Gospel-Centered Relationships: A Reflection of Eden

(Did you read Gospel-Centered Relationships: An Introduction?)

A Reflection of Eden

In Genesis 1-2, we have a glimpse into what all relationships were supposed to be like. Relationships were to be perfect. They were to revolve around direct communion with God, which led to perfect communion with one another. Adam and Eve’s relationship was without sin, and though it gives us a beautiful picture of what marriage is supposed to look like, it also has great implications for all types of relationships. In Genesis 1-2, we see gender roles established. We see the foundations of biblical manhood and womanhood played out in Adam and Eve’s relationship with one another. The man had dominion over all of creation (Genesis 1:26-27). He was to work the ground (Genesis 1:27). He was to work hard. Adam named the animals (Genesis 2:20), continuing to show his dominion over God’s creation. He then named Eve when she was formed out of him (Genesis 2:23). Eve was created to be a helper for Adam and Adam was to lead her well (Genesis 2:20). The biblical mandate for marriage was then given (Genesis 2:24), and they were both naked without any embarrassment, guilt, or shame (Genesis 2:25). Again, there was as yet no sin in the story of redemptive history.

Genesis 3, however, portrays the fall of man into sin. Upon Adam and Eve’s disobedience and consumption of the fruit, the created order was fractured. The Garden of Eden, in all its perfection and beauty, was no longer perfect. Sin had entered the world. Everything was broken, including relationships.

Gospel-Centered Relationships reflect this truth under the reality that sin exists and all relationships, no matter the level of importance, are not as they are meant to be. They are meant to reflect the Garden of Eden in all of its purity and perfection. They are meant to reflect an Adam and Eve-type of relationship in which sin does not exist and direct communion with God (vertical) is the medium through which human relationships work perfectly (horizontal).

A proper understanding of sin also points to the fact that relationships are messy. When people live in community together it is no different. Actually, it magnifies our sin and our need for a Savior. This brings us to the nucleus of Gospel-Centered Relationships.

How has your own personal sin affected your vertical and horizontal relationships?

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