In the Beginning God Created the Heavens, the Earth, and… Patriarchal Society?

My Disclaimer: this is going to deal almost exclusively with Biblical Patriarchy and Christ’s fulfillment of Jewish law, and my ponderings on them.  This is the first time I have ever felt peaceful confidence in what I’ve written on the matter, and it’s only barely enough for me to decide to post this in a place which, while it doesn’t draw much traffic, is still totally public.  I’ve read many posts and articles on the topics, from the radically fundamental side, to the radically feminist side, and everything in between.  I have read and absorbed things that made sense and felt right ever since I started, however this is the beginning of making the words my own.  I don’t claim to have “the answer”, but to insist that there IS a question, and claim that I’m finally able to BEGIN exploring my voice in response.  I hope to continue to post more of these as I find more of my voice.

“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

This verse, chronologically the earliest Bible verse expressly used to advocate complementarian above egalitarian society, is Genesis 3:16, a chapter typically titled The Fall of Man.  It is the beginning of the sufferings of humanity as a result of being set apart from God.  The beginning of all of our issues.  As I see it, God is expressly stating here that Adam will rule over Eve, that man will rule over woman, as a result of their sin.  I’m not going to argue that point.  What I *am* going to argue is that this sentence should not be used to justify a modern patriarchal community within Christ.  Why?  Well, I’d like to say that patriarchy is one of those quirks about society that God never included in His perfect Earth, the Earth where humanity is in full communion with Him.  If it was, I’d hasten to say that it would have existed in Eden, when, clearly, it did not.

A society where man rules over woman only exists apart from God. 

Which brings us to another, incredibly important point: The laws God passed on through Moses do not paint a picture of a perfect society, they are the instructions God gave His people for living in a world, made necessary by sin, that was never intended, so that they might continue to reach towards Him, even when they were separate.

And if that world, where the law was something created to get us through our separation from God, patriarchy and all, was the end all, be all of things, it would be a very sad story, indeed.  The wonderful, awesome news is that that isn’t the end of the story.  Because thousands of years later, the last and ultimate sacrifice was made, death was once and for all conquered, the veil was torn, the Law fulfilled, and humanity could once again not only reach towards God, but touch Him.

So why do we insist on following a convention of society that keeps us constantly separate from God?  If we acknowledge and welcome the fact that we are no longer cursed to be separate from God, why do we insist that we create division within our community when the very nature of the division was never intended by God?

Shalom

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One Response to In the Beginning God Created the Heavens, the Earth, and… Patriarchal Society?

  1. rea says:

    And after some more thought… I see that the verse specifically says that your husband will rule over you. It does not say men. It says one and one man only will rule over you, and that is your husband. AND, if he is your husband, then you should love one another in such a way that you don’t force him to make every decision and he doesn’t force his ideas on you. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be married, or at least attempting a Christian marriage. You work as a team, and the only circumstance under which there is a ruler in the relationship is when the two of you cannot possibly agree. This does not belittle women. This does not hurt us if the only time this happens is within a marriage and under specific circumstances. This, is fact, gives us a standard to hold ourselves to when we don’t get along, and when we, in our passion and frustration, might actually damage our relationship. Now, I do not believe a man should ever rule over a woman unless he is her husband and unless he does so while holding up his part of the later letter from Paul stating that a man better darn well love and adore his wife.

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