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Man and Woman: An Equal Partnership

As couples, the quality of our relationships greatly impacts our overall happiness, especially when we are married. Marriage is a blessing and a gift from God, but many people don’t truly understand His original intent for it. With divorce rates at an all-time high and many young people today choosing to remain single, marriage has gotten a bad reputation. But God’s design for this sacred relationship is radically different than the world’s view.

Growing up, many of us were taught that the man is the head of the household, and we’ve probably heard about how the husband is supposed to “wear the pants in the family.” Those ideas are actually based in religion, and they contradict the Word of God. In the beginning, God designed marriage as an equal partnership between man and woman, with both of them sharing equally in a close relationship with Him. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:27, 28).

That all changed when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden. The gender equality they previously enjoyed disappeared, and the stage was set for unequal relationships, patriarchy, and male domination. This was not God’s original plan, but sin brought consequences. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:16, 17).

This continued until Jesus was born to undo the damage that was done and re-establish gender equality. Some of the ways He did this included speaking to women who were considered social outcasts (John 4:5-27), and showing mercy and compassion to women seen as inferior in a male-dominated society (John 8:1-11). Jesus challenged the traditional mindset of men exercising dominion over women, and He willingly died on the cross to abolish the curse that locked men and women into unequal relationships. 

Most people are unaware that the way marriage and gender relationships have evolved is biblically incorrect, but the Scriptures reveal that God never meant for men to be above women or for women to be subservient.“And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them” (Deuteronomy 28:13). This applies equally to both men and women. In contemporary terms, hearkening to His commandments means believing this promise and letting it change the way we think about marriage.

Accepting what Jesus Christ teaches liberates us from traditional gender stereotypes (John 8:32). He loves us all equally and our relationships should reflect that. Freedom in Christ extends to everyone!

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