In the beginning, God created man. We call him Adam, but the word used here is translated man (or Adam) because it was not a proper name—it was a designation of a being. Man would be unique in the creation, for he was made in the image and likeness of God. He breathed in man the breath of life, not just the breath of wind as the animals. In Job 32:8 we are told, “There is a spirit in man and the breath of the almighty gives him understanding.” After God made mankind, He declares in Genesis 2, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Adam called the first woman Eve because she would be the mother of all living. Now mankind would have two expressions of God: male and female. Since woman was taken out of man, she would have something he needed to be complete—and vice versa. God’s intent was a helper who would be a counterpart. The word suitable, or comparable, designated something opposite. The word originates from one that means to stand boldly opposite. This difference was declared in a book, Men Are from Mars, Woman Are from Venus, to teach us how different we are.
This creation picture of opposites is one God has formed as the basis of His creation. We see this in the atom. It has a nucleus surrounded by a positive and negative charge. If there is an equal amount, it will have a neutral charge. We know the devastating power of an atom when it is released through a fission reaction. So too, marriages can be tragic when balance is not maintained. To have the perfect order, one needs to maintain the balance of the opposites. The father and mother roles are unique and necessary; we need both to maintain the right balance. In a marriage, one needs the expression of both male and female to fully compliment the relationship. Unfortunately, this in itself can create conflict. Since we tend to avoid conflict, most harmony is created through the dominion of the stronger over the weaker.
In the beginning, man was instructed by God on his responsibilities, and was also given the stipulations of their life. They could eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they could not eat. He was told that if they did, they would die. That’s a pretty strong warning! The serpent deceived the woman, and she not only ate of the tree, she also gave it to her husband. His response…he also ate of the tree. There is no evidence of conflict, just consent—and the result of their actions was great loss.
What Does the Prince of Peace Mean to You?
It is interesting, as people, we often hate confrontation and conflict. To avoid it, we typically choose to dominate one another, causing even greater conflict. We don’t want conflict, so we even create wars! In our minds, the alternative seems to be submission, or yielding control. Yet, the call of God is for people to live in harmony. This harmony is not without conflict. Years ago, I remember many Christians were crying out for unity in the Body of Christ. To accomplish unity, we were encouraged to lay aside our doctrinal differences. I remember someone coming to our church and lamenting our doctrinal instructions. To them, we were only causing division. My reply was, “Do you realize your doctrine of no doctrine is causing conflict with me?” The unity that brings maturity, and the best results, is the unity of different parts. This is unity with conflict. For the human nature, this does not make sense—but in God’s plan, it is the place of blessing.
We are living in a day when people are encouraged to eliminate differences, rather than learn to appreciate them. Let’s not have male and female they say; let’s be androgynous. This sounds like a good solution to the long-standing conflict between men and women, but it certainly doesn’t bring the optimum result. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians are proposing that we try to be like the world to gain their acceptance and win them over to Christ. This fails to accomplish our mission, because they may claim Christ, but they certainly cannot be a follower of Christ. The word Christian means to be Christ-like. Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” That might sound terrible to the peace lovers, but in the end, it is the only thing that will bring the peace that passes all human understanding! It is the peace that brings life.
As we come into the Christmas season, remember the admonition of the heavenly voices—with Jesus Christ will come peace and goodwill towards men. How will His peace come? Isaiah 9 tells us, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” As you walk through the conflicts of life, be reminded that the Author of Peace is looking to draw you closer to His ways; not your own!