And in some corners of blog-land, a discussion goes on: has God put men in charge of women? Has God given his church a masculine feel? Has God decided what is men’s work and women’s work?
I’m not surprised it’s still going on, even though it feels at times that the horse just won’t die. This isn’t going away any time soon.
But I think I have found the answer to the question. It’s deceptively simple. It’s so simple, no one is talking about it. It’s so simple, that people are secretly saying, “That can’t be the answer!”
You could take this answer right now, and probably fix most of the problems in your family. You could make this your credo for life and be a much happier person. And you could be sure that it is God’s plan for men and women everywhere.
The Original Plan
When God put Adam and Eve in the garden, He didn’t give them a lot of instructions. He told them they were a team, and they should get cracking on ruling over the earth and making babies.
God didn’t tell Eve it was her job to make sandwiches for Adam.
He didn’t tell Adam it was his job to kill spiders that came into the bathroom.
He just kind of left them to their own devices. Weird, huh? God just let them decide how they would do things, all on their own. And it seems to have worked. They got along.
The Rest is History
However, no married couple has ever had that kind of a relationship. Because when Adam and Eve sinned, they stopped getting along. They started trying to control each other. God even predicts it. He tells Eve this is going to happen, and she’d better be prepared because her husband is going to turn into a jerk.
I can just imagine the first day, outside of Eden.
“Hey woman, why don’t you make me some nachos? And I need some laundry done, now that we’re wearing clothes.”
“Really? Why don’t you clean your disgusting hair off the soap like I asked a thousand times?”
Men turned into chauvinist pigs and women turned into nagging harpies, both trying to control the other. And siblings started doing the same thing to each other (check Cain, Joseph’s brothers, et. al.), nations started doing the same thing to each other, and humanity started doing the same thing to God, trying to coerce or manipulate him. In fact, most of the Bible stories worth reading, and the history books since then, are stories of power struggles, people trying to control other people.
Controlling Them for Their Own Good
Isn’t it funny that virtually none of Jesus’ teachings involve controlling other people? Instead he tells people to love their neighbors as themselves.
And Paul tells men and women to submit to one another, not try to control one another.
And God doesn’t try to control us. But we feel free and morally obligated to try to control each other, through political games, war, and pointing the Bible at each other like a toy gun. And we love to justify ourselves by saying that we’re controlling them for their own good, to “save” them from themselves.
The vast majority of the Bible can be boiled down to this: control yourself, and stop trying to control other people.
If you do that, you’ll be happy. You’ll have a spouse that willingly serves you dinner or squishes spiders or does whatever you need them to do. That’s so beyond the realm of “complimentarian” or “egalitarian.”
What do you think? Can we all agree on that? Does God really have a plan for men and women and families beyond just relinquishing our desire to control each other?