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.
- PRAY for each other.
- PLAY your positions, find value in your role.
- 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.