Don’t you ever wonder how the heck we are supposed to raise our kids? How do we teach them so they understand right from wrong? How do we help them become obedient? How do we deal with them when they have messed up? By God’s example in Genesis 3, some basic and true parenting points may be deduced.
Here is a recap incase your memory needs refreshed. If you remember the passage, save yourself 20 seconds and skip this part.
Gen. 3:1- the serpent questions God’s specific instructions to the first couple.
Gen. 3:2-3 Eve corrects the serpent on what God has instructed.
Gen. 3:4-5- the serpent twists God’s instructions, and lies to Eve.
Gen. 3:6-7 Eve sins. Adam sins. Both Adam and Eve begin to live like sinners.
Gen 3:8-11- God talks with Adam and Eve about what has happened.
Gen 3:12-13- Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. The serpent didn’t say anything.
Gen. 3:14-19- God punished the serpent. God punished Eve. God punished Adam.
Gen 3: 20-Adam gave Eve her name.
Gen.3: 21- God made clothes for Adam and Eve.
Gen. 3:22-24- God put the couple out of the garden and barred the gate so they could not return.
What can we learn about parenting from this passage? First, God gave specific instructions. Parents, give your kids specific instructions about how to live. Don’t expect them to “just know” the right things to do. Teach them. Take time for them. Communicate to them in a way that they will understand. Give your kids instructions.
Second, God questioned Adam and Eve before he punished them, even though he already knew what they had done. Parents, before you punish your kids- talk to them. Question them. Ask them what they have done. Ask them to tell you what has happened. By asking questions of their children, parents afford them the opportunity to think through what has happened and to confess it with their mouths. Don’t skip this step. Don’t be so eager to punish that you forget to talk with your kids. Your kids need it. You need it. Follow God’s example- talk to your children.
Third, God disciplined all parties involved in different ways. Each participant in Genesis 3 comes away from the scenario with a different punishment. Parents, do you know your children well enough to know how to punish them in the best manner? The end result of punishment should be greater than remorse. The end result of punishment should be heart change, not just behavior change. God gave each participant the punishment that He deemed appropriate for them. Punish your kids well, parents. Punish them in a way that will help them to become more of what God intends for them to be.
Fourth, God restored Adam and Eve. You know what He did? He made them some clothes. They tried to make their own clothes earlier out of some leaves but God gave them something better. The clothes God made were of higher quality. These clothes were made from animal hide, they were durable. I’ll just bet that they perfectly fit them, too. Do you ever wonder where God got the animal hide that He made their clothes from? A sacrifice would be required for this. Already in the first chapters of Genesis we have a peek at the story that would unfold in the New Testament. Mankind would be sinful. A sacrifice would be required. God took care of all of it. I have to tell you that my hair stands on end every time I read this passage. It is just so good. HE is just so good. Parents, restore your children. Follow the punishment with an act of love.
To finish the chapter properly I must acknowledge that the once in a lifetime act of Adam and Eve had eternal consequences. They could not go back to how things were before the sin. Life would be different now. Forever. That’s how life is sometimes. Parents, sometimes your kids mess up in goofy ways that have no lasting results. Other times, their actions have long term consequences. Love them through it. Walk with them, Mom and Dad. Pursue them with your love. Love them with the love of Christ. And parent them with the example of God the Father.