In today's blog I want to lay out some foundational principles for the male and female dynamic that lends itself to a more harmonious exchange relationally between the two genders, especially in this current culture and generation. (Don't worry; I'll get back to the life experience blogs on Monday).
One of the biggest challenges for relationships, especially in this current culture is the war between genders. Although it’s not called that, essentially that is what is happening. I believe part of the reason for that is the fact that we have allowed genders to be a source of division rather than unification. Genders were made to distinguish, not divide and when God said to have dominion, He meant it in the context of both genders working together in harmony to accomplish this goal.
One of the things that was hardest for me to realize early on was that my wife is not my competition. This attitude was reinforced during my younger days in school and even in church youth groups through the "battle of the sexes" competitions that we would have between boys and girls. I brought that attitude into my marriage because I didn't understand that we are partners and that each of us brings a different strength and perspective to the table called life. So when she tried to be my partner, because of my warped view of gender roles and competition, I didn’t allow that to happen.
It wasn't until I started renewing my mind and going back to the original design and plan for the genders as opposed to consuming what my generation is documenting about the way genders should relate that I began to view it differently. That is what I want to share with you in this blog.
Let's begin with this: there is a bible study principle called the law of first mention. This law states that wherever a word or concept is first mentioned in the Bible, whatever context it is defined in there carries over to the entire volume of Scripture unless otherwise indicated.
The first mention of the female is found in Genesis 1:27-28 NKJV which states: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Here we see that the female was defined in the context of dominating the earth and was given the same authority as the male to rule. That was the original and proper balance of genders; not one over the other but side by side in harmony BOTH under God. What happened though was sin through pride upset that balance. So in order to restore some form of order, a temporary structure was put in place. This is where the "...and he shall rule over you" (Genesis 3:16) verse came into effect.
Although this was more of a “caretaker” structure until the time of restoration, this one verse has been the premise for the male dominated attitude and language for generations. Although that was the structure in place at that time, the problem with that is it was never intended to be an indefinite arrangement. Unfortunately, that tradition carried over all the way to today while the goal was always to get back to the original arrangement.
Jesus, through the cross, restored the balance which is why Peter could now say that we have to honor our wives because we are heirs together. If we don’t, our prayers won't be answered (1 Peter 3:7) Why? This was to set the stage for the coming generations to begin reversing the prevalent male-centric traditional dominance that happened for generations before in order to have everything come back around full circle. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.
Traditions are not a bad thing, they are important for maintaining stability and order which was the case after the fall from grace in Eden. However traditions, especially in a relational context, have a way of outlasting the circumstances that made them necessary to begin with even if they were necessary at one time. That is how through this particular tradition, we've made the original word of God which was “have dominion" of no effect in the earth. That is why it is best to live by principles rather than traditions. Traditions change, principles don't.
You see, what we fail to realize is that from the beginning, the principle was that the full expression and representation of God cannot and will not be experienced when there is war, disharmony, and disunity between the two genders. Think about it, if the male alone was necessary why then would God make female genders in His image also if they didn’t have the ability to express and represent Him in some capacity?
I believe that part of the reason why the world is in this state of confusion currently is because of the misrepresentation of God through the division of the genders. The male and female/husband and wife team together is the complete expression and representation of the image of God.
There are several expressions and representations of God that are found in the male and female dynamic. The one I want to highlight here is that of power and wisdom. The male represents and expresses God’s power and the female represents and expresses God’s wisdom. When God is fully expressed and represented on the earth through these two dynamics, that is when the phrase "have dominion" actually applies, has weight, and brings glory.
We see Scripture alluding to this original power/wisdom dynamic played out in several instances such as the dealings between Deborah and Barak, David and Abigail, as well as Pilate and his wife. Power without wisdom results in chaos and that is why the female is called the “help-meet". They can "help" channel that power in a particular direction either for good or bad as in the case of Ahab and Jezebel.
We already have an idea of what "help" means so here is what the word "meet" means:
“Suitable; fit; proper; appropriate; qualified; convenient; being precisely fitting and right”
When God said that He created a "help-meet", it was not for them to be in a position of servitude. It was by divine design to make the female a qualified, properly suited, and custom fit for the male. In discussing the function of a help-meet, there are two things that we don’t take into consideration regarding the importance and significance of women and especially wives:
- That phrase "help-meet" is used within the same context that Jesus described the role of the Holy Spirit when He called him a "helper". The Holy Spirit is not weak nor a pushover. Your wife has been given to you as an extension of the Holy Spirit. She is the representation and expression of the wisdom of God to you in the earth. That's why she's a crown (Proverbs 12:4) and a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). Think of her as your personal second witness to the Holy Spirit.
- If someone is going to help you do something, then it stands to reason that they have to be just as strong, if not stronger than you to be able to handle whatever it is they are helping you with. If I need to move a table, I'm not going to call someone with lesser capabilities to help me. Yet we do that we things as heavy as a family, the future, purpose, and destiny!
Husbands: learn to cherish your wife's wisdom, insight, intuition, and intelligence, insight. Wives: learn to respect the power, strength, ability, vision, and sheer prowess that are resident in your husband. All of that and more has been freely deposited in both of you by God as visible manifestations of Himself to help both of you accomplish the original mandate of having dominion in all facets of life.
One is not above the other and you can't do it without each other. The blessing is on THEM and the mandate was given to THEM. They sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can start influencing this world for the better and begin making positive impacts that lives on for generations!
Darren Wilson is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur based in Saint Martin. He is the author of several books including “Designed for Purpose” that is available on Amazon. He is married to Charmaine and is the father of Darren Jr. For more information, visit his website at www.darrenwilsonglobal.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.