The Fall: Was it Eve’s fault? Are women cursed ever after to be doormats?

Amidst reading Love & Respect, Ben and I have been having a conversation about how we women fear that men think we are almost totally responsible for the Fall of humanity . . One of the reasons women become bossy and ‘unleadable’ is that we are afraid men will blame us for all the problems of the world and treat us like doormats if we aren’t.  Ben sent me his thoughts in response, as follows . .

I know a lot of people have blamed the woman for the fall, but that’s not what the Bible says about it.

In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam not to eat the fruit.  In Genesis 2:22, God created Eve.  So, first of all, Adam received the instruction from God.  Eve got it second hand.

Genesis 3:6b says, “She also gave some to her husband who was with her.”  The Hebrew word translated as “with” means “side-by-side.”  Adam was right there the whole time the snake was tempting Eve, and he did nothing.  Adam was made to protect her, to guide her, to look out for her.

We see throughout the Bible that man is the “head” of the relationship.  But when he saw her going down a path he knew was wrong, he failed to intervene.  And then he followed her.

Romans 5:12 says, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”  Paul doesn’t blame Eve, he blames Adam.  Adam received the law first-hand, Adam stood right there and failed to stop her from falling (apparently didn’t even try), and then he followed her in disobedience.

Granted, in Genesis 3:12, Adam began the long and terrible legacy of passing the buck and placing blame.  “The woman You put here with me…”  He blames Eve, he blames God for giving him Eve–he blames everyone except himself.  But that’s a result of the fall, not how God meant for men to be.

In Genesis 3:16, part of woman’s curse is “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”  I’ve heard it said that the first part means she’ll desire her husband’s position, or authority.  Man was made to guide and protect.  Woman was made to encourage and inspire.  But after the fall, she seeks to rule, and he seeks to dominate.  And so began the most hideous thread of human history.

A lot of people have abused the Scripture to justify their abuse of women (physical or otherwise), but that was never God’s plan.

God wants men to look out for women, to protect them, to guard them as a treasure.

God wants women to encourage men, to build them up–which increases both their strength and desire to protect women.

God does not want men to abuse their authority, nor does He want women to blindly submit to everything a man says.  This notion has been abused a lot and it’s easy to hear the wrong thing in Scripture, especially if that’s what you’ve seen or been taught.

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