The Ruling Class
… and he shall rule over you. Genesis 3:16b ESV
The Hebrew is pretty straightforward. The word mashal means to rule or have dominion.
In the previous article I mentioned that this is not something that God made happen, but rather something He said would happen. And as you read through the Old Testament, that’s pretty much the case. Men, in general, rule over and treat the women in their lives pretty badly (not that women are all that great, they just have less power so they tend to make smaller messes).
Then the New Testament rolls around and we get Jesus. :)
Jesus made it possible for men and women to walk in the Spirit (acting in love) instead of walking in the flesh (treating each other badly). He had some cool stuff to say about marriage too. And the writers of the New Testament gave us a new way of looking at marriage … as a picture of Christ and the church.
Now I could talk about how Adam and Eve related before the fall (there is a w-h-o-l-e lot of squabbling going on about this) or I could talk about fallen mankind and all the messes we’ve made since or I could just spend some time talking about how believers can now live if they choose to (we don’t have to be a slave to sin, we can walk in the freedom of the Spirit) and what that might look like for our marriages.
I think we will still see shadows of Eden and the fall, but
Shall we dance?
I like this image as a way of understanding marriage.
Two people and yet somehow one on the dance floor, dancing up a storm. Someone leads the dance (God picked the guy) and they are an amazing team. Journey mates on a grand God adventure.
What this means is that both sides of the argument will be unhappy with me.
The Egalitarians will take issue that I think the guy gets to lead (not really understanding how I see leadership, more on that later) and the Complimentarians will be upset that I see the wife as a journey mate and not a help mate.
This is how I see the Complimentarians. The wife is an assistant, sort of like an appendage, a third arm. She is told who to be and there seems to be no freedom to live outside of a very small box.
When you consider that the original directive for both men and women is the same, I find that abhorent.
This is how I see the Egalitarians.
They may be happy with their freedoms, but they lack unity.
If you are looking for a dance team to represent Christ and the church, I’d go with this one.
So what do we know:
Next Article: The Ruling Class (I’m busy writing this!)
1 But I4 ESV