Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was chaos and waste, darkness was on the surface of the earth.
In the beginning there was chaos, and God through a well-orchestrated plan spoke order by creating the heavens and the earth. First, He created day and night. He then separated the waters above from those below. He then formed vegetation and collections of water bodies. Then He created the sun, moon, and stars, after which He created the animals, the birds, and the sea creatures, and then finally, He created man. This to me does not look like a haphazard last minute plan, but one that was meticulously articulated such that it caused our good Lord to look with admiration and say, “It is good.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
In the book of Numbers, God dictated to the Israelites the manner in which they were to worship, the kind of sacrifices they were to bring, the days they were to bring them, who was to bring them and the quantitative value of the sacrifice. In Exodus, God gave them a list of laws they were to follow because He intended that they live in perfect harmony with Him and towards each other. In the Pauline epistles, Paul describes the manner in which a service is to be conducted in church because God is not a God of chaos, but a God of order.
Similarly, when God created Adam and later Eve, He had a certain order that He intended that they would live in. Why? Because God did not want Adam to be all sufficient. There was a place for Him, for Adam and for Eve; godly harmony. Everybody was relevant. Fast forward to when Adam and Eve sinned, the first to be kicked out of that order was God, and now in the 21st Century, we have completely embraced chaos.
Let me take a step back. Reading my Bible, I have every reason to believe that God intended for the man to lead and for the woman to help. That is quite obvious in the garden of Eden. It is clear that God’s intention was for men and women to have a complimentary role towards each other. This is crystal clear at the very least, by looking at the complimentary role our bodies have towards each other.
Numbers 30:3 “When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.
I have also read scripture such as the one quoted above and it is clear that God intended for primary authority to be with the man. In what has turned out to be one of the most controversial scriptures in this age of gender equality is 1 Timothy 2:12 where Paul tells Timothy that he does not permit a woman to have authority over a man.
Still don’t believe me? I was reading Matthew chapter one where the lineage of Jesus Christ is outlined and for the first time, I realized that it is Joseph who had a direct relationship with Jesus and not Mary. Meaning, if Joseph had not been in the equation, God’s promise to David for an everlasting kingdom would not have found its fulfillment.
Honestly, though, this has not always been this clear to me. I too wanted gender “equality”. Maybe like me, you have struggled to understand and accept God’s order for men and women. Perhaps it is because, like me, you have taken in the world’s notion of equality to mean that everything has to be 50:50, and that for there to be equality there has to be similarity in roles.
Perhaps like me you have struggled because you doubted His goodness because what He calls order, the world calls oppression and patriarchy. We question His goodness without realizing that Jesus Christ will never ask us to do anything that He Himself has not already done for us. Because He submitted to God and chose to die on the cross and did not think equality with God was anything to cling to, we now have eternal salvation. And because He selflessly died on the cross He expects that the man will love His bride the same way.
Or perhaps, just like me, your rebellion is rooted in the fear that there is no man capable of leading you. I mean a man who leads you spiritually, is a provider and a protector, sounds like unrealistic romance. Where are those men? But then again I realize that just like the Israelites who did not enter rest because they failed to trust in God, I will not find that man, or even realize that he is there already because at the core of this fear is unbelief.
Why do we question God’s order for gender rather than accept His order for creation by accepting that we are to have dominion over all creation? The crux of the matter I believe is that money has become the subject of our worship. We have believed the world’s definition of success and made our careers our idols and our identities. Truly, the love of money is the root cause of all evil. True success is not in how much wealth we can amass. Success can only be achieved through obedience to God’s word, and in this case, fitting into God’s order.
True gender equality can only be achieved by accepting and fitting into God’s order where the man is the head and the woman is the helper. For every good thing God created, the devil has a cheap duplicate which on the face of it looks like an easier way into achieving happiness but in the end, it leads to chaos and brokenness. As believers, we must believe that all of scripture is God-breathed and if this is so, we must conform to it. We have to make an intentional decision to either conform to the truth of the word of God or be under the influence of the world.