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Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.

I became embittered toward the Bible’s unfair treatment of women at a young age. Before I had finished grade school, I had decided that I wanted to be a pastor.  After all, my pastor was one of my favorite people in the world, and I was a beast at AWANA Bible-quizzing.

And then came a sermon on 1 Timothy chapter 2, and I was in a right state for some time.
Did I live in a world where women were not to be pastors and teachers and Pope? (Okay, maybe not Pope).

And then, of course, my teenage years subtly blended territory with feminist friends and world leaders who treated their wives – well, let’s just say “in an un-Christian manner” – and books like A Thousand Splendid Suns and women running for President.  There were outcries against “Women, submit to your husbands” and none against “Husbands, love your wives.” Disney princesses suddenly didn’t need a man to be a monarch.  Soon, even women passing ranger school could even be on the horizons!

The undeniable power of the female reared its cultural head.  Women, with the ultimate innate ability to influence, to take the reigns, to wander naked in Eden and have all desire to be with her wherever she roams.

This is the makeup of our gender.  This is how we were perfectly created.  We were not created to submit, we were created in perfection, shameless.  The world was only deemed “not good” when women were found to be lacking in it (Genesis 2:18).

Things should be as they were in Eden at that time.  They should be full of freedom in all but one tree, freedom from pantyhose and underwire, freedom from nasty, tricksy serpents.  Woman shouldn’t be submitting, she should be frolicking with Man and walking in the cool of the day with Creator.  She should be without the knowledge of good and evil and the curse that comes with it.

But we are not.  She is not.  I am not.

The choice was made, and while I did not pick a piece of fruit off a forbidden tree and share it with my husband, trusting a snake over a Friend, I have done no better.

Christ came and redeemed this world for His Father.  For mankind.  For me.  He took my sin upon Himself and because of that, I can share eternity with Him.  I am so forgiven and nothing, nothing, nothing can keep me from Amazing Love.

But the curse remains, and I remain responsible.  I live here, doing my best, but not always doing my best.  The curse remains – my body will not feel like sunshine and daisies when I push children through it into this world.  The curse remains – my husband will not bring us food without some sweat on his brow and thorn scratches on his hands.  The curse remains – my womanly influence will no longer hold its power in our partnership – not in the way it should have. “Your desire will be for him…he will rule over you.”

I cannot argue with the curse unless I have not been Eve.  And I have been Eve.  And I keep being Eve, because I am imperfect and a sinner and even though I often truly do want to follow Christ with my whole heart, sometimes I do not.  Sometimes I want to follow myself, or my fantasies, or my culture.  I should not have to submit in Eden, but I am no longer in Eden and now I have to make my way.

You will not see me as the silent wife.  You will not see me as the abused wife.  You will not see me quietly allowing irrationality to affect my family, unless it is saturated in God’s hand.  I am not raising my hand and saying, “Oh, me! I want to submit! What fun to be forced into submission today!” That’s not the point.  But in order to make a post-Fall marriage work, I believe that one side must bow with respect and accept leadership in certain situations.  It’s not a synonym of oppression, abuse, throwing in the towel.

It’s not even being cursed.  It’s playing the role that is vital to survival, and ultimately joy, in this Post-Fall society.

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