Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This One's for the Fellas

So, I have started this crazy project that has sort of been in the back of my head for a few years now. Who knows how far I will actually get but I am going to give it a valiant effort. The project is this: I am attempting to go through the Bible, front to back, and write a commentary on all the verses that apply to marriage and parenting. Yes, that's right. In the ENTIRE Bible. And in case you weren't aware, God has a lot to say about these topics.

Why would I want to do this, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. My life is all about being a wife and mother. And I love that. I don't feel like my identity has been swallowed up by the fact that I am a wife and mother. That IS who I am. God made me to be Rick's wife, Madison, Noah, Brady and Ethan's (for now) mommy. Not that it's ALL I am or my life is ONLY about my family. But I cannot be separated from who I am as a wife and a mother. These are the most significant relationships in my life (apart from my relationship with Christ) and I know that if I fail here, I may as well not do anything else.

Now, I am not naive enough to think that I will NEVER fail. I know I will. I know I have. Epicly. On more occasions than I ever care to admit. But my heartbeat is to come closer and closer to what God desires of me in these relationships. And what better way than to see what He has to say about them?

So you, dear blog reader, get to read my ramblings. I would love for this to become a discussion. I am not using any commentaries or going back to the original languages or reading other books on these topics. These are just my impressions/thoughts/ideas on what I am reading out of Scripture. I am always open to correction if I say something inaccurate so please hold me accountable and let me know what you think of my analysis.

Today's verse that I want to focus on comes from Genesis 3. This is not the first verse that I have come across that speaks to these relationships, but I just really felt like I had a lot to say about this one. You can find the whole text for Genesis 3 here.

I am sure many of you are familiar with this portion of Scripture, but let me give a little background. Genesis 1 & 2 give the accounting of God's creation. Chapter 1 takes us through the six days of creations and chapter 2 focuses on the creation of man and woman. Chapter 3 tells the story of the fall of man, the entrance of sin into the world and the consequences of that sin. The verse that caught my attention this morning was this:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3.6
Let me preface what I am about to write by saying this is not an attack on the male gender. These are just my observations. And many men I know struggle to understand the depths of a woman's heart. So fellas, this one is especially for you. I am going to let you see a little of my heart and I what I truly believe is the heart of most women (if you are a feminist, you probably won't like this!). I pray that my words/thoughts are tempered with grace and truth.
Here is my free-style, stream-of consciousness style writing copied directly from my journal.
First, here we see the first time a woman is tempted by food. Oh, Eve, could you have known the pain you would cause?
"desirable for gaining wisdom" Knowing evil is the opposite of gaining wisdom.
"who was with her, and he ate it" (emphasis mine) Oh Adam, you were so powerful. You could have stopped it all with a single word. You were there the whole time. You stood by and let it happen and did nothing to stop it. And thus, in that moment, you ceased being Eve's protector and marriages have never been the same since. Marriages from then forward have suffered the same fate. Women NEED men who will stand up for them, be strong for them and most importantly, continually lead them to the heart of God. But Adam, you KNEW what would happen to Eve if she ate that fruit. YOU KNEW!!! And still you stood silent, And the world has never been the same since. If it's this hard for the perfect man and the perfect woman (can you imagine how incredibly beautiful Eve had to have been-she was PERFECT!), what chance do the rest of us have? Thank you God, for your son Jesus Christ, who is our redemption and our restoration.
So there you have it. Those were just my thoughts/impressions as I was reading this morning. This is not a commentary on my own marriage or an attack somehow on men. I have read these verses many times before and somehow I always imagined Adam was somewhere else in the garden, out of earshot, doing his thing, blissfully unaware of what was going down. It never hit me before but this verse makes it very clear that Adam was there all along. He could have stood up for Eve but he didn't.
I am in no way saying that Eve is not responsible for her own sin or that what she did was somehow Adam's fault. It just occured to me that Adam could have done something, anything to stop her. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to, but he did NOTHING to keep it from happening. Nothing to protect Eve. Nothing to stand strong for her. And later in the chapter (verse 12) Adam blames both God and Eve for his failure. "The man said, "The woman YOU put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (emphasis mine).
Guys, hear this: we need more. We need our men to stand up for us and be strong for us. I know this is not PC at all. But our culture has done both genders a disservice by pretending there are no differences in the sexes. We have masculinized women and feminized men. But God made us differently. You men were made to be strong for us and to be our protectors. Yes, sometimes, we even need protection from ourselves. We most certainly need protection from those things which tempt us, which threaten us, which scare us. Step up, men! Don't be afraid to be strong for us. Seek God first and foremost so that you can lead us to Him. Don't be passive and stand by and watch us fail. Take your rightful place as the protector of our hearts and homes. I promise you your marriages will be better for it.


chanamiata said...

I heard a pastor (male) preach this topic years ago, and he said the same thing- that the man was designed to be our covering, and he wasn't doing his job of covering us when that happened. I get that you are not ragging on men, just explaining how we, as women, tend to feel many times, and explaining, perhaps, where the habit of NOT covering us comes from. I don't think any strong Christian men would be offended at all, plus it's right there in the text, so how can one dispute it? It's easy to make it all our fault, but that's only half the story. Thank you for sharing what's on many of our hearts.

Amber Stites said...

thanks for sharing with us Lisa. I have also heard this before from a man and have slowly been learning this in my own life. I cannot control everything (anything) that I think I can and God gave me Andy to help sanctify and "cover" me. He has shown me Christ many times in his patience, actions and love. I am so thankful for him and frustrated with my own stubbornness that prevents me from hearing his wisdom.

Your post made me think of the song "Strong Hands". Have you heard it? If not, go on YouTube and check it out; it's a great reminder to me of my "position" as a wife (not the head of our family).

The Epsteens said...

AMBER!!!! I miss you girl! Us type As have a hard time letting go of control don't we? Thank God for godly men like Andy and Rick (and Darryl, Chana!). I will check out the song-thanks for the tip. Hope all is well with you guys! Miss you tons! We have to get out that way to visit sometime. Are your little ones in school yet (I am assuming Alana is but I couldn't remember how old everyone else was)?