Throughout life there is a common desire that many struggle to find and often put up walls to have. Throughout our lives, we long to be a part of a family, community, or group that we can be ourselves. We desire to be open, honest, and vulnerable to those that we love and are loved by. We long for a “Safe Place.” A place of intimacy and safety where fear doesn’t dwell, control doesn’t inhibit us, and rejection is never the reality. The question we often ask ourselves is, “Is there such a place?” The answer to this question is profoundly a Yes! When God created man, he empowered man to reign, thrive, overcome, etc. (Genesis 1:26-28) The Lord then put man in a garden eastward in Eden where everything was provided for him to carry out the purpose that God had created man for (Genesis 2:7,8). Man had intimacy with God, animals to enjoy, vegetation to take care of, rivers to swim in, and life to experience every day. Eden(pleasure) was man’s domain that he was supposed to take into the whole world. Man was alone with God the Father. The Father then declared it wasn’t good for man to be alone, therefore, a helper was brought forth (made) for man, woman. Now before woman was made the Lord gave a specific purpose for man and that was to dress and keep the garden of Eden. Eden was a safe place and a place of pleasure. The pleasure of being in constant communion with God. To dress and keep the garden meant to serve and protect or guard. Man was called to protect the “Safe Place” the Lord had created for him, his future bride, and family. You see, when the Lord brought the woman to the man (Genesis 2:22,25) safety was a part of their regular habitation. The scripture declares that man and woman were both naked and not ashamed. This nakedness wasn’t only physically, but emotionally, and spiritually. They were safe to express their deepest thoughts and desires without the fear of being rejected, laughed at, ignored, or scorned. They were open without fear or anything to hide. They were truly living.

How Did We Get Here?

Our lives surely don’t resemble the Lord’s intent from the very beginning. Many marriages and families hide their dreams in fear and never feel safe enough to talk about the deep things of their hearts without holding back. Rejection, abandonment, abuse, neglect, etc. have crippled many marriages and families. Dreams have turned to nightmares and hopes of things getting better or changing have been dashed like a clay pot thrown against a wall. Manipulation to get what you want or flat out lying have become the norm. We suffer from depression, low self-worth, self-hatred, and insecurity. I’m not just talking about the American culture, but more importantly many in the body of Christ. We long for Eden, but very few experience the reality of Eden. We were made for more than this! What happened to the Father’s dream and design for us? Is this all that we can have? When Adam failed to dress, and keep the “Safe Place” of the garden, an enemy came in and wreaked havoc on mankind. Fear, guilt, shame began to cover man and building a wall of trees was man’s resort to find safety again. The openness and intimacy man once knew became clouded and guarded and we find ourselves grappling in the same situation today. Repeatedly we run amok going here and there in attempt to find safety. From relationship to relationship, church to church, and place to place. When will this ever end?

Eden (Safety) Restored

God sent a remedy to return us back to Eden and restore man’s intimacy and openness with one another. Jesus came to restore the “Safe Place” that was lost in the garden. Through Christ we can have deep intimacy and openness again. He has provided us the ability to bring heaven to earth. Our families can dwell together with no fear of rejection, abandonment, and condemnation. We only must receive this and then agree to again protect and keep our Eden. We are called to make our homes safe places where dreams, desires, and longings our expressed without shame. Men we are called to lead in this and be the protectors of the “Safe Place” the Lord has restored to us (Colossians 3:19,21). Men with our words and actions we protect the safety of our marriages, families, and homes on a regular basis. 1 Timothy 3:1-5, 12 gives church leaders to rule (care for, protect, etc.) their families and homes well before they lead in the body of Christ. The Lord has anointed us and empowered us to provide safety that our families long to live in. We can start by watching how we communicate verbally and nonverbally. We need to make sure our words, tone, body language, and actions communicate love, affirmation, and safety on a regular basis. This may be a stretch for some, but it can be accomplished in the grace of God! Let’s enjoy Eden again and provide a context for the next generation to dream the dreams of God without the fear of rejection, abandonment, or condemnation. We were created to live and love in a “Safe Place”!