Did the Fall Cause it All?

There is much debate in the Christian community over the touchy subject of role distinctions. One camp argues that the wife's role of submission, as described in Ephesians 5, was the result of the fall. They point to God's statement to Eve in Genesis 3:16 and view submission as an element of the “curse” and a direct consequence of her disobedience. If this were the case, I would have an even greater struggle with submitting!

Actually, I believe we see role distinctions and God's design for husbands to function as leaders, and wives to affirm that leadership role through intelligent, courageous, unselfish submission to God's authority–before the fall ever occurs!

Why? Here are a few thoughts:
 

  • Man was created first (Genesis 2:7).
  • God gave man the responsibility to care for the garden (Gen. 2:15).
  • God gave man the authority to name the creatures (including the woman) (Gen. 2:19-23).
  • God placed man in the position of provider and protector by giving him the responsibility to care for the garden and giving instruction for spiritual protection by warning him of the consequences of disobedience–before the woman was even created (Gen. 2:15-18).
  • Woman was created by God to rule with her husband as a co-regent over creation (Gen.1:26-28).
  • Woman was in relationship with God before He presented her to Adam (Gen. 2:22).
  • Woman is given the privilege of ruling at her husband's side as his helper (Gen. 2:18).
  • Woman came from man and was created for man (1 Corinthians 11:8)
  • The curse for the woman states her “desire” will be to control or rule over the man, but God reiterates His plan for the man to function as the head in order that the marital relationship reflect the relationship between Christ and the church (Gen. 3:16, 1 Cor. 11:3Ephesians 5:22-33). 


The funny, yet sad, observation I have in all this is: as women, we fight against the very thing that brings real freedom and joy. We are so prone to rebelling against this model we see in Scripture. We want to be in control, to take the lead, to do things our own way, and yet that course of action always ends in conflict, disappointment, and many times, isolation. It never results in the beautiful complementary union that God desires couples to enjoy. Operating this way also prevents an accurate reflection of His relationship with the church.

This might seem a bit heavy, but what do you think? Do you think God has a purpose in the model He's given for husbands and wives and His instruction on this extremely important topic? Share your thoughts concerning our role as “True Women” as we function with our husbands.  

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.