Did God Explain How Marriage Was to Function?



Adam Was to Lead; Eve Was to Follow

After their creation and marriage, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned. Their eyes were opened; they knew that they were naked, and they were ashamed and hid themselves. What happens next is demonstrative of God’s design of male leadership. In Genesis 3:6, it is clear that Eve ate of the fruit of the tree first. After she ate, she gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate.

Even though she ate first when God approached them, notice where and with whom he began.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

—Genesis 3:8–12

Whenever a problem exists, we go to the person who is in charge. The leader is the one who is to answer for what went wrong under his or her charge. After speaking to Adam, God did talk to Eve next, and she was punished for her own action. You may think that it is a stretch to suggest that just because God talked to Adam first, that meant he was in charge. Such a thought is dispelled when you hear God talk to Adam the second time.

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

—Genesis 3:17–19

God was not pleased that Adam listened to his wife instead of listening to him. Eve led Adam, but he was supposed to lead her. For those who disagree, this is a point they must admit. Someone is going to lead; there is no such thing as a leaderless home. Either Eve leads Adam, or Adam leads Eve. Female leadership is not the way God designed marriage.

Before we leave this point, also consider what Paul said to Timothy regarding how he was to behave in the church (1 Tim. 3:14–15). In 1 Timothy chapter two, Paul describes the roles of men and women and uses Adam and Eve as an example:

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

—1 Timothy 2:12–14

She can’t exercise authority or rule over him because Adam was formed first. The husband is to lead his wife; they can’t both lead.


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