Egregious things transpired in the Garden of Eden centuries ago. Sin ensnared the world—undermining the beauty and purposes of God. I don't think most people comprehend all that unraveled.
When God spoke to the woman after the fall, He revealed that there was now an inherent conflict between her and her husband. He said, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Gen. 3:16b).
The ravages of sin had sparked a tragic war in the home. People who pledged to love each other would ultimately discover deep conflict and contention.
What is implied in this passage is that, throughout history, wives will endeavor to control, but—because of their husband's brute strength and temperament—they will not prevail. In many cases, men will take advantage of circumstances in terribly self-centered ways.
An honest perusal of history confirms that women have often been marginalized and exploited. Yet we should note that this was never God's intention. This was the tragic outworking of deception and sin—not the purposes of the Lord.
Whispers of Deliverance
Moreover, within this broader narrative, there are whispers of deliverance. There are subtle allusions to how peace could be found—if one cares to look.
Delving a little deeper, we see underlying redemptive strategies in God's interchange with Adam. He says: "Cursed is the ground on account of you; in hard labor you will eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground" (Gen. 3:17c-19a).
It's easy to overlook what's actually being articulated. Most interpret this passage to mean that—because of the curse—men will have to agonize and travail to bring home a paycheck. But the Bible is saying much more than this.
What the inspired text is suggesting is that men are uniquely positioned to take on the difficulties and conflicts of life. Because of their physical stature and temperament, men are able to carry duress and problems.
Instead of exerting anger and violence, a righteous man "swallows it up" in acts of sacrificial love. In other words, a man allows himself to be a suffering servant for his family. He becomes a flawed reflection—but a reflection nonetheless—of the Messiah.
From the moment sin entered the world, there was a war going on in the home. However, the pathway to peace is not as difficult as many have been led to believe.
J.D. King, director of the World Revival Network and co-pastor at World Revival Church, is writing Regeneration: Healing in the History of Christianity. King is a sought-after speaker, writer and author.
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