“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
I’ve been studying more about Adam lately and it occurred to me that he had some serious confidence problems, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Adam was designed to be perfect. His nature was rooted in God’s love and a fulfillment of His creation. He was told to be fruitful and multiply, to rule over the earth, take care of it and cultivate it. He seemed to be doing just fine until a woman came along.
Eve was meant to be a companion to Adam, his helper. But it seems that she desired more than to be just his wife. When Satan came to tempt her in the garden she may have hesitated for a moment, but then she decided that she wanted more knowledge and to go for more than what God had in mind. And so she ate the apple, as we all know. And if not, or you would like a refresher, here you go.
So the question here is what happened to Adam? He was standing right there when all this happened, so why didn’t he say something? He couldn’t have truly known what the consequences would be for just going along with Eve. Sin hadn’t been invented yet. Yet he had to have known that something wasn’t quite right. His sense of right and wrong surely must have kicked in on some primitive, Genesis-type level. And still he was silent.
What Was Adam Thinking?
I can’t really prove what was going on in Adam’s head, but in my own Psych 101 way it seems he had some serious issues. Here’s what I suspect may have been happening.
Love. I’ve often seen seemingly smart and mentally stable men suddenly turn to mush and be willing to do just about anything under the sun when he’s in love. Since Eve was made from Adam, this may have been the case. Love can make us do crazy things just to please the object of our desire. Eating an apple may have seemed like a simple way to keep her happy.
What if the love was for a career goal or for some sort of object like a car? Any love that we feel that’s not aimed first at God is misdirected. Our priorities have to be in the right order. Puppy love (or lust) should never be in the way of following God’s directions.
Fear. Since he was so much in love, he obviously didn’t want to let her down and he may have not wanted to upset her. Plus, his pride and ego, or some beginning sense of it, may have kept him from wanting to appear weak. Or he may have been just outright fearful of Satan. Regardless, it might have been fear kept him from the obedience he should have shown to the Lord. Fear typically paralyzes us from making good choices, even if they are ones that we are already expected to do and we know it. This is when we have to take a step back, lean on God, and draw from His mighty strength to help us.
Doubt. Perhaps Adam doubted his strength to intervene. Maybe he lacked confidence to be obedient and properly lead Eve to do the same. Doubt can often keep us from the doing the right thing because we sometimes wonder if it’s truly the right thing to do and if we can successfully pull it off. If we keep God’s commands no matter what we think or feel, God has promised He will bless us. And if you truly care about someone there is no place for doubt in your abilities when you’re trying to prevent them from making a terrible decision.
Lack of Communication Skills. How many of us have had something suddenly happen on the spur of the moment and we are left completely speechless? What if your best friend tells you she’s getting a divorce or your parents tell you about an unfortunate medical diagnosis, or you find your favorite cat dead in your neighbors’ driveway (sadly happened to me)? We’d like to think that we’d know what to do or say, but when it happens to you the tongue just stops working. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say or what the next course of action should be. For some of us, maybe we were never taught what to say or how to communicate properly in certain situations. Having good communication skills takes training and practice, but maybe Adam and Eve didn’t talk much. Who knows?
When someone we love is faced with difficult circumstances or sudden situations we ought to still speak up if we see them about do to something they might regret. If you see a loved one try to cross a street and you see a car coming at them, wouldn’t you say something? Would it matter that perhaps you don’t know anything about cars or traffic patterns? Your loved one being confronted and tempted by Satan and sin is no different. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, Paul reminds us that love always protects. Whether or not we can say the right words doesn’t really matter. Just say something.
What Can We Learn from Adam?
Situations like Eve’s happens to every single one of us at some point. So it’s our job as friends, spouses, parents, children, and followers of Christ to do everything we can to keep our loved ones out of harm’s way, both physically and spiritually, so as to not let them accidentally fall into sin and have a whole bunch of regret (or worse). The Bible call is it exhorting one another. In today’s world, we can simply call it being a decent human being.
The apostle Paul tells us to not grow weary in doing good to each other (Galatians 6:9) and so we should let nothing stand in our way of protecting others. Not over exuberant puppy love or fear or lack of confidence. Nothing. Because it may not be just an apple they’re about to eat. The fate of many could be eternally affected.
There’s an old Jimmy Buffet song that says that there’s always a woman to blame. But in Adam’s case, maybe not entirely.
What are your thoughts about why Adam didn’t stop Eve? Leave your thoughts and comments here.