Mark Twain said, “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” I’ve seen a lot of things said about gender that just aren’t so and we should discuss a few of them.
Something that needs reframed quickly is that that story of the fall is not a story about marriage. It is relevant whether you’re fifteen, or thirty-two and single, or forty and married ,or seventy and widowed, whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s a story of the three ways we can respond to God. We can trust His definition of good and evil, meaning we obey and follow His guidelines. We can be deceived, like Eve, and sin. Or we can disobey, like Adam, and rebel against God’s commands.
The story is not there to show us that if women would just let their husband’s decide everything then things would work out fine. Adam disobeyed on purpose. Clearly the Bible shows us that men are not more likely to follow God’s commands than women are. This is not a story that teaches us that men shouldn’t listen to their wives. The Bible is full of stories where God speaks to the woman or teaches men through women (Deborah, Huldah, Jochebed, Samson’s mother, Priscilla, and many others). Maybe we could learn not to talk back to animals though.
This story, and the continuing story of the Bible, reveals that we are constantly confronted with these options. Will I let God decide what’s good? Will I be deceived? Will I disobey?