God Created the Man as the Leader
Chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis reveal that God very intentionally established the man as the leader in his relationship with his wife and his kids. This is demonstrated in several ways.
– The man was created first. God the Creator created him from the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and thus made him a living being (2:7). The woman was not formed until later (v. 22). So what? So God was in this way signifying who was to have the lead position in the relationship. This order of creation is the foundation of Paul’s instruction that women should not teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim. 2:11–13).
– The woman’s very being was derived from the man. Rather than creating her from the ground, God shaped Eve from the rib or side of Adam (Gen. 2:22). That this derivative existence demonstrates the authority of the man is made explicit in the New Testament. In establishing the basis for the assertion that “the head of the woman is man” (1 Cor. 11:3), the Holy Spirit through Paul offers this: “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man” (v. 8).
– The woman was created for the man. The Lord seems to have gone to some lengths to be sure Adam understood this. Only after parading the animals before him and letting him discover his need for her did God create Eve (Gen. 2:19,20). She was then created to be a companion-helper (v. 20) to assist him in fulfilling the mandate God had given him to multiply descendants and take dominion over the earth (1:28; 2:15). Again, Paul appeals to Genesis in support of the headship of the man and the woman’s submission: “neither was man created for woman, but woman for man” (1 Cor. 11:9).
– The man named the woman. Just as Adam had exercised his authority over the animal kingdom in naming them (Gen. 2:19; cf. 1:28), so he demonstrated his authority over his wife in naming her “Eve” (3:20). In the Bible, having the prerogative of naming someone always indicates a position of authority over the one named.
– The man was the guardian and teacher of God’s Word. Before Eve was even created, Adam was given God’s commandment concerning what they could and could not eat (Gen. 2:16,17). There is no evidence that God repeated the commandment to Eve, and yet she knew all about it (3:2). Apparently Adam had taught her.
– The man was held responsible by God for their fall into sin even though his wife had taken the initiative in that sin. She was approached by the serpent, enticed by his lies, and deceived into sinning. Only then did Adam take and eat the forbidden fruit (3:1-6). Her’s was clearly the initiative. Yet when the Lord came to demand an accounting for the offense he went straight to the one he held responsible: “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'” (3:9)
Not only does Genesis show unmistakably that God designed man for a role of leadership, it also shows how quickly that role was neglected.
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