The first sin woman ever committed in the Garden of Eden was not accepting the limits God had placed upon her. She wanted equality. The first sin man committed was in knowingly abdicating his authority over his wife and following her in her sinful desire rather than rebuking her sin.
The scriptures show us that woman was deceived by her sinful desire for equality:
“1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Genesis 3:1-6 (KJV)
Later in divine commentary given to him by God, the Apostle Paul gives us further detail on the Genesis account:
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
1 Timothy 2:14 (KJV)
So what Paul is telling us is that Eve was deceived by her desire for equality while Adam went into the sin fully knowing what he was doing. His sin was not a desire for equality with God, but rather a failure to live out his role by leading his wife and rebuking her sinful request to him. God tells us man’s first sin when he states:
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;”
Genesis 3:17 (KJV)
Many years later the righteous man Job would do with his wife what Adam should have done with Eve when Job’s wife enticed him to sin against God as Eve enticed Adam to sin to against God:
“9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
Job 2:9-10 (KJV)
Job did not follow his wife’s sinful request – but instead he rebuked his wife as God would later rebuke his wife Israel (Hosea 2:2-23) and Christ would later rebuke his wife the Church (Revelation chapters 2 & 3).
God warns Adam just as he would later warn Cain
In Genesis 4 we read of God’s warning to Cain regarding his sin nature:
“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
Genesis 4:7 (KJV)
When God speaks of “his desire” he is speaking of Cain’s sinful nature. His sin nature wanted to control his actions and make him sin against God. But God told him instead of letting his sin nature rule over him, he must rule over his sin nature.
This exact same phrase is used by God regarding a woman and her relationship to her husband:
“16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Genesis 3:16 (KJV)
In this case sin’s desire is replaced by the woman’s desire toward her husband. What we find in Genesis chapters 3 and 4 is that man must fight against two powerful forces that desire to control him and would have him sin against God. He must rule both over his own sinful nature as well as the sinful nature of his wife.
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
1 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)
A woman’s sinful desire causes her not only to seek equality with man – but also to usurp authority over man thus reversing the created design of God in regard to the two genders.
After 7000 years woman and man return to their original sins
Men and women have sinned against God in many ways since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden around 7000 years ago. And women have rebelled against their authority in man for all that time in many different ways.
But while man sinned against God in many ways since that day in the Garden there was one command that for the most part man followed:
“thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” Genesis 3:16 (KJV)
Men for all of human history up until the mid-19th century followed God’s command for them to rule over women. Sometimes they did so in harsh and imperfect ways, but for the most part they did not fail to exercise this mandate. Men were fully cognizant of a woman’s sinful desire for equality with man as she sinfully desired equality with God in Eden. Men, for the most part, were cognizant of a woman’s sinful desire to control man and men kept women in their place even when they sought to rebel.
But around the mid-19th century an equality cult was born. It was this equality cult, or egalitarianism as it is now called which gave rise to the birth of feminism. The equality movement taught that if one person did not have the same rights and privileges as another then this was treating that person in an inhumane and unjust manner. Feminism seized on this principle applying it specifically to women calling the inequality of women to men an injustice. The Bible was even twisted and mangled to support this false notion of injustice.
Just as Eve reached for that forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden women were once against reaching for the forbidden fruit of equality. But men having stood their ground against this sinful inclination in women for 7000 years relented and they once again did what God condemn Adam for. They abdicated their mandate to rule over women and “hearkened unto the voice” of women.
This movement cast aside the patriarchal family structure that had served mankind since creation itself. This feminist movement eventually infected the Church and attacked the very foundations of God’s design of the genders and of his divine institution of marriage.
The result of the equality cult and his spawn of feminism has been the downfall marriage and the family over the last century. God’s institution of marriage is routinely mocked by couples engaging in casual sex. Divorce is rampant and couples living sin together is the norm. Children having two moms and dads is now the way of life.
But as Christian Churches and as Christian men and women we can return to God and his will and design for our genders if we so choose and he will heal our land if we do so.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
Returning to Biblical Gender Roles
In order to return to living by Biblical gender roles we must return to “the book” as a young Israelite King did.
“10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.”
2 Kings 22:10-13 (KJV)
The “book” alluded to in the story above is the Word of God. Like young Josiah said of his ancestors, our American “fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.” Our Ancestors starting in the mid-19th century began to lose their way when they followed the false teachings of egalitarianism and feminism.
Now we must return to the teachings of “this book” if God is to heal our land, our churches, our families and our marriages. This is the primary mission of this site – BiblicalGenderRoles.com.
With that being said we will start with the divine commentary on the Genesis account as given by the Apostle Paul:
“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. ”
I Corinthians 11:3 & 7-11 (KJV)
This passage teaches four critical Biblical principles if we are to understand God’s design of man and woman in this world.
Biblical Gender Principle #1 – Man was made to image God
Man is “the image and glory of God” meaning he is God’s direct image bearer and he was made to bring glory to God by playing out the image of God.
So what does this mean? It means the masculine traits given to men before the fall and those masculine traits which are honored by God are things that men should freely and abundantly exercise to the best of their ability. Man’s desire to lead, provide and protect. His competitive nature, his desire to build, his desire for respect and his desire for beauty and pleasure all come from God. Man’s desire for all these things is not simply for himself, but ultimately it is so that he will fulfill the purpose of his design which was to be God’s direct image bearer.
Women today complain that men just don’t act like men anymore and you know what – they are right! But it is men, not women that must decide for themselves that they will act like men.
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
It is men who must decide to take back their mantle of responsibility. Will they work hard and provide for their families or will they be deadbeats? Will they love their wives and children by leading them, correcting them, teaching them, providing for them and protecting them as God does for his people or will they abuse their families and abdicate their responsibilities? Will men follow the mandate to rule over their wives or will they let their wives rule over them? Will they image God or not? These are the choices men must make for themselves.
Biblical Gender Principle #2 – Woman was made to help man image God
There are many Christians on both sides of the aisle that teach that men need women to help them be what God intended them to be. But most of these Christians do so from the false premise that woman by nature is spiritually and morally stronger than man and they in essence teach that men need their wives to act as a mother figure to them to help them to fully image God as a husband and father.
Christian Feminists and Egalitarians on the left make no secret of their belief that men need women to keep them in line. They have no problem with women usurping authority over their husbands wherever a woman feels her husband is wrong.
But there are many Christian groups which on the surface seem to oppose women usurping authority over men but then they encourage feminine usurping through the back door. Focus on the Family is a good example of this. In one statement they will say they believe in male headship and that women should submit to their husbands. But then they completely undermine Biblical patriarchy by teaching women they may usurp authority over their husbands by “placing boundaries” on their husbands. Women placing boundaries on their husbands is just another way of saying women can correct and discipline their husbands as a mother would correct and discipline her son.
In a way the teachings of groups like Focus on the Family, that supposedly support Biblical male headship yet subtly undermine it, are more dangerous than that of Christian feminist groups because they are mixing their heresy with some truths from God’s Word.
So how should a woman help her husband?
From a Biblical perspective a woman helps a man image God not by being his mother and teacher but instead by giving her husband the respect she gave her own father and seeing her husband as her teacher. Only when a woman rids herself of all pride realizing that every part of her God given physical and mental design was meant to serve and bless her husband can she help him image God.
It is when a woman expresses her respect for her husband, her need for his leadership and guidance and when she fully submits her mind and body to his will making herself one with him in this way that she fully helps him to image God.
Woman was made in man’s image to bring him glory and by doing so she brings God glory. God made woman the “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) so that she would need man as mankind needs God. Woman was made from man (I Corinthians 11:8) so that she would share in common with man a human nature. In their common human traits men and women both reflect the nature of God but woman’s nature deviates from God’s nature in her distinctively feminine traits. Every attribute of a woman’s feminine nature was given to her not as a reflection of God’s image, but rather as a way to help man fully reflect God’s image by being an object upon which man can fully play out his role as the image bearer of God.
Biblical Gender Principle #3 – Only through marriage can man and woman fully live out their design
Men and Women are given a natural pull and complementary needs toward one another so that they will play out the roles given them by God. This is why I Corinthians 11:11 tells us “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” – meaning that God made men and women interdependent on one another. Many liberal Christians and those who reject Biblical principles will not have a problem with this third principle. They like that men and women need each other. It sounds nice. But what they don’t like is WHY the Bible teaches here that men and women need each other.
“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)
It is “for this cause” (vs 31), the cause of fully playing out the roles that God has given to men and women that we enter into marriage. Ephesians 5 shows us that God made man the image bearer and woman for man to play out his role as the image bearer in marriage. In God’s divine institution of marriage man plays the role of God and woman plays the role of mankind.
Men “need” women as objects upon which to play out their God given image traits. On the other hand – every need of the God given feminine nature (before the corruption of Eden) is given to a woman to help man play out his God given attributes.
In other words the reason God gave women a desire to be beautiful was not for themselves but it was because men desire beauty. Women were not given sexual desire for themselves, or the ability to derive sexual pleasure for themselves. They were given sexual desire and the ability to experience sexual pleasure to please their husbands for whom they were made. A woman was not given the desire to bear and nurture children for herself, but rather she was given these desires to please her husband and help him fully play out his God given image as both husband and father.
In summary regarding this third principle – there are some things God has given us to do that we cannot do without cooperation with someone else. It is only through God’s divine institution of marriage that men and women can fully play out the design for their genders. Man cannot fully image God without becoming a husband and father and woman cannot fully live out her role as the being created specifically for man without finding a man to serve as his wife and mother to his children.
Biblical Gender Principle #4 – Celibacy is God’s exception to his design for two genders
In the rare case of celibacy, God allows in his sovereignty for some men and women not to fully play out the roles he designed for each gender.
God’s rule – “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) is that man plays out his image and that woman is the object upon which man plays out his image. His exception to this rule is that he has given some the “gift” of celibacy (I Corinthians 7:7) so he does not put in them the independency upon the opposite sex referenced in I Corinthians 11:11. This gift is given for service to God. But we must remember this is the exception to God’s design and not the norm of his design for man and woman.
Unfortunately our American ancestors have returned us to the original sins committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve sought an equality that was not hers to have and Adam abdicated his responsibility to rule over his wife and followed her sinful request. But like young King Josiah – we too can return to God’s ways if we return to the teachings of “the book” – the Word of God. It starts with us as men and women as individuals returning to God’s Word and then with husbands teaching their wives and fathers teaching their children. When our families are rebuilt on the Word of God then we can take back our Churches for God and eventually our nation for God.