As mentioned in my last post, I take a position that Grace returns relationships [and ultimately all things including fallen creation but we will focus only on one thing at the present... the male /female relationship] to their original God ordained plan and purpose as seen in scripture. The best way to discover this is to go back to the place where it all started. Let's do it.
Biblically, in the first two chapters of Genesis there are no words used in the text which gives the account of the creation of Adam [male/female created He them] that would even hint of a subordination of the woman to the man. To the contrary, they are seen in a partnership with equal responsibilities that are not defined by roles at all. Jointly, they were to care for the garden, animals and be involved in the process of reproduction. ["Let them have dominion...them multiply."] There is NO language of male rule or subordination of the woman here at all. It will take some later language interpreted culturally to bring that about as we shall see.
Even the word "helper" [helpmate: Hebrew is Ezer] used of the woman, when examined as scriptural language, is a word that reflects NO subordination. It refers to one who comes to rescue those in need. It was used of God Himself several times regarding His relationship to Israel and the nations. No subordination there. Just purpose. God is the one needed to make things right. So was the woman with this lonely man.
In fact, the first hint of a subordination of the woman to man in Genesis is in 3:16 and is clearly, when interpreted by the text alone, to be seen as the tragic outcome of sin in both the man and woman in terms of relationship. She..will "desire" her husband. It is the same word used in chapter 4 where sin is said to desire Cain after the killing of Abel. It is a word that means a "longing to control." Sin desired to control Cain. The Woman desires to control also....after sin has entered the picture.
In the same verse the man is seen as determined to "rule" over the woman. This also the first instance of any language of scripture portraying such an idea as the word "rule" used between the male/female. The word means to be a "dictator or despot" when used other places and is a negative thing which, clearly, is the consequence of sin entering the picture. So, again, our first view of the man/woman relationship is one of partnership and equality without defined roles except to be as one together with no "whose the boss?" emphasis at all in the scriptural text. Until, that is, the entrance of sin and the subsequent fall of man.
So, from where does the subordination of women to men come? It comes from the entrance of sin into the human race and the resulting cultures/societies of fallen humanity that built it into male/female relationships as an on-going pattern revealed in history, including biblical history. [We will look a little more fully at this later in this series of talks.] But, originally it was not so and it is back to the original plan and purpose of God for men/women relationships that Grace takes us as we shall see.
When we do find a Grace prescription passage for family male/female relationships, [the Genesis 3:16 verse is descriptive of sin's consequence NOT God's intention as I've said] it will not be one of subordination at all. It will take us back to that partnership of Genesis. Where do we find it? Ephesians 5:21-31. But there culture will raise it's interpretive head too unless we are careful to let the text speak without reading into it our presuppositions culturally. This passage we will look at next time and try to see if, in fact, those fallen male/female relationships in the family are restored to the original..