God looked down on His creation and thought. “I’m lonely. I’ll make a man.” So He did. Then He made a woman. 1
Adam fell in love with Eve the instant he saw her. She was beautiful in every respect. Eve loved Adam, too. He was handsome and strong, and he cared for her. Their love for each other grew to heavenly proportions.
One day God told Adam and Eve that they would come close to each other and make babies like them, who would grow and learn to love, too.
Sin interrupted this idyllic scene, and not even one child grew up fully understanding love the way God intended it. Instead, little children learned to hate and fight, to be angry and to hurt others. If the children grew up and fell in love and were loving and kind in every respect to each other, it was considered to be a miracle.
Thousands of years went by. Men and women were still choosing one person of the opposite gender and getting married and having children. But they didn’t stay married. They got married several times. They ended a marriage relationship with acrimony and accusations. Others didn’t bother getting married. They followed physical love where it led them and didn’t care about diseases, unwanted babies, or other disruptions unwanted pregnancies brought them. Their children grew up and followed their example.
God looked down at the mess on earth and said, “There couldn’t be a worse picture than this of what I intended when I created man and woman.”
Satan heckled from a distance. “Ha,” he said. “It’s too late now. There’s nothing you can do about it. Heh-heh.”
“Nothing you’ll ever see.”
Sin was destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness was restored. With it so was every kind of love that God invented, even romantic love. Because it was the sweetest expression of God’s love for us.
[Thought Questions for Love Stories March 20, 2012]
1. Love stories in Scripture. What is your favorite love story in the Bible? What is the Bible story that most clearly illustrates romantic love? What about the love of a mother for her child? Why do you think God seemed to have used two different blueprints when creating Adam compared with Eve? How can man and woman be so different from each other and yet both be made in the image of God? How did Adam and Eve’s physical attraction for each other change with the entry of sin? Or did it? Why do you think God chose the rib as the raw material He reshaped to form a woman? If we could do DNA testing on Adam and Eve’s remains, do you think their DNA would be identical? Would a person with a near-identical DNA make a better partner for us today? Why did God add the element of romance to the process of creating new children to populate the earth?
2. Abraham the husband. Can you imagine what Sarah felt like being married to the prophet and patriarch of the ages? Does it take more dedication and work to have a successful marriage when one of the parties is famous? Then there’s Rachel and Jacob. Would you say that Jacob was one of the most agreeable husbands in all Scripture? When he found out he’d married Leah, not Rachel, what did he do? Why? Did Jacob resist going along with Rachel’s requests? Why not? Can love win even if we make terrible mistakes? If a man is married to a woman who is beautiful but bashful, should he look for ways to make her open up to strangers? Think about the last time you received a special gift from your wife or husband. Did that gift make your love sronger? Why or why not?
3. Sexual pleasure. Why did God create us with strong sexual urges and deeply felt feelings when we have sex or even just think about it? Why did God craft our brains and sensory organs to feel the intimate thrill of sexual pleasure? Have you ever had animals that you bred so you could sell the offspring? What is different about sex between animals compared to mankind? Can you think of any animals or birds that seem to mate for love or at least affection and mutual protection? How much grander is God’s plan for the human beings He created? Why does the devil work so hard to pervert our natural sexual instincts? Can you imagine him snorting his scorn at Christians who hold high God’s standards for all interpersonal relationships, but especially those involving sexual activity? Will there be sex in heaven? What do you think?
4. The big wedding. Have you ever attended a grand wedding as one of hundreds of invited guests? Why do you think it was such a “big deal” in Jesus’ time to have a Jewish wedding? What was so important about this event in Cana? Have you ever had guests over to your place for Sabbath dinner and run out of something to drink? Did you slip out and make it to the nearest grocery store? What was different about the wine served at this wedding, where Jesus performed His first miracle? Imagine you are a guest at that wedding. Would you sense the embarrassment the host feels when he learns they’re running out of grape juice? Why did Jesus change the water to wine and serve a refreshing, tasty drink when he could have provided fresh, cool water that would have been just as good or maybe better for the guests? Besides His creative abilities, what did the transforming of the water to wine reveal about Jesus?
5. The heavenly wedding. Are you looking forward to being married to God? Isn’t that what is described in the final pages of this week’s lesson? If not, what is? Who, do you think, will be present at that grand celebration? Is physical marriage on earth intended to be a symbol of spiritual marriage in heaven? What is the final celebration of Christian unity going to do for us? How long do you think we’ll spend celebrating the final glorious acceptance to the Kingdom of God? Can people who have never been married rejoice in preparing for the heavenly wedding feast? Do you ever take time to express to God your deep and passionate love for Him? And your thankfulness for the love He freely gives to you?