No matter how tasty a forbidden fruit appears, it doesn’t compare with shared intimacy in marriage.
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:4–7)
A tree at one of my childhood homes was filled with beautiful orange fruit. Our family assumed it was an orange tree and we eagerly awaited the time we could pick the oranges and enjoy fresh juice for breakfast. The day finally came! We plucked the lovely oranges from the tree. We juiced the oranges. We tasted the juice. Then, we all ran for the sink to spit out the vile tasting liquid! The tree deceived us. Its fruit was for ornamentation, not for consumption.
We cannot know what type of fruit Eve and Adam ate in the garden that led to their downfall, but the iconic symbol has become the apple. Like the oranges of my childhood, the fruit looked delicious (and probably was). Moreover, it seemed to hold a special ability to enhance mental faculties that would make one wise. At the urging of the serpent, Eve decided to take a bite and disregard God’s warning. Adam, who was with her, wanted to taste the fruit too—and he did.
The Aftereffect of Tasting
The act had dire consequences. Eating the fruit ultimately led to their deaths, but the first price recorded in Genesis was the loss of unfettered intimacy as they covered themselves with leaves. Their nakedness was more than skin deep. Disobedience had torn apart a perfect intimacy of souls and wrapped their wounded spirits in the coverings of distorted desire, distrust, blame, and fear.1
Since Adam and Eve left the perfect Garden of Eden, couples have had to work hard to rebuild any semblance of their original intimacy. Even in good circumstances, intimacy can take a long time to develop. When we eat the fruit of criticism, distrust, or deceit, intimacy will elude us and we miss a particular purpose God intends for marriage.
Take a lesson from Eve. No matter how tasty a forbidden fruit appears, it doesn’t compare with shared intimacy in marriage. Even if one could grant special powers, the results will never match those of following God’s plan for an intimate relationship with your husband.
What factors can erode intimacy in a military marriage? What factors can improve intimacy in a military marriage?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, it is easy for me to avoid intimacy. It feels risky and uncomfortable. Don’t let me run away from sharing myself completely with my husband. Help me to see the ways that even this military life can help me run toward a deeper connection with him. Amen.
1 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 2010), 51.