Have you ever noticed that in the mystery of marriage God asks both the man and the woman to do what is impossible? In marriage God demands what’s hard, not what’s easy. Here’s the simple naked truth: The woman is supposed to (horror of horrors!!) submit to her husband and the husband is supposed to (drat it!) take responsibility. Now, this is exactly the opposite of what both men and women want to do.
The women I know naturally want to take charge. They’re practical, down to earth creatures who see a job that needs doing and want to do it their way. Most fellows are easy going slobs who are content to lie on the couch watching football with a bag of chips to keep them company. Most guys are happy for the wife to take charge…”Yes dear…Whatever you say dear. When’s supper?”
In fact, the women are often better at being in charge than men are. They’re practical and efficient. They’re caring and consultative and lead from the heart. They have stamina and stomach and can clean up baby vomit and dog poo and then cook a dinner without batting an eye or gagging. The men, on the other hand, would prefer to play a video game, mess with the computer or the car or simply chill out.
But Eden stands that on its head. Of all the wild and wonderful things to do, God puts the man in charge and tells the woman to obey. Therefore, the most natural temptation for both sexes is to rebel against this outrageous order. The man rebels by abdicating his responsibility and opting out. The woman rebels by taking charge and taking over. What the feminists don’t realize, when they march out to take over the world is that most fellows are quite happy to let them do so.
That’s why the devil tempted the woman. She’s the one who wanted to take charge anyway. He probably tempted Adam first, and the man scratched his belly and said, “What, get up and climb that tree just for that apple? Nah, I’m pretty happy the way I am.”
The marriage covenant stands the whole thing on its head again. It’s a scandal! It’s revolutionary! Marriage says to the man, “Be a man…get off the couch…take responsibility.” Marriage says to the woman,”Step back. Learn to obey.”
“Get off the couch? Ouch!” “Learn to obey? No way!”
This stuff has to be true because it is just so unpredictable and so wildly difficult. What is difficult is more likely to be true because it is less likely to have been made up by people who want to be comfortable.
Truth hurts, but it hurts like surgery hurts, and in the spiritual life, when it starts to hurt we might just start to be making a little bit of progress.