Monday, June 30, 2008

Gen. 3:16: Deep seated Misogyny

I don't know how else to describe this. Men and women who are taught these things are deeply scarred.

Ken Sande

    From the context of Genesis 3:1-13, where God is pronouncing curses rather than blessings, we can see that the desire mentioned here is not benevolent and healthy; rather it is a compelling urge to control, to dominate, and to master. That is the effect the Fall has had on wives -- the joy and blessing they would have derived from submission within the authority structure of marriage (established by God before the Fall; Gen. 2:18) has been replaced by an innate desire to control and dominate their husbands.

    This is why wives so easily chafe under authority, even when husbands exercise it in a legitimate way -- as a result of the Fall, submission has become distasteful, not just in marriage, but in all authority structures (just ask your children!). This is why Scripture repeatedly reminds and exhorts those under authority (citizens, members of churches, wives, and children) to overcome their tendency to rebel against it.

    Genesis 3:16 also teaches that the Fall has tarnished the husband's use of authority and the blessing he was meant to derive from it. Instead of the loving leadership contemplated in the creation design (see Gen. 2:18- 25), the husband would be inclined to shirk his responsibilities and abuse his authority.
Dennis Rainey
    Paul says the same to everyone. God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Your wife may be resisting you, fighting you, and spurning your attempts to lead, but it makes no difference. I believe our wives want us and need us to lead. You are not demanding this position; on the contrary, God placed you there. You will not lead her perfectly, but you must care for you wife and family by serving them with perseverance.

7 comments:

Jane said...

The man desperately needs to read som Milton - quite a part from understanding his Bible
thanks for all your fesitiness on this Suzanne.

madame said...

That is misogyny. And people wonder why women feel chafed under all that "authority"...

Lynne said...

I remember sitting in my Hebrew class translating Genesis 1-3 (I was the only woman) being gobsmacked by the jump they made from what was written in the text to their assumptions that male authority was written into the creation order. Classic eisegesis! One student actually said that God gave women pain in childbirth to keep them dependent on their husbands! And they all nodded their heads until I suggested that God allowed suffering in an imperfect world to remind us that we needed HIM (an inadequate theology of pain, but it fitted the context) The guy who'd made the suggestion said "Oh, I forgot about depending on God!" Ouch ...

Gem said...

QUOTE: the authority structure of marriage (established by God before the Fall; Gen. 2:18) has been replaced by an innate desire to control and dominate their husbandsENDQUOTE

Genesis 2:18 (NIV) "The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"

I don't see Genesis 2:18 as "establishing an authority structure"!

The Ken Sande quote didn't sit right with me because of the way he described a wife as having "an innate desire to control and dominate their husbands" which is entirely alien to my experience inside the skin of a woman/wife. Nevertheless, Suzanne, I am not really clear what you see as "misogyny"? In the Rainey quote, I would not even quibble if "leadership" meant something about laying down his life FIRST. The danger is that there are those who instead of seeing the sacrifice and responsibility emphasis will read into such statements the right to rule, dominate, coerce, etc. If we give Rainey the benefit of the doubt, couldn't he be saying something more like the former than the latter?

What if a husband's "leadership" looked less like selfishness and entitlement and more like what Kim describes here? P4E.010 The Sincerity of the Pursuit of Christlikeness

Ruud Vermeij said...

"That is the effect the Fall has had on wives -- [...] an innate desire to control and dominate their husbands."

In my Bible, Gen. 3:16 is teaching this about husbands (instead of about wives...)

madame said...

"In the Rainey quote, I would not even quibble if "leadership" meant something about laying down his life FIRST. The danger is that there are those who instead of seeing the sacrifice and responsibility emphasis will read into such statements the right to rule, dominate, coerce, etc. If we give Rainey the benefit of the doubt, couldn't he be saying something more like the former than the latter?"

Gem,
Rainey doesn't know who he is writing to. He can be given the benefit of the doubt, but if he's teaching out there, he has to watch what he says.

My problem with the quote is that he is telling men that God has given them the position of leadership, that enforcing that leadership is their duty, and he doesn't give the wife's "spurning" and resistance any credit. The husband doesn't have to question his leadership or ask her why she is not accepting it. He counsels men to keep charging ahead, regardless of how their family responds.

Gem said...

Thank you, madame. You're right. I can see how the way he phrased that is ripe for misuse.