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Deception: Lessons from the Garden
October 20, 2022
What are some take aways the deception in the Garden of Eden by the Serpent for deception in a marriage and how to address them? These aren't what most people associate deception with -- affairs, embezzlement, addictions. I address deception that, even without the presence of these serious issues, can undermine the marriage.

For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:13-14)

treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, (1 Timothy 3:4-6)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-4)

Deceptions that are most dangerous as self-deception of oneself, attempts to persuade the other party the rightness of one's self-deception.

  1. Questioning the truth and the reality of God's command with the intent to disagree, versus the intent to obey
    1. Examples: does it really mean don't go to bed angry really mean that?  What if I'm tired?  Does it really mean respect your husband always....doesn't it really mean only when you are loved?  Does it really mean go to someone and reconcile before going to church?  Does it really mean looking at a woman with lust in your heart is as bad as having an affair?  Does it really mean that....
  2. Make strawmans from extremes: "you will not **certainly** die"; that doesn't **always** happen; it's not **always** true.  Not **everybody** is like that.
    1. Are there risks of over-generalizing?  Of course.  There are ways to address it.  Discernment matters.  Individual relationships matter.
    2. However...deception finds its way by making our own exceptions to God's laws
  3. We imagine it's not intended for our good.
    1. God wants to keep the knowledge of good and evil for me (and therefore is hurting me)
    2. My husband did not agree with my plan (because he doesn't care about me)
    3. My wife is not agreeing to address a problem (because she doesn't want to fix things)