God's role in the Garden of Eden is a perfect template for relationships. He set clear expectations and consequences, then allowed freedom of choice for Adam and Eve. He does the same thing with us.
What God DID and DID NOT do is fascinating. It is highly instructive to anyone that is leading others or responsible for others, especially parents.
- Allow Eve to talk with Satan
- Allow Eve to be deceived
- Allow Eve & Adam to choose to disobey
- Seek them after they sinned
- Maintain a relationship with them
- Show mercy / love by providing a solution to their sin
- Show justice by initiating consequences
- Shut the gate to the Garden and opened the door to Heaven
- Stop the temptation
- Stop the sin
- Tell them they could have a second chance
- Ignore the consequences He stated
- “Disown” them or say He was going to create some better people
If you take everything in the table above and summarize it, you could say, “God allowed them to freely walk away from what was best for them and experience the costly consequences of their decision.”
That statement is not easy to accept or understand. And it probably sends shivers down the spine of parents and anyone in a position of authority. Of course, you might ask, “Why would God let them experience the enormous consequences without stopping them?”
Since God is PERFECT, it was obviously the right thing to do. So instead of questioning it, accept it, at least for now, and see how to use God’s approach in your leadership and relationships.