“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.” | Genesis 3:6, ESV
Did you catch that?
I know, I know … this story is literally as old as time, and you’ve probably heard, read, or seen depictions of it your entire life. But did you just catch the all-important detail in that story for us men?
Here’s what I mean: Where was Adam while the serpent was totally working over his wife?
STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER, THE ENTIRE TIME!
Adam was right there the whole time
That’s right: Our first father stood there and did and said nothing as the enemy of our souls invited his wife to succumb to a lie and prideful temptation. From what God records for us in the text, Adam didn’t speak up, chime in, get between Eve and the snake, stick up for her, protect her, boldly defend God’s Word …
He just … stood there … quietly, passively, and dare I say – cowardly. Adam abdicated his role by choosing to do nothing. How much of the evil in our world is rooted in good men who know better choosing to stand idly by and do nothing?
God’s charge to men
God’s role for us as men was made pretty clear from the beginning:
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” | Genesis 2:15, ESV
That phrase “keep it” is the Hebrew word šāmar. It means “to have charge of, to guard, keep watch protect, and save.” So how and why did sin and death enter into the world? Because Adam didn’t “guard, keep watch, protect, and save.” Instead, he did nothing. He stood there, silently, and just passively went along as it all came crumbling down.
This is an important lesson that we as men desperately need to learn and then faithfully apply in obedience to God. Far too many of us keep making the same fatal mistake as Adam; far too many of us passively avoid doing something; far too many of us cowardly rationalize doing nothing and just going along.
What does this look like?
What does this look like? It’s different for us all, and depends on the context of your life. Maybe it looks like finally drawing a healthy boundary with an unhealthy relationship; maybe this means speaking up at work with integrity, come what may; maybe this means taking the lead in getting your family to church and you and your wife signed up for a life group or Bible study; maybe this looks like being the first one to admit you’re wrong and say you’re sorry; maybe it looks like finally saying “No” to an unhealthy habit or a lack of boundaries. Whatever the contextual application is, it should look like courageous, faithful obedience to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, ESV) and to be “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, ESV). Start with simple actions.
So this Father’s Day, regardless if you’re a Dad or not, ask yourselves this, men: Where and how am I choosing – like Adam – to passively sit back and do nothing? Where can I “guard, keep watch, protect, and save?” And what simple steps of faith can I begin taking today to start stepping up?
Our lost and broken world desperately needs the men of God to commit to the mission that God has given us as men, and it starts with each of us having the guts to ask the guy in the mirror these questions, and then to do something with the answers.
And if we do, then how different would our marriages look? How different would raising our kids look? How different would our politics look? Our families, communities, churches, and culture? Just imagine if Adam had …
✍️ Credit :: Chris Goble
✍️ Credit :: Matt Winter
Groups Associate Director
🎨 Credit :: Matt Rhodes
Creative Associate Director