In the story of Adam and Eve, we can see that truly, each of them chose their desire, whether desire for love of a man, or desire for God-like control over others, they chose their desires over obeying God and His Word. And truly “Your desire/return/argument (teshuba) will be to your husband and he will rule over you” has been played out in history ever since, that she wants him to love her, argues with him, leaves and returns to him, and he does all sorts of things to control and dominate her.
God said this would happen as a fact. The reason why is because they would continue on as they had, choosing their desires that they wanted more than Him. This was their choice, and He was not going to stop them from their choice, as they had free will. And by their nature, by their choices they made, of their desires that were more important to them than God’s Word and obeying God, it all was only going to continue.
And again, the ultimate reason why the fall into sin happened was because the serpent, Satan, interfered and intentionally attacked the man and the woman and the first marriage. They, in innocence, were in good standing with God. And they likely would have continued on that way indefinitely, except for outside interference from the enemy.
A Christian man is not the enemy, nor a Christian woman, but rather the Devil is the enemy. And using their desires, sins and weaknesses to pit one against the other is exactly what happened in Eden, and exactly what Christians today should be wary of, within marriage or without. The story of the fall is one that helps us to better understand the nature of men and the nature of women in their weaknesses and faults. It can help us to better understand ourselves, other people, and humanity around us, including the fallen world that is lost.
What should have happened? What did God want to happen with Adam and Eve?
The un-chosen option:
He should have just told her the truth, that while God told her she could eat from any tree, that God told him he could not eat from 1 tree or he would die. And he didn’t know why.
What would she have done?
What she would have done is completely reflected in how she responded to what he did tell her. She trusted him, and followed him, and believed him. She would have believed what he told her was all true, and from God, and with as much love as she had for him, she would have tried to help him to not eat from the tree. And if he didn’t want her to eat either, in her compassion, she probably would not have either. And when the serpent came a knocking, they wouldn’t have been home.
And likely someone would have thought to ask God why this difference was so. And God (I think) would have explained that children are begat by the father, and born through the mother, and that if the man ate, as he was the one with the original living spirit or “breath of life”, that all spirits multiplied from his, whether that of the woman, or of any children, all spirits would die if he ate, and his own would die. And this is why the man could not eat of the tree. But the woman had no such responsibility, so she could eat and nothing would happen, it was harmless, and so this is why she could eat.
And both would have felt loved by God, with no doubts, no pride or lies, coming in between them.
Honesty. Treating others as you would like to be treated. Honoring, respecting, and loving the woman. Loving, respecting, and honoring the man, and naturally trusting and following him. Two people working together to carry out the will of God. Cooperation. Equality, among differences. Peace.
Something to note… How could it be fair for God to give the man a command to not eat from the tree, but allow the woman to do this? How is that balanced or fair?
Consider this: the man was given a command to not do something, and he had no choice over this. He was not allowed to do this, and he had no choice. He had no decision and no control.
On the other side of this scale, God made the woman to have to go through pregnancy, and she had no choice over this and no control. Even if it originally would not have been painful, prior to the fall she had no choice over this. She would get pregnant, her body would enlarge, and even without pain, it still would be an uncomfortable thing to go through, and she had no choice over it. God gave her something she had to endure, pregnancy, which she had no choice but to do. The only way she wouldn’t is if she died, as long as she lived she had no choice but to go through pregnancy, as long as she obeyed God’s command to multiply. And she herself had no way she could choose to die. So she had no choice but to endure pregnancy.
And so also God gave the man something to endure, a command, which he had no choice but to not do, or die. This is balanced and fair. Neither gender was given preferential treatment. Knowing one absolutely must do something and that they have no choice, how is that any more or less stress than knowing one absolutely must not do something and that they have no choice? And so God’s command to not eat from the tree was balanced by the fact that God made her so she would have to go through pregnancy and childbirth over and over again. So it was fair and balanced.
Just as she could eat from the tree, he did not have to carry and bear children. Just as he could not eat from the tree, she had to go through pregnancies, there in Eden.
And the woman was going to bear most of the load of the multiplying, as her body itself would require her to do. This was her main job, but there was more beyond this, as there was breastfeeding. And this is interesting, because Adam’s main job was to tend and keep the garden. This was their food supply, which God prepared and grew, and the man essentially just needed to keep it pretty and prune it. And it was like they lived in a grocery store, a beautiful all-organic smorgasbord, which he was to tend and keep. And as he was tending to their food, she was going to be tending to the food for the infants. And so you know, with nursing the baby, breastfeeding the baby, the woman might have helped with the garden, but comparatively she was going to minor in it, while the man majored in it. And visa versa, the man was going to minor in feeding the infants, and major in the garden. They were both told to be fruitful and multiply, but the loads for each were different, even though they overlapped, and were balanced.
This is how things would have been had they not fallen, that the grocery store remained stocked without much work, and the pregnancies would be easy without much to any pain at all, and with plenty to eat to feed infants through breastfeeding, and children through tending the garden.
The man taking care of the food, the gardening, was balanced not by only the pregnancies, but by the breastfeeding of the babies. This breastfeeding likely would have continued on for over 2 years for each child, with one child potentially coming up to replace the other for nursing. And it probably would have been nursing-on-demand, whenever the child was hungry. Which is actually quite a lot of work, for those who don’t know much about that. And after this period, soon the child could find and get food for themself, or for others. So as the man helped the woman with food, the woman helped the babies with food, and as the child got older the child helped the man and with food. And so the workload was easy and balanced when it came to everyone getting fed. Truly, I would say him not eating from the tree was completely balanced by her going through pregnancy, with some left to spare, and the principle is the same and fair. And his working the garden was balanced by her pregnancies also, and by her breastfeeding the infants.
This explains why God’s punishment to each of them was what it was. Truly, he was charged to not eat from the tree, and she I do believe would have helped him to not if she had known the truth. But because he ate, and because she tempted him to eat, they both were punished. Her light load, became heavy and painful, terribly painful especially her time of labor, and also likely became painful during menstruation. And his light load also became heavy and more painful.
They both participated in what God told them not to do, and as such God made it harder for them to do what He had told them to do. It became hard for the man to be “fruitful” and for her to “multiply”, as these they were their main tasks, even though of course they did overlap and were shared, as she helped with the fruitful part, and he helped her with the multiplying also. But of course, they needed food, and could hardly help but multiply, and they were helpless to be otherwise, as long as they lived.
But this also shows how their punishments were balanced. It is no worse for her to have pain than for him to have pain, whether from inside the body, or from outside of it. It was balanced. Of course, this is just what God did, He gave her pain, and He cursed the ground giving Adam pain, and this is specified that God did these things.
But as for her returning/arguing/desire to be to him, and for him to rule over her and dominate her, God did not do these things. Rather they were just a continuation of their original problems. Such as him acting like he was more important and trying to come between her and God, and her believing him over God because she wanted him to love her. But it doesn’t work, it never did, because it is based on a lie. God loves men and women equally, He always has, and He always will. Pride, lies, self-deception, envy, whatever, between men and women will not change the truth, God made us different, but equal, and equally loved by Him, with neither one in charge of the other, or preferred over the other. He loves us equally. He always wanted a man and woman to love each other and get along as peers, accepting and enjoying their differences, which He made them to naturally function in, and that is still what He wants today.
God wanted the man to tell the woman the truth about His Word, to teach her His Word.
Not for the man to make up his own words or pass them off as God’s.
God wanted the man to respect God as the authority over both the man and the woman as equals.
Not for the man to use his whatever power he had to his advantage to control the woman.
God wanted the man to be trustworthy, and honest, and love the woman as she was.
Not to lie to her, or envy her, or have malice towards her, just for being as she was.
God wanted the man to ask Him and turn to Him for answers about what he didn’t understand.
Not to make assumptions that he could figure out the answers for himself.
Looking at the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, it is clear that God’s intent was for the man to do quite different than he did. If the man loved the woman, as God wanted him to, then he would not have lied to her. If he loved her, he would not have sought his own way, but her way, God’s way for her, used not his own words, but told her God’s words. He would have honored her, as God had honored her, that she could eat from all the trees freely. He would have used his position as the first-made to show his trustworthiness, and not taken advantage of the opportunity to fool her. He would have treated her as he would have wanted to be treated, if he had been made second, and told her the truth about what had happened before she was made.
It seems the essential question, is why did Adam not do these things? What was the problem he had in how he perceived the woman? It seems he must have had a problem in how he perceived her, how he thought about her, that led him to not behave towards her as God wanted him to. How would he have had to perceive the woman, in order for him to have done what God would have had him do that would have been correct?
Well, it seems likely that he envied her, that she could eat but he could not. This conveys that he considered her to be in competition with him. He was not aware that her going through pregnancy, to bear his children multiplied from his spirit, was going to take place, and that she would not have any more choice over this than him not eating of the tree. And that in not eating from the tree, he was protecting her and the children. That was one problem, and he should have asked God about this, to see there was a reason why all this was balanced and fair. So ultimately he was not focused enough on God. But before he asked God, in the meantime, was there something else that could have held him at bay from competition with her before God, and envy? Yes. At least a lesson we could learn, even though he did not understand this fully.
Adam had seen that God had made her from him, and she would be the one through whom all his multiplied children would come, his and her children. But in a way, she also was like his child, as she was multiplied from him. Which is not to say that a woman is a child, but rather to speak a truth. The woman had great natural need for the man to love her, the same as if she was his own child. And in a very real way, she was his child! In a way, the woman was the only child of the man. And through her all of his other children, their children would come. This oddly enough, is somewhat parallel to Jesus. Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, and through Jesus Christ, all of God’s other children, us His adopted children, would come. It is similar, as in much of the same way, it is like the woman was like the only begotten daughter of the man, and through the woman all of the man’s other children would come. It is just a loose analogy, but it is true that the female gender is the only child the male gender ever directly begat.
This sentiment seems to be why 1 Cor 11 says,
For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of man! For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man.
This verse expresses than the woman is the glory of man, originating from him, in such a way that is very in keeping with the happiness and parental pride of a father about his only child. Just as Eve was the only child of Adam. She was like his only-begotten daughter, or another way to put it, is that the female was like the only child of the male. And in 1 Cor 11 as Paul writes on husbands and wives, God encourages men to see their wives this way – with a parental pride and joy of the wife, the female being like the only child of the male, a glory. And this is because a wife is like the first woman, and a husband is like the first man, it should be seen by the husband that this woman who is his wife, it was like God made her out of his own rib, and she was like the only child begotten directly from his own body and spirit, by God.
This is what Adam did not understand, that had he perceived about the woman God brought to him, he would not have found her competition or envied. Because she was like his child in a way, and thus that he had a responsibility that she did not have was not unfair, but made sense. I am not trying to say that women are children, by any means, but rather that there is a special way that a husband was meant to view only his own wife, like she was the only begotten child made directly from his body and spirit by God. In this special way, she is not a child, but she is like his child. Which may help us to understand why over and over God instructs men to love their wives, “agapao” them, with the same kind of love that God has for His children, which is an unconditional fatherly love.
A woman is not a man, nor is she a child, but her husband is meant to love her with a fatherly sort of love. Adam did not see things this way, but instead seemed to succumb to envy of the woman, but if he had seen her more like she was his special only begotten child, how silly would it have been for him to envy her? Does a righteous parent envy their child? Does a righteous parent resent their child for any responsibility that the parent has more than the child? No.
And in the same way, Eve was naturally designed to be trusting and submissive to Adam . She was designed emotionally both to view him like a peer, but also like he was in some ways her father, especially in that she needed a fatherly sort of unconditional love from him, like a child craves from their father. This is why over and over again she seems to have given him the benefit of the doubt about him lying to her, and blaming her, because she could not conceive that he could have malice towards her, anymore than a child is naturally inclined to believe their father has malice for them. Indeed, in some ways, she was emotionally and psychologically built like she was the child of Adam.
And so from the very beginning, God intended for the man to love the woman with an unconditional fatherly sort of love, and God intended for the woman to be naturally trusting and follow the man, submitting to him. And this is the exact same thing, the same dynamic, which the New Testament describes for Christian husbands and wives, telling women to submit to their own husbands, and telling men to love their wives, not seeking their own way, even self-sacrificially, so that the woman will respect him, and for him not to be harsh with her. For what child can respect their father if he does not seem to love them, and is harsh with them? But if a father loves his child and shows it, and is not harsh with his son, then the child will respect his father. But a son cannot respect an unloving and harsh father, any more than a wife can respect an unloving and harsh husband.
Can a father love a child who shows no submission to his father, and refuses to do what the father wants him to do? What father does not love his child? This is a difference, as with a child, not a grown child but a child, a righteous father will still love a son who is ornery. But truly, how often is a ornery child the result of an unloving and harsh father, in which the child’s treatment by the father has prompted a natural response of a rebellious child? This is not always the case, but with actual children it is often the case. Surely, a child is born with a predisposition to be submissive to his parents, like a woman is made with a predisposition to be submissive to her husband, but often when this is ruined it is in the same way. This is not always the case, but it often is, especially with an actual child, say under 10 years of age.
But even as God made woman to be emotionally and psychologically like a child to her husband in some ways, and meant for the man to be emotionally and psychologically like a father to her in some ways, there is a major difference. And it is the lack of understanding of this difference that is so essential in marriages. A husband was never given authority over a wife and Adam was never given authority over Eve, not to control her, not to punish her like a child for disobedience, not to give her his own orders and have them be seen like they were from God himself. Adam had 1 way in which God had given him actual power over the woman, and that was that he could choose to teach her more of God’s word, or not, as she did not know what God had said before she was made. He was to show her that he heeded and respected God, in His Word, and this was his choice, to teach her God’s Words, or to play god over her himself, which was wrong and led to sin, and is sin.
When it comes to authority, the man was to relate to the woman like she was his grown son, a beloved peer, not a young child. He was to teach her the Word of God like they were peers. It was like he could relate and teach the Word of God to his grown son, or he could not. But what righteous man would gain anything by presenting his own words as the Words of God to his son? And as Adam’s lie was found out by Eve because of the serpent, it seems that inevitably his lie would have been found out by the woman interacting with God directly, at some point in the future, if sin had not occurred. It might have been someday, even likely, that the woman would have asked God “why will I die if I eat from the tree?” or “why did you tell me I could eat from the all the trees, and not tell me this one would kill me if I ate?”
And so, like a father lying to his grown son about the Bible’s Words, while he might be believed, eventually the grown man can and likely will learn for himself, and himself see his father lied. Then he may confront or disagree with his father, same as Eve was given the power by God to disagree with Adam about what God said to her directly about what she herself could or couldn’t do.
And so Adam was only ever given this particular limited power over Eve, just like that of a father over his grown son, to teach him the truth about God or to lie, to explain to her what he was doing by not eating of this tree, and what God had truly commanded him. And Eve was in balance given an equal but opposing power over Adam, to correct him in regards to God’s Word in what God had told her directly, and choose to obey what God had told her directly.
And the Bible also teaches this pattern of relating in the example of Jesus and His Father God,
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” John 5:19-20
In the same way, Adam should have shown Eve that he would not eat of the tree, and revealed to her God’s true words. And it is likely with her submissive trusting nature, that she would have done as he did, and if nothing else, she would have also obeyed God’s command to Adam, by helping him to not eat from the tree.
This is the ONLY amount and sort of power that God EVER gave to a man in a marriage over his wife. When God gave power and authority to a husband over a wife it was not in name, but in deed. We can see clearly the exact type and amount of authority that God gave a husband over his wife in marriage, in the story of Adam and Eve, and exactly the responsibility as well. It was precisely that Adam had the authority to teach her God’s command, teach her what must be done to obey God, or to not, and the responsibility to protect her with his obedience to God, or to not. This is the ONLY authority, and concept of responsibility, that God ever gave a husband over a wife.
But this does not mean that the husband has more authority over the wife than she has over the husband, because she was given the authority by God over her husband, to contradict and correct him in regards to herself, and stick to what she knew God had said to her, and herself obey it. So neither one actually had more power or authority than the other. He could teach her something she didn’t know, but only about his relationship with God. If he tried to teach her more about herself, interfering with her relationship with God, it was in sin, as she had her own instructions directly from God, same as he did, and she couldn’t teach him more about himself without it being sinful either. The wife also had power given by God to correct her husband if he was wrong about her direct relationship with God. So their power and authority over each other was equal.
God did not give the Adam the authority to force the woman to obey him rather than God, and that the man tried to force her to obey him was his first mistake. Nor did God give the man the responsibility to make sure that she did obey God’s command, as the tree was harmless to her, and she could eat of it, and was not commanded as he was. The responsibility of the man was to protect her with his obedience to God, and to teach her about God’s command to himself. All the power the man had was essentially to be able to teach her a little more knowledge about God, as it related to his relationship with God. This is the only power that God ever gave a husband over a wife, and the corresponding responsibility. But again, this is balanced by her autonomy before God, and that God gave her the authority and power to correct her husband about God’s Words to her, and stick to what God had told her about herself. So again, neither the husband or wife had more power or authority over the other, but were equal.
To step back a moment, to the punishments of Adam and Eve, there is additional insight here.
The man was forced to till a cursed ground, to provide food for himself, as he was cast out of the garden alone. And his sin against God came about first because he did not see nor behave towards God as he should of. But secondly, because he did not love or treat the woman as God intended. He was a poor husband, and as a result he had to work the ground, because he was forced to get away from his wife, so he would not further hurt himself and her by trapping them both in a state of sinful immortality. His punishment was not conditional upon being with the woman, but was for being a man who was sinful. His lot in life then became to live the rest of his life alone, and he had no choice in this, working the land to eat, and had no choice in this either unless he let himself starve.
But the woman’s punishment was in part a choice. She was there alone in Eden with all her food provided. She likely had an amount of menstruation pain already. Either she could live and die alone and never bear children, or she could choose to go to the man and had been warned she would be dominated (not something God did to her as a punishment, but something the man would just continue to do), and would also be potentially choosing to multiply by choosing to return to the man, and God said he would multiply her pain if she did choose to multiply.
It seems clear that the woman’s punishment by God’s hand of multiplying her pain was conditional on her having children, and in this returning to the man. For if he dominated, as God warned her he would, then she might have no choice about multiplying, so her choice to not multiply meant not leaving the garden. In fact, her punishment of pain in childbirth was conditional upon her choosing to have children if she returned to the man, chose to leave the garden. Which God let her stay in.
She knew that Adam did not love her right. She was like his only child in a way, and he did not love her, but was sinful. Therefore, she had every reason to think that he would not love another sort of child right either, the sort which he would father through her. It was God’s command for them to multiply, but she was given the option by God to stay in the garden, and was not forced to leave as the man was. It was her choice to multiply, or to not, and God did not force her.
But her willingness to go through this pain, showed that she was committed enough to love her child, that she was willing to suffer terrible pain in order to have this child to love. Her choice to multiply and endure pain also showed God her willingness to do as He had commanded them to do, to multiply. And I believe Eve’s ultimate reason to return to Adam and multiply, was to give birth to her seed who would crush the serpent.
We can see a light analogy of this choice in the sacrificial love of Jesus dying on the cross for us.
We would never have been able to be born (born-again) if not for His willing choice to suffer pain, even unto death, in order for us to be able to be born. We were not yet alive in spirit, and if we were not made alive in spirit, then we never would have existed to eternal life, so we could have a loving relationship with Him. And this is somewhat like a mother who chooses to multiply is willing to suffer pain, even a risk unto death, so that she can have a child to love, and to love her.
There are more analogies to be had like this.
For instance, as all people now are made “through” a woman, the same is said of Jesus,
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. Jn 1:10
Also, as now child only meets his father because of a woman, the same is said of Jesus,
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6
And in the same way that Eve was like Adam’s only-begotten daughter, but he would have other children with her and through her, and they were both her children and also her siblings in a way, the same is true that Jesus Christ is God’s only-begotten Son, and God has us as children through Jesus Christ, and we are both like His brothers and sisters and His children, as He is God:
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people.” He also said, “I will put my trust in him,” that is, “I and the children God has given me.” Heb 2:10-13
“… for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness… he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Rom 4:9b, 20-25
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9
Going back to Adam and Eve, and marriage, what was God’s original intent for them as parents? Was the man to have more or less authority over the children than the woman?
In the analogy of God the Father and Jesus Christ, a foundation to understand this (and more) is that there is yet another confirmation that men and women are equally considered man.
John 5:16-18 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
I and the Father are one. John 10:30
In the same way that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God the Father, it is like the woman Eve was the only-begotten child of the man Adam. And as Jesus is one with the Father, the woman is one with the man. And like Jesus Christ is also equal with God in this way, and we as children should view them as both being equally God, the woman is also equal with man in this way, and both should be viewed as equal.
Many times the Bible reflects equal authority when it comes to men and women as parents:
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Ex 20:12
And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. Ex 21:15
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. Lev 20:9
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Deut 21:18
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Prov 1:8
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Eph 6:1
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Col 3:20
In fact, it is clear that the mother and the father are intended to have equal authority over the children.
And while much has been covered that the spirit of life of the child is multiplied solely from the father, the child’s body and personality, as you know, is also multiplied from the mother equally as the father. The life of the soul is from the father, but even the imprint of the soul, as in mind, heart, will, is also multiplied from the mother. And the truth is that the mother alone carries and bears the child, which balances that the spirit of life in the child is multiplied from the father alone. And so the child is equally of the mother and the father, and so the authority they have over the child is equal and shared.
And even in the analogy of the husband as the head, and the wife as every other part of the body:
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of a wife, and God is the head of Christ. 1 Cor 11:3
God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. Eph 1:22-23
God is the head of Christ, who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and God has put all things under Jesus’ authority, and made him head over all things pertaining to the church, his body, and Jesus is one with God, and God also still has authority over all things and the church.
In the same way also the husband is the head of the wife, who is like his body, and he should have all things also be under her authority, and should also have her be head over all things pertaining to the children, which are also hers, and as she and her husband are one, while the husband also still has authority over all things and the children. And so the Bible teaches a shared authority over the children, even taking into account the analogy of the husband being the head and the wife being like the rest of the body, and them being one flesh.
And so this means that the husband has no greater authority over the children than the wife does. And again, the ONLY authority God ever gave a husband over a wife was to teach her God’s Word, and this was balanced by the authority God gave a wife over a husband to correct him about God’s Word in regards to herself. Does the father have more authority to teach the children than the mother does? No. In Israel, when Moses gave the law, the instructions were given to all the people for them to teach these words of God to their children, not just the fathers, but also the mothers.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deut 6:7
Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law. And all the people shall say, Amen. Deut 27:26
Here we see that all of the people were told to teach God’s Word to their children. And as they entered into covenant with God, all of the people said Amen. And so both the mothers and the fathers agreed to teach God’s Law to their children, as was and is God’s will.
And so while the husband does have the authority over the wife to teach her God’s Word and the responsibility to protect her and the children by obeying God, the wife has equal authority and responsibility to correct him when she knows he is wrong, and over the children to teach them God’s Word, and equal authority as the husband to have the children obey her. Nor does any of this preclude the wife also teaching the husband what of God’s Word that he does not know or seems to have forgotten, even as Eve could have corrected Adam about what God told her.
When you add it all up, the only difference between the authority that the husband and the wife have, even taking into account the children, is that the husband has the authority to teach the wife God’s true Word and about truly obeying God as per God’s exact commands. But this is balanced by the fact that God gave Eve the ability to correct Adam about what God had said to her, setting the precedent that God allows for a wife to correct her husband if he contradicts God. Therefore, again, the authority that a husband and wife have over each other in respect to God’s Word and instructions is equal.
Sometimes I hear the term “head of household” used as a church catchphrase(?) in reference to a husband, trying to reference defining some sort of authority that the husband has more than and over the wife. And also it seems to reference to the husband having more authority over the children than she does. This term is found nowhere in the Bible. Go ahead and see for yourself. This term is not in the Bible.
The term “head of the house” is in the Bible, but only refers to a representative of an entire tribe of Israel,
“And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house. Num 1:4
There are times in which the household of a husband is referenced as “his household”.
But there are also times in which the household of a wife is referenced as “her household”.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Prov 31:21, 27
As far as I can see having read the Bible, while the husband is the head and the wife the other body parts, they are one flesh, and the household and children equally belong to both of them. Again, the only authority the husband was given over the wife is to teach her God’s Word and about how to obey God, and is completely balanced by the authority God gave the wife over the husband to correct him about God’s Word and about how to obey God. Neither one has more authority over the other, than the other. Everything else in the Bible in which a husband seems to have more authority over a wife than this which God gave, is an example of him ruling over her, dominating her, as a curse passed from Adam, the same sort of sinful behavior that brought about the fall into sin and death in the first place. The story of Adam and Eve shows clearly that the opposite of a husband loving his wife is him trying to rule over her, dominate her, or abuse whatever power he has over her, even by teaching her God’s Word incorrectly.
God has told Christian women to submit to their own husbands. God has told Christian husbands to love their wives. But there is no authority given by God to the Christian husband to do more than that of him teaching his wife the truth of Word of God and about obeying God, but this is balanced by the authority given to her by God to correct him if he contradicts God, and have her own knowledge of what God has told her directly. So neither ultimately have more authority over the other in regards to God’s Word and obeying God. They have equal authority of their children. They are meant to function as one flesh, one body, with the husband as the head and the wife as the rest of the body parts, as Adam and Eve were also made one body together.
Their relationship is meant to be a naturally symbiotic one, in which she follows him as he loves her, and as they both obey God. A Christian marriage is meant to be a restoration to God’s original design for marriage, like Adam and Eve were meant to have, and following many examples of the loving relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.
And it is only with Jesus Christ and God and God’s True Words being in a marriage, and of central importance, that a Christian marriage can be restored and made to be what God intended it to be.