Introduction: There are three kinds of people: those who read the
owner’s manual/directions carefully; those who never read the owner’s
manual; and, those who read the manual when forced to do so. I don’t
know which group you would identify with, but our lessons this
quarter take us to the “owner’s manual” on marriage. How is your
marriage? Would paying a little more attention to the “owners manual”
be helpful? Why not try it? God created us. He created marriage, and
we start this week with what God has to say about the first marriage:
Adam and Eve. Whether your marriage could use a little “tune up” or
is a complete disaster, let’s jump right in and see what the “owner’s
manual” has to teach us!

  1. Creation of Marriage

    1. Read Genesis 1:26. Imagine you were sitting in a “box
      seat” during Creation watching God put together the world.
      First you saw Him create light, then sky, then separate
      land from water, then create vegetation, then the sun and
      moon, then the sea creatures and finally the land
      creatures. The result was this beautiful world. Now you
      hear God say the words of verse 26. What would you think
      about being a human? (It is great to be you! It would be a
      thrilling thing. Not only would I be in the image of God –
      who had just done all these great and powerful things, but
      I would be in charge of the creation!)

    2. Read Genesis 1:27. How can God say that He created humans
      in His image when we refer to God as “Father” and “Son,”
      and Holy Spirit and He created both “male and female?”
      (There are several attributes of God’s “image,” that apply
      to humans. But, the obvious is what you just saw from your
      “box seat.” God just created this fabulous world and now,
      with the combination of male and female, He gave to His
      creation the ability to further create. Not just create
      trees or cows, but create the most sophisticated part of
      His creation: humans!)

      1. Who was God speaking about when He said in Genesis
        1:26 “Let us make…?” (It must have been the

    3. Read Genesis 2:18. What motivated God to create a helper
      for Adam? (God said it was not good for Adam to be alone.)

    4. Read Genesis 2:19-20. Where were Adam and God looking for
      a suitable helper? (Among the animals!)

      1. Is this a joke? Is God inserting a little humor into
        His account? Or, is there some substance here that we
        do not want to overlook? (One of the grand attributes
        of God is His partnership with us. Not only did He
        partner with Adam in naming the animals, but He let
        Adam make a judgment about who would be Adam’s
        “suitable partner.” Adam found none among the
        animals. Instead, he found a pattern of male and
        female in the animal kingdom.)

      2. Consider the world “helper.” Is this like a
        “carpenter’s assistant,” a “plumber’s helper,” or
        even “hamburger helper?” Does it communicate a
        secondary role for Eve? (Read Psalms 70:5. This is
        one of several texts where God is referred to as our
        “help” or “helper.”)

    5. Read Genesis 2:21-22. This is one of the most interesting
      passages in the Bible. Ponder a few questions:

      1. Much of the Creation was spoken into existence. God
        seems to have “hand made” Eve. Why?

      2. Why did God put Adam to sleep while He made Eve? Why
        “bring her to” Adam? Why not let him watch her being

      3. Adam was also “hand made” from the dirt. (Genesis
        2:7) Why did God make Eve out of a part of Adam? Why
        make her out of a rib?

        1. Why do people even have ribs? (Your ribs protect
          your vital organs. God took something that gave
          Adam protection and used it to create Eve.)

    6. Read Genesis 2:23. What is Adam’s response to the way Eve
      was created? (He felt this real identity with his wife.)

      1. What lesson do you draw from this regarding marriage?
        (That God intended husband and wife to have this
        close identity with each other.)

    7. Read Genesis 2:24. Who is speaking? The context of this is
      Adam having a rib removed and Eve being created from it. I
      have not seen that in a modern marriage. How do husband
      and wife become “one flesh?” (I don’t think Adam is
      speaking. It is the “narrator” – God speaking through
      Moses. Husbands and wives literally become one flesh in
      their children.)

    8. Read 1 Corinthians 11:11-12. How does Paul understand the
      significance of Eve being made from Adam’s rib?

      1. I’m often teased that men (and the rest of the
        animals) were made from dirt and women from Adam.
        From what does Paul say men were born? (Women! Paul
        says men and women need each other!)

    9. Read Genesis 2:25. What do you think is the purpose for
      this comment? Bible “real estate” is scarce. This story is
      very abbreviated. Why is this detail so important that it
      is recorded? (This is the ultimate proof of their combined
      identity and innocence: their ease with each other.)

  2. Corruption of Life

    1. Read Genesis 3:1-6. Matthew Henry, along with other
      commentators, reads these verses to mean that Eve and the
      serpent were at first alone, and then Adam was brought
      into the picture later. I believe that is the implication
      from the way this is written. Whatever the timing, who is
      the “leader,” the “ringleader” in this sin? (It is clear
      that Eve is the ringleader in this terrible sin. She is
      the one who gives the fruit to Adam.)

    1. Read Genesis 3:7. Have you ever “had your eyes opened” to
      your sin? Do you remember that terrible “after sin”
      feeling – where you realize how awful you have been?

      1. We now get back to our Genesis 2:25 question: why
        would they feel naked now? They are sinners, but the
        are still married! (Sin exposes you to shame and
        humiliation and guilt. If you let sin into your
        marriage, you will be humiliated. It seems clear that
        Genesis is not talking just about being naked, it is
        talking about the impact of sin on humans. It strips
        away our dignity. It robs us of our joy.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:16. Did Eve’s leadership role in bringing
      sin to humanity alter her relationship with Adam?

      1. Did it alter the relationship between all married
        people? (The results of sin were passed on to all
        humans. It does not seem that God is speaking only to
        Eve. What God declared fell on all women.)

        1. Isn’t this grossly unfair? Why should Eve’s sin
          affect the marriages of those women who come
          along after her? (The whole thing is “unfair,”
          in the sense that Adam and Eve plunged us all
          into sin. This lack of fairness is not God’s
          fault. He was not the author of sin. God
          “unfairly” died in our place and paid the
          penalty for our sin. In our text God is
          declaring the results of sin – results that were
          more terrible for Him.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:17-19. Television tells me to listen to my
      wife. My wife tells me to listen to her. Is that an un-Biblical principle? (No. The context is listening to your
      wife instead of listening to God. A penalty is imposed on
      Adam which is passed on to the rest of men.)

    4. Was the marriage relationship altered by sin?

      1. How should that fact impact your marriage? Would it
        be reasonable to strive for a “pre-sin” marriage
        relationship? Or, is that not possible? (Before sin
        Adam seemed to have a leadership role. See, 1 Timothy
        2:13-14. The Bible gives husbands a leadership, not
        tyrant, but leadership role in a God-honoring
        marriage. However, if God is not at the center of the
        marriage, then we have moved on to something else.)

      2. How should wives relate to a husband who is not
        godly? (Read 1 Peter 3:1-2. Having the right attitude
        towards an unbelieving husband helps to attract him
        to God.)

        1. Sometimes I am asked if “submission” means
          submission to improper behavior. What would you
          answer? (This text suggests the answer is “no,”
          because it refers to “the purity and reverence”
          of the life of the godly wife.)

    5. Friend, God’s ideal for your marriage is an identity
      between husband and wife. When spouses start looking out
      for their own needs first, then the marriage starts to
      unravel. Will you commit to putting the needs of your
      spouse before your needs?

  1. Next week: Abraham and Sarah.