I Am Woman Hear Me Roar!

 

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.  And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man, and the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man,”  (Gen. 2:15-23).

We know from Genesis 2 that Adam was made before Eve.  We also know that it was Adam who was told to keep The Garden and cultivate it.  Part of God's command to Adam was to keep the Garden and to name all the animals, this was not Eve's role.  She was later made to be a helpmate to Adam and assist him in the calling God had given him, not the other way around.  For the Apostle Paul in the New Testament states "indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake," (1 Cor. 11:9).

 

Some theologians have suggested that the Fall of Man means a disturbance of the God-given chain of command of creation. One of the characteristics of original sin is understood as the woman taking over authority from the man, and the man saying and doing nothing to stop it.  Knowing good from evil in the Old Testament sense means setting one's own standards, like God. Upsetting the God-given order in creation may well be a part of this. The implication of original sin, however, has a wider scope and this violation of a divine order .

The idiom “battle of the sexes” can be traced back to the latter part of Genesis 3:16 “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  The key is in the word "desire," translated from the Hebrew “tesuqah” It occurs only three times in the Old Testament: here in Genesis 3:16, Genesis 4:7 and Song 7:10. Where it carries the sense of sexual longing as in the Song of Solomon, but its usage in Genesis 4:7 shows another side of a desire to have a violent craving for a thing or to overcome and defeat another. Genesis 4:7 states, “Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."  This latter meaning of desire fits Genesis 3:16 better.  

 

Therefore, in Genesis 3:16 God is saying that a woman's desire will be to gain the upper hand over her husband, but because she is the weaker vessel, her husband will put her down by force, if need be. This explains the never ending battles of many marriages and why many are unhappy. This also brings to light womens desire to be better than men and rule over them. Human relationships are just as likely to fail as men and women rely on human knowledge rather than revealed, godly wisdom.

 

 

By God's design, man and woman are ONE in essence and are therefore equal in dignity, value, and glory. "At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called 'woman,' because she was taken out of a man."  "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”  (Genesis 2:23-24),

 

Although God himself has assigned husbands and wives different roles within marriage, the essential unity of man and woman leaves absolutely no room for concepts of inferiority or superiority. “So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians — you are one in Christ Jesus.”  (Gal 3:26-28)

 

Christ himself brilliantly demonstrated this "different but equal" concept. Jesus was and is one in essence with the Father, yet Jesus was "sent" by the Father as seen in John 3:16 and willingly submitted to Him without protest  as seen in  Luke 22:42; John 14:31; 1 Cor. 15:28. To submit means simply to yield, that is, not to insist on getting your own way. The same may be said of the Holy Spirit; He is one in essence with the Father and the Son, yet He was "sent" by them as seen in John 14:26; 16:7 and willingly submitted. Likewise, Jesus was commended for being in submission to His parents, which certainly did not make Him inferior to them as seen in  Luke 2:51.

 

Our understanding of the Trinity is that the three persons of the Godhead are equal in being, worth, and glory. They are co-eternal and co-substantial. Likewise, in a governmental chain of command, we do not assume that because a vice president is subordinate to the president that the vice president is inferior to the president as a person. It is obvious that subordination does not translate into inferiority.

 

 

 

The headship of man is not about having the upper hand nor is it to mean that a woman has no rights or is a second-class citizen.  On the contrary, God tells the husband some very serious commands: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless," (Eph. 5:25-27).

 

This headship subject is an issue of order, not of who is better or more important.  The husband is the head of the wife in the family and he has the responsibility of guiding his family to a closer relationship with the Lord.  God will require it of him on the day when all our deeds are judged by God.

 

Sadly, male chauvinism which is a sin has often been driven by the misconception that the reason God commands their wives to be submissive to them is that women must be inferior. History testifies that women were virtually their husband's property, treated as heir-producing machines, given little freedom, and forced to serve their husband's every whim. In many cultures, men bought and sold women like cattle. Some cultures maintain this custom even today.

 

Sin inevitably leads to more sin; it is like a cancer reproducing itself. Every attack upon someone is sin, because it creates conflicts. And with vengeance in their hearts, the cry of "I am woman hear me roar!" could be heard throughout society. This womens desire (Hebrew “tesuqah”) to have power over could be seen from our Universities, Employment, Sports, and even in our Religious Institutions. Mankind has not evolved further than the latter part of Genesis 3:16 one might say!

The enlightenment in the 18th century for woman’s rights might have a deeper significance. During Paul's Third Missionary Journey to the City of Ephesus, a city completely devoted to feminism is represented by the great goddess temple of Artemis “Diana” which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World found in Asia-Minor, this was a very special sacred space for pagan worship. Satan in the Garden of Eden is seen promising Eve the roots of feminism.   If she ate from the tree of life she would… “become just like God”  (Genesis 3:5)   She would  be elevated to a state of supremacy, these words still echo’s throughout history. 

 

The desire for a woman to be the head of the household, the struggle to attain superiority over a man could be traced back to Genesis Chapter Three and not in some enlightenment during the 18th century. Today women are the dominant gender; women are speeding past men in schools, at home and in the workplace. In the past, men had an advantage because of their size and strength, but in the industrialized world, brains are valued over brawn, 12 of the 15 fastest-growing industries are primarily occupied by women.  On the cover of Time Magazine, March 26, 2012 edition "The Richer $ex," told of how women will soon be the primary "breadwinners" in the United States.

Women are leaving their desire for men as the rise of lesbianism has permeated our society.   From Katy Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl" topping the charts to the L Word, Work Out, and Top Chef are featuring gay women on TV, and there's even talk of a lesbian reality show in the works. Certainly nothing is new about women having sex with women, but we've arrived at a moment in the popular culture when it all suddenly seems almost fashionable or at least, social acceptable.

The shout of “I am woman hear me roar!” has resonated throughout the theological seminaries as well with the birth of the gender friendly bibles.  The translation comes from an independent group of biblical scholars that has been meeting yearly since 1965 to discuss advances in biblical scholarship and changes in English usage.  John 3:16 now reads, “For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Child, so that everyone who believes in that Child may not perish but may have eternal life.” This is John 3:16 in The New Testament and Psalms: an Inclusive Version. This version, published in 1995 by Oxford University Press, gets rid of masculine pronouns and generic masculine usages. The older version reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."   John 3:16

 

In older prints Mark 1:17 reads, 'And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”   In the new version the verse reads: '"Come follow me," Jesus said. "And I will send you out to fish for people." From God to Gaia this cunning mixture of feminism and eastern mysticism has grown to be a threat to the Christ Church as more women desire to be pastors, priest, and bishops.

As discouraging as this news might seem, there is a bright side to the picture. Since God established the marriage structure before the fall of man and designed it to be good, only with His help we can still redeem much of the joy and blessing He intended it to produce. Through faith in Christ, individually and as married couples we can become "new creations" (2 Cor. 5:17).

 

By God's grace, husbands and wives can be "renewed in knowledge in the image of their Creator" (Col. 3:10) and make great progress at learning how to fulfill their roles properly and thus recapture much of the joy and blessing that marriage was designed to produce. When husbands learn to love their wives in the way God intended and wives learn to respect their husbands in the way God intended, marriage becomes a place of marvelous joy, peace, security and fulfillment.

 

We saw earlier how husbands should love their wives. We will now look at what it means for wives to respect and submit to their husbands. First, as indicated in Ephesians 5:22, God wants wives to submit to their husbands "as to the Lord." Out of love and reverence for Christ, a wife should respect and cooperate with her husband as he seeks to lead their family in service to God. As his helper, she should be as diligent about seeing to his needs as he should be to hers. This help and cooperation should be done wholeheartedly and without grumbling, just as it would be given to Christ himself. Thus, rather than suppressing her gifts and talents, a wife should be using them to their fullest, for the benefit of God, her husband, and her children. Doing so will not only bring her personal fulfillment; normally, it will also encourage her husband to love, praise, and serve her more diligently as well. 

In God’s Word King Solomon describes a blissful marriage in this manner.  “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

 

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant's ship; she brings her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

 

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

 

She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth. Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.

 

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.

 

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!"

 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.  Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.   (Proverbs 31:10-31)

 

Peace,