I was reading through the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:19-4:2) and it struck me from a different angle this time. I honestly love how you can read the same passage over and over and each time God reveals something different. This time, God revealed to me how influential we as women are to our husbands.
“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them”Colossians 3:18-19 NIV
Typically, we are taught that the husband is the leader of the household. A faith based marriage generally falls into that model where the husband makes the final call on big decisions for the family. The wife, however, is not to blindly follow her husband. She is to be an active participant in the marriage, and actually holds a lot more influence than one might typically believe.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”Genesis 3:1-6 ESV
As we read through the familiar story of Adam and Eve we are reminded how the serpent deceived Eve to eat the fruit from the tree that God had commanded them not to eat from. Eve then offers the fruit to her husband and then they become like God in knowing good and evil. They realize they are naked and hide themselves from God because they’re ashamed. When God asks why they hid from him they said it was because they were naked. God asked if they’d eaten from the tree he asked them not to, and Adam then blames Eve for his wrong doing.
If you’re anything like me, this story can be pretty annoying because it paints Eve and womankind in a negative light. I’ve never liked that and the punishment God laid on mankind after this incident (pain in childbearing and cursing the ground we work) has been felt for generations and generations. It seems unfair at times, just being real.
But, here’s what I most recently realized. Adam trusted Eve. Adam trusted his wife to bring him food that was good to eat. He trusted her not to lead him into temptation, not to lead him away from God. Adam trusted Eve to keep him on the right path. When Eve was deceived by the serpent, she allowed that deception to trickle into her marriage which brought Adam to sin as well. How great an influence we wives have on our husbands.
As wives, and mothers, it is our duty to be regularly in the word of God. It is our job to train up our household, to “start children off in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV). We have a lot of influence not only for our children (or future children) but on the nature of our husbands walk with the Lord as well. Knowing that our childrens’ walk with the Lord is our responsibility is simple. That one makes sense. Children don’t know better and are given to us to raise. But husbands, they may slip our minds at times. We may think they should know better so my actions won’t influence theirs. That thinking is wrong.
So, how can we learn from Eve and influence our husbands on the path of righteousness?
I am so glad you asked.
Read God’s Word
“The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.”Psalm 119:130 NIV
When we are regularly reading God’s word, we are filling ourselves with truth. This truth brings light to the dark spots in the world. This truth gives understanding for God’s ways and how to stay true to them. When we are constantly filling ourselves with knowledge from the Bible, we are able to, ourselves, stay on the path of righteousness, and therefore lead our families in that way as well.
Pray for your husband
- Pray for him to seek God’s kingdom first (Matt 6:33). When he is seeking first the kingdom of God then he will be a serving husband and father. He will be a good leader and representation of the body of Christ to his family.
- Get specific: has he been stressed lately? Pray about that. Has he been working on a specific project at work? Pray over it. No prayer is too big or small to bring to Christ.
- Pray for his relationships: with you, your children, your extended family, friends, coworkers. Ask God to bring godly people into your husband’s life. It’s been said that you’re a product of those you spend the most time with. So pray for God to nurture those relationships that draw your husband closer to Him.
Pray with your husband
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them”Matthew 18:20 ESV
This increases trust and intimacy. When you pray with your husband, out loud, you’re sharing your vulnerabilities with one another. You’re allowing each other to share a raw intimacy as you share your joys, struggles, and requests to God. When you do this, you are also allowing your spouse to know the condition of your heart and allow them to pray over you as well.
Additionally, when you are finding time to pray together with your spouse, you are also teaching your children how to pray. You’re teaching them that this is how we talk to God and thank him for all we have and that there is nothing we can’t bring to him in prayer.
Ask God for discernment
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world”1 John 4:1 ESV
It’s important that we continually are asking God to transform us by the renewal of our minds. When we are able to discern his will, and know what is good and perfect and acceptable to him (Romans 12:2), we are able to know which “fruit” to bring back for our families. If Eve was more discerning about the serpent’s claims then she would have known that his intentions were not godly, and were actually to draw her away from God. Had she been more discerning about whether or not to listen to the serpent and take the fruit, she wouldn’t have brought some for Adam to share with her as well.
We learn from Eve that we women hold influence. What we do and how we use that influence can make or break our households. It’s important for us to ask God for the wisdom to use our influence for His glory and not our own.