She shall be called “Eve”

Recently God has been speaking to my spirit, wrestling with me, deep in my heart.  It began with the review of a new book called Eve.  I am very suspicious of the author because though he writes with such flowing emotion the reader passes by the stop signs of his deception.  I have read some of the trusted reviewers such as Tim Challies.  His review of Eve is not a good one.  (http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/eve)  Challies frankly dis-recommends the book, as a net loss.  It’s intellectual integrity is that poor.

However in the course of review Challies writes:

“…God, in his creative work, assigned separate roles to men and women. In God’s world no role is better or greater or higher than another, but each is critical to the story he is telling.   God tells us that God created men to take positions of leadership within the church and family, and for women to joyfully submit themselves to this leadership. In this way God provides a much fuller display of who he is and what he is like. His image is shown not in uniformity but in complementarity. After all, the relationships within the Trinity display this very same pattern of leadership and submission. What is ultimately at stake here is not the relationship of man to woman, but our understanding of God as he displays himself in our relationships.

This phrase struck me.  Hard, loud, unexpected.   With the cross reference of Ephesians 5.33 ringing in my marriage counseling heart.

“FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

For some time I have been fascinated by the history of Adam and Eve.  Their Hebrew names are actually Ish and Ishaw.  I have been so deeply impressed with this knowledge that in creation Ishaw was pulled from Ish.  She was not created from mud, she was shaped from flesh.  Negev Ezer, Father calls her.  A completing rescuer.  Yes Jerry MaGuire you were right, “You complete me.”  A woman is given a sense of beauty by Father’s Hands, a sense of beauty that draws the heart and the eyes of man to her.  One flesh refers to their unity, sexually, emotionally, physically.  Father created them to be one.

In their origin they were complementary.  They functioned as a team, together, with precision synchronicity, decisions were made, actions were undertaken, goals were achieved.  There was no conflict.  They were like Father and Son and Spirit.  It must have been just magic to watch them caring for each other’s needs, helping each others tasks.  She was his rescuer, his compliment.  He was strength and agility.  She was beauty and feeling.

The discussions they may have had,  “Oh I didn’t see that Ishaw, thank you”.  “I couldn’t have done that my Ish”.  So they named the animals, they tended Father’s Garden.  And they walk and talked with Father’s Presence.

Until it happened.  Yes we know about the fall, the sin.  But what has begun to shout so loudly at me is not the obvious consequences of this fall.

  • For the first time they knew fear.  “I heard you and I was afraid”
  • For the first time they knew shame.  “for I was naked”
  • For the first time they saw an animal killed in front of them.  “The Lord God clothed them in skins”
  • For the first time they played the blame game.  “The woman… YOU gave me”  “The serpent deceived…”
  • For the first time they were now at war.  “I will place an enimity between…”

But a deeper look.  A more tearing injury, not just in skin, but in the flesh of the relationship.  Man carried the curse of the decision as God said the ground was cursed.  No matter what a man may do, for most of us anyway, it just never really works out all that well.  The labor of our hands is cursed.

But the woman.  “I will greatly multiply, your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”  She is the key to the relational magnet.  She was from the beginning and she still is.  But now there is desire.  She always wants relationship.  She knows deep inside relationships are important.  They are eternal.  Man is busy trying to figure out thorns and weeds and ground.  She gives LIFE.

But before the complimentary hearts working synchronically is gone,  she deceives him and he blames her.  For the first time in this God reflecting unity there is something never felt before.  Betrayal.

Ish and Ishaw.  That’s what they used to be called.  Then something happens.  We skip right over it.  We are so accustomed to it.  The Man changes her name.  “you shall be called Eve because you are the mother of all living”.  Really?  We see it as a simple name but it is not.  For this man has reduced this woman to an animal.  HE NAMES HER.  I couldn’t believe it.  There it was.  What arrogance.

Two huge lessons here.  1) Ish was called to love and serve and protect and nurture and present her in beauty as the holy and blameless gift she was, back to God.  She was his precious gift.  Now she is just another thing.  Man now leads by power and control, by strength, by overpowering.  Yeah, it’s called abuse.  Men, allow God to call you back to Eden.  See the truth in the original blueprint.  Walk that out with your wife.  It doesn’t matter if you are angry, irritated, frustrated…. yes here is the word: resentment.

Ladies.  Become Ishaw again.  Now in this world you are taught to dis-regard, dis-respect, dis-approve.  “I’m gonna kick him to the curb”.  “I’m tired of trying”, “I can’t put up with this any longer”.  You aren’t called to that.  You are his negev ezer.  You complete him and you rescue him.

Why is it important?  “Because the mystery is great, I am speaking of Christ and the Church”   What is ultimately at stake here is not the relationship of man to woman, but our understanding of God as he displays himself in our relationships.

God is seen in our marriages.  point blank.  But as a counselor, I just see such a sadness.  Father’s Great Sadness.  That which was created in beauty has been reduced to chaos.

So here’s the lesson.  Do it different.  Do it according to design.  YOU BE DIFFERENT.  Make your marriage different.  Live like Ish or Ishaw.  Stop pointing fingers.

  1. PRAY for each other.
  2. PLAY your positions, find value in your role.
  3. PAY the price of success.  It isn’t easy.  Reject the Chaos and pay the price of success.  It’ll cost you…your ego.  Ask Father for help.  Get a mentor.  Work together.  Let Father show you your self agenda.  Become the complimentary team you were meant to be.  Get rid of the hardened heart.  Embrace hope.  You may be two people in wheel chairs emotionally but learn to help each other from the chair.

Are You Protecting Your Marriage?

Scripture: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 AND
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Thought: I will never forget when, many years ago, I traveled once a month to market the business I was working for. I would leave my husband for a week, and be on the road, away from home, while meeting new people, attending business meetings and dinner engagements with prospective buyers. There were ALWAYS temptations because of the worldly pressure, wealth and fame. Adultery is not normal in my world and unacceptable in my marriage. Nevertheless, my boss invited me to participate in deceit. I was told, I could” move to “the top of the company, if I slept my way to the top.” No one would know the truth but the man, God and myself.

When we are loyal, we reflect our faithfulness to God. When we are disloyal, we reflect the betrayal of Satan. We live in a fallen world—one that is increasingly indifferent to sexual sin. If we want to live and lead with intention, we can’t be naive. I boldly, yet simply with confidence replied, “If I have to sleep my way to the top and not earn it by my own merit, than I don’t need to be at the top with this company.” We must recognize the temptation adultery poses and protect ourselves accordingly. Nothing will destroy our influence and gifts faster than an affair.

My husband and I have policies in place to avoid danger and to protect our marriage:
 Pray together. We are invested in the relationship we have and we pray together before we leave the house. If you want your marriage to grow and flourish, you must invest in it. This means investing time—dreaming, laughing, listening, praying and crying together.
 Using old-fashioned, common sense. We set boundaries; Do not go out to eat alone with someone of the opposite sex; Do not travel anywhere alone with someone of the opposite sex, not to the library, a museum, or a business meeting. Do not flirt with someone of the opposite sex. Speak often and lovingly of each other, when out in public and around others.
 Consider what is at stake. Put the temptation in perspective. If Jesus walked in, would I be proud or embarrassed with my decision? How do I want others to remember me? What last impression do I want to leave as a legacy?

Action: Marriage is not merely between husband and wife; it embraces a partnership with God.
I truly believe with God all things are possible. Marriages that have not allowed God to be apart of the equation are truly missing out. He’s your biggest fan, and if anyone wants you to succeed and be happy, it is God! So don’t make your life even harder, allow Him to help! Character matters. We must take responsibility for our own actions. Our Father God is counting on us to use the Holy Spirit as our discernment. I believe God will rescue me from anything I ask for. I believe in Him for great things. Are you protecting your marriage?

If your marriage has fallen short or failed, know that God still adores you. His grace overflows upon you. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 3.

Prayer: Lord, I will ask, seek and knock. My desire is to fight for my marriage in all situations. I pray for your intervention at all times, so I may remain loyal to You and my husband. If we have a fight, please replace anger with love, and pain with forgiveness. Please restore peace to our relationship. It can happen. Give us rest knowing that Your power is made perfect in our weakness.

Betrayal: When Will The Trust Return?

Scripture: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thought: One night Greg didn’t come home after work. Four o’clock in the morning, Charlotte received a knock on the door. As she opened the door, her heart dropped and she felt like she was going to get sick. A police officer was there to report they had just arrested her husband for breaking and entering with attempted assault. “Oh, my gosh, what has he done”, she thought. Her husband was an alcoholic. There were many nights that she stayed awake waiting for him to come home when she knew he was out on a binge. She worried, “Will he take a cab and make it home safe?” But, breaking an entering with attempted assault, she never imagined he had another woman or would try to hurt someone. When he was sober, he was a quiet, gentle man, who worked hard everyday to support his family. This particular night, he made it home safely in a cab, but after he got out of the cab and started to walk towards the apartment, he fell on the sidewalk and passed out. When he awoke, he stumbled with his keys to open the door, he thought it was his door, but actually, it was a neighbor on the other side of the apartment complex. Greg had gotten lost. When the resident surprised him by swinging open the door to see who was trying to break into their house at three o’clock in the morning, Greg raised his fist to defend who he thought was the intruder in his house. The Bible tells us If you don’t have the gratitude attitude, you cannot possibly be in God’s will (no matter what other great things you are doing).

We are to give thanks because it is God’s will concerning us IN everything. He doesn’t say FOR everything. No, that’s not what we are asked to do. We are not expected to give thanks for what’s happening in the middle of every negative situation. However, we do thankfully acknowledge that our God is in control of our destinies. Greg was released from jail the next afternoon after a hefty fine and charged with a felony. Charlotte cried out to Our Father during her despair and thanked Him that His Will would be done. Within the week, Greg had entered into a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and has been sober for fifteen years. It took Greg falling to his knees before he would surrender. Charlotte gave God thanks IN her difficult time and she forgave Greg for his weakness, pain, and burden he caused the family. God restored her trust, and delivered her with a transformed husband.

Action: Is there something in your marriage where you have been disappointed from a failed promise, or betrayed by your beloved? IN the challenging time, be the mature one, pray and forgive, then give thanks to Our Father who knows it all and will not betray you.

Prayer: Lord, in everything I give you thanks. I confess the anger and resentment I have carried towards _____  for __________________ . I am weak and heavy burdened, my trust has been betrayed and I don’t know if I can trust again. I surrender all to you and pray that my heart will not be hardened, but that our marriage may be restored. In Jesus Name, Amen.