Some things Genesis 3 tells us about men and women

From the language of Genesis 3, I see that Adam was tasked with fulfilling a command. God held him personally responsible for that command being followed (3:11). Because of Adam’s disobedience, the earth was cursed (3:17); death came in for a time.

Adam accused Eve of giving him the forbidden fruit; God questions Eve about this act. She then confesses that she has eaten of the fruit as well.

Interestingly, God doesn’t tell Eve that her actions are a consequence of her behavior, as He does with the serpent and with Adam. He pronounces that there will now be suffering in childbirth and rivalry between women and men.

Even though I know it’s unpopular, I also see in Genesis 3 an image of the spheres in which God envisioned men and women carrying out their work. The fact that women are the ones to give birth places them at the heart of the family in a way that men will never be able to imitate. In the same way, men have a responsibility for provision which lies more heavily on their shoulders. I’m not criticizing women who work outside the home nor condemning men who stay home while their wives earn a living; I’m merely observing the way things were in the beginning.

All of this suggests a framework that existed before the fall, that was ruptured by Adam’s sin. What once was a harmonious relationship between men and women becomes a power struggle. That’s exactly what we see in the rest of the book of Genesis and much of the Bible.

Reversing the curse means taking away those contentious interactions. It’s a return to loving leadership on the part of men, recognizing that their wives are the ideal partners in their service to God.

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