Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Creation Story Ends in a Wedding

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Hi. I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Before our program begins today, I just wanted to stop in and say a huge thank you to every listener who heard about the financial need we were experiencing last month during our fiscal year end and who participated with us in helping to meet that need. It was so encouraging to get many emails and letters from listeners who said, “I am so thankful for this program, and I want to have a part in seeing it continue.”

I’m looking at an email from one listener who said, “I’ve been holding onto a check that someone gave me back in January for my birthday. It’s all I have to give at this time, but I’m praying that however seemingly small, God will make it abound for the needs of Revive Our Hearts.”

That just reflects the spirit we’ve heard from so many who have not only given to help meet our needs, but even more importantly who are praying for this ministry. Over the past several weeks we shared with you numerous times about the need, and I just want to pause now to say how thankful we are to the Lord for all that He provided over these past several weeks and for the way we trust He is going to continue to meet our needs during these summer months.

Thank you so much for partnering with us in this ministry as we continue calling women to experience freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

Leslie Basham: Bob Lepine reminds us that the Bible describes the first woman as a “helper to her husband.”

Bob Lepine: And God said, “Ladies, the man needs help. I gave you to him to be a helper.” Now, what we need as men is a helper. Here’s what we don’t need:

We don't need somebody to scold us.

We don’t need somebody to shame us.

We don’t need someone to gripe about us to others.

We don’t need somebody to try to control us or to insist that your way is the right way, if it’s just your preference.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, June 7.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Earlier this year a woman named Jessica Edwards heard a message called "What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife."

Jessica Edwards: Not only was it entertaining but it was very enlightening.

Nancy: The speaker was Bob Lepine. The event was the True Woman conference in Chattanooga. The ladies who attended that conference were able to choose from several different breakout sessions on topics that relate to their various seasons of life. Bob Lepine’s breakout session had a big effect on Jessica.

Jessica: The Lord spoke to me. I did not realize my attitude or my reactions were what they were until he pointed out some things.

Nancy: Over the next few days, we’re going to hear that message from Bob Lepine. You’ll hear some practical advice that I believe you’ll be able to implement right away.

First, Bob’s going to lay a biblical foundation. He’ll show you what the creation story has to say about your marriage.

If you’re not married, please don’t tune out. As a single woman, I found that much of this advice was really helpful as I think about how I relate to the men I work with.

Bob Lepine is the co-host of the radio program FamilyLife Today, and he was instrumental in the launching of Revive Our Hearts. He’ll also be the emcee when True Woman comes to Indianapolis in September and Ft. Worth in October.

Now, let’s listen to "What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife."

Bob Lepine: How many of you have been married for less than a year? Anybody here married less than a year? Okay, we have a few hands. Did it take you long to figure out that your husband thinks differently than you think?

It’s an interesting phenomenon; when we’re dating, we say, “The thing that I love so much about this other person is how alike we are.” Right? Then we get married and we say, “What happened to you? How did you turn into this person?” It’s surprising!

So let’s set a context for this by looking at what God has revealed in His Word. The big story of the Bible is this: God creates; man corrupts. God redeems; and there is a consummation to come. That’s it. That’s the story of Scripture.

Now, here’s what you need to know: God creates in Genesis 1 and 2. Man corrupts is Genesis 3. Redemption starts in Genesis 3:15 and continues all the way through Scripture until you get to Revelation 21 and 22, which is the consummation, where what He set out with in Genesis 1 and 2, He will accomplish at the end of the age in the new heaven and the new earth. He’s just cleaning up the mess right now, the mess that we made.

So I want to look at this beginning creation point because it does help us understand a little bit about God’s intent and design for male and female and the marriage relationship.

Genesis 1:27 says this (you don’t need to turn there, it’s very simple): “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (ESV).

What we see there is that God’s original intent for creation was that His glory would be reflected in two people—two different people reflecting together His image.

Now, each one of us in this room is an image-bearer of God, right? The image of God is stamped on your soul. But when a man and a woman come together in a marriage relationship, there is something reflected about the character and nature of God that is not reflected in an individual image-of-God-bearer.

In fact, when it says, “in the image of God He created him,” there is a “we” there in the creation. There is a plurality. There is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together. Three distinct Persons yet one in essence, creating two distinct persons who He brings together and makes what? One.

So in our oneness in marriage, we reflect something of the Trinitarian nature of God that you would not see if you just looked at individuals for the image of God marked in them. There’s a special point.

In fact, I would suggest this to you: When we think of creation, we usually think there are six days of creation, and at the end of the six days, God rests. Well, that’s true. That’s the big story of creation. But if you read Genesis 1, in the account of creation, Genesis 2 comes back in and picks up in the middle of that sixth day and elaborates a little bit.

So, for example, you see God creating light and darkness, and then you see Him creating the firmament, and then there are plants, and then there are fish, and then there are birds, and then there are people on the sixth day.

Then in Genesis 2, Moses comes back around and says, “Now, let me unpack a little bit about what happened on that sixth day,” because God did not create the man and the woman at the same time, did He? You know the account—Genesis chapter 2. This is fascinating.

At the end of each day of creation, what did God say about what He had just created? “It is good.” It’s good. When He got to the end of the whole thing, He said “It’s very good.” It’s very good.

But when you get to Genesis 2:18, there is a shocking statement: God says, “It is not good.” So what He’s saying when He says, “It is not good,” is really, “I’m not done yet.”

I would suggest to you that creation is not completed until the man and the woman had been created and then brought together and this new oneness was created in marriage. The end of creation is the wedding.

The last thing God creates is a married couple. He’s created the man; He’s created the woman; but He’s not done until He brings them together and creates one out of two, a one-flesh creation. And once He’s done, it’s also the first place that the enemy goes to attack.

Let me suggest to you today, the pattern has not changed. Why? Because, in a unique way, you reflect the Trinitarian nature of God. Satan does not like that reflection, so he’ll marshal his forces to try to keep you from representing the oneness of God in your marriage.

Do you see that? Do you see how critical this is to the plan of God, how essential it is to creation? And when the enemy comes in, in Genesis 3, he says, “I’m going to see if I can disrupt this relationship, because I know as soon as I can disrupt this relationship, then the next thing that will happen is this relationship is going to go south real quick.”

You know the account. Eve was in the garden. She’s been told that there is this one tree in the middle of the garden that both the man and the woman had been told not to eat of.

The serpent comes in. He tempts her with, “Has God really said . . . ?” By the way, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this . . . when she gives him what God has said, she adds to God’s Word. Have you ever noticed that? She said, “Well, God said we shouldn’t even touch it.”

Eve is the first legalist. [Laughter.] Really. She is adding something to God’s Word and taking it up a notch. Satan knows, as soon as he’s got her doing that, he’s got her.

So he says, “Oh, you won’t die. In fact, you’ll live. You’ll be as smart as God. God just doesn’t want you to be in control of your own life. Don’t you want to be in control of your own life?”

“When the woman saw that the fruit looked good to the eyes . . .” (Genesis 3:6). It was the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (see 1 John 2:16). She took it, and she ate it, and she gave it to the man who was—where?—with her.

Notice, who does God come looking for at the end of this? “Adam, where are you?”

Eve was tempted and fell. Adam was passive, and in his passivity . . . what he should have been doing was, “Sweetheart, do not listen to that snake. What are you doing? No, no, Honey, no. Snake, get out of here!” He should have gone and gotten the ax, gone after the snake, and told his wife to go back and be quiet. Right? [Laughter.]

So God comes to hold Adam accountable for what has just happened to the human race, but notice this: They both start to feel guilt—which they’ve never felt before—so they hide themselves. They start to feel shame—which they’ve never felt before—so those who were naked and unashamed now start to hide themselves with fig leaves from one another.

Then the next thing they do, when God comes and says, “What happened here?” Adam says, “Well, she did it.” Not only that, but “God, it was the woman You gave me." "I think You sent a defective model,” is what he’s saying. [Laughter.]

So God turns to the woman and says, “What happened here?” And she says, “Well, it was the snake.” So there’s this blame shifting going on.

There’s no accountability. There’s no repentance. There’s no confession. There is just blaming, just pointing the finger elsewhere.

God graciously, in the middle of that, performed the first sacrifice of animals to provide animal skins for the man and the woman. And He gave them the promise that the seed that comes from the woman, “That snake may bruise your heel, but that seed will crush his head” (see Genesis 3:15).

Hallelujah! That is Christ who is prefigured in Genesis 3, and the rest of the story is pointing to Him and to the cross, both before and after, before we reach the consummation.

There’s something so profound going on in the garden. I want to make sure you’re aware of that, but I also want to go back to Adam before the Fall. Actually, I don’t like to call it the Fall, because it sounds too passive. Before the Rebellion, because that’s what it was.

Before the Rebellion, Adam was in the garden, and God gave him an assignment to name the animals. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at Genesis 2 this carefully, but He says, “It’s not good for man to be alone. I’m going to make a helper suitable for him.”

He doesn’t say that to Adam. He says that to Himself. Then He goes to Adam and says, “I’ve got a job for you. I’m going to bring the animals by, and I’m going to have you name them.”

So Adam says, “Okay, whatever You say, Lord.”

So the animals come by, and God, in show-and-tell time, points out to Adam that what He’s bringing by, there are two of each kind that are kind of alike, but not exactly. So Adam says, “Buck and doe; rooster and hen.”

He’s naming all of the animals. And Adam may not have been the smartest . . . well, I guess he was the smartest guy in the world, [laughter], but he’s also the dumbest guy in the world, so we’ll go with that. [Laughter.]

Pretty soon it dawns on Adam, as he’s petting his Golden Retriever, who’s got another Golden Retriever lying right next to him; he’s going, “Where’s mine? Where is mine?”

And God says, “Exactly. I wanted you to realize, Adam, that you need someone. I gave you this whole exercise so that before I give you the gift, you recognize the need, and you value what I’m going to give to you.”

Adam realized he had the need only after this animal-naming exercise. So God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, the Bible says. And that’s, by the way, why men snore and sleep as deeply as we do. It’s the vestiges of the garden still in us. [Laughter.]

Adam falls into a deep sleep. God takes a rib from his side; He creates the woman.

He created Adam out of the dust of the ground. He created woman out of the bone of Adam’s side, and then He woke Adam up.

After just naming all of the animals, Adam looks at Eve and says, “This is now bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh." There’s one like me! She’s different, but she’s like me.

Then Adam names her. “She shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of the side of man” (see Genesis 2:23). He thinks he’s pretty clever—a play on words—he’s Ish; she’s Isha. He says, “I know a good name for her. We’ll call her Isha, for she is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.”

The next thing that happens is God immediately gets them married. “For this cause a man leaves father and mother, cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh, and they were both naked and not ashamed” (see Genesis 2:24-25).

The reason He immediately got them married is, when you’ve got two naked people in the garden, you want to get them married, or sin is going to happen right there. [Laughter.] So He gets that done.

Now, listen, I believe that God intended for that husband/wife, man/woman relationship, as I said, to reflect His glory. So why doesn’t it?

Well, we have to go to Genesis 3 to see that when things got corrupted between us and God, things got corrupted between one another, and conflict has entered the picture that was not there before. Why is there conflict in a marriage relationship? What causes the conflict to come?

If we were, as husband and wife, in perfect unity, in perfect alignment; if we were, as Philippians chapter 2 says, “of the same mind, having the same love, intent on one purpose” (see verses 1-2), would we have conflict? No, because we would be in agreement, which is what God wants us to get to in marriage.

But here’s why we have conflict. In James 4:1, James asks this question: “Why is there conflict and fighting among you?” He says, “Here’s why: Because your members, that is, inside you there’s a war going on.” Here’s what it says: “You want and you cannot have, so you murder” (verse 2).

You say, “Now, wait a second. I’ve never murdered anybody.”

Jesus said, “If you look on someone with anger, you’ve murdered them in your heart.”

Okay, now how many murderers have we got in the room? Oh, we’ve got a room full of murderers! And why do you murder? Because you want, and you don’t get what you want, and that creates conflict.

So you take a man and a woman who both want what they want; you put them together and say, “Now, work it out.” As long as they want what they want and aren’t getting what they want, they murder each other.

And Satan delights, because the picture of unity and agreement and alignment is broken, and the image of God is marred in the world. So he’s as happy as a clam when that happens.

What we’re going to talk about here are some of the ways that conflict happens that are fueled by our differences. God made us different to complement one another.

Sometimes our differences annoy one another. We’re going to look at some of what we’ve observed as differences and see how that leads to conflict and how it leads to marring the image of God.

I’m going to try to give you a list of about ten things that I think are true for most men. Now, when I say this, you may say, “Well, that doesn’t sound like my husband.”

Okay, there may be some of these that don’t apply to your husband. This is for most men.

Here’s the first thing, that your husband may not even realize, but it’s true because the Bible says it’s true: Your husband needs you to be a helper. God said to Adam, “It’s not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable” (Genesis 2:18, ESV).

Now, some of you, at some point in your life, may have recoiled at that term—somebody coming along and calling you a helper. That just sounds second-class, demeaning, and not very exalted, right? To call somebody a helper.

If you’re in school and there’s a teacher and the teacher’s helper, well, the teacher’s the important one. The helper just gets the paste out when it’s time to paste stuff, right? [Laughter.] You think to yourself, “I don’t want to be a helper. I want to be somebody. Helper doesn’t sound like anybody.”

That same word helper, “I will make a helper suitable for him,” is found in other places in the Bible.

Like, “God is our help in time of need” (see Psalm 46:1).

Like Jesus saying, “It’s good that I go away. Here’s why it’s good: Because if I go, I will send to you another Helper” (see John 16:7).

Who’s He talking about? The Holy Spirit. When He says, “Another Helper,” who’s the first one? Jesus.

The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost have identified themselves to us as our Helpers. Is that a demeaning term? No. Is it an exalted term? Yes.

So why do we not like that term helper? Because we’ve got pride, and because pride wants us to be something better than that—better than God. That’s why Eve ate the fruit, because the snake said, “When you eat it, you won’t have to depend on God anymore.”

God calls you a helper. You say, “I’d like something a little more noble than that, God.”

God knew your gaps, and He knew your husband’s gaps, and He said, “I’m going to put the two of you together, and some of that gap-filling is going to take some sandpaper to get it working, because there are rough edges. You’re going to have to press sometimes, and you’re going to have to rub some stuff off the surface to get it to fit, but when it fits, it’s a beautiful thing.”

There may be gaps in your husband’s life in the area of finances or parenting or taking care of the house or the car or leading the family spiritually, and God said, “Ladies, the man needs help. I gave you to him to be a helper.”

Now, what we need as men is a helper. Here’s what we don’t need:

• We don’t need somebody to scold us.

• We don’t need somebody to shame us.

• We don’t need someone to gripe about us to others.

• We don’t need somebody to try to control us or to insist that your way is the right way, if it’s just your preference.

• We don’t need . . . you’re not helping us when you nag us. You’re not helping us when you scold us.

It is good for you to come and help fill in the gaps, and there’s a way to do that that is helpful, but there’s also a way to do it that will create isolation and drive us apart.

So when you see the gaps, and you think, “There’s a way I could help,” we’ll talk about the way to do it. We need somebody who can come and say, “Sweetheart, how can I help? Can I help here? Can I serve you here?”

Don’t do it in a way that sounds condescending. Not one of these, "[Large sigh], “Can I help?” Okay? We don’t need that. [Laughter.]

But something that is more like, “Sweetheart, how can I help? Is there a way I could help you? Is there a way I could serve you?” We need it. Be that for us. Okay?

Nancy: We’ve been looking at the book of Genesis and the very first marriage. The first woman was created as a helper to her husband. Bob Lepine has been showing us what being a helper means and what it doesn’t mean.

Bob delivered that message at the True Woman conference in Chattanooga. At True Woman, there’s time in the schedule for women to choose a couple of breakout sessions based on their needs, their interests, and their seasons of life. Bob’s message, "What Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Being His Wife," was created for one of those breakout sessions.

I remember when that session let out; so many women came out of Bob’s session telling us how impacting his message had been. They gained new insight from God’s Word, and they left with some specific steps they wanted to take when they got home.

And that describes the True Woman conference as a whole. One woman was so moved at the conference in Chattanooga that she’s ready to come again this fall. She wrote us about the conference, saying, “Thank you, thank you. It was so refreshing, inspiring, and convicting. I want my grown daughters to come to Indy in the fall to see and hear God move and speak.” I love that.

She’s referring to the True Woman conference coming to Indianapolis, September 23-25. True Woman is also coming to Ft. Worth, October 14-16.

Perhaps, like the woman who wrote us, you are thinking of friends and family members you’d like to invite to a True Woman conference. I hope you’ll consider forming a group.

If you contact us, we’ll set you up with a group code. Each person in your group will receive substantial savings, depending on how many join, and you’ll also receive one free registration when your group reaches ten people.

To get the maximum savings, you need to register your group by June 25, so start putting your group together. You can get more details at www.ReviveOurHearts.com.

Tomorrow, find out why your husband needs a cheerleader. Bob Lepine will be with us tomorrow again on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.