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Imagine being Eve. You’re lying on the ground, eyes closed, not yet alive. Suddenly, you inhale deeply through the nose. The air smells of damp earth, spring rain, trees, flowers – a heavenly scent that gives you a deep sense of pleasure and satisfaction. So you do what any normal person would do. You inhale deeply again.
As you breath, you began to notice other sensations. The perfect temperature of the air, the breeze on your skin. Your fingers start to twitch and you notice the ground beneath you, firm yet soft, as a layer of fresh, new grass covers it. You began to wiggle your toes noticing the feeling of the muscles in your legs. Not wanting to miss a thing, you start at the top of your head and work your way down taking in every sensation your body seems to offer.
And then you hear a voice. A voice that fills you with unspeakable joy and you know that God is calling to you to wake up. Then, from somewhere above you, you hear another voice – deep and strong, yet gentle – saying “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ because she was taken out of man.”. With that, you now know what you are. A woman. And you slowly open your eyes and look upon a face hovering above you. A smile slowly spreads across your lips. And you know that life, this life, is going to be good.
Lessons from Eve and her Story
When we think about Eve and her beginning, we realize that she was a woman that was handed it all. She was created to be loved, to be a partner, and to experience amazing joys. But, despite all this, she, like all of us was born with free will and a human nature that is prone to making bad decisions because of our free will. She is the very first example of our inner human nature and our desire and drive to always want more.
It’s amazing that you can read the same thing in the Bible and learn something new from each time. As I studied Eve’s early story for the thousandth time, a few things stood out to me. Some previously know, some brand-new. Here are few things we can learn from Eve’s story:
We were Created to be Equal Partners to Men
When we read of Eve’s creation, it should be noted how it occurred. It is very specific. Eve was taken from the rib. Not from the head to be above her husband and not the feet to be below her husband. She was taken from the rib signaling the intent that she was to be an equal partner with her husband. They were to complete each other.
It wasn’t until our founding woman made a bad decision, and brought her husband down with her, that she was told her husband would rule over her. But, keep in mind that Adam didn’t escape punishment, either. I’m always reminded of this saying when I think of Eve tempting Adam: A man may be the head but the woman is the neck because she can turn the head whichever direction she chooses. We women are quite powerful in that way. But, because Adam listened to Eve, he now has to toil the ground. In other words, he must work exceedingly hard to care for himself and his family.
We Were Created to be Equal AND Partners
When we look at original gender roles, with the man as the head of the household and the woman’s place at home with her children, and you read about Adam and Eve you can clearly see how we got there. A man being the head of the household was not the original intention. The intention was for us to be helpers and partners. We got there because of sin. But that doesn’t mean anything else was changed. Men and women ARE different. We were created differently and with different gifts and abilities.
I was joking with someone the other day that, as big of a baby a man gets when he is sick, there is no way he would be able to handle pregnancy and childbirth. God created us to be strong and handle things a man couldn’t. And vice versa. Hence why we were created to be partners and helpers and not above or beneath each other.
It is interesting to me that most men (most, not all) have an innate desire to work and provide for their families but not as strong of a desire to deal with the household management, usually, or the immediate skill to do so. And women, in general, seem to have an inborn skill to handle children and households and seem to have a stronger desire to do that as opposed to work all day and provide.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t do those other things or that there aren’t exceptions. But, these roles should never be looked down upon because we were designed that way. And both roles are extremely important to a happy and fulfilled life. You can be equal partners AND different. Isn’t that what a successful partnership is? As partners, in business or in a relationship, we fill in the gaps that the other lacks. One is skilled in sales, the other is skilled in order fulfillment. Both are necessary for a successful transaction.
I hate hearing comments made nowadays about women who want to stay home and raise their children and care for their households. Those things are vitally important and just as important as the man who wants to work all day and provide the tools the family needs to survive. And, if a man or woman’s gifts lie in the opposite role, that’s ok, too. But never let anyone look down on you for “supporting original gender roles” if that is the role you choose. You are only doing what God designed you to do.
Despite Our Sins, God Still Provides
Before Adam and Eve’s downfall, they had pretty cushy life. There is no mention of work. It seems they were free to enjoy their days with everything provided for them. It must have really sucked to lose all that. But it struck me that, even after their sin, God still provided for them. He made garments of skin for them to be clothed with. And, while they had to now work for their food and livelihoods, they were given the means to do it.
We go through a lot of hardships in life and some of those are of our own creation. But take heart that God still provides for us even during these times. Our mistakes may make us feel unlovable at times but God still loves us. While he won’t always take away the consequences, he will give us the strength to get through them.
Being Knowledgeable about Everything is not Always a Good Thing
A verse that stuck out to me is Genesis 3:22 where God said, “the man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil”. There was such a desire in Adam and Eve to know what God knows and, most likely, there was a feeling of missing out that we still experience today. But that knowledge, the one of good and evil, is a blessing and curse. Yes, you now KNOW things but who really wants to KNOW evil. To have that burden and stress of knowing there is evil taking place and being able to do nothing about it.
When it comes down to it, all of our conflicts (wars, protests, arguments, etc.) come down to the fact that we have a knowledge of good and evil. And we feel we must act on this knowledge instead of leaving it in God’s hands where it was at the beginning and should have been all along. We were not originally meant to have this knowledge. Not because God didn’t want us to be like him but because God didn’t want us to have to suffer from that knowledge. He created us to enjoy life. It was a protection and blessing to not know. Even now, most of us can agree that there are certain things we would rather not know because of the toll it can take on our minds and our happiness.
Keep in mind that I am not saying that knowledge is bad. Seeking knowledge about things and learning about various subjects is something we get immense pleasure from. I’m only saying that some knowledge comes with a price. It was this price we were originally being protected from.
Life is about choices. And it is evident from Eve and her story that it always has been. We were given free will with the freedom to make our own choices. But that doesn’t mean we are free from the consequences of those choices. As 1 Corinthians 10:23 says: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ – but not everything is constructive.” We were created in God’s image and, therefore, created with the ability to reflect God’s love, truth, strength, goodness, wisdom, and beauty. We need only choose to do so.