Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wifely Submission, Part III: The Fall

Untitled (Temptation in the Garden)
Image credt Cliff1066 on Flickr
Part I and Part II talked a little bit about God's original design.  The Biblical account of creation paints a picture of the husband and wife as members of an equal team.  Both were made in God's image, both were given dominion over creation.  The Biblical term for Eve is that of "ezer kenegdo"--an equal, opposing power; a valiant ally who meets her husband face to face with a shared vision.

Then sin entered the picture, and distorted everything, especially marriage relationships.  Eve was deceived and listened to the Serpent.  Adam went along with it, then started shifting blame to Eve when God confronted them.  Then comes the curse on the ground and the Serpent, and God explains what some of the ramifications will be: much harder work for everyone.  Men will have to work much harder in the fields, women will have to work much harder in childbirth (it is exactly the same word as used to describe Adam's toil--there is no mention of pain in the original).  And they will have to work harder in marriage, as well--now man (who wouldn't even accept responsibility for his own choice to eat the fruit) is going to take over woman's choices and rule over her.

There is a very interesting discrepancy in the interpretation of these verses.  Many view the idea of man ruling over woman as a command.  I have even heard some claim that women should never have epidurals or other forms of anesthesia during childbirth because it would be avoiding the pain.  Somehow, though, I have never heard of anyone teach that men should never use any tools or machinery that might make farming easier.  Regardless of their views on wifely submission, all the guys I know seem to feel no pangs of conscience whatsoever at using tools of any sort that make their lives easier.  Even--gasp--riding lawnmowers!  Oh, the depravity!

Isn't one as ridiculous as the other?

Seriously, though, we are left with an extremely important question.  Despite the results of the the Fall, we are Christians, redeemed from the Curse.  With all of the other horrible distortions in our world created by sin--such as sickness of both soul and body--we feel justified in fighting against the darkness.  Christians are taught to pray for healing, and to seek health and restoration.  Why then would we believe that we should fight to uphold and strengthen sickness in marriage relationships?  Why should we want to further the results of the curse in our lives?

What does the rest of the Bible say?

Read the whole series :)

1 comment:

Pippi said...

Wow, I've heard a lot of reasons for natural childbirth, but that wasn't one of them. The nerve!