saw it was not good for a human to be alone, so He made woman to be the
complement of man. Likewise, the man was to be the complement of man.
Neither is complete without the other. This is why, in God's sight, they
are one flesh.
God gave the man and the woman to each other. Neither had a right to
refuse to accept the gift. The statement that it is not good for a human
to be alone, holds good to this day. There is an idea that it does not
make any difference. Sometimes society tells a man or a woman how long
he or she must be alone, when either has lost a companion by death. All
such talk is contrary to the plan of God. The Bible does not say, "It is
good for the human to be alone for a year or more". It flatly says, and
it is the word of God, "It is not good for the human to be alone".
The woman was made, not only as the companion of the man, but also as an
instrument of life. She was called "Eve", because she is the mother of
all living. As such, she is honored in the highest. No one could have a
more lofty and noble occupation.
But the woman fell from this pinnacle and became an instrument of death.
She partook of the forbidden fruit, and gave to her husband and he ate.
The sentence was pronounced beforehand, "In the day that thou eatest of
it, thou shalt be dying to die."
This does not mean that the fruit was poison. It just means that God had
a right to require that it be not eaten. At any time before Adam and Eve
ate this fruit they would have died if they had abstained from eating
the tree of life for a period. The human was not given eonian life,
except on condition that they eat, and continue to eat, of the tree of
life. Even after they had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, they would have lived for the eons, if they had continued to have
access to the tree of life. So God drove them from the gardens, to
prevent this. The human pair finally died, because they did not have the
life-sustaining fruit of the tree of life. The eating of the forbidden
fruit did not poison them. It made no difference in the body of the
couple. It made no difference in the body of the couple. But the absence
of the privilege of eating of the tree of life did. This is why a human
dies. Eating the forbidden fruit did not cause death. It caused the pair
to be excluded from the garden, and THIS is what caused death.
This woman, who first ate the forbidden fruit, became an instrument of
death. What a fall!!
But God gave instruction as to how this handicap was to be overcome. He
told the woman that she should bear children. Thus she was assured that
she should recover from the stigma of being an instrument of death. But
how? He told her, "Your restoration shall be by your husband". In other
words, you shall yet fulfill your destiny of being the mother of all
living---you shall yet be an instrument of life, in keeping with the
motive of God in making you. And, in spite of your defection, your
husband shall be God's means of restoring you to your primary function.
It is noteworthy that God gave the first man to the woman, and gave her
to him. I think this should be considered in all cases of marriage.
There is a saying that marriages are made in heaven. This is another way
of saying that God gives each to the other. If the husband should look
upon his wife as a gift from God, and if she should look upon him in the
same light, it is likely that there would be but few, if any, divorces.
The matter of marriage is treated all too lightly. Sometimes it is the
wife, and some times the husband, who regards marriage as just a civil
contract. They should see it as an arrangement of God for the orderly
propagation of the human race. This is why Paul is careful to give
instruction about it.
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to a master. For the husband
is the head of the wife, even as Christ is Head of the church, and He is
the Savior of the body." Here is intimated the duty of the husband. Not
only is he to be head of the wife, as Christ is Head of the church, but
the inference is, that he is to be the savior of her body, as Christ is
Savior of the church. If husbands regarded this, there would never be a
case of mistreatment of a wife by her husband. In most cases of friction
in the family, it is the husband's lack of consideration for her that
lies at the bottom of it.
"Nevertheless, as the church is subject to Christ, thus are the wives
also to their husbands in all things".
That which Paul has already intimated, he now says plainly: Husbands, be
loving your wives according as Christ also loves the church and gives
Himself up for its sake, that he should be hallowing it, cleansing it in
the bath of the water, (with His declaration), that he should be
presenting it to Himself, a glorified church, not having spot or
wrinkle, or any such things, but that it may be holy and flawless. Thus
the husbands also ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.
The church is not, within itself, without spot or wrinkle. It is made so
in the sight of Christ by His own declaration. He so loves her that he
sees, not her faults, but His own perfection in her. The wife is not
without ANY faults, but the husband who loves her declares her goodness,
and sees only that which is admirable. Thus he is cleansing and
hallowing her by his declaration. The wife is to remember that her
allegiance is to him as a master. But he is not to regard himself as her
master. He is to think of her as his wife, loving, considerate, pure. He
is to declare that she is such. He is able to make her so by his
declarations. I lived with Lucretia almost half a century. I always
declared her perfections. And my declarations helped to make her the
good wife that she was.
But I am mindful of what God said. And I KNOW by experience that it is
not good for the human to be alone. I shall not dishonor her by
remaining alone. It is one of the greatest advertisements of her as a
good wife, if I do not continue alone.
Not only is the wife an instrument of life in that she bears her
husband's children, but she has a most noble existence if she makes her
husband's life pleasant and fruitful, and cheers him and shares his life
and work. In this way, too, she is an instrument of life. When Paul
advised the man to remain unmarried, he was giving his opinion, which is
contrary to God's opinion. Paul said he was not speaking by commandment
from the Lord in this. Of course, he was not. What kind of a world would
we have if all men were like Paul in that they had no wife? Indeed, how
long would we have a world? Yet Paul says, "I want all men to be as I
myself also". I am glad that God has given no such injunction.
It is true that the married person is better adjusted to life, and can
be a better servant of the Lord. There is little incentive to work when
you have no one to work for.
I do not find it true that the unmarried is more concerned about
pleasing the Lord than is the married. God provided that each---the
husband and the wife---should complement the other. Paul's opinion
cannot change this. His opinion is not a commandment from the Lord. He
says so, himself. The history of the human family has proved that the
married one is more complete than is the unmarried one. Paul had been
asked a question about these matters, and part of his answer is
admittedly an opinion. Paul does not mean for us to take it seriously,
and, fortunately, few do.
Family life is one of God's most beautiful creations. The welfare of the
nation and the church depends on. Yes, even civilization depends on it.
If was after God had promised that the woman should have restoration by
her husband, that she began to bear children, thus fulfilling her
destiny as an instrument of life. This was a restoration indeed, for it
is not likely that she could have conceived if this had not come about.
There must have been in her mind, something that God had not said---or
that is not recorded. There must have been an understanding that she
should bear the Man, Jehovah. This was not to be true of Eve as an
individual, but in process of time woman did bear Him. When Cain was
born the woman said, "I have gotten the man, Jehovah". No doubt there
there was a knowledge that mankind would need to be saved and come into
touch with God, and that this would be accomplished through One that
should be borne by the instrument of life. Perhaps what had been said to
the serpent about the seed of the women, is what gave her this faith.
Eve heard what had been said. No doubt she understood God to have
reference to the woman bringing into the world the Savior. At any rate,
she believed that Cain was the Man, Jehovah.
Thus the woman became an instrument of life such as we have it now, and
also an instrument of a better phase of life, never-ending life, in
spite of the fact that the pair had been driven away from the tree of
In the fullness of time, a woman WAS the mother of the Christ of God.
Thus she has been honored above Adam. For, while her restoration to her
function as an instrument of life was by her husband, her part in
bringing into the world the One Who gives never-ending life, was apart
from a husband. God, Who made a human apart from a husband or a wife,
was to use the woman to bring the Christ to mankind, and He made this
Man without a human husband, but not without a human woman.
There is no call, therefore, to speak dishonorably of the woman. She had
no standing in the mind of men of the past, but Christ honored her in
His ministry. He loved her as she deserves to be loved. He could do no
otherwise, since it was his delight to honor His Father.
The old distain of woman yet crops up in literature sometimes and even
in conversation. The literature of the church is not without this
prejudice at times. Even Paul seemed, at one time to disdain her, but he
never claimed to have a Divine sanction for such feeling. For some
reason, he said to Timothy once, that MEN should pray in every place,
and said it in a way that women were excluded. He used, in this place,
the Greek word for man, which excludes women. Surely he was giving an
opinion here, for he said "I am intending, that men pray in every place,
lifting up benign hands, apart from anger and reasoning". He had just
gotten through with a long dissertation on praying for all mankind. In
that passage there is no discrimination used. Neither is there such to
be found in other passages dealing with prayer. Being a bachelor, Paul,
when not writing a command of God, fell into the old dislike for women.
I am thankful that this does not occur often. In the same connection he
said, "I am not permitting a woman to be teaching". Here the personal
pronoun, first person, is prominent. He does not say that God does not
permit this. Indeed, how could he have said it? for he knew that God
DOES permit it.
Woman, the instrument of life! I take off my hat to you!