If the Bible is to be believed—I would argue it is—then there are two weaknesses of which men and women must be aware. Each is a weakness to which one or the other is highly susceptible. Man is more susceptible to one, while woman is more susceptible to the other. As has often been said in many a situation, recognizing one’s weakness is half the battle.
Men are susceptible to the weakness of pacifism. There is a pacifism that is good. For example, when Peter whipped out his sword and cut off the ear of the soldier in the garden of Gethsemane, Christ told him to put his sword away. That was a moment when pacifism was the proper response and Peter didn’t get it. Likewise, there is a pacifism that is bad; the truest friend is he who will lay down his life for another.
Women, on the other hand, are susceptible to the weakness of deception. Paul writes to Timothy reminding him that it was not Adam who was deceived, but Eve. As a result, certain precautions must be put in place within the Church. Notice, especially, the timelessness of Paul’s concern. The woman was deceived all the way back in the garden of Eden, and as a result, we can know something about what weakness trips women up and therefore make informed decisions from that.
We would be foolish, however, to think that this is the most important lesson to learn from the garden event. It wasn’t only the woman who was weak; man exhibited a weakness there, as well. Furthermore, the woman’s weakness in the garden is a direct result of the man’s. Moreover, it is still happening today.
Man’s weakness in the garden was already identified above. Man improperly played the part of the pacifist that day. The serpent comes, tempting Eve. He lies to her; he deceives her. Falling to that deception, she takes the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and eats it. Then, she takes that fruit and hands it to her husband, Adam, who is next to her, and he eats it. Yes, that is correct. The Bible says that Adam was next to her when this happened. Adam, rather than rising up to defend his wife from the lies of the devil, sat back and watched. Then, he reaped the perceived benefit of her action: he ate the fruit himself.
This deception continues, and man’s inclination to pacifism continues as well. This inclination is sinful when it is acted on—or rather, passed on. We live in a world where our wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters are being told that motherhood is unfulfilling, weakness, and slavery. We live in a world where homeschooling is laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed. We live in a world where a woman who stays home is a lesser human being than the woman who goes out into the workforce and fulfills herself with an education, a career, and wealth.
While there may be women for whom this is necessary, that necessity is not for those reasons exclaimed above. It is for the necessity of livelihood that it should happen. In the process of being deceived and tempted into knowledge and power through progression up the job ladder, homes are falling apart, children are being left to fend for themselves, and they are being educating in nothing but servitude.
Yet men continue in the sin of pacifism, allowing their wives and daughters to be deceived. All the while, we reap the reward of a second income, a bigger house, a nicer car, and more toys—but at what cost?
Real joy and fulfillment comes through the communion a mother has in the home, the relationships that develop with her children, the love that is shared.
Real wealth is measured not by the amount of money in the bank, the square footage of the house, the grandeur of the car, nor the version of the iPad you have, but by the love of family and the aroma of your home—its peace and harmony.
No longer can men stand by while our wives and daughters are deceived by a serpentine world. No longer can we be the pacifists our ancient father, Adam, was, and allow our wives to take a risk for some perceived benefit that will reap only sorrow.
We must stand up in defense of the ladies in our lives. This is our very calling; with Adam, we have been called to guard the garden. Guard your Eve, men; guard your rib. Stand up against the wiles and deceits of this world. Empower your wife and daughter to live a truly fulfilled life knowing joy and love, peace and harmony, and community and fellowship in the home, in her garden—caring for it, training it, beautifying it. Then you will have done what is noble and true, and you will reap the eternal rewards promised by God through the family.