Adam and Eve Redux
The names of Adam and Eve are well known to almost everyone. And while most know the story of our first parents, few fully understand its interpretation and implications. There are many interesting questions about the story such as: was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil a real tree or did it symbolize something else? Why was the tree in the center of the garden? Was the Garden of Eden a real place or was it a state of being? Why were they tempted with something that was good and desirable? But the most intriguing questions are, what was Eve’s temptation and why didn’t Adam help her?
Remember that Adam knew well what God had commanded him about the tree. In fact, he took God’s word so seriously that he told Eve that they can’t even “touch” it, lest they die. Yet, he stood by and did nothing while his wife, Eve, was being tempted. Why?
Was he afraid of getting hurt? We don’t know, but we do know that because he didn’t protect Eve from her tempter, she fell in her temptation and both of them sinned against God. We also know that the sin they committed was so serious that God immediately punished them, drove them out of the garden, and put an angel at its gate so that no one could return. And now today, knowing what we know now, why would we ever make the same mistake again? Yet in a very real way, the whole scene of the Garden of Eden is being played out again, albeit slower, and with many more people involved, but with the same level of seriousness.
Remember that our first mother, Eve, was tempted to misuse something that was good and desirable. Today’s Eve (a symbol for all women) is also being tempted to misuse something that is good and desirable: freedom and self-sufficiency. Freedom and self-sufficiency are good and desirable in themselves and are to be encouraged and respected in all women. However, today, they are being offered to Eve to help her “free” herself from the domination from men in marriage, to give her financial independence from men, and to give her a greater sense of accomplishment apart from men.
Generally speaking, today’s Eve is being told that she can have it all: a fulfilling career, financial independence, and intimate relationships, all without being beholding to any man. All she has to do is to delay her marriage and focus on her business career. Then, after she achieves her success and financial security, she will be ready to find an equal male who will make her happy in marriage.
More specifically, Eve is being told that women could be as successful and happy as men if they weren’t being held down by married life. Which is why she needs the freedom and self-sufficiency she can only get from financial and social independence. She’s being told that her financial independence is better than any financial dependence and her social independence is the only way she can achieve the success she deserves. That’s why her self-sufficiency (a career) is her gateway to both personal fulfillment and financial security.
The means she is being offered for her freedom and self-sufficiency is “no fault” divorce and contraception. “No fault” divorce frees her from being dependent on a husband. Contraception, and “no strings attached” sexual relations, free her to have fun without being held down by children. Together, they promise her success and independence through a career.
However, instead of the freedom and self-sufficiency that she was promised, all she is getting is serious sexual diseases, increased abortions, and increased social demands for sexual relationships. Contraceptives have brought Eve only sickness and low self-esteem. “No fault” divorce and “hook up’s” have brought only heartache and loneliness. When she finishes her career, she is finding that fewer men are available for marriage because they are either married, or no longer see marriage as being required. She is finding that a career, in place of marriage, brings only long hours at the office, less financial security, and an empty home at the end of the day. She is finding that financial independence is more difficult now that she’s independent.
So where is Adam (the symbol for all moral people)? Why hasn’t he helped?
At the beginning of Eve’s temptation, men saw a huge benefit coming their way: “no strings attached” sexual relationships! It was a huge incentive for men to be quiet and go along. Now with the help of radical feminists, the media, educational programs, and public pressure, Eve’s temptation is almost impossible to stop.
So what can Adam do?
As in the Garden of Eden, Adam has to put himself directly between Eve and her tempter. Adam needs to lay down his life for his wife. He has to fight against the underpinnings of her temptation such as: “no fault” divorce, contraceptives, and self-sufficiency. He has to fight for a better understanding of the interdependence between men and women and a greater respect for each other. He needs to show Eve the freedom that comes from depending on him in marriage and the fulfillment that comes from doing what she ought to do, not from what she wants to do.
Adam cannot just retreat to within his own castle walls and pray that God will send him more people for his prayer group. That’s a siege mentality that leads only to a lost battle. Adam needs to be in the world fighting for his wife.
The public reaction against Adam’s fight will be immediate and intense. Adam is going to suffer for it and the longer he delays, the more he’s going to suffer. And the worst part of it is that if he doesn’t stand between Eve and her tempter, she will lose her battle and all of us will suffer, again.