Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
God created man and woman. Before sin came into the world these two beings, who were created in the image of God, had separate duties bestowed on them by their Creator, but were on equal standing in the eyes of God–a unified front. When sin entered the world, that perfect relationship was destroyed, and the enemy perverted the purity of what God desired most for His children.
Since Adam and Eve, men have struggled to lead and love, and women have struggled with self-worth.
I remember attending the magnificent drama at the Sight and Sound Theater on the book of Genesis. Prior to sin, Adam and Eve were content, and their joy for each other was paradise–perfect. When sin came into the world, a darkness settled over their relationship, and Eve yearned for healing words and protection from her mate; however, he could not give to her what she needed most. Instead, he withdrew from her into a troubled solitude. I sat there crying at that familiar scene. Eve’s facial expressions and body language turned from a confident woman to a woman filled with regret, shame, and insecurity as she cried out for Adam’s affections. She desired him; and he ruled over her.
We study history and realize the tug of war of a woman’s struggle to be seen and heard through historical victories such as obtaining the right to vote. My heart and mind goes to a deeper place–a place of bondage in which we can embrace the curse and live in denial or put our armor on and fight against it.
As a social worker, an overwhelming theme that I address are little girls without their daddies in the home, or if dad is in the home, he is absent in “being present”, more concerned about his next drink or fix, a workaholic, or filled with sarcasm or depression. Even in the most seemingly put together homes in which very little dysfunction is present, the father’s role was fuzzy, or he was not available. I see these girls grasping and searching for something they can’t seem to articulate, but have found a false sense of security in dating, intimacy before marriage, and in some cases becoming pregnant. They starve for love so much that they create a human being to love them. We can argue over the selfishness and immaturity of this, or we can spend time on the root of the problem– A fatherless nation.
A common theme with women I share my heart with are husband’s who struggle to lead their home spiritually, if at all. It appears that women are yearning, leading, begging, and their desire is to be affirmed and protected, not a distant “lording over”.
If you’ve made it this far in my post, I want you to hear me clearly–I’m not belittling men or women. This post is not a man bash session, or a plea for folks to feel sorry for women. I believe strongly that we’ve spent a lot of time arguing these points and missing THE point–
Men–love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. (Ephesians chapter 5)
Men, do you see the power of your leadership and love? You can help us be more holy through your leadership in the Word. We are radiant when we are covered under your mantel of protection and leadership.
This same leadership extends to your daughters. I wish I could record the words of daughters who feel invisible, ashamed that maybe they’ve disappointed you, and in some cases a bitterness that can’t be cut through because of years of hurt and shame.
Will we allow satan to have his way and extend the hurt since Adam and Eve, generation upon generation? Or, will we desire different and take action?
- If you find yourself in a place in which taking action seems impossible then run to counseling. Real men are okay in seeking help. Your wife and closest Christian friends are not skilled, trained counselors who can hold you accountable on a therapeutic level.
- Get into a body of believers with other men and worship, pray, and study God’s Word. His Word is your very lifeline. Take a break from hobbies, television, and things that pull you away from family and dig into His Word and apply and share it with your family–wash them with the Word.
- Accept Jesus as Your creator and Savior by confessing your sin, acknowledging His death and resurrection, and asking Him to be Lord of your life–submit to His authority. Surrendering is a sign of powerful strength!
- Accept the love of Jesus and believe God has a dream for your family! Did you know that God will reveal visions and dreams to you to speak over your family? Seek Him! Ask Him to reveal His will for your family.
- Commit to words of affirmation over your wife and children. Each of them receives, three times a day at least, an encouraging word from you filled with affirmation. Even if the relationship is strained, commit to this promise with no conditions or strings attached. Be generous without conditions.
- Engage and be present in the daily mundane of life and offer support.
- Take action! The world is vying for your family’s affection. Fight for them and protect your home. Don’t let anything vile or offensive cross your threshold.
- Teach your sons how to lead, respect, and honor women. Refuse to watch television shows that over-sexualize and put down women, refuse to engage in pornography, be careful of coarse jokes and language that treats women with disrespect, talk to them about sexual purity and his leadership in dating, share Christ with him.
- Pray without ceasing for your family.
- If you are single, prepare now and be ready to lead your wife and family. Keep yourself pure and lead the way in purity in your dating relationship.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31
If you struggle to find yourself as one flesh today put your marriage and family as a priority. If you are single and need to understand leadership God’s way, seek Jesus and His Word. He is your perfect father. Start, perhaps, with yesterday’s post and repent and renew. Read the verses and prayers and ask each other for forgiveness and a new start. Don’t keep secrets so the enemy can thwart, shame, and destroy. Share your struggles and take action–seek help.
An audio sermon from John Piper: (Amazing sermon! So Powerful! Please listen when you have time!)
An easy to read to get started on leadership and God’s love for you:
Link to order the book:
A song of worship: Courageous–Casting Crowns