Note: the first point in the sermon is about the role of women in the church, and the third point is about mothering. Here, I'm looking at the second point, which I believe is speaking to the more foundational topic of who a woman is and how she goes about relating to God and others.
In creation, God made man first. Now keep this in mind, man was made for God and woman was made for man. Eve was made for Adam. She was made to be his helper. Genesis 2:18 to 25, she is his glory. Man is the glory of God, woman is the glory of man. She is made to be the helper of man. She is to follow his lead, live in his provision, find safety in his strength and protection in his courage. A tendency to follow was built into Eve until the Fall and then came the curse and in that curse the tendency to rule and then the conflict.
Now look at verse 14, and this is fascinating. "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." We talk about the Fall of Adam, and rightly so because in Romans chapter 5 that is the way Paul refers to it as in Adam all died, and so forth. We talk about the fall of Adam because Adam, his name represents generic man, if you will, his name represents the race. He is the head of the race and he did fall. But we have to keep in mind that he didn't fall first. First the woman fell and her fall confirms what verse 13 said, that woman needs a head. She needs a strengthener because when she got out from under the strength of Adam and tried to operate independently in conflict with the enemy, she was...what?...deceived. And the intent of what the Word is saying here is that woman needs protection. That she has a certain vulnerability. She was designed with the need for a head. She was designed with the need for a leader. She was designed with the need for a protector and a savior.
But woman...woman who is designed by God to be under a head and a leader and a helper and a protector and a savior, when she stepped out on her own and acted independently of the headship of Adam, when she acted without his leadership, without his counsel, without his protection, she became vulnerable. And it is inherent in the nature of woman that she should not find herself in that position of ultimate responsibility. For woman has a deceivability when out from under the headship of a man. So the woman then in verse 14 was deceived. She showed by that her inability to lead effectively. She met her match and more than her match in Satan. She shows an inability to act independently of her protector.
What I can agree with:
- The point of the sermon is that Woman's High Calling is being a mother and building into the next generation. Motherhood is absolutely a high calling. No question.
- My husband is my 'head' as we understand it- we work as a team, he has the final say, and he will take responsibility for decisions. I love having him as my teammate, and I joyfully submit to his leadership. Absolutely.
- "Man is the glory of God, woman is the glory of man." - I am not the glory of God. That is what this implies, and it is a conclusion I've never come to before. This is the opposite of what I've told girls struggling with body image and self-conciousness. Is man made for God to delight in, and woman made for man to delight in? What are the implications of that? Can I bring glory to God? Or just my husband? And what to tell girls trying to find a healthy self-image - "woman is the glory of man"?
- "when she got out from under the strength of Adam and tried to operate independently in conflict with the enemy, she was...deceived." "For woman has a deceivability when out from under the headship of a man."- Do I have spiritual power on my own, with the help of the Holy Spirit, because I'm in relationship with Him, to combat the forces of the Enemy? Or must I never operate independently of my husband? Are women always deceived as Eve was?
- "She was designed with the need for a head. She was designed with the need for a leader. She was designed with the need for a protector and a savior." Who is my 'savior' is here? Jesus or my husband, my 'head'? Weren't both men and women designed for a need for a savior, protector, leader and head- and so we all need God? Or is this a specific need for a woman, a 'savior' through her husband?
- "She showed by that her inability to lead effectively. She met her match and more than her match in Satan. She shows an inability to act independently of her protector." Can a woman ever lead effectively? Anywhere? Act independently? Eve was looking for food- can women even grocery shop on their own?
- Are women "more flawed" than man, as this makes it sound? (He answers this later in the sermon, "Now may I say to you that a woman is not more defective than a man? Please. She was deceived and he subjected himself to her deception. The weakness of a woman is that she needs a head. The weakness of a man is he needs a woman." That's for another discussion.)
- "it is inherent in the nature of woman that she should not find herself in that position of ultimate responsibility" I am in a position (at work) where I have ultimate responsibility for my actions, decisions and work. Is this against my inherent nature? If a woman's inherent nature is to not have responsibility for her actions, how do we discipline daughters?