Lessons from the Fall

Eve 2In the classic movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Toula Portokalos says to her mother, “Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. Ah, the man is the head of the house.”

Her mother responds,”Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.”

Like it or not we wives hold tremendous power to influence over our husbands. It has been that way from the start, part of God’s vision in creating woman:

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

I believe that role of helper is significant, not a diminishment of our role as women, and it is one we are challenged to fulfill as daughters of Eve. Eve believed that she and her family deserved the best life had to offer, at any price. She did not want her husband to miss out on an opportunity for advancement, even if it required a few shortcuts:

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

Sarah wanted a family, badly. Her biological clock was ticking. Did Abraham think the divinely promised descendants as numerous as the stars were simply going to fall from the sky? She took matters into her own hands:

So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband

to be his wife. 

He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

Genesis 16:3

When Sarah’s daughter-in-law Rebekah was pregnant with twins, God told her that the wrestling of her twins in-utero would continue throughout their lives, and ultimately “the older would serve the younger.” When Rebekah saw her husband prepare to bless his elder son, she decided to help God along with His promise, and enlisted her beloved baby boy in the deception.

Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.  Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.  Jacob said to Rebekah his mother…I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.  His mother said to him,

My son, let the curse fall on me. 

Just do what I say; 

go and get them for me.

Genesis 27: 6, 12-13

Our sisters throughout the Bible offer great reminders of how easily our strong passion and belief in the men we love can turn into overzealousness and pride, leading us and them into sin. I wish I could claim not to relate to the motives of any one of these women, but in honesty I have experienced all of their impulses at some level. Let us be mindful then, of our opportunity and responsibility to be a good and faithful helper to the men in our lives, and support one another in this call.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31: 10-31

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