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Men's and women's roles in the Bible

Genesis 3: Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Genesis 3: Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Photo: Julia Tidd

There are a lot of controversial subjects involved in the Bible. Which part bothers you? I think the two that seem to cause the biggest concerns are the way women are treated and the way the Bible deals with alternative sexualities.

Do you try to reason out the Bible to explain your way of thinking? I'm asking because I fear that is what I have done in the not too recent past. In fact, I was enlightened just the other night. For months now, I've been theorizing that God did not really give man reign over woman. After all, He created them both at the same time. When God gave man dominance over all the animals of the earth, woman was not yet present. I reasoned that, as is mentioned in the New Testament regarding circumcision, this issue is one that was based on man's present culture. (Galatians 5)

We know that God gave us a perfect world and continually man turns it into something far from perfect. In the perfect Eden, Adam and Eve were more like equals. God said he created Eve to be Adam's "helper" which is also a title given to God later in the Bible. (Hosea 13:9) We all know that God did not create man to rule over Him. Quite the opposite. So, if this is the description He gave for woman's role to man, why would we think He would have intended the relationship to have the same characteristics as man over animals?

As I said, the other night I was enlightened. I've asked God to show me if I was correct. The last thing I want to do is to exert my will over His. I even asked a friend to help me with this at the Going Beyond event a few weeks ago. And, the other night, it was given to me. Genesis chapter 3- The Fall of Man. The Garden of Eden. The birthplace of all sin. Eve tempted by the serpent and the resulting fall of man. God's punishment was for woman to have pain in childbirth and to desire her husband and… be ruled over by him. There it was. That word. Rule. I reject that word as much as possible. I'm not alone. America was founded by people who rejected being ruled over by a single entity.

How did I miss it? How is it that I’ve read that passage several times and missed the significance of it when I was looking for exactly that answer? I'll tell you why. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to accept that I am told by God to let my husband rule over me. Why? My husband treats me very well. He considers me in all he does and asks. I only have to explain my thoughts and feelings in order for him to take me into deeper consideration. It isn’t like I don’t already honor his decisions for our family. It isn’t that I don’t already give him the respect the Bible indicates my husband should be allowed. I guess I just don’t like that word and the way it is used in today’s terms. I’m probably not alone, either.

So, taking this lesson to heart, I will honor my husband as God directs. He created him with me in mind. He created him to love and honor me. I should know better than to question God’s desire for my life.

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  • Jesse - Tucson Atheism Examiner 5 years ago

    As usual you have brought up some very good points, though to be honest in my relationship she is an equal partner and together we strive to 'honor and respect' each other equally. Commitment/ honesty being the obvious goal within a solid relationship of course.

    Great article and apologies for not dropping in last week - it was a busy one for me

  • Julia Tidd 5 years ago

    I completely identify. Life has a way of taking over sometimes.

    I feel like my husband and I have an equal relationship more than not. He really is good to me and for me. He's never made me feel less than. And, even though I don't like the thought of domination, I don't usually mind giving the reins over if I've made the decision to. When it is expected is when I start to struggle with what I should do vs what I want to do. They aren't always different. A lot of times, I would most likely make that decision of deference on my own if it wasn't put on me in a way that got my hackles up. Not sure if that makes sense.

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