Well let me welcome you again to Christ Church. It is a joy to worship with you all this morning.

If you are visiting, we are really glad you are with us. We are a church plant About a year and a half ago, when our family was living in St. Louis, we were maybe two months away from moving back to Bellingham to begin church planting. And one evening, we were all tidying up our house, getting things in order, and I was doing the dishes. And in our house in St. Louis, the sink was in the corner of the kitchen, so when I would do the dishes I would be somewhat isolated from the rest of the family in my own little world looking at the wall. And so I would often listen to sermons on my ipod while I was washing dishes. But on this particular evening, Shannon says to me, I don t think you should listen to sermons while we are cleaning, we should all talk to one another, and it should be more of a family time, even though we are cleaning. And so I responded to her saying, Darling, I m looking at the wall in the corner I can t really talk to anyone while I am doing this. And she says, Well I think this should be a family time. And I said, Babe, I am going to be starting a church in two months, I have never been a pastor, let alone given sermons every week, I need to listen to sermons to learn how to do this, and there is no other time in my schedule when I can do that, and I can t talk to anyone anyways! But she insists, I feel like you are isolated from the family when you are listening to sermons. So at this point I go into the bathroom frustrated and I begin to pray, Lord, please help Shannon to be more rational about this. And now, I am not a very charismatic kind of guy, but at that moment as I was praying, I heard, not necessarily as an audible voice, but clear nonetheless: She doesn t care about the sermons. And as soon as that came into my mind it occurred to me that we were two months from moving across the country to start a church, we were eons from meeting our fundraising needs to even start the church, we had three young children and Shannon was pregnant with twins and I was taking 8 classes to graduate on time while fundraising and preparing for the church. Now if you were here a month ago, I gave a sermon on a parallel passage to this in Genesis 2 about marriage before the fall, before sin came into the world. And one of the things I said in that sermon is that one of the differences between men and women is that for a woman her first instinct is toward relationships, toward attachment, a woman sees herself as complete and mature when she has stable and healthy relationships, especially the relationship with her family. But for a man, his first instinct is toward independence, going out into the world, making an impact, conquering something. It is when a man does that that he feels mature and complete. Now, let me make clear what I am not saying. Am I saying woman don t care about getting out and making an impact? Absolutely not. I am just saying that instinctively it is not her first priority. And for men, am I saying men don t care about relationships? Ablsolutely not. But it is not their first priority instinctively. Their first step into the world is toward their work, toward doing something, accomplishing something, toward conquering something.

And what this passage says is that sin. even in the book of Genesis one of the biggest themes is the that of the seed. Or to put it another way we are going to look at the Pain of the Family. this complement is an enormous blessing. Look again at these curses that the Lord declares on the woman and the man. that we as men and women face in a fallen world. And then to see that the hope God gives us in these pains is the hope of Jesus on the cross. And in fact that is exactly what was happening with Shannon and me. sin causes them to clash. these gifts really. and Relief of the Cross. and the book is filled with stories about families having children. And so when God says in verse 16. toils. And in fact. and become the source of deep unrest and anxiety. or women facing barrenness. would have been one of the most central aspects of a woman s identity. And then to Adam he said. to encourage and build one another up. So what I want to do is look at these two consequences of sin. I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing. or offspring. cursed is the ground because of you. and you shall eat the plants of the field. and this passage is largely aimed at you gals. thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. verse 16: To the woman he said. And I don t think this is just talking about the experience of going into labor. but all of the trials that go . how many are they having. these two pains. in pain you shall bring forth children. There will be a minimum satisfaction compared to the energy and toil that went into working skimpy returns. and much of the drama is wrapped around when will women have a baby. In fact. The impact of sin lands for the woman primarily on her experience as a mother and wife. Genesis begins with God making man and women after his image and the first thing he tells them to do is to be fruitful and multiply make babies. Here God says that Adam is going to work his tail off. the Pain of Work. Your desire shall be for your husband. preferably a lot of them. You shall not eat of it. and he shall rule over you. And in fact. to complement one another. who is having babies. and that in both the case of children and the husband the experience will be painful one. in pain you shall bring forth children. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread. and being who God made them to be. in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. So first. Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you. it was about here longing and instinct for attachment in our family and my longing to make an impact and accomplish something. God is saying the only way towards this central calling of a woman is going to be painful. I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing. when two people are walking in the presence of God. these gifts become pains. Our argument was not about sermons and dishes. instead of allowing these qualities in men and women intertwine and reinforce one another. and yet he is gong to find out that what his work produces is just the dismal thorn and thistles.And what we saw in Genesis 2 was that God has given men and women these differing instincts. but some of it will be true us guys as well THE PAIN OF THE FAMILY Now in ancient Hebrew culture the blessing of children. But what God is saying in the passage is that when we are alienated from God.

to want to have children or a family and to not be able to is equally if not more painful than all that goes along with having children. you can t get a more patriarchal book than Genesis. God intends for wives to respect and defer to their husbands. It turns that this exact Hebrew construction ( Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you ) is used again in Genesis chapter 4. And Genesis 4 is the story of Cain and Abel. but when he sits and talks to her. Your desire shall be for your husband. Well. where Cain becomes jealous of Abel. and he is going to be cold and unresponsive and distant. to be a woman. and he says: Sin is crouching at your door. and yet even here the Bible clearly says that a husband domineering over his wife is a fallen and sinful marriage. first move into the world. On the surface when it says about the woman. and you must rule over it. it means that sin wants to control you. it wants to direct you. for me having and raising children has done that for me 10 fold. and are certainly in the middle of possibly the great trial they will ever face. One thing to say immediately about this verse is that if anyone imagined that the Bible encouraged a vision of marriage where the husband was a chauvinist or a tyrant bossing his wife around. and he will rule over you. And I think it does mean that. And so obviously having children is painful. But there is something amazing about this little description of marriage in a fallen world that is extremely revealing. it is the most sanctifying experience that can happen to you you will have to face all kinds of ugly things about yourself.along with being a childbearer. life outside the garden. This is the exact same Hebrew construction. is toward attachment. and girls are drawn in by actors in romantic comedies. and in fact is a curse and not God s intention for marriage. to have whole organs of your body whose whole purpose is for children. And that is just the pain and difficulty of living in a fallen world. So on the one hand. and husbands are called to lovingly serve and give themselves for their wives. Now my children are an enormous blessing to Shannon and I. a fallen world. we imagine that to be what I described earlier that a woman s first instinct. Guys are drawn in by supermodels. relational engagement. a man is a temptation not so much when he is wearing a speedo (though Shannon is always asking me to wear a speedo). This includes morning sickness and bedrest. And when it says that sin s desire is for you. . To be made by God as a childbearer. Its desire is for you. makes the pain of this curse especially poignant. but it s also true that not having children is painful. and God comes to warn Cain. as we as a church are experiencing right now as Shaun and Brittany have had their baby at 24 weeks and everyday battling new complications. the curse here says she is going to long for that connection. This is the reality of the world we are living in. and certainly that growing a child is a delicate business. this verse says something very different about marriage in a fallen world. But on the other hand. engages with her thoughtfully. Now there is a lot that I could say about that. except it is about sin. But many people will say that when you get married. and I love them deeply. but I want to focus on this profound little phrase that comes next: Your desire shall be for your husband. listens to her. the paradise of Eden. That is why generally for women. that something that should be so central for our lives should include so much heartache.

And under that paradigm what they had learned was that if marriage is a power struggle.If we use Genesis 4 to help us understand Genesis 3 we find out that your desire will be for your husband. Now throughout the past century. PAIN IN WORK Shannon and I have a new room that just was finished this past week in our house that Trevor and another guy have been working on. And the reason why there is no passion is because they have let the fallen state of marriage define marriage. and yet their marriages were dead no life. at the beginning of the book she describes how throughout the years she would have couple after couple come in who had been trained under the paradigm that marriage is a power grab. his hobbies. And a couple years ago I read a book by a woman named Sue Johnson called Hold Me Tight I don t know if she is a Christian. grabbing for control. Instead of acknowledging that it is sin that has created this power-grabbing relationship. I think these two things are closely related: longing for connection and control. then this passage says her tendency will be to grab onto him nagging. Now one of the things that is ironic about this passage is that one of the biggest reasons that cause men to be distant. And it is in that regard we see how closely related the curse on the woman and the curse on the man are. and rule over their wives is because their work (or lack of work if that s the case) has stirred in them a deep and pervasive unrest. which the Bible denies. And only when we acknowledge that our lives and marriages are tainted by sin. And so she had couple after couple who were extremely articulate in their negotiating skills and could dissect their childhood masterfully. his friends. then what you need for a successful marriage is to be about to negotiate well and communicate clearly your needs. And I will tell you. If a wife begins to fear that her husband s heart cares more about his work. And on Monday morning the guy came. anxiety. and is therefore a wonderful blessing. no fire. he went up into the room. if she is in competition. that our nature is bent on being selfish. And one of final steps to completing the room and getting our house back in order was for a carpet guy to come and install the carpet. And of course tragically. than her. and in many ways squelching him. that even though I am not a woman. serving relationship. The Bible says marriage is a helping. got to work and was measuring and getting things ready. can we begin to move back to being the kind of people and having the kind of marriages that God made us for. no passion. all this will do is push him away more. does not just mean that she wants a relational connection. but also that she wants to control him and he is going to respond to that control with harshness and distance. And as a gal who had done marriage therapy for decades. and that the power grabs only come as a result of sin. And I was down . but also. giving. it is been assumed that this kind of grabbing relationship is the norm for marriage marriage is a power grab. So that brings us our second point that not only does sin bring Pain into the life of a family. controlling. they have tried to make power-grabbing work (and it doesn t). but he book has some excellent insights.

And I am like. but it is almost always painful. Now of course. he s not going to make any money. And while I m showering. pleading with God for mercy. The carpet guy needs to use the bathroom RIGHT NOW you need to get out now. is now a curse. he sprained his ankle. with what turned out to be a broken ankle. and to dust you shall return. and yet we put out so much sweat and are often so discouraged by how little there is to show for it. And this is exactly what God says is the life of a man in a fallen world. to accomplish. is 2% inspiration. when I wanted to be a pastor. and I don t know if he was nauseous. It would have been hard work. but especially for a man.stairs. This curse is not a small thing. What? Tell him to go up stairs. 98% perspiration. And you can imagine how frustrating of a day that would be. And I am like. in a fallen world. and I can t wait to give sermons. it is not always meaningless and disenchanting. He can t. Work is high sweat. Instead. It is frustrating. where the Holy Spirit is just pouring through my fingers. or had a lower intestinal thing going on. I thought. he s going to go the hospital and wait in the emergency room. And I imagined writing sermons as this inspired experience. in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. but it would have been a day of benefit all around. just got back from dropping the kids at school and hopped in the shower to get ready for the day. for you are dust. that is exactly true. O I have all these things I want to say about God. which was meant by God to be a deeply satisfying part of being human. Shannon barges in and says. He s trying to make a living. but if you ask Shannon she will tell you every week I am making some strange noise as I try to grind out a sermon. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have been working through Fredrich Nietzcsche s book Beyond Good and Evil (Nietzsche was a German philosopher in the late 19th . it is disappointing. and especially little children who are going to be playing in this little room. Look at verse 17 again: And to Adam he said. to create. with bursts of creativity and inspiration. of being one of God s image-bearers. And she says. We have such a longing to make an impact. or writing a sermon. Work. this is the kind of thing that just makes you depressed. a not just for a man. and skimpy returns. I love being a pastor. especially in the life of a man. Wrong! If you ve heard the little maxim that creativity. You know. Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you. high frustration. thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you (you see that skimpy reward for work) and you shall eat the plant of the field. till you return to the ground. And we are living in a culture that makes it even more difficult. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread. cursed is the ground because of you. he s probably not going to be able to work for a while. This has the potential to be a satisfying day. for out of it you were taken. and I m talking to him in my towel and Shannon is in the kitchen busting up laughing at this poor guy because of the sheer awkwardness of the whole situation. What is going on out there? So I get out of the shower and come out in my towel and there is this poor guy sitting on the floor. gets to use a trade that God has given him to bless a family. at is rewarding and all that. You shall not eat of it.

where they talk about their jobs and make ironic jokes about other people. and their life is empty. He listlessly works through lunch. THAT is actually when we are not being ourselves. if I accomplish this. I ll get that job. He doesn¶t really hate his job. and work is even more frustrating. But this value. then you are being dishonest. relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties who are usually urban. And I want to read you a little except: ³He bikes to work at an advertising agency. Or go to law school. Now this of course is absurd. and so when we are sinning and not reflection God s image. But now we say don t let your parents. a young man s life of work may not have been exciting. If I make this much money. and they don¶t know what they want because they don¶t know who they are. Back at home. then goes to the bar after work to meet up with some university friends. you are setting yourself up for huge disappointment. This is what it says: One is most dishonest to one s god: he is not allowed to sin. Unrelenting indecision. If you have worked your whole life. has exasperated the pain of work in our culture significantly in the last generation. A friend sent me an article from a urban arts magazine called Eye Weekly. Welcome to your Quarterlife Crisis. And of course there are great possibilities and excitement about that. because they don¶t know what they want.century). and if you are not being yourself with God. middle class and well-educated«They can¶t make any decisions. It may be that if his dad was a tailor. but feels as if his skin is crawling with vermin most of the time that he¶s there. You can do whatever you want. As Christians we know what it means to be human is to be made in the image of God. if your job defines you. This phenomenon. periodically Twittering updates about his workday to his 74 followers. so he has a plan to move to Thailand. and they don¶t know who they are because they¶re allowed to be anyone they want. What does that mean dishonest to one s god ? Well. confusion and anxiety about working. or society. or if his dad was a farmer. And one of them describes perfectly the values of our culture. this is not only true with young people. then you are not being yourself. or tradition tell you what to be.´ They have bought into Nietzsche¶s epigram. IF you say. he would be a tailor. what he is saying is that if God says you can t do somethings and you should do others. we not being who God created us to be. then I will be a man. You . In generations in the past. and spends several hours reading music blogs and watching movie trailers. the sky is the limit. isolation. where he uses his master¶s in English to proofread ad copy. even with a successful job. but it¶s mostly better than being alone. but it was at least clear. he would be a farmer. or to maybe write a book. known as the ³Quarterlife Crisis. he wonders why he feels so gross and empty after spending time with them. and the article was called. then I will be happy. of being yourself or finding yourself instead of being who God made you to be. What should I do?!? By the way. but for many people it has only added to the toil and frustration with work and made it more disenchanting because there is no clarity.´ is as ubiquitous as it is intangible. And there is a section in the middle of the book that just has all these one sentence epigrams.

and God dwells among them. But there is one thing that is different (stay with me!). And as it turns out. So we have Pain in the Family. Look again at verse 24: He drove out the man. The garden is guarded by cherubim. Now. and toil are heaped upon him for us. is What did this passage mean in its original context? What did the original author intend to communicate to his original audience? Well Genesis was written by Moses to the Exodus community. And he even says in Leviticus 26 I will walk among you. Adam had all of . what I am doing is essentially putting you back in Eden. And what God is telling this community. And at the entrance to this most Holy Place there was a thick curtain that said. And at the center of the tent was a Most Holy Place where God s presence was most intense. is when I put you in the promised land. by kicking them out of his presence. for me. And so the question is: Where is the Relief? Where is the Rest or the Peace? And the answer is that the hope is in Jesus on the Cross. You will find that from dust you came and to dust you are returning. the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. God has them build a tent for him to dwell in called the tabernacle (they all live in tents and he is going to live in a tent with them). and work. Israel did not have that ease with God that Adam and Eve did. And I want to show you how this passage points us to Jesus. And so here I have spent a whole sermon describing the pain of living in a fallen world. you will be like a new Adam and Eve. Pain in Work. and lastly THE RELIEF OF THE CROSS I have mentioned before in this series on Genesis that when you are reading the Bible. and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to the way to the tree of life. Behold. verse 22: Then the Lord God said. and shame and betrayal. where all the pain and frustration. relationships. in Matthew 27 it says that this curtain is ripped from top to bottom.will find yourself frustrated and disenchanted at the end of that endeavor as well. lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat. just like he did in Genesis 3 in the garden with Adam and Eve. God says we will experience our most profound pain. that is. At the places where we have our deepest longings. and live forevertherefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. and as he dies on the cross for each of our sins. family. He DROVE OUT the man The exact same thing that would happen to those nations God did to Adam and Eve. which are like angelic beings. Stay Out! And do you know what was woven into the fabric of that curtain? Cherebim. and gave them this lush land. All those accomplishments didn t make you invinsible. Israel after God had just brought them out of slavery. And it says in the Old Testament that when they got to the Promised Land God drove out the wicked people. Now. But when Jesus comes. not for 1500 years. to just be in God s presence unashamed. Even though God was driving out those nations. when Israel goes into the promised land. one of the most important questions to ask in order to interpret it rightly. read again what this passage says about how these curses came upon them. through the Red Sea. and they are in the desert on their way to the promised land. for you.

and Jesus has made the way back in. and I will give you rest. There is peace nowhere else. the Hope of the Cross. but what I found there was a God who was walking with me I had access to him. And we are at logger heads with each other.us ejected from the garden and the presence of God. But Jesus says. And I assure you if any of the pains and toils that I have described are burdening you. And the promise of the Gospel is that when you trust Jesus you get God back. way to go Nate I was seriously frustrated). and if we are going to be torn apart. you were made to walk with God. He was there! She doesn t care about the sermon! What did we need to find relief from the frustration and anxiety and disenchantment we need Him. Shenks Broken Bells . you will find relief nowhere else. that Jesus has led us back into the presence of God. And what happens? I go in the bathroom to pray (and by the way this not pat myself on the back. Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden. Because what did Adam and Eve lose when they were expelled from the garden they lost God. and Shannon is agonizing about our family. You were made for the garden. I am agonizing about by calling and my job and if I am going to be a failure. This is the hope of a Christian. Let s pray. And what does that have to do with the pain of the family and raising children and pain of work and the toil and frustration of work? Everything! Just look at the story about listening to sermons and doing dishes. and if you get God back you get the garden back.

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