The Sin of our First Father

Here we have a little bit more serious topic today. We try to always make it a combination throughout the week for you of fun, of serious, of out of the box, of creative, and today’s is one that’s a little bit more serious, and that is that passivity is the sin of our first father Adam, and that is actually the most recurring sin that can actually hinder, or block, or show up in a lot of dad’s lives, preventing them from leading the family team. Jeremy, what do you think on this?

So you guys know when you’re watching awesome, like, superhero movies, the origin story’s always one of the most interesting things because it kind of lays out the struggle that that character is going to be really battling the entire movie or the whole life of that character. The Bible has an origin story for the father, and what we’re battling, and that is what happens in Genesis 2 and 3 with our first father Adam, and God gave Adam a really specific job.

He says in Genesis 2 that he was supposed to keep the garden, right? He was supposed to cultivate and keep the garden. Keep is really referring to kind of the word of guard. And then you get to Genesis 3, and you find that there’s this serpent in the garden talking to his wife, and hopefully you guys know that story from Genesis 3, that’s what caused the fall of man.

But what’s really interesting about the origin story in Genesis 2 and 3 is that when you look at what happened, one of the things that it says when Eve was eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it caused the fall of humanity, it says Adam was with her, which is always shocking to me. Every time I read that I’m like, “What the heck was he doing?” Right?

His job, he was given a job in Genesis 2 to keep the garden, and he wasn’t doing that. He doesn’t say anything. In fact, it says in the New Testament that Adam wasn’t even deceived by the serpent. So you’re looking at this really wrestling with what is going on, what happened to Adam? I think the best word that sums it up in the origin story of what fathers struggle with, and what our first father struggled with, was passivity.

We tend to look at problems, and then we tend to kind of avoid them, and we tend to not engage. There’s a great moment in the movie Incredibles where she yells out, “Bob, engage!” You know, that’s the cry of every mother, and that’s the struggle of every father.

Oh, that’s true.

Every time I see a problem in the house, my first instinct is run upstairs, and turn on a podcast, and everything will go away. That’s our problem, and it really is right there in Genesis. It’s a big issue for us as dads.

Totally, and I totally agree. Guys, I want to make sure we don’t fall off onto just crazy characters with this one, where I don’t think when we say the opposite of passivity does not mean you need to go throw an ax, and eat a huge steak, and just be this insanely aggressive, manly picture of whatever you think that means. That’s not what it means.

And then two, I also think the character that also sometimes, and has actually shown up in church history, to the damage of women, is actually that because a man is passive, that somehow women have no brains and are not able to make any choices for themselves. Those are the two things we’re not saying, but what we are clearly saying is that, yeah, it’s just there in the DNA of a father to defend, protect, to guard, to lead, to shepherd, and sin wants to corrosively erode and attack that part of our gift.

Now that plays out in different ways. Like I said, sometimes that’s a little louder for some men, sometimes that’s a little quieter, but those things still should be playing out. We want to leave you with room to not struggle, but like leave you from room to understand that every dad is like that, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s this cookie cutter way.

Yeah, I would agree that, like Jeremy said, at the core of this is essentially, dads, when you see a problem in the family, don’t run, but engage or lean in is another way I’d put it, right?


Lean into it with listening. Like for me, before I can engage… The first step of engagement before action for me I’ve learned with this is I actually kind of have to lean in to listen of like, “Oh, what’s really going on here?”

I have to be sensitive to the spirit, I kind of have to ask questions of Alyssa, I have to think on it for a couple of days. So I would say make sure that that’s also a step too of leaning in, and kind of thoughtfulness before. Because I think sometimes, and people know we’re not saying this, but sometimes I know my reaction just can be to actually lean in and quash it, like, “Stop. Just be done. This problem’s over.”

Right. Yeah. It’s a different form of passivity almost.

Exactly. Exactly. That’s almost passivity of like I don’t want my heart to go here, so I’m just going to kind of bulldoze the family.

Yeah, that’s right.

Let your heart go there. Be sensitive, but like we’re all saying, and what the theme is, you have to lean in, you have to engage, but don’t be surprised when passivity creeps up or don’t let the devil take you there because that’s literally the biggest pattern of a father’s sin, because it was the first sin. That was a little trick one of my seminary professors always taught me is he called it the Law of Firsts.

What he meant is when anything shows up first in scripture, it’s kind of the scripture’s way of showing, like, this is the pattern or precedent of how it’ll probably always play out. It’s kind of true. Like, what’s the first way God related to his people? What’s the first command God gave? What’s the first way He responded to sin? What was Adam’s first sin? There’s a lot of patterns there in Genesis, and I think passivity’s clear there. How would you close that out or wrap that up with a challenge or a thought?

Yeah, you’ll never really stop battling this if this is a struggle for you like it is for most dads. It’s our default setting, and I feel like you have to sort of pick and choose, and I like this, if you go to work and you drive home in the afternoon, and you’re about to come home, a lot of times you have to make a decision on your way home to click into engagement mode, become an engaged dad.

Sometimes that may mean you need to rest or find a way to sort of recover so that you can be engaged, but it’s really important, and it takes a lot of intentionality to say, “I’m going to click into engagement mode. I’m going to like, ‘Oh, what’s going on there? Oh, why is that conflict keep happening?’ I want to like dial into the hearts of my kids.”

All those things because there is a serpent in your garden that’s coming after your kids, and the only thing really standing between that serpent and your wife and your children is you. You have to be there. You have to engage. You have to quash that serpent as it’s trying to worm its way into your house. So just be that kind of person knowing that this is something we have to battle, we have to lean into, that God has given us the strength and the responsibility to do this. As dads, we have to make the decision, let’s really try to make this happen. Even though it’s not easy, we got to overcome this one.

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