If this is your first time reading this post, please read, “30 Minutes for Mommy“, to better understand why I am doing this study and why I hope that you will join me. You can find past posts in the side bar under, “30 Minutes for Mommy”, and, “Bible Women”. You can join in our study by following this link and clicking on ‘Systematic Study of Bible Women’
Lesson 2 is very long and raised quite a few questions for me. I am still looking for answers on some of these subjects, and maybe some of you will have ideas to share. I hope you were able to find answers to all the questions in the study that we are following, a ‘Systematic Study of Bible Women‘.
I was only able to get through half of question number one today. In my defense, it’s a long question!
Eve is Tempted
This is very ironic because this week the kids are studying Luke 4:1-13 in which Jesus was tempted by Satan. This being the case, I have made a comparison chart to demonstrate Eve’s temptation, Christ’s temptation, and our own temptation. I hope you find it useful as you study.
Nakedness and Modesty
The man and the woman have sinned and now know they are naked, (Gen. 3:6-7 and 11). They were ashamed of their nakedness and tried to cover it with fig leaves. But is it really that simple, or is there more to what they were ashamed of? I think they were not only naked physically, but spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, etc. Every part of them was now exposed to all that is harmful in this word due to sin. They had feelings of shame, doubt, and fear that had never been known to them. They looked vulnerable and they felt vulnerable. Their judgement became clouded. They forgot that God was all powerful and all knowing and actually tried to hide from Him. Their emotional trauma must have been great for them to have forgotten something like that. In a failed attempt to make themselves feel better, they made aprons from leaves, (Gen. 3:7). God corrected this by giving them coats of skins, (Gen. 3:21).
How many of us now wear ‘leaves’ in hopes of making ourselves feel better? In case you couldn’t hear my tone, by ‘leaves’, I mean very little clothing. For centuries, women have tried to make themselves feel good by wearing clothing that shows their shape, or parts of their shape, or all of their shape. We see men oogle at scantily clad women in magazines or on the beach and think that if that oogling was directed at us, we would feel good about ourselves.
So what about, ‘ourselves’? What are, ‘ourselves’? It’s you and me, our person, our being, it’s who we are. If we are of the world and in sin we will undoubtedly feel shame, guilt, and fear, and will be drawn to expose our nakedness in order to feel better about ourselves. If we are of God and living in the light, we should not be feeling shame, fear, or guilt and should not desire to be exposed. We should be wearing clothing that is more acceptable to God. I cannot say exactly what kind of clothing God would say is acceptable, but I know there is a huge difference between an apron and a coat.
Wednesday – Friday
This is where I got hung up. Too many questions were raised for me and I could not comfortable write about it. I am human and I will make mistakes, but I do not want to misrepresent the Word of God. For this reason I want to make clear that the following is only my opinion and you should search it out for yourself to determine wether you agree with me or not.
Following is the verse that had me studying so diligently the past few days:
Gen 3:16 (NIV)
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Now let us look at it in another version:
Gen 3:16 (KJV)
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Do you see the differences between the two versions? To me, they are significant. The KJV does not outrightly say that a woman will have pain in labour. You could interpret sorrow as pain in bringing forth children, but you could also say it is in reference to experiencing the sorrow that all mother’s feel from time to time in the bringing up of their children. I have been trying to look this verse up in the original Hebrew, but I am not a scholar and don’t have all of these resources readily available.
That being said, here is my opinion and breakdown of this verse:
“I will greatly multiply thy sorrow” – The sorrow of a woman is great today, but how much greater would it have been for a woman who had a perfect, safe environment to raise her children in and then to lose it. Because of her act of disobedience, she would now have to suffer through the many times her children would disobey her. Knowing perfection, a sin free life, and then losing it would have caused a greatly multiplied sorrow than had she never known perfection at all.
“and thy conception” – It is possible that women were only intended to cycle only once or twice per year and so her ability to conceive, (her monthly cycle), was multiplied to being once per month. That’s enough to make any woman feel sorrow! (The cycle part, not the bearing children part. I will get to that next).
“in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” – I am still conflicted about this verse. Some people believe giving birth would have been painless had sin never occurred. However, God was directing this statement to the human woman, not all female creatures. I have watched many different animals give birth and they do appear to be experiencing pain. I have given birth five times and some were more painful than others. In some cultures, women have mild discomfort and nothing more. With the lack of consistency in this area, I find it hard to believe that we suffer pain during labour because of Eve’s disobedience. Going back to the ‘multiply’ statement, I believe that there was always going to be pain, always going to be sorrow, always going to be work, but it would now be multiplied and more difficult. We now have the Hope of Christ and our sorrow can actually be decreased if we follow him. We have different, more refined ways of working that can make our jobs much less strenuous than what Adam had to endure. We have many methods, (I am speaking of natural methods), now that can quicken childbirth and make it less painful. I really think this verse is speaking toward the rearing of children, or maybe just stating that there will be sorrow in the birthing process. This is why I am conflicted. Maybe some of you have information that I have not found. I would love to hear it!
“thy desire shall be to thy husband” – This verse, I have come to terms with. I used to read this verse and wonder, ‘Shouldn’t I desire my husband? Isn’t that what love is?’ Until I looked more closely at the words and what had happened in the garden did I begin to understand the meaning of the desire. This is another verse that is sometimes used to say that it was the woman’s sin that caused her to be in submission to the man, however, I believe it was always meant to be. After all, God made the man first and then the woman to help him. The man named the woman and took her as his wife. The man named every living beast in the garden. Now where did the serpent go first? Certainly not to the head of the household. He undermined the man by going to Eve and in turn flattered her with his attention. He told her, she would be like God, who was masculine in nature. I think the temptation that Satan put before the woman was to be like a man and she justified it by ‘seeing that the fruit was good for food, a delight to the eyes, and could make her wise’. Her desire was to be like her husband and through this temptation she disobeyed God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It could also be said that the Tree of Knowledge was a masculine term and the Tree of Life was a feminine term; a further example of how she was desiring to be a man. Look at the world today. Women are always fighting for equality with men and striving for their equal position. I think women have a very important and sacred position in the home, society, and church, but it is not the same, (equal to), the man’s position. I hope to understand this position better as I go through this study, but I do want to make it clear that I do not believe women to be less than men, simply different.
“and he shall rule over thee.” – This confirms that the man will still rule over the woman. (I say still because I believe it was always intended to be this way). This does not mean to dominate or control, but to be the head of her as Christ is the head of the church, (Eph 5:23). Christ does not dominate the church, nor does he control her. He loves her and gave his life for her. He serves his church and protects her. In turn, the church is to remember His great sacrifice and worship Him with reverence. As women, we should be serving our husbands daily. Marriage has a delicate balance to be maintained and it is by the example that Christ gave us that we can maintain it. If women would treat husbands with the respect that the church gives Christ and men would treat their wives with the love that Christ showed the church, our marriages would be much stronger. Women were created to be loved and men were created needing respect.
I hope that all of this makes sense and it is OK to not agree. Please let me know if you have come to different conclusions in your studying. I will be focusing on what saves women, (and all mankind for that matter), Eve’s children and the last half of Lesson 2 next week.
Thank you creationism.org for the pictures.