As I’m writing this, I sense a possible cringing in some of you who have followed me this far on my journey through the roles of men and women. This profound look into our roles is not intended as a guideline for how I think you should behave – by any means! It is simply a glimpse into how the judgment on Eve and Adam affected our human nature. I believe God meant it to show Adam and Eve the consequences of their disobedience, not necessarily the correct behavior for man and woman. But because it was of God, this judgment would be permanently embedded in the souls of all mankind, predisposing us to these desires and characteristics that now conflict with societal rules and worldly ideas in the 21st century. And there lies the problem
“And he will rule over you.” This last piece of the judgment on Eve distresses our female souls and causes serious complications in the perceived roles between men and women. For centuries, it was accepted for a man to rule over the woman. In our time, though, a husband ruling over the wife is no longer conventional in society. But still, it’s a natural instinct for men to rule and women to follow, resulting in great difficulties for men and women to find the right balance between them that fits today's societal standards.
After the fiasco in the garden, I believe God decided to put someone in charge to take responsibility and make decisions. Since Eve was the most rebellious, instigating the eating of the fruit, and Adam was “firstborn”, God gave the job to Adam. Despite his weakness in succumbing to the forbidden fruit, God chose Adam to take the lead.
God also made man and woman very different from one another. Men tend to be more logical, while women tend to be more emotional. These characteristics can complement each other beautifully. But, in a relationship, it is usually better for decisions to be made with logic than emotions. Emotions vary with our feelings while logic usually remains solid. I believe this is another piece of the puzzle that God considered in having Adam rule. Eve’s emotions got in the way of God’s words to her.
Genesis 3:4-6, ““You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.””
Eve’s curiosity got the best of her. Her desires got in the way. She wanted the fruit and she wanted to know wisdom. Her logic was overridden by her emotions.
I would have been a little more impressed with Adam, though, had he stood up to Eve and said, “We can’t eat that fruit, Eve! God forbade us to!,” as a true spiritual leader would do. But, he didn’t. I believe this shows us that men can be very vulnerable to women, and many lives have been ruined by that vulnerability. Still, God chose Adam.
“He will rule over you” carries many levels of opinion and various meanings. Some believe it means that the man has the last say, and he makes all the final decisions. Some take it so far that the woman has no rights, and the man controls everything in her life. The younger generation of our current days have fought to eradicate the ruling of man over woman. Unfortunately, it’s gone so far that our roles have become very confused and even more complicated.
Just because God passed this judgment on Adam and Eve that would affect mankind, doesn’t mean we would be held prisoners to it. The good news is that God supplies us with the knowledge to overcome these difficulties and negative qualities from the judgment that might plague us. He gives us this information in His word. The New Testament is filled with scripture to guide us to a healthy and happy marriage. (Check out earlier postings in my blog – I cover most of them.) We need to include God in our marriage in order to overcome this judgment.
With God in your marriage comes the balance you need for a healthy marriage. With God, men learn the way to lead their wife – by putting God first and then holding his wife above himself as Christ did the church. He learns the balance between career and family and always places his family above his work.
With God, women are no longer guided by their emotions. When emotions are clouding a situation, God’s grace will help a woman stand aside and allow logic to lead, often, in the form of her husband. To me, a true Godly man, like my husband, takes your hand and says, “Let’s pray about this.” That is the ultimate form of taking the lead and ruling.