Janet Weaver Smith – January 27, 2015 ©gardenministries.org
During the night of January 24th and into the morning of January 25th, 2015, as I slept, the Holy Spirit began teaching me what the first woman and man were like before and after they fell and were separated from God. The effects of the fall and the curse were mapped out like I had never seen or understood them before. I will start this article by setting the stage from Scripture.
Genesis 1:27, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Both male and female were made in the image of God and the consecutive first-then-second order of their physical formation and naming established Adam as Eve’s loving leader. The Apostle Paul references the man’s leadership role in 1 Timothy 2:13.
Genesis 2:22, The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 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.”24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Before Eve and Adam fell into disobedience, the leadership role of the man with the woman was dramatically different than after the fall. Before they fell, Adam and Eve were both fully anchored in a first-love submission to God’s divine leadership. The woman and her deep heart’s affections were perfectly grounded and centered in her Creator’s heart. This God-first anchored relationship provided a complete balance of power between the three of them—God, the man, and the woman. Both Adam and Eve directly “reported” to God, fully submitted to Him first.
Enter the cunning serpent, enraged that humans had come into his stomping ground to take his claimed stake upon the earth. After who knows how long, the serpent finally convinced the woman that just as he had separated from God and believed himself to be a god, so could she. When the woman disobeyed God by redirecting her longings and affection toward earth’s resources (Genesis 3:6) in direct defiance of God’s leadership and command, she came out from under her place of reverent submission to God. The woman’s deep heart longings and affections lost their perfect anchor point in God because she allowed the god of the stomach to redirect her desire and trust earthward.
Now separated from God’s anchoring leadership, all that was left for woman was man’s leadership role in her life—a created reality that she could not “uncreate” or undo. As a result of her disobedience and willful separation from God’s leadership, God told the woman that the man, in his created leadership role would now have power over her and over all of her powerful heart’s longings and affections. Separated from oneness with God, stuck with only the man’s created leadership role, and no longer stabilized by God’s anchoring leadership, the woman’s deep heart affection, nurture, and longings now became subject to the man to do with as he pleased. Furthermore, hatred and hostility (“enmity” in Hebrew = hatred) between the woman and Satan (the serpent) was added to the mix. Thus, Satan especially hates women and never hesitates to use willing men to act out much of his focused hatred of women.
Genesis 3:14-19, The LORD God said to the serpent, … I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. 16To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; 19By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Desire: Hebrew = teshuqah, from shuwq in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing.
Rule: Hebrew = mashal: to rule, have dominion, reign.
Then the man put his wife ahead of God and listened to his wife’s voice above God’s and fell. His desires were also redirected earthward. Pride and shame quickly took hold and both the man and the woman immediately started blame-shifting, hiding, and when confronted by God, refused to take personal responsibility for their disobedience. The beginning of male domination and female subjugation was at hand. The man’s earthbound powerful longings to be fruitful in the land, both in his work and in human reproduction, overpowered his ability to love his woman in true submission to God. His drive for work and sex influenced him to put woman down into a subjected state of servitude to his wants and wishes. Human culture shifted when women lost their place as “direct reports” to God.
After the fall, the physically and emotionally vulnerable woman was subjected to a servitude-type lifestyle when the physically superior male rose to power in a cursed land now requiring his strenuous physical strength and dominion to work for food and survival. Burdened by the toilsome burden of “making a living” and overwhelmed with the impossible task of managing the woman’s redirected emotional longings that were meant for God to satisfy, man emotionally detached and began relating to woman less as his own precious flesh-and-bone and more as his servant to help with all the hard work, satisfy his sex drive, and fulfill the need for procreation and family care giving.
Ruth 2:8,9, and 22 reveal how common, and even socially expected, the mistreatment of women by men was. “So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled. 22Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, ‘It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.'”
From ancient time until today, women have been subjected to a male-dominated society with few exceptions along the way. Though some civilizations have sought to bring women back up to par with men, there has always been disparity. Why is that? What part belongs to the women to restore and what part belongs to men?
An excerpt from an online City Journal article proposes a key reason why modern women rarely hold elite business positions (hint: it’s because of the kids).
“Children exert a stronger visceral pull on women than on men. That’s irrefutably true during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, but does the pull loosen entirely just because a child has started solid food? It’s doubtful. Nor do women necessarily find that it goes away if their husbands are “equal partners.” As Princeton author of ” Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter observes, somewhat apologetically, most women don’t ‘feel as comfortable as men do about being away from their children.’” (http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_alpha-female.html) (By Kay S. Hymowitz)
The female brain is hard-wired to survive and does so mainly by creatively adapting to her environment. So how did female creativity adapt to being in a perpetual state of emotional frustration, stretching out after and longing for fulfillment from someone who cannot possibly fulfill what she longs for but yet has dominion over her and doesn’t hesitate to exercise it? Simple answer: through compliance and resentful manipulation.
In her book, “The Female Brain,” Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine describes the female’s propensity to fear conflict (resulting in compliance).
“Studies indicate that girls are motivated—on a molecular and a neurological level—to ease and even prevent social conflict. Maintaining the relationship at all costs is the female brain’s goal.”
Dr. Brizendine goes on to describe how the female brain is hard-wired to process and express emotions whereas the male brain has much more brain space devoted to his sex drive.
“The principal hub of both emotion and memory formation—the hippocampus—is also larger in the female brain, as is the brain circuitry for language and observing emotions in others. This means that women are, on average, better at expressing emotions and remembering the details of emotional events. Men, by contrast, have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive as well as larger brain centers for action and aggression. Sexual thoughts float through a man’s brain many times each day on average, and through a woman’s only once a day. Perhaps three to four times on her hottest days.”
Additionally, Dr. Brizendine describes the female mother’s adaptive abilities (and men’s if they want to).
“A woman’s innate brain wiring, like that of other mammals, responds to basic cues—the growing of a fetus in her womb; her baby’s birth; its suckling, touch, and smell; and frequent skin-to-skin closeness with her child. Even fathers, adoptive parents, and women who have never been pregnant can respond maternally after close, daily contact with an infant. These physical cues from the infant forge new neurochemical pathways in the brain that create and reinforce maternal brain circuits aided by chemical imprinting and huge increases of oxytocin. These changes result in a motivated, highly attentive, and aggressively protective brain that forces the new mother to alter her responses and priorities in life. She is relating to this person in a way she has never related to anyone else in her life. The stakes are life and death.”
Down through the ages, women (especially the strong ones) have explored different tactics to gain a sense of personal power within their male-dominated, sex-driven surroundings. All successful and unsuccessful tactics seem linked to a few common denominators: a woman’s innate ability to create beauty in herself and her surroundings and her intellectual prowess in intuitively knowing how to navigate, and sometimes manipulate, the realm of deep emotion and sexuality. Better then men, women have learned how to swim the waters of the heart’s deep emotions. And better then women, men have learned how to avoid all such waters and stay “all up in their head,” seemingly high above such troubling, unknowable waters—or so men think.
Men cannot “think themselves above” the powerful emotions connected to their sex drive. The female brain instinctively knows this and thus, has adapted herself to supply or withdraw what is needed so that she can be supplied with what she needs. And male emotions are vulnerable to their female providers for release and completion. The male drive to conquer and dominate the world around them is partially dependent on some level of female participation, be it only in servitude, sex, and procreation. For thousands of years, women have complied with these set parameters and created adaptive workarounds such as managing and controlling men and their projected needs through feigned submission, seductive compliance, and romantic disinterest. Women also “manage” their relationships with other women through competitive usurping, jealous power plays, and insincere, agenda-driven befriending.
Aging men and women, who’s sex drive has diminished, simply shift to the ingrained routine that was established during their years of fortitude and passion. Older folks simply settle into the comfort of ritual and routine established in earlier years of engaging in the power struggle and compliance cycles. The strong willed sort might keep the spats going just for sport because fighting makes them feel alive but what are they fighting for? Freedom. Nope. Just to feel the energy of the power struggle one more day.
In all of these ungodly scenarios, whenever human beings put their trust in a system over and above the person of Jesus Christ, that person(s) is subject to fear, control, and manipulation, whether they admit it or not. If our heartfelt trust is not firmly placed in God, we are willingly and actively participating in the system of domination-and-subjugation. There is no middle ground. Real trust is only available through real faith and actions that prove that we believe God, who regularly asks those seeking fullness with Him to break faith with their lesser systems. We cannot serve two masters. We will serve one or the other.
History proves that there is no “neutral” in the great tug-of-war power struggle between men and women. Fallen human male and female beings are regularly doing one or the other. They are either controlling and manipulating others or they are being controlled and manipulated by others. Most likely, they will be engaged in both—much of which they are completely unaware of because it has become so ingrained.
Even well-intentioned women and men, who do not desire to control and manipulate others, but do not put God first in their hearts by choosing to submit to His anchoring Love and Lordship, will be subject to the affects of the fall and will perpetually swing back and forth, trapped in an ancient power struggle with no way out except through God. Look at history and try to refute this fact. Then compare this with the lives of the few who truly put God first and those who may look like they do, but do not and the fruit of their walk with God proves it. Look at Biblical, or historical, or modern day life examples. What do we see? Very few, but they are there and have actually attained God-centered balance. Those few are proof that it’s a truth and by God, it’s possible! The masses are proof that without God, it is impossible to regain the balance of power between men and women.
When God is restored to His rightful place in a man’s heart, if he is married or desires to be married, a revelation of great importance begins to unfold. His female wife can be literally viewed and treated as though she has come from within him and is really his own flesh-and-bone. With his beautiful lady “from” his side and at his side, he no longer needs the strong parental bonds to hold his heart or care for his body. Re-anchored in God with Christ as her first Love, the man’s wife and counterpart now supply what is her part of his peace.
If the man does not desire to marry, this place is filled entirely by the grace of God Himself, rather than through a female (and vice versa). As a redeemed believer in Jesus Christ, the woman is no longer subject to what the fall did to her powerful emotions of desire. She no longer tries to pull from her man what is God’s to supply, but rather freely shares what comes out from her deep connection to and communion with God, who she has become restored to as a “direct report.” Such a blessed man need not ruin his relationship by dominating his woman’s God-breathed beauty and love. To keep the well flowing, such a man would seek to nurture and care deeply for this special part of him in her.
When God is restored to His rightful place in a woman’s heart, she can fully love and serve God as she was created to do and thus love and serve her husband with great dignity and honor just as her husband can love and serve her with equal dignity and honor. Such a woman can also serve others in a corporate leadership role and rule because her relationship with God has been redeemed and the power His Spirit is being made manifest through her in godly wisdom and prophecy (For example: Sarah, Ester, and the Prophetesses Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Anna, and the Acts 2:17 end-time overcomers). Trust is one of the biggest tools on godly men and women’s tool belt. Trusting God first is the only way a couple will be capable of trusting each other.
There are many Biblical examples of the role of women being subject to male domination. For example, the uproar Queen Vashti created when the Persian King Ahasuerus summoned her to his party to show off her beauty to his men-folk and she said “No!” Outraged and incensed, the men at the party acted quickly. Female subjugation is a big deal and must be maintained at all costs. They influenced the king to take quick action to ensure that women throughout the land did not “get any big ideas” from Queen Vashti and think that they too could say “No!” to their man. God used Queen Vashti’s act of “insubordination” and the men’s subsequent attempt to quickly regain all control of women to usher into the picture beautiful, godly Ester.
In the first place, Ester won the heart of the king and was chosen as Vashti’s replacement because she first loved God and His beauty shone upon her, setting her above all the other beautiful women presented. Ester is a stellar example of godly female leadership. Hot Ester honored God above all else and through her love for God and for her husband, Ester acted valiantly on behalf of her country and her king. Her leadership took great courage, involved intense beauty, and included life-threatening, shrewd decisions. Queen Ester showed the world the price of loving God with her whole heart and how beautifully such anchored love befits her role alongside of her husband, the king.
Ester 1:10-12, 17-22, On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. 12But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. … 17 “For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women causing them to despise [look with contempt] on their husbands by saying, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in to his presence, but she did not come.’ 18“This day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s conduct will speak in the same way to all the king’s princes, and there will be plenty of contempt and anger. “When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small. 21This word pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22So he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province according to its script and to every people according to their language, that every man should be the master in his own house and the one who speaks in the language of his own people.”
And then there’s Ruth. The beautiful short story of Ruth allegorically reveals the lovely process of God restoring an end-time Bride for Jesus. Once Ruth committed her life to God and Naomi and dramatically walked it out, Ruth’s social status quickly rose: Starting as a foreigner (Ruth 2:10), she next describes herself as a maidservant (Ruth 2:13), and then as a handmaid (Ruth 3:9). By the end of the story, Boaz, her future husband, refers to her as a wife (Ruth 4:10), then Ruth is inducted into the royal line of Israel as an ancestress of King David (Ruth 4:17) and ultimately, and finally added to the bloodline of Jesus Himself.
Thus, Biblical accounts of female subjugation and female triumph abound. When woman first separated herself from being a “direct report,” to God as her first-love, survival demanded that she switch how she used and controlled her deep emotions and longings to get what she needed or wanted. Woman adapted to her male-dominated society by using her emotions and longings for good or for ill, to soothe and caress the soul of another human being and/or shoot a bitter arrow straight through the heart.
Females who want to capitalize on a man’s need for a woman’s deep emotion, especially as a boy from his Mother, will misuse their power to comfort through manipulation of the man’s emotions to get something from them that is wanted. Men who do not want to be manipulated like that simply reject the woman and get someone else who won’t do that to them, thus manipulating their own circumstances to gain their vision for success. The power struggle to get what one wants and needs just flips back and forth between men and women, depending on who’s taking what from whom.
The Apostle Paul’s instructions to believing couples for a restored male-female, husband-wife relationship are a cultural slap-in-the-face to 6,000+ years of otherwise. Who ever heard of “laying down your life for a woman?” This was a completely new and even preposterous statement. As we read Ephesians 5, we see the stark contrast from how men used to view and treat women to how believing Christian men, re-anchored and balanced in a God-first love, are to view and treat women—especially their wife. Paul even went so far as to say that “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Women are to be subject “as to the Lord.” That verse tells us that women are to first be restored to reverent submission to God’s leadership as His “direct reports” before women are even capable of true submission to their husband’s leadership. Men must also be restored to reverent submission to God to be capable of loving their wives in the way Paul instructs them to love. A secure-in-God man can love his wife like God does. A secure-in-God woman can trust such a man and easily respond to his leadership with heartfelt submission.
Ephesians 5:1-2, 22-33, Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 22Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourish and cherish it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Women must walk in radical obedience to God just like men if they want the fullness of Christ. And brothers in Christ must refuse to use the power that the fall gave men over women. Neither of them can hide behind their spouse, children, careers, or religion. The expression of true faith is not what you say you believe but what you actually do outwardly toward others and inwardly toward God. Faith without applied obedience is not faith.
The end-time Romans 8:19 Manifest Son’s of God includes both men and women, as does the Bride of Christ. They are the same end-time group of people who come into the fullness of Christ. In order for the entire Bride/Manifest Son’s of God to become mature, the women must be delivered from viewing themselves through the old lens of subjugation and the men must refuse to resort to any form of subjugation. Today’s women have head knowledge that they are not lesser then men yet still, many women keep employing the old workarounds and tactics for survival because they don’t yet believe who God says they are in Him. They don’t yet believe it because they are not doing the work of repenting from the old ways and becoming restored to their first-Love, Jesus. Repentance means that women return whole-heartedly to God in radical obedience and quit viewing men as more spiritual. We can stop the god of the stomach from controlling our emotions and keeping us bound to the past.
Philippians 3:18-21. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.