Bonnie Sloat often sends me comments on my posts–always insightful and encouraging. So when she sent me some ideas based on the results of the Fall–curse or consequence, which I found very helpful, I asked if she would consider writing a guest post for me on that topic. Here’s what she writes:
As a marriage and family counselor for many years, I was often confronted with the ramifications of the Fall and how it plays out in the lives of men and women. I am so grateful for the writing of Donald and Robbie Joy, Lovers–Whatever Happened to Eden? which I discovered some years ago. It gave me a more complete understanding of what I was seeing in my counseling office day after day.
We’re all aware of God’s original design in Genesis 1:26 & 27: “Then God said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over…. So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
God’s original creation dream was:
- God created both male and female equal, co-humanity, co-regents
- Both bear the image of God (the image of God is not mentioned apart from both male and female) and sexuality is a reflection of different aspects of their behavior.
- Both male and female share equally the God-assigned task of creation rulership without any intimation of role distinctions.
But then we have the Fall when the man and the woman sinned. What exactly happened when God came to the Garden seeking the man and the woman?
The Serpent is cursed (man and woman were not cursed—only the serpent and the earth). An adversarial relationship results between the serpent and woman because she actually told the truth: “The serpent deceived me and that’s why I ate it.” You only have to look at the plight of women around the world and throughout history to know that Satan hates women.
The Man and the Woman are warned (no curse, only the consequences):
- The woman will experience increased pain in child bearing (suffering now mars life)
- The woman will desire to control her husband (seeking the intimacy with a man she was intended to experience with God)
- The man now has to tame a cursed earth that has a tendency toward chaos and is also tempted to dominate and rule over the woman who was once his co-regent.
In my counseling practice time and time again I would see the effects of the fall as a woman client would compromise her relationship with God to be in a relationship with an ungodly man. Or a man would rule over or even abuse a woman in an ungodly fashion and often use the Bible to justify his abuse.
The GOOD NEWS is that God’s original Creation Dream has been recovered and put within reach again with the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My clients and the couples my husband and I work with in Marriage Coaching now have the opportunity to function as co-regents. It is beautiful to see men and women experiencing the relationships God intended as they submit to God individually and then mutual submission to each other.
We must not base our theology on the corruption that resulted from the Fall but rather on God’s original design for human beings made in His image.
My latest book, The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church is now available on Amazon