job, he’s laying on the couch in his PJ’s, it’s the craziest thing, but he made a whole lot of money and he’s got a girlfriend and it’s so distorted because the wife is working, she’s letting him stay home, kind of floundering life. And she’s not kicking him out of the house. And he’s got this girlfriend that he’s refusing to give up. And you talk to her and you’re like, what are you doing? She’s like, but I love him. I love him. I remember the love we had when we were younger. I remember what it was and what it could be. And so she’s trying to, oftentimes she’s trying to get him off the hook. She’s making excuses for him.

He’s abandoned, abdicated, avoided, hidden, you could say abused. And she’s making excuses for him. So women struggle with one of these two things. I think this is important ladies. You’re either gonna struggle to flex your independence and to say, I don’t need a man. I can do this by myself. And God’s design is that we work together and that a man leads his family well, or you’re gonna have the tendency to allow a man to rule over you, dominate you, abuse you, abandon you, not do what he’s supposed to do. You’re gonna dote on him. You’re gonna elevate him to this sort of messianic position. I think that’s something that women gotta pay attention to. When Eve doesn’t point the finger at Adam, she is enabling him or she is excusing him or she’s empowering him. If we’re quick to shift the blame and avoid our own problems, then we need to be aware of the fact that as women and wives or future wives, for some of you, the tendency may be to cover your own tracks or to defend your man and his failure.

And you just need to know that what happens is oftentimes women will enable or excuse or empower men in their silence, or they’ll crush and dominate men in their independence. And so there’s a tension and a balance that’s gotta be found in which a woman finds her identity in Christ, her confidence in Christ, her love and respect in Christ. And then she expects that a man will be what God’s called him to be. She doesn’t excuse Adam. She doesn’t, he’s blaming her, she’s excusing him or she’s removing him. I don’t know, but it’s dysfunctional. So the last thing I wanna look at is God says to the woman in verse 16, I will surely multiply your pain in childbirth and pain when you’ll bring forth children right here. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he will rule over you.

Your desire will be toward your husband. Now that word desire, this is the last thought that I want to give you. It also can mean one of a couple of different things. And I think it’s insightful because I think women fall into one of these two struggles. So the word desire can either mean like she desires him. Literally. If you go to the next chapter, Genesis 4:7, it says, this is God speaking to Cain. And he says, Cain, sin is crouching at your door and its desire is to rule over you. It wants to dominate and control you. It wants to put you under its thumb and use you for selfish gain or whatever or it wants to be in charge. So one struggle that women have is when he says, your desire will be contrary to your husband is there’s a struggle that some women have where they want to express their feminist control and power and they want to dictate and dominate.

Or the struggle that a woman might have would be the other way that word is used in the Song of Solomon. And it’s the idea that there’s a distortion. A person will distort their self from their natural frame in order to get what they want. And this is where manipulation can become a factor. A woman that might use manipulation to get what she wants, and it could be something where she’s willing to be abused or used or sexually exploited to feel loved or to get what she wants. The struggle that a woman faces is the struggle to use the feminine form or power or intellect to get what she wants. You see this sometimes with little girls where they know how to win their daddy over, win, you know, man my girls are all good at that. I’m like melting ’cause they can just win you over.

There’s a little girl right now at camp that is, she’s my favorite right now, Austin and Tara, Scott’s little girl. And man, she just bat those big O eyes, you know, and just win me right over in a moment. And so now hear me out ladies. I’m not saying that, I’m not accusing you of doing these things or being these things. I’m saying there are nuances and complexities to Adam and Eve in Genesis two and three that we can learn from as men, the tendency we’re gonna have is to either abuse or abandon or avoid, as women, the tendency is gonna be to either dominate and control or manipulate and be willing to be abused and endure. Man, I’m just like, how many women will endure abuse, sexually or physically or emotionally because they can’t stand the thought of not having this man.

So this is gritty hard stuff that will get me ridiculed for holding to an old biblical ethic on marriage and an ethic of sexual, like design by God. But it’s just the reality. Men and women struggle in relationships. We can recognize the way we’re bent and what our natural tendency is gonna be. I know for me and Little, our natural tendency is she’s very independent. She would express her own autonomy and do what she wants to do, lead, control. Like, she’s just strong. And then my natural tendency is to dominate control. Like, no, I’m gonna be in charge. I’m not gonna just let you be in charge. Like we both have that same tendency where some, I’ve seen some couples where both are more passive. No, you be in charge. No, you be in charge.

But it’s a matter of in marriage and relationship, figuring out how we work together for a husband to lead the way God has called him to lead, for a wife to submit to that headship in a biblical way that empowers the couple and the relationship in partnership, and it’s, man it’s a struggle that’s worth having and figuring out, but I think that for young girls to recognize, man, there’s a tendency to either sort of flex my independence or to let a boy have his way with me. And you gotta, you gotta recognize and guard against that. And men and boys, we’ve gotta be on the other side of that. We’ve gotta recognize that Adam abdicated… He avoided responsibility. He abdicated responsibility. He pointed the finger at Eve and blamed her. And then he went and hid.

And man we, it is so dysfunctional what happens there. And we can see that dysfunction in relationships now. So let’s work hard to love each other well, submit to Jesus, God in Ephesians 5 tells the man that he’s to love his wife sacrificially. Let’s just close by reading that. Let’s go to Ephesians chapter 5. God’s design that is in Christ the restoration of what marriage can be, what relationships can be. Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, his body and is himself its Savior, now as the church submits to Christ. So also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the words so that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holding without blemish.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. So there’s this beautiful teaching in the book of Ephesians that men should do exactly the opposite of what Adam did in the garden. And women should do the exact opposite of what Eve did in the garden. And we should restore through our marriages and relationships what God originally intended and designed and blesses. And it’s important for single people, young people, I think teenagers, to recognize that man, playing boyfriend and girlfriend means a lot of implications. We’re learning patterns, we’re establishing patterns in relationships when we’re in and out of relationships at a young age. And it’s worth figuring out. So some thoughts for the ladies particularly, your desire needs to be identified. What do you desire? What do you want? What do you want in a relationship?

Do you want to control it? Do you wanna be in charge? What are your insecurities? What are your identity struggles? Men, what do you need from a relationship? What is your tendency? What do you gravitate towards? These are things that we’ve got to identify, recognize and figure out whether you’re single, married, divorced, remarried, widowed, whatever. Whether you’re young, middle-aged, old, whether you have children, your daddy’s raising sons and daughters. These are the things we need to recognize and understand so that we can honor the Lord in the way we raise our families and in the way we love our wives and the way wives love their husbands. Love and respect, honor and sacrificial love. And there in Ephesians 5, he says, our goal is to draw each other and drive each other towards Jesus so that we would love the Lord more and grow in holiness. And grow in grace. Thank y’all for listening we’ll do it again next week. See you then.

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