And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:6
The relationship between a husband and his wife goes back to the very beginning, to when God created them, and the whole scenario in the Garden of Eden. God created man and woman in His image–woman was in man when he was created. That woman is included in this image is indicated in Genesis 1:26 when it says “Let us make man in our image and let them have dominion….). So it is clear, the man noun is speaking of mankind and not just Adam.
God’s intention was that the man and the woman would have dominion over the creatures of the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). But the woman, being the weaker vessel, due to her softer nature, was deceived by Satan. Eve was convinced by him to eat the fruit, setting the stage for Adam’s willful transgression that got them kicked out of the Garden and brought death into the world. Yes, Adam knew what he was doing.
God gave them new directives : man would rule over his wife and woman would vie with him for control (Genesis 3:16) and since that time the Battle of the Sexes has been on. Woman has often chaffed at the authority of their husband over them, and it has been the fodder of much literature, and ultimately rearing up as the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Let me emphasize here that woman is not by nature more sinful than men. It is not that she is more sinful, that she is a corrupter of men, that women are kept under submission to prevent men from sinning. This is not biblical. It does say woman was deceived and that is why she needs the spiritual leadership (and temporal) of her husband. However, there were in the New Testament many single and widowed women who had no male authority in their life, but whose authority then becomes Jesus Christ directly and the Church authorities. Paul even seems to emphasize that an unmarried woman can devote herself to Jesus more easily than a married woman.
So we can see that God gave men the authority over their wives IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEM. Male rulership is for woman’s protection. Man redeems himself from the fall by protecting his wife and by portraying Christ to her. Woman in turn redeems herself from the fall by yielding herself to that leadership and by portraying the obedient Church.
NEXT….The Battle of the Sexes
Pamela Parizo © 2017