When we last visited Eve, she had just prepared a meal of forbidden fruit for her husband. She and Adam were hiding from God, ashamed of their sin. It was the first sin, the curse that follows us all. God responds to Eve’s prideful behavior with a consequence that will make pride a stumbling block for her and every Eve to follow.Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. Genesis 3:16
This is not sexual desire. That was present before the fall. This is the desire to be in charge. That word, desire, is teshuqua. It shows up again in Genesis 4:7:
Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.
I feel it, don’t you? The desire to be in charge. I want security and assurance. What better way to get what I want than to take over.
It shows up on our family calendar when I distribute our family free time without consulting my husband.
There it is again in our checkbook ledger. I have decided that we should save our money and not spend it. I question his purchases and swipes with a hint of disrespect.
The curse slithers around our child-rearing. From providing basic needs to administering consequences, I know best and you should do it my way. After some time out of the house, my first words to Mr. Mom is usually, “why didn’t you (insert shortcoming of the day),” instead of, “thank you.”
God didn’t stop with giving us the desire to rule. If that was the end of the curse, we would be okay. After all, who better to put in charge?
He put Adam in charge. Gasp!
Marital conflict enters the picture. You have the one who wants to be in charge and the one who actually is in charge. Husband and wife jockey for power from that moment on.
Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 16:2).
David and Michal (2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23).
Job and his wife (Job 2:9).
David and Kelly.
There cannot be two commanders in an army. There is not room for two kings on the throne. Chaos and heartache settle over a home with two people in charge. God is clear on who the leader of the home should be.The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:23
I am in direct violation of God’s instruction when I succumb to my desire to take charge. I struggle against God’s created order. I am not happy. My husband is not happy. God is not happy.
What if your Adam does not lead? Or will not lead? I know this to be true: he will never learn to lead if you always rule. He will never learn from his mistakes if you do not give him room to make them.
He may be the most passive man on earth, but he still has an opinion. Begin to make room for that opinion. Let go of that control one decision at a time. You can build confidence in him as the leader of your tribe. You are that powerful.
What kind of coffee do you want me to pick up at the grocery store this week?
The Thompsons invited us over for dinner Friday night. Would you like to go or should I politely decline?
The teacher sent home another note. What do you think we should do now?
We have a little money left over after paying bills this month. What do you want me to do with it?
I would like to have another baby. How do you feel about that?
One decision at a time, your Adam begins to feel that his opinions are valued. He gains confidence in his decision-making. He feels the rush of making the right choice for his family. He learns what happens when he makes a foolish decision and becomes a better man because of it.
The curse remains. I fight back that desire to rule from the moment we decide who gets the first cup of coffee until I turn off the lights at night. Jesus gives us victory over the curse.
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men; so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18 & 19
Recommended resource: Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands (Gary Thomas). (Affiliate link)