Control

By:  Staci Stallings

Some of you may remember Dennis’s blog a week or so ago about Women Pastors.  In that blog, he said that while he wasn’t totally comfortable with women pastors, what made him more uncomfortable was that the men pastors seemed to have given up on the role they were supposed to fill (that’s a sloppy paraphrase, sorry).  One of our readers wrote back to say that women pastors is not Biblical and that there is something wrong with this phenomenon.  Well, as the Holy Spirit is wont to do in my life, He led me right to an ah-ha that validates both opinions.

In reading “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge, I have come to a startling revelation.  I’ve always thought that Eve sinned first; however, the initial “sin” of Eve was twined with the initial “sin” of Adam.  I put that in quotes because the initial “sins” are not what we normally think of as the fall–that would be the first bite of that apple.  But the set up for the sin actually happened moments prior to the actual fall.  When Satan as the snake first approaches, we “see” Eve because Satan speaks to her first.  However, the Bible is quite clear that “she gave it to the man who was with her.”  So Adam was right there.

I’ve often wondered about that–why Eve?  Why did Satan talk to her?  I mean, for us women, we’ve been pretty much convinced (at least I have) that it was our decision-making abilities or lack thereof that doomed the whole human race to disease and death.  If Eve had just chosen right, if she had just trusted more in God than in her own need for control, we wouldn’t be in this mess.  However, I never really thought about Adam.  Seriously.  What’s up with that?  He just stands there?

Now, Dennis is about ready to throw something at me right now (I know how this goes! “So you’re saying it’s all the man’s fault.  That’s typical!”), but hear me out.  What happened in that moment was a sin against the design of BOTH sexes–not just one.  Adam was DESIGNED to take the lead.  You know, that whole head of the household thing.  It didn’t show up in Ephesians.  It was inherent in the DESIGN.  And women weren’t suddenly put under the authority of the man when Paul wrote Ephesians.  It was in the design from minute one.

So, here we have Adam and Eve in the Garden.  Satan shows up.  Did they know evil or understand it?  I don’t know.  What I do know is what Adam was created for–he was created to be the man, the one to take charge, the one to protect God’s creation.  But what did he choose to do in that moment?  He didn’t say anything.  He didn’t step in.  He chose not to do what he was created to do!

Now, you’re going to protest that Satan did not speak to Adam.  He directed his question to Eve.  True.  But let’s say you’re in a restaurant and some big, burly guy with biceps bulging and tatoos everywhere steps up to your table and says, “Hey, Babe” to your wife.  Whether or not you, as a husband, actually step in, the truth is your whole spirit surges to step in.  And there’s a reason for that.  You are supposed to.  It’s hardwired into you to step between your Eve and evil.

But Adam didn’t.  Adam backed up and let Eve handle it.

Ah…  AH!

Do you see it?  Do you see where this is not just a story, a warning, about Adam and Eve.  It’s OUR story.  And it’s why our society is in such chaos.

The other day on one of the blogs I used to read, they had a story about two women with children who were “raising their family.”  (This blog had a definite feminist bent to it complete with the idea that men are the inherent problem in all that is wrong with the world.)  The caption said, “What is wrong with this picture?  Absolutely NOTHING.”  I immediately deleted said blog from my favorites.

The fact is that this type of thinking has EVERYTHING wrong with it.  Just like the women pastors, men have stepped back, and we women have stupidly let them.  In fact, we have done our level best to convince the men that they are superfluous to the whole human race!  We don’t need them.  We’re just as good as men.  A woman can do anything a man can do… in heels.

Cute bumper stickers, but altogether WRONG.

As men have made babies and taken off, we have let them.  As men have quietly stepped away from religion, we have let them.  As women have stepped in to make the money and raise the family, they have told men that they are not needed–and men have let US!

The truth is:  Men are essential.  They are essential to God’s design and to God.  They are not an afterthought, and by making them that, we’re making the same mistake Eve made.  What I have learned and am learning is that there is nothing wrong with being a woman.  There is nothing wrong with letting my man who loves me and was designed to take care of me… do that.  In fact, it’s been so wonderful to see him blossom as I’ve stepped back instead of stepping in front and on his toes and over him so I’d feel less vulnerable.

No so long ago, there was a battle for control between us.  Now, I realize now that I was never designed to take the lead.  That’s God’s place and my husband’s place.  Does that mean I’m somehow less than?  Absolutely NOT.  In fact, in a weird way, I’m finding I’m far MORE of myself the more I let them take the lead.

I write this not to spark any fireworks but to just ask you to consider the possibility that by making the same mistake Adam and Eve made in the Garden, we are setting ourselves up over and over again for heartache, and the apple hasn’t even been offered yet.

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4 Responses to Control

  1. Kathleen L. Maher says:

    Bravo, Staci, and AMEN!
    Biblically, you nailed it on the head. This is such an unpopular view that we are swimming against the current in our culture, but there must be some very powerful truths here for the enemy of our souls to fight so hard against it.
    In my personal walk, the Lord challenged me early on in my marriage to decrease, that my husband might increase. It is a conscious act of the will, and a grace we must ask for, because it does not come naturally to us as women.
    Look at Hillary and Bill Clinton. Have you noticed that as she increased in power and stature, he has declined in health and influence? To the point that he has been asked to set aside his charity work for her career’s sake? This is no accident; it is a spiritual principle.
    I appreciate this little newsletter for the way both of you are willing to explore these vital topics to believer’s victory. I pray your readership and influence grows.

  2. I add a second “bravo, Staci!” Well-written and most thought-provoking. If more women would be, well, feminine – not coy, not conniving, but truly female – perhaps we men, with maybe just a little nudge from our ladies, would actually step in to protect, to lead, to take charge. James, chapter 4, last verse, says “To him who knows to do good and does it not, it is sin.” No doubt Adam knew what he created to do, but he failed. He sinned. So do we men who fail to lead – not bullishly, not selfishly, but gently. Thoughtfully. Lovingly. As caring for “the weaker vessel.” Okay, back to my cup of coffee.

  3. Dennis says:

    Hey Staci, (I so wanted to say babe, but thought better of it.) I think you’re absolutely correct. I applaud what you’ve said. It isn’t an either or; it’s a both. We (men and women) both have our roles and our responsibilities. All I was trying to say was don’t be surprised if God gets tired of waiting for us to fulfill them and looks elsewhere.

    Dennis

  4. Peg Phifer says:

    Right on the nose, Staci! I had never really noticed that little fact that Adam was with Eve that fateful moment, thus making them both culpable. I wonder how many others have managed to overlook that? In fact, in her newest release “Havah,” Tosca Lee portrays that part of Eve’s story as a series of temptations by the serpent over a period of days, even weeks, and Eve was always alone. Very interesting.

    As I read what you wrote, I was taken back to the early years of my first marriage. This would be in the early 1960’s. My hsuband and I went to see the movie “A Man Called Peter” – about Peter Marshall based on Catherine Marshall’s book of the same name. (I’ve not read the book, btw.) As I recall one particular scene, both Peter and Catherine were with a group of young people talking about marriage and I can’t give you the words or much of anything else, but I remember them both saying that women, as wives, should allow their husbands to protect and lead. There was something about men putting their wives “on a pedestal” and that it was a good thing–with the caveat that women treat that elevation as sacred and not to be abused. (Someone will no doubt correct me if they’ve read the book or seen the movie if my memory is faulty.)

    In my present marriage, we both view ourselves as a couple “in tandem,” pulling together each day. Yet, even when yoked in tandem, isn’t one of those oxen (or horses) the strongest one . . . the one who actually takes the lead? Yet they have to pull the load together. They can’t go off pulling against one another.

    Thanks for making me think, Staci. Well done.

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