In the story of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve all the trees of the garden as food. Except, except–the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And which tree which was the most attractive to them? And irresistible? And eaten?
That is the way of the law. It makes doing what you are not supposed to, and not doing what you are supposed to, most tempting.
It simply does not work.
Like many couples who have been married for nearly 24 years, Roy and I have had a bit of counselling. The less competent counsellors have tried the law. Made lists. Anita will do this, Roy will do this.
Human societies, after all, are based on ground rules, contracts, predictabilities. There is something to that.
But once the law is imposed, and each has their To Do and Don’t List, guess what happens? I personally have never been able to keep to these contracts imposed on me for a whole week. (Though I can be a perfect angel for an hour or two, let me add!).
The law, rules, simply does not work in relationships.
And so, when one simple law didn’t work, God hedged the ancient Israelites in with The Law. Whole books of it. Leviticus, Deuteronomy. Oh incredible tedium.
And could they keep it?
One purpose of the law was to teach man that we could not keep laws, that we need a saviour.
And so, God found a new way.
Jesus came and gave it all, freely, in grace. And asked us to give him our all.
A new model for marriage. Grace, kindness without strings or bartering.
The law and rules will not work long time in marriage just as they did not work for Israel. Grace is what lubricates relationships.
God help us, and Jesus, give us your grace, and teach us grace!