To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, but he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 ESV
The consequences of sin are far-reaching. Because of what Adam and Eve were about to suffer, their relationship would change. Where there was once respect and harmony and a complementary working relationship, they would now experience a deep fracture of distrust. Little could they guess that because of their sin, a woman will struggle to respect the man’s role, and the man will be bent to abuse his authority toward the woman in his life. The compulsion to do both will be in the sinful, spiritual DNA of both.
I hear the fallout every day. “No man is going to tell me what to do!” a friend says. And, “The old lady has me under her thumb!” says an acquaintance of my husband, Ron. The fracture can be understood as man, by nature, struggles to know how to be strong without dominating and women struggle to know how to be led while still maintaining their strength. The farther both are from Christ, the greater will be their distortions.
The only remedy to the friction between the sexes is for both to find peace with God. A people without peace carry their anxieties into every relationship.
Is it possible for a man and woman to live as the first couple did in the garden? The answer is yes, for the most part. It will not happen, however, without each one coming to Christ for the cleansing of their sin. And it will not happen without each one putting to death the deeds of the flesh and deferring to the life of the Spirit within them.
I used to fear Your rule, Lord. I was filled with distrust. It has taken time for me to experience Your character and leadership. Now, I’m putty in Your hands. Amen