I am so excited about this mini study I just finished! It’s like God gave me a golden nugget today and I am whoopin’ and hollerin’!!
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Gen 3:16)
As I studied this verse, I noticed that Eve’s desire would be to her husband. Hmmmm, he was the only man there at the time. She had not given birth to any children yet. Why would God tell her that her desire would be to her husband? Surely the word desire here cannot mean that she would only want him. That got me to thinking that maybe this word “desire” was not really what I thought it meant.
Eve’s desire could not possibly mean that she would desire Adam because he was the only man around – of COURSE she would desire him. We women automatically desire our husbands in the physical and emotional sense. It is something that is natural within us. So what could this word “desire” mean?
I have been taught that we should obtain our definitions of certain verses in the Bible by finding other verses that use the same word and let God’s Word interpret the meaning. As I searched out the word “desire,” I found that the English word “desire” is found in 109 verses. There are 38 different Hebrew and Greek instances of this word which are translated into just the one word in the English language! Each of the Hebrew and Greek instances vary in meaning. I found that the Hebrew word for this particular word is #8669 in Strong’s (teshûqâh “pronounced tesh-oo-kaw”) and is found in only two other places in the Old Testament (Gen. 4:7 and Song of Sol. 7:10 – I pasted the verses below.) These two scriptures clarify the meaning of this word.
The definition I found basically meant “to want to be in control of or to have the rule over.” God chose this particular Hebrew word in these three particular verses for a reason. So I found it interesting to see that #8669 was used only three times – twice in Genesis where we learn about our beginnings and the third time in the beautiful Song of Solomon, depicting a beautiful marriage.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Gen 4:7) Here God tells Cain that he still had the rule over Abel because of his birth right.
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. (Song of Solomon 7:10) Her beloved has the rule over her.
What have I gotten out of this mini study? It is clear to me that Eve was told that her desire would be to take the leadership role in the home, to rule over her husband and household. I loved how God immediately followed that statement with “and he shall rule over thee.” The world’s definition of desire would not fit here. If Eve is told she would desire Adam emotionally and physically, why would God then say that Adam would rule over her?
I’m convinced that Adam and Eve’s marriage was perfect in the Garden of Eden. Adam was the head of his home and Eve was content with him ruling over her. After Eve strayed from God’s and her husband’s will and sin entered the picture, she sinned. She sinned by exercising her own will – it was her choice. Because of her choice, she would now have to fight that choice even greater. She would now have a battle with wanting to lead the home. It makes perfect sense to interpret this verse in this manner.
As a result of this willful sin in Eve (which was passed on to all women), there are many women who chose to exercise their own will rather than allowing their husbands to lead. The husband’s role is knocked down, he is crushed into a wimp and his rightful leadership role is taken over by the wife. I was reading an article just yesterday that in the U.S., the “single” families now exceed the families which have both a husband and wife. Is it any wonder? But women do not have to be this way… it is a choice that we make. We either do God’s will by submitting to our husbands or we don’t. We are not destined to repeat this sin – with Christ, we can overcome our self will and be the submissive wife He wants us to be.
We women are not equipped to be leaders. We were created to be their helpmeets, not vice versa. From the beginning, God has said that the husband would rule over the wife. The man is equipped with leadership skills and decision making. It’s not to say that we women cannot possess those skills. But it is to remind us that there must be order in the home, just as there is order in the universe, order in the world, order in the government, order in law enforcement, etc. God is a God of order as is evident throughout Scriptures.
When we go outside God’s plan for us, we will be unhappy and discontent. Our role is to be a helpmeet to our husbands and to honor him in all we say and do. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Pro 31:12)
I pray this study will speak to your hearts and give you a clear picture of what God intended for us women.