Things I've Learned From Eve

Thursday, June 23, 2005

There is nothing like a relationship that makes you question your role in life as a woman. I've discovered more things about myself since accepting Pete's offer of love and proposal of marriage than I have since... I can't remember when. Probably high school, when I was sensible enough to know that I didn't know everything about me--just about the rest of the world.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Eve. Eve, as in Adam's wife. Eve, as in the first woman. The one who ate the fruit and listened to the snake.

There's a song by Sara Groves that goes, "I can taste the fruit of Eve... The results of her choices are vast--Eve was the first, but she wasn't the last."

I wonder if every woman sets out in life trying to fix the mistakes that our first mother made. I know that I myself have tried to convince myself and others that I wouldn't have been the one who ate the fruit. I mean, DUH. God said not to. Hello, Eve? Why couldn't you see that you just needed to obey, to trust?

Here is a list of things that I've learned about myself from Eve.

1. There is in me a sense that God and others are holding out on me.
2. I do not readily trust the God that I often believe is holding out on me.
3. I often believe I know my best better than God does.

It was a new concept to me when I first started to realize it, but the more that I thought about how the serpent tempted Eve, the more I saw how he tempted her to a longing for more than what God had given her. He tempted her by making her jealous of God Himself.

The serpent was a great salesman. He knew what he was selling, and even though Eve didn't need it, and shouldn't have bought it (shopping--*ouch* :-P), she was convinced that she had to have it. Once Eve had decided that God was holding out on her, she took matters into her own hands.The first bite was her down payment, and her daughters have been living out the interest for all the ages since.

In myself, I see this played out in my constant questioning as to whether I have enough. On a home decorating level, I can always think of more to do, more to want. In my relationship with Pete, there is always something that falls a little bit short--not because he hasn't been pouring out his life for me, but because there is a longing in me that he is not satisfying. In my relationship with God, I hold myself back from Him, trying to stay off His radar and serving Him out of duty, when all the while I'm micromanaging to manipulate my life the way that I think it needs to be--regardless of what He may have for me.

4. God has created me with special gifts to be a sustainer/helpmeet/lifesaver for my husband.
5. I desire to run things--not to follow.

Following is a very difficult thing for me. I'm talented. I have a lot of drive, a lot of dreams, and a lot of goals. I'm an extremely independent person with a very free spirit, and I have a lot of natural leadership ability. Those are very good things when you're a single young woman trying to survive. They are also very good things when you're a mom. *wry grin* See my mother for a wonderful example.

Growing up, I used to ask that all-consuming question that good Christian teenagers ask: "What is God's will for my life?" The closest I could come to a conclusion on that one was the Eve explanation--I was created as a woman to be a helpmeet. On the other side of college now, engaged to be married to a man who loves me deeply, I am finding more than ever that if my first conclusion is true, and I believe it is, there must be a following involved in my calling.

And that is something I don't quite understand yet. I had a long conversation with a friend the other day about submission. There are all sorts of arguments against the typical Christian viewpoint of Biblical submission--generally understood through the dominant male/silent women perspective. My point here, however, is not to argue against submission. I just found a couple of questions about it that don't get asked very often.

Why did Paul say that he did not suffer women to teach men?
What does the very idea of submission mean?
Why did God say that the wife should submit to her husband as to the Lord?
How does God want me to submit to Him?

Sarah obeyed Abraham because she feared God. The cause was God, the effect was the submission. Just an interesting observation. But Sarah also took a few things into her own hands. One of the things I love about how God uses her as a model for other women is that she is just human. I see in her the things I struggle with--the worry about not having children, the same lack of trust in God and certainty that she could do things better than He... and yet she is still a "Princess" because of His work in her life and the new name He gave her. Even after He had chosen her out and given her a calling to follow Abraham, she sinned and carried on in the tradition of Eve, but He still commends her for her faith.

That's kind of cool.

Another line from the Sara Groves song: "And if I were honest with myself, if I'd been standing at that tree, my mouth and my hands would be covered with fruit of things I shouldn't know, and things I shouldn't see..."

I have no idea where this post is going. Feel free to post any thoughts you might have. I'll probably add more later.


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