A LITTLE PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR MEN
There is at least a little of Eve in every woman. According to the Genesis account God told Adam he should not eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This transpired before the creation of the woman. There is no account given as to just how Eve received this instruction but inasmuch as God had given Adam this instruction and then left him in charge, it is logical to assume that this instruction was given to her by her husband.
In the account of the fall into sin given in the third chapter of Genesis we find Satan asking Eve, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” In asking this question Satan planted a doubt in Eve’s mind as to whether Adam was telling her the truth. Thus when Eve ate of the forbidden fruit she not only disobeyed God but also rejected the leadership of her husband, Adam. Having lost a certain amount of faith in her husband she then offered it to him and he ate also, whereby confirming to Eve that placing too much faith in Adam was not wise. If Adam knew that God had said, “don’t” she knew he shouldn’t have eaten the fruit regardless of what Eve did, or wanted Adam to do.
Jesus told his disciples that there are some “which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” The Apostle Paul expounded on this subject by saying, “I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” But the fact is that the overwhelming majority of us men are not Pauls. We long for companionship, family, children, sexual gratification and all the other benefits of marriage. We prove God true when he says, “it is not good that the man should be alone.” Thus most of us marry and enjoy its benefits.
But along with the benefits of marriage comes responsibility. God has commanded the man to love his wife and provide for his family. This providing is not limited to providing material necessities but the man is to provide leadership for his wife and children just as Adam should have. The wives are instructed in Scripture to be in subjection to their husbands and to “be keepers at home,” the demands and attitude of this modern world and the teachings of some modern theologians notwithstanding.
But providing leadership for a wife can sometimes be a very trying thing as it seems at times they are not in any big hurry to follow this leadership. It is also easy for the man, in his frustration, to just want to tell them that they are commanded in Scripture to be “obedient to their own husbands.” But that is not likely to get the job done, but may in fact just exacerbate the situation. (As one friend of mine once told me, there are times when he would just like to tell her to shut up and do as she is told. Thankfully he always bit his lip in these instances.)
Well just what may be going on in such a situation? Just this: the woman was designed by Almighty God to want the man to provide leadership. (I often tell young men to never ask their wives or girl friends what they want, for all they will likely do is anger them. They expect you to know what they want or what needs done and don’t want you asking them.) I recall a few decades back Billy Graham quoting the movie actress Sophia Loren as having said, “I want a man to dominate me.” But women are generally not interested in being “dominated” or led by a wimp who they can wrap around their little finger, or some selfish jerk who just wants his own way. They want to know that you are leading in the right direction and that you have their best interest at heart. So you might just as well expect them, from time to time, to test you in your leadership to see if you are a real man and one worthy of being followed. For after all, if they don’t test you how are they to know?
So the advice is this: Walk closely with God so you can discern His will in each situation life bestows upon you and then proceed in His will even if the lady seems to be dragging her feet and verbally questioning your decision. If she loves you and God, she will follow you when she sees that none of the wiles and instincts she inherited from Eve will deter you and will be happy and well pleased with you and the result. You have once again confirmed yourself in her eyes as a real man who deserves her devotion.