THE TAKE AWAY
Cheating on God
By Kersley Fitzgerald
The wedding was over. The reception had been glorious. Everything had been in bloom in the garden, and the sun had shone brightly — not too hot, not too cool. The newlyweds stood on the deck of their honeymoon cottage, looking through the pines to the stream, and taking in the last rays of the sun on their most perfect day.
The bride turned to her groom and took his hands. She looked him in the eye and said, "I need you to understand something. You are married now, and it is in your best interest to remain faithful to me. Your net worth has quadrupled, and if you divorce me, it will decrease by four-fifths.  In addition, if I die first, you will inherit all my assets and property with no inheritance tax. In fact, I can now give you a gift of any value without any tax whatsoever." 
The groom looked to the side and nodded.
She continued. "Staying married to me will increase your chance of being happy, especially in mid-life, when things get the most stressful as you juggle your job, your kids, and the needs of your parents." 
He looked down at his hands, contemplating, then back in her eyes. "Yeah. Okay."
Her eyebrows rose. "And remember, if you are faithful to me, you will live longer  and be far less likely to die of an infectious disease — not just an STD, but any disease." 
"That makes sense," he said. "This is in addition to the other stuff? General companionship, having someone to bounce ideas off of...sex?"
"Correct," the bride said. "I hope you can see that staying married to me and remaining faithful is really in your best interests."
"Yeah, I do. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try to not sleep around or split up with you."
A long time ago, on a different perfect day, God walked with Adam around another garden. He showed him the perfect trees and the tame animals, the beautiful sky and the stars and moon. Soon, God would show him the woman. God said: I love you. I made all this for you, to live here for as long as you like. It's all yours. I will be your companion, and we'll walk in the cool of the evening. All I ask is that you don't eat from one tree. Simple enough?
Adam looked around and said: Yeah. I mean, this place is amazing. And I like hanging out with You. Sounds like a good deal.
But Adam didn't remain faithful. He chose what he thought was the better offer and crushed God's heart.
Would he have obeyed if God had explained more? Good and evil, sin and disease, hate and war? Earning potential? Would Adam have rejected the tree if he understood how doing so was in his best interests?
Possibly (probably not), but that wasn't the point. The point of the garden and the tree and the choice wasn't Adam's best interests. If a man marries a woman because he'll live longer and be more successful in life, we'd call him selfish and cruel. If Adam had chosen to reject the fruit because it was in his best interests, he would have been setting his own desires and welfare as an idol above God. Which, if you think about it, would be the same as eating the fruit.
The choice in the garden wasn't Adam's best interests vs. Adam's free will. It was God's heart vs. Adam's free will. Adam didn't need to know the specifics about evil and death and suffering any more than a groom needs to know about inheritance tax laws. They both just need to choose to honor the person who loves them.
1. "Divorce Drops a Persons' Wealth by 77 Percent, Study Finds".
2. "13 Legal Benefits of Marriage".
3. "Study Finds More Reasons to Get and Stay Married".
5. "Single vs. Married — Who Really Lives Longer?".
Image Credit: Guilhem Vellut; "Wedding photos @ Keukenhof"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | God-Father
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