Creation As An Argument For Headship
The creation account found in Genesis 1-3 gives us more than the simple account of how God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. These first chapters of Genesis are also the go to source for Paul in his arguments for male headship in the home and in the church. Paul looks to the chronology of creation and he looks to the purpose in creation for the basis of his arguments. All of these verses imply male headship from God’s deliberate ordering of creation.
- Man was created first, Woman was created second. Paul sees purpose in God’s chronological ordering of man first, woman second.
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed (Gen 2:8).
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man (Gen 2:18, 22).
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve (1 Timothy 2:12-13).
- The woman was made for man. Paul see purpose in God specifically making woman to help man, not the other way around.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him (Gen 2:18, 20).
Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man (1 Cor 11:9).
- The woman was made from man. Paul sees purpose in God specifically creating woman from the man’s side.
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man (Gen 2:22)
For man was not made from woman, but woman from man (1 Cor 11:8).
- Man received the divine command. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:16-17).
- Man was presented with the woman. The rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man (Gen 2:22).
- Man named the woman with a name derived from his own.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen 2:23).
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Gen 3:20).
Both the man and the woman are to rule as God’s representatives on earth (Gen 1:28), but they are to do so by acting out different roles. The man works out this representative rule by being “in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). The woman works out this representative rule by being “a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). Both are equal in their God ordained task, yet distinct in their roles of how to fulfill this God ordained task.
* Kostenberger, Andreas J., David W. Jones, God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation. 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.