Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eve's Curse

Oh, what a cursed gender are we!!! Why, Eve, why?!?

We all know how Eve ate the apple and spoke for all of us when she said goodbye to the perfect existence (Thanks, Eve). But the longer I'm in a relationship, the more I see how her curse affects us.

The part I always remembered about her curse was the 'pain in childbirth' part. While I'm not minimizing the significance of that (shout out to all you mothers...especially those of you who opted not to use drugs for the delivery - whoa! Amazing!), that pain is temporary. While excruciating (so I'm told), it's over and done.

I'm thinking of the part of her curse that we keep on having to deal with: "Your desire will be toward your husband, but he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16 - The Complete Jewish Bible).

One commentary I read put it this way: "She was doomed as a wife and mother to suffer pain of body and distress of mind. From being the help meet of man and the partner of his affections [Genesis 2:18,23], her condition would henceforth be that of humble subjection."

And I can tell you that so keenly do I feel the effects of this. The desire for the man - for his love and affection...the power struggles...the desire to control...sometimes it feels like desire out of control.

We were made to be his helper, his partner. But now, it doesn't work that way so cleanly. And possibly, maybe our desire for him (and I think that includes our desire to control him) - has a dark root. It almost like it's just the nature of the beast of relationships in the same way pain is part of childbirth. This part of our nature is part of relationships now.

The Hebrew root of that word 'desire' likens it to a beast devouring, an overflowing, an abundance, a stretching out. It's the same word that is used in Genesis 4:7, when God tells Cain that "sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." That's a little scary. So, it sort of begs the this intense longing we feel for the men in our lives the way it was meant to be - or the result of a curse? Yeah, sometimes it does feel like a curse. I think because we fear- and I think we know - they will never - no, can never - be enough. And we want them to be. So we try to control them to make them be.

I'm not saying that I think desire is evil or abnormal. But I can't get away from the fact that, according to Scripture, this desire is part of the curse. I think something that was supposed to be balanced and beautiful has somewhere gone wrong.

And I think about alot of the struggles in it coming out of this internal wrestling of not wanting him to rule - over me? Over himself? Maybe I want to be in control...of me...of him...of everything... I don't like having someone ruling over me. I am just learning to be OK with God ruling over me, but it is difficult when it is another human being...who isn't doing everything the way I want him to. Especially when in my eyes, I think I've done just fine ruling over myself (humanly speaking, that is).

So this is the part of relationships I've been mulling over. There are no intense power struggles going on between me and James (at the moment, lol)...but the temptation is always there. And I'm realizing - when I boil it down to its simplest terms - that my frustration comes because James is just simply not doing what I want him to do. There it is again - CONTROL. But life would just be so much easier if he did things my way (translation: if he let me control him)! Why can't he see that?!?

It has mostly come up in the wedding planning (or lack thereof). I've had to walk very softly when it has come to this area. And it is a fine line between being sensitive and tactful and being manipulative and controlling. I can hear the crunch of the apple in my ear even as I attempt to justify my actions by calling it 'finesse.'

But what I think both of us are learning (by trial and error, more or less)...that things work best when God is in control. And I have to realize that, curse or not, it is not God's will for me to be in control of the relationship. For as much as I am learning to be subject to James, I can find peace because I know he is subject to God.

I can see the beauty of God's plans and purposes even in this. And God can even redeem a curse.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know why but this post made me laugh. "Hearing the crunch of the apple......" LOL