The Garden was a beautiful place. A safe place. Full of wonderful things. Full of everything they needed. And it was just the two of them.
Lately I've been thinking about some parallels with the Garden and our mind in terms of marriage.
I don't look at the Bible as a rule book, but rather, a beautiful love story full of wisdom and sound advice. It clearly tells us what's to be (and not to be) going on in our heads. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." What a beautiful place that would be. If we were able to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ." Our mind would be a wonderful place to be, wouldn't it?!!
Motivational speakers are always encouraging people to visualize their dreams and goals. To work things out in their heads first and then it will be realized in actuality. Visualization is a powerful thing! But as much as it is a helpful thing, used the wrong way it can be a very destructive thing. Our culture is bombarded with visual images that can challenge a marriage. Bombarded w/ opportunities to blur the line between appropriate and inappropriate w/ the opposite sex. We must guard our minds and keep them pure. Temptation is always there, just like the tree, but we have the option to not even walk past it.
Now, the fact that it was just Adam and Eve. How secure would you feel in your marriage if you and your husband lived on a deserted island? If you were literally his only option and there was no one else for him to compare you to? NOW, imagine how differently you might act if on top of all that there was no one for YOU to compare yourself to!!!??? Think about that for a minute. No wonder Eve was able to confidently stroll around naked all the time ;). Holding our spouse to any kind of standard set by another person is setting our self up for disappointment and possibly failure in our marriage. We've really got to guard our hearts and minds against comparing our husband/wife with anyone else. It's truly a recipe for disaster! We've got to look at them for who they are and inspire them to be the best they can be. We've got to tell ourselves how blessed we are to have them over and over. And we've got to remind ourselves that there is no one else. No other options.
The thing is, that IS how God intended it to be. Marriage should be like an island. Just the two of you. No, we can't live on a deserted island, but our mind is like the garden. We have the choice to keep it just us and our husband.....all. the. time. What a blessing to have a marriage like that. The trust, confidence and security would be so strong! Marriage is so hard. There are so many things that threaten it. And I believe that it's b/c the potential of a strong marriage is a serious force to be reckoned with!!!
I realize this analogy isn't flawless and that I have trouble expressing my thoughts in a fluid and totally understandable way, but I really wanted to write this down. It's been keeping me up at night...so now that it's out maybe I'll get some rest. :) These are thoughts for a healthy marriage. I'm by no means qualified to give any advice to someone in an unhealthy marriage. There are always exceptions to the "rule." I'm just wanting to encourage us to do our part to make our marriage as good as it can be. We have NO CONTROL over the other person!!! NONE! But that doesn't change our responsibility to do what we know is right. I really believe in marriage. And I really believe that it can be amazing!!!