Most parents have great expectations for their children. I’m sure the world’s first parents, Adam and Eve, had high hopes for their first child. We see this in Eve’s response: “With the Lord’s help, I have produced a man!” (Genesis 4:1). The reformist Martin Luther taught that this rendering does not quite capture the intensity of the optimism Eve had for her firstborn. Knowing of God’s promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15), Eve honestly believed that her son was the promised Messiah. There’s a sense in which Eve said: “I have the man from the Lord!” Or as found in the NASB footnotes: “I have gotten a man, the Lord.” One Bible expositor translated it as, “Here he is. The Redeemer is here.”
Eve honestly thought she held the promised One in her arms. Never could she imagine that her boy would turn out to be the world’s first murderer (Genesis 4:8). Because he was born with a sinful nature, Eve soon discovered the disappointment and the disillusionment of Cain’s degenerative sinfulness.
When Eve gave birth to her second son, she named him Abel, which means “breath” or “vanity.” She now knew that the sons of Adam were born in sin and would do sinful things. The names of the first two sons of Adam—Cain and Abel—reveal both great expectation and deep disappointment, the hope and hopelessness of fallen humanity.
Millenniums later, a daughter of Eve, a teenager and a virgin, was expecting her firstborn. She was told to name her son “Jesus” (Luke 1:31), “for He [would] save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). With even greater expectation, Mary could rightly echo Eve’s exhilaration, “I have gotten a man, the Lord!”
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Peter 2:1-25
Mary was told that “the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). What hopes or fears could this have raised for Mary?
Is it wrong for parents to have high hopes and expectations for their children? Why? What great expectations do you have for your children? How do you handle it when your children fail or disappoint you?