May 6, 2018 – Pain in Relationships
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Genesis 1-4
Genesis 3:14-24 (ESV)
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
The effects of betraying God are felt within the most basic human relationships (family), v15.
I) The loss of thorough goodness in relationships
- the introduction of evil corrupts, corrodes, perverts and twists everything
- the good calling for humanity “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) still stands, but now everything around it will be painful
- “pain in childbearing” is much broader than simply the moment of giving birth
II) The tangible presence of evil in relationships
- evil, conceived of as ruining what is good, is felt and experienced
- the changed relationship with God brings change to the male/female relationship
- “desire shall be contrary”; “he shall rule over you”
III) The life that only comes in relationships
- v20 “Eve… the mother of all living”
- Jesus, from the cross “woman, behold your son” (John 19:26)
Questions for Reflection
- In what ways do families experience pain? What are ways individuals experience pain in regards to family and relationships?
- How do you conceive of evil? Is evil real? What is its relationship to good?
- How can you remain inspired to pursue good even when it is really hard (apply this to family or relationship life in particular)? How do you understand pain, and how do you face or manage it? In what ways does pain keep you from seeking good?
- What are ways sin has effected how we understand and experience gender? How does sin effect how individuals experience gender identity? How does corruption effect male/female relationships? How does Jesus help us navigate these differences and debates in a way that is healthy?
- In what ways is the church a new family, birthed spiritually, and striving for healing and renewal through the work of God in our midst? Do you expect there to be pain and struggle as the church strives together for community? How can the church be better in this regard?
Prayer of Confession
Almighty God, we are overwhelmed by the corruption that has come into the world. We have been affected and shaped by it, we are guilty of participating in it and advancing it. Despite the pain we have caused and have experienced, we continue to be gripped by sin, doing what we know is wrong despite our awareness of how it offends you and causes hurt and harm more broadly. Forgive us for our folly. In your mercy, grant us new life and strengthen us to walk by faith. Amen.