Well, after a pretty exhaustive study on woman & marriage I have come to a few conclusions.
1. There is no concensus among all Christians as to the state of equality or inferiority of woman.
2. I can see where God created us equal as people deserving the same respect, love, rights, ability to care and be cared for as men and women. We were both created in God's image & both given the command to rule & subdue the earth & procreate.
3. The above facts do not mean that man still does not have the responsibility of leadership. God did create Adam first and give him the responsibility to name the animals & such, he also was instructed to care for the garden. He was also the first person God goes to after Adam & Eve sinned. He was held responsible for listening to his wife & not holding to what God told him. This may indicate that he was the responsible leader & not his wife or it may not. However, Satan always wanting to disrupt what God intends went to the woman to entice first, not the man. He was most likely trying to disrupt the leadership order between man and woman and also with humans and God.
4. We are more defined by who we are in Christ than by whether we are a man or a woman. Men and women have equal claim to all the scriptures that say who we are in Christ. Those scriptures are listed in statement form on my sidebar. My children and I read them aloud to settle that identity deep within us.
5. Genesis 3:16 is incredibly hard to define in the Hebrew & there is much arguing and debate of the exact meaning over a woman desiring her husband & what it means to rule over her. Genesis 4:7 & once more in Song of Solomon are the only 3 places that the hebrew word of desire is used here. In Song of Solomon it is used as sexual desire but a longing for nonetheless. Gen 4:7 it is a desire to conquer. Hence the argument over whether Eve's desire is a sexual longing or a desire to overcome and dominate her husband. He will rule over her is the same hebrew wording for Gen 4:7 where Cain is told to rule over his desire to sin. Translating the Hebrew of 3:16 is very hard to do in English so the translators did it word for word.
6. God wants us to be happy people. This indicates that he does not want us to cause harm & unhappiness on anyone. We should be mutaully lifting up, loving, respecting and caring for our spouses. We should not even bother with being concerned about who is superior or inferior if that is even the case at all. We should consistently do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
7. Ezer Kenegdo does not mean help mate/help meet/ helper comparible. Women are created to be Ezer kenegdos. Ezer means a strength, a power or to save. Kenegdo means equal to, alongside, counterpart. Counterpart is my favorite defintion of kenegdo. Counterpart means:1 : one of two corresponding copies of a legal instrument : duplicate
2 a : a thing that fits another perfectly b : something that completes : complement
3 a : one remarkably similar to another b : one having the same function or characteristics as another
8. I believe God will use any willing vessel regardless of sex.
9. I believe we are supposed to enjoy each other.
10. Women were not created to do it all. We laughed at the last study in my ladies group about the following. In respect to the term help meet, how are you helping the man if you are doing everything? If a woman works full time like her husband then it would be completely ridiculuous for her to also do all the housework, child care, school responsibilities, shopping, etc. In this case, doesn't she need a help meet?
If she is doing it all, she isn't helping anybody. Help refers to a mutual work happening.
11. Men and women are confused as a whole to the responsibilities each bear in the home and marriage. Especially if the woman works full time.
12. We would all be happier if we would just be nice to our spouses and everyone around us. We should try to do nice things for our family members in our home. We should be just as concerned about their well being as ours. We should rely on the strengths of the man and the woman as individuals in the marriage.
13. Being a woman does not infer being responsible to do all the cleaning,cooking & laundry. Even the proverbs woman had servant girls. Woman was not created to do everything domestic. That is a societal influence.
14. The happiest times in my marriage are when my husband has taken on the leadership role in a loving way & his solid leading & loving attitude for me and the children made me want to do all the things that I know made him happy & eased the strains of life for him. He gave me the love & security I desired & I in turn was happy to do what I could to make his life better. Our mutal affection & respect spilled over into how we spoke to/cared for our kids and we were all a happy family. When this relationship has gotten out of order, it all gets out of order. When he treats my stay at home status as my wife is my maid, I do not want to please him at all. When he lovingly appreciates what I do and trys to give me "breaks from the kids" & does an occassional chore I would normally do it shows me he wants me to be happy and that he respects what I do and that he is not above it. When he feels like I am being bossy he rebels against it also. Mutual respect, mutual give and take and trying actively to show that love and respect is key.
15. I don't have a problem with men claiming a leadership role. I have a problem with men who abuse it. I have a problem with women who think they have to do everything and that their husbands do not have to do anything for them. I am a very smart lady and I am fully capable of doing anything I put my mind to. What matters is how I treat people and how I allow them to treat me. This is what effects my happiness, not how equal to I am to anybody.
16. I have also learned how important it is to study the Hebrew wording when we study the Bible! I cannot emphasize that enough.
I would love to ask the question if anybody else has enjoyed these posts on women but oddly enough.... the visits to the ole blog have been way down. I am wondering if I have just become boring or if I have offended people? Well, I do not offend easily so if I have been a doo doo head you can feel free to comment anonomously and let me know.