Does anyone else find it so frustrating that the first woman of the Bible has a terrible reputation? That if weren't that darn women in the Garden of Eden, would we still be in Paradise etc. Even my child-self felt so alienated by Adam and Eve's story; no one made Adam eat the fruit!
Luckily, Eve's story is about much more than just the fall of humanity. Adam is alongside throughout the conversation with the serpent, as verse 6 says, Adam was with her when she took the fruit at the urging of the serpent and ate it. Yet, Adam tries to deny his sin, blaming Eve for giving him the fruit! And while Eve does tell God about the serpent, her sin is distinct from her husband's. Adam was present during the whole interaction and willfully disobeyed, doing nothing to protect his partner from the serpent's trickery. Eve's sin was in listening to and trusting someone who was not God. When questioned, she bears her sin with responsibility; telling God that she was tricked by the serpent and ate of it. Eve admits her fault humbly before God.
From Eve, we can learn about responsibility. Despite frequent, misguided teachings about the roles of men and women, the man is no greater than woman. Eve was able to lead her husband astray; Adam was no stronger than Eve when faced with temptation. But Eve's admittance of her fault and acceptance of her punishment from God bears an important lesson. We must accept our failings. Even at the beginning of time, to err is human. We can only admit our failings to God and try to move forward in our relationship with God. No amount of denying, arguing, or passing blame can change how we have sinned.
We can take comfort in knowing that even the first woman of faith, in a perfect place, failed her partner and God. We are going to do the same. But God does not wish for us to fail, only to try again. Which is why instead of punishing Eve totally, God blessed her with a long life with her husband and children.
After reading about Eve's failings, take time to consider if you take responsibility for your own. Do you admit when you have done wrong, apologizing to friends, family, partner, and God? Is there something that you listen to and trust more than God, as Eve did with the serpent? All month, we will be interceding through Mary. Take a moment to pray through her, asking her to help you take responsibility when you fail her Son.