Teaching recently on Genesis 3, I was impacted by an aspect of the story I hadn’t really thought about before. When the fall happens, we see that Adam and Eve are immediately plunged into shame at their nakedness, and that nakedness alienates them not only from God, but also from each other. Both of them hid themselves separately, alienated from each other as well as from God. And then when God confronts them, there is the well-known blameshifting that happens.
But God makes the promise of the gospel to them. And he kills animals and covers their nakedness, covers their shame. The killing of animals in the context of the promise of the gospel is a clear pointer to Christ. So covering them with the promise of the gospel not only allows them to dwell in fellowship with God, but also with each other.
As I reflected on this, I realized how much marriage depends on this very thing. Being married to someone, you get to know their sin very well. And people don’t sin against each other in random ways. It’s the same old patterns, day after day, year after year. And if we constantly pick at each other’s faults and sins, then the marriage will be miserable. It is in covering each other’s shame with the blood of Christ that two people can really dwell with each other in love. That’s not true only of marriage, but really of any relationship. It’s certainly true in the church as well- see how much Paul talks in the New Testament about forgiving each other. But it’s in marriage very often where you are confronted with another person’s sin most directly and most repeatedly. Certainly my wife sees my sin more clearly than anyone else, and has had to forgive me more than anyone else, and that forgiveness is always going to be the bond of any successful marriage.