“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16b)
One of the results of the fall into sin, for men and women, is a struggle for control in the marriage relationship. The woman will try to control the man through manipulation. The man will try to manipulate the woman by his strength. Because the woman was deceived by Satan, God designated the man to rule over her.
Before Deb and I became engaged, I discovered three scriptural principles that I wanted to find in the woman I would marry. I used the verse above with the idea that the woman’s desire would be to support her husband in whatever endeavor the Lord called him to. I was looking for someone who fit that principle. While the principle was good, the proof text above was a poor choice.
I was to learn later on that the above verse means about the opposite of what I wanted it to mean. Our pastor has pointed out that the Hebrew words used here are the same as used in Genesis 4:7 where it shows that sin’s desire is to dominate and control man. The same conflict is demonstrated in the above text. Just as sin desires to dominate and control man, so will the woman.
Although God appointed the man to rule, a man who is not a Christian, or is a Christian but not walking in the Spirit, often resorts to his strength to rule by intimidation or by plain old bullying.
The solution to this conflict is in living the Spirit filled life (see the blog articles; “Walking in the Spirit” & “For Christian Husbands”. One of the characteristics of a Spirit filled believer (Ephesians 5:21) is “submitting one to another”.
A Spirit filled Christian husband submits to his wife by loving her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, by loving her as he loves himself, and by loving her as he loves his own body. (Ephesians 5:25, 28 & 33)
The Spirit filled Christian wife submits to her husband as the church is to submit to Christ and she is to see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22, 24, & 33)
God’s solution is not about controlling one another. This is about mutual submission that comes from submitting to God first. It is evidenced by yielding to and obeying His word.
The husband is able to lead effectively because the Spirit filled wife is choosing to follow and willingly submit to his leadership. The wife is willing to submit because she knows that the Spirit filled husband loves her unconditionally. They both can do God’s will because the Holy Spirit is controlling and enabling them.
So……, who is in control? God should be, through the Holy Spirit controlling the lives of His yielded and obedient children.
Is your home a war zone? Is there a battle going on for control? This is the natural condition of fallen man, but God has a better way. Let it begin in your life today.
- Consistency is a key and it is achieved by dying to self daily and by filling one’s heart with the word of God. Let His word dwell in you richly on a daily basis.
- You must not focus on what the other half is doing or not doing. You must focus on walking in the Spirit yourself. The other half is won over by what God is doing in your own life.