Woman’s Desire and Man’s Rule

Woman’s Desire and Man’s Rule

Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.
Genesis 3:16

Men can easily rule over women because they are much bigger and stronger than women and they have throughout the centuries. This desire by men to dominate women is due to the fall and sin entering the world. Because of this, feminism blames all of the evils of culture on men even though we live in a culture that has given women more rights than any other culture that has ever existed.

We now have the term “marital rape” which was never used up until recently. On most college campuses, men are held in disdain.“Patriarchal” is evil in feminists’ mind and forget about using the word “submission” since they falsely believe this always leads to abuse. In feminists’ pursuit of wanting to take control away from men, they have decided they want to become men, yet they hate men. Go figure.

“He shall rule over thee, is but God’s command, Wives, be subject to your own husbands. If man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love; if the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyed with humility and meekness. Adam laid the blame on his wife; but though it was her fault to persuade him to eat the forbidden fruit, it was his fault to hearken to her” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary).

All women’s natural inclination is to wrest control from the men who are stronger than them. This is why Eve ate the forbidden fruit. She wanted to be in control and rebelled against her husband and God. This is why feminism began and unfortunately, we have all inherited this trait. We must be aware of it and fight against it. Don’t allow your controlling nature to control you or others since no one enjoys being controlled, especially your husband.

“This is evidently a piece of that retributive justice which meets us constantly in the administration of God. The woman had taken the lead in the transgression. In the fallen state, she is to be subject to the will of her husband. ‘Desire’ does not refer to sexual desire in particular (Genesis 4:7). It means, in general, ‘turn,’ determination of the will. ‘The determination of thy will shall be yielded to thy husband, and, accordingly, he shall rule over thee.’ The second clause, according to the parallel structure of the sentence, is a climax or emphatic reiteration of the first, and therefore serves to determine its meaning. Under fallen man, woman has been more or less a slave. In fact, under the rule of selfishness, the weaker must serve the stronger. Only a spiritual resurrection will restore her to her true place, as the help-meet for man” (Barnes’ Notes).

Christianity is what has given value and worth to women, not feminism. You can see in many countries the ill-treatment of women by men but Jesus came and spoke to women who were forbidden to talk with and told them to “go and sin no more.” He healed sick women and saved an adulterous woman from being stoned. He was born of a woman and made sure his mother was well cared for after His death. He was crucified and rose again for women AND men so their sins would be paid in full and all who believe can have eternal life.

The term “help meet” is a valued position that God created from the beginning of time. All Christian marriages should be defined by a husband and his help meet, not as a husband and his slave as many want to twist and subvert the word submission. A wife’s willful submission to her husband brings order and beauty to a marriage as was God’s original intention for marriage.

“… he shall rule over thee, with less kindness and gentleness, with more rigor and strictness: it looks as if before the transgression there was a greater equality between the man and the woman, or man did not exercise the authority over the woman he afterwards did, or the subjection of her to him was more pleasant and agreeable than now it would be; and this was her chastisement, because she did not ask advice of her husband about eating the fruit, but did it of herself, without his will and consent, and tempted him to do the same” (Gill’s Commentary).

Even before the Fall, Eve was created to be Adam’s help meet. There was nothing written about her being in submission to him at this time but we must remember that there was no sin, therefore, there was no arguing, wanting her own way, angry outbursts, control issues, manipulation tactics, or any of the things that tear apart marriages today. Adam didn’t need to be “over” Eve since she was most likely by his side helping him with whatever he needed help with and she did it without complaint. He was her leader. But once sin entered the world, so did all of these ugly, selfish traits and God knew that there needed to be one “ruler” and the ruler He chose was the one that wasn’t deceived.

“The determination of thy will shall be yielded to thy husband…Among the Hebrews the condition of the female sex was one of distinct subordination, though not of oppression, and certainly not of slavery, as it too often has been in heathen and Mohammedan countries. Christianity, while placing woman on the same platform with man as regards the blessings of the gospel (Galatians 3:28), explicitly inculcates her subordination to the man in the relationship of marriage” (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1) (Pulpit Commentary).

Some of the old commentaries use the word “subordination” but I don’t like it nor use it since God’s Word never uses it. God uses the word “submission” or “subjection” not subordination as if women were of lesser value than men. Subordination means “the state of being inferior to another” (although women are clearly inferior to men in strength, might, and determination since it is men who have built and invented almost everything!). Submission means “the act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority.” It’s a voluntary act that a wife does towards her husband in living in submission to him.

It is not true believers in Christ Jesus who abuse and oppress their wives and consider them as slaves as many unbelievers have throughout the centuries including many countries today. Godly men see the beauty and value in women and know that Christ died for them just as He died for them. It is the sin of our culture (pornography, sexual immorality, and immodesty) that has made women into objects, not Christianity.

“Created for the man, the woman was made subordinate to him from the very first; but the supremacy of the man was not intended to become a despotic rule, crushing the woman into a slave, which has been the rule in ancient and modern Heathenism, and even in Mahometanism also – a rule which was first softened by the sin-destroying grace of the Gospel, and changed into a form more in harmony with the original relation, viz., that of a rule on the one hand, and subordination on the other, which have their roots in mutual esteem and love.” (Keil and Delitsche Biblical Commentary).

God’s perfect plan for men and women is clearly defined in His Word. The man is the head and the woman is in submission, not subordination, to his leadership in marriage. No, it will never be a perfect union since no man or woman is perfect but with Christ’s power flowing through them, they can have a good, strong marriage until death do they part.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:22-24

6 thoughts on “Woman’s Desire and Man’s Rule

  1. I’ve often wondered about “marital rape”. I’ve told my husband it sounds kind of fun. 🙂 So all these women get married and then keep all their goodies to themselves? Why would they marry? That’s a raw deal for sure. Talk about bait and switch! I’ve seen from a few of your male commenters that are regularly rebuffed by their wives and if these wives wear the name Christian they should be ashamed of themselves. I guess I can see where feminists would use the term marital rape because by feminism is synonymous with selfishness, but no Christian woman should ever have a reason to use marital rape.

    1. M, I think you misunderstanding marital rape. It is not “keeping goodies to themselves.” Most cases occur when a woman rebuffs her husband’s sexual advances (sick, recently gave birth, anal intercourse, painful intercourse due to a health problem, inappropriate sex toys) and so he forces himself on his wife. Another example is when a husband may drug or intoxicate his wife or film her to put on the internet. Of course, some wives may feel “forced” because they are simply tired, but it is definitely unjust to assume that is the majority, or even a relevantly small, percent of cases. I think most loving husbands understand when their wives need rest but would be happy to engage in the morning and would not press repeatedly during a serious illness! And in turn, most wives (Christian or not) don’t consider a night of “let’s get this over with sex” (for lack of a better term) to be rape. Sexless marriages are certainly a cause for concern though.

      1. most wives (Christian or not) don’t consider a night of “let’s get this over with sex” (for lack of a better term) to be rape.

        The secular culture is now pushing the concept of “enthusiastic consent” as a principle feature of non-rape sexual activity. Their application is to non-marital relationships, where Christians believe is immoral even where consent is enthusiastic.

        But since we are all being conditioned by the secular culture in our understanding of the unspoken sexual contract between men and women, this new doctrine of enthusiastic consent is already working its way into the mentality of Christians as they consider getting married or as they consider their sexual behavior within marriage.

        More Christian wives are going to argue that their husbands “raped” them because they had sex when she didn’t feel like it. More husbands will have their reputations dragged through the mud as these charges will be included in divorce filings.

        More young Christian men will walk away from marriage because of the combination of enthusiastic consent and no-fault divorce laws. Why risk getting into a relationship that is so fraught with peril to ones emotional health, financial solvency, and freedom from incarceration.

        1. Yes, and what label is there for men who are consistently denied sexual intimacy from their wives because their wives are “not in the mood”? It’s an absolute war on men these days and it’s tragic. Feminism is destroying culture and I will have no part of it.

          1. This may very well be a problem in marriages in the future. I went to college and I have heard the enthusiastic consent speech. I just don’t agree with the playful/slighting speak about marital rape as it applies now.

  2. Hi Lori,

    You said “This desire by men to dominate women is due to the fall.” I disagree: the “and he shall rule over you” is not God’s prediction of the Adam’s coming bad behavior toward the woman. It is God’s command to Adam to rule her. That ‘rule’ was given to Adam before the fall in God’s ‘have dominion.’ Eve was in subjection to Adam as his ‘helpmeet’ before the fall. The issue is that it now FEELS like oppression to Eve, it FEELS like she is being ruled, because she has now been exposed to good and evil [that God warned her not to touch] and she struggles to handle this position now. God is saying to Eve that she will be tempted and bothered by his rule with her new ongoing desire to take Adam’s authority of dominion over all things.

    Secondly, in Barnes Notes, he says “Adam laid the blame on his wife; but though it was her fault to persuade him to eat the forbidden fruit, it was his fault to hearken to her.” I agree that it was Adam’s fault to hearken to her. God chastised him in Gen 3:17 for “hearkening to the voice of the woman.” Was this said because Adam gave up his dominion by following the instruction of the woman or was it a wisdom warning like Proverbs 31:3? I suggest likely both.

    What I disagree with is that Adam did not pass the buck; he squarely placed the blame where it came from. 1 Tim 2:14 clearly states that “Adam was not deceived” in the Garden, “but the woman being deceived was in transgression.” This ties transgression [sin] directly to being deceived —they are always together, and “Adam was not deceived” so he did not transgress. This is VERY important to understand because they relate to the base character of the man and the woman, and are foundational to understanding all marriage and men/women scriptures.

    Finally, there are 3 conclusions that come out of Gen 3:16+17 and I suggest they are important to understand for the health, for the growth toward maturity of His people into the meat of the Word, because they are the foundation to the marriage relationship, which of course models our walk with Christ:
    1) The man alone has the ‘rule,’ the authority
    2) The woman has built-in desire for that authority, the desire to rule the man
    3) The man has a propensity to ‘hearken to the voice of the woman.’

    The first point models that Christ alone has the authority. The second point models that His church is always trying to steal His authority. The third point does not apply to Christ but I suggest is the primary way that men take on sin in their lives.

    The man and the woman have to resist these carnal desires and inclinations and press hard to keep the commands from God incumbent on each of us. Thanks for tackling tough issues.

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