Soft Spot

When Adam saw Eve for the first time, he exclaimed, “She shall be called ‘Woman’ (Ishsha) because she was taken out of Man (Ish).” In an earlier post, we learned that Ishsha means softness/receptivity, while Ish means strength/initiation.

The words reflect the complimentary nature of men and women. Men are more concerned with capability. Women are more concerned with relationality. Men are more concerned with protecting/providing. Women are more concerned with connecting/nurturing. Men are more attuned to what happens with their hands. Women are more attuned to what happens with their hearts.

The soft, receptive, responsive nature of woman is her greatest beauty and greatest strength. But sadly, sin ensured that it would also be her greatest heartache and greatest struggle. Sin makes woman’s “softness” her “soft spot.”

After the fall, God pronounced sentences of punishment on the man and woman sex-specifically. The woman received a different sentence than the man. Because men and women were different, they would experience the consequences of sin in different ways.

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, and he shall rule over you (Genesis 3:16).

God pronounced that the woman would have a tough time being a woman. First, her body would experience “pain” in all the hormonal and menstrual functions of womanhood, and in pregnancy and childbirth. But even more painful is the hardship she is destined to experience in relationships.

Sin profoundly affects all male-female relationships. Woman’s “desire for” man is twisted in a negative way. And so is man’s “rule over” woman. Theologians have talked a lot about what this phrase means, but I believe it comes down to this. God was saying that women’s “softness”—her responsiveness and receptivity—is damaged. Furthermore, man’s ”strength,” his God-given inclination to lovingly and protectively initiate, is damaged too:

Sin infused women with the urge to oppose, control, and act against men.

Sin infused man with the urge to harshly dominate and/or passively resist women.

The “softness” of woman thus also became our “soft spot”—the point at which sin affects and impacts us the most.

I want to hear from you.

• A few weeks ago, when I first talked about the meaning of “Ishsha,” I challenged you to rediscover the beauty of your God-given “softness.” How did you do?
• How is our “softness” also our “soft spot”?
• How do we protect ourselves from being wounded in our “soft spot” without giving up our beautiful womanly softness?

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian is an award-winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She has published several books, Bible studies, and videos. At home in Alberta, Canada, Mary watches lots of sports! Her sons play ice hockey and her husband, Brent, is chaplain for the local professional football team. The Kassians enjoy biking, hiking, snorkeling, music, board games, mountains, campfires, and their family’s black lab, General Beau.

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