Macedonian Ruins

…outside the box but inside God's Word...

Bein' a Berean

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Fruit of the Fall

Looking for a marriage that’s not just fulfilling but also overrun with joy and blessing?

God promises this experience when we do his instructions.

“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God” Deuteronomy 28:2 (NASB unless noted)

If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love… I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.” John 15:10-11 (NET)

Obeying those motivated by selfish needs is tantamount to being their slave—you serve their needs. However, choosing to obey God, who has no needs, and has demonstrated a devotion to our our wellbeing, is freedom. If you believe that obeying God's directives is demeaning or sexist you don't really know Him.

God has demonstrated, via Jesus’ sacrifice, an unwavering devotion to our well-being—our best in every way. Those who are wise and aware of this find obeying His instruction very rewarding.1

As our Creator, He understands and incorporates the limitations and impediments of our fallen nature in forming His directives. By this I mean His directives make us aware of the encumbrances of our fallen nature in the hope that we will seek His help to overcome them. Denying the existence of that fallen nature ensures we never escape its clutches nor will we ever experience the joy of life free of it—our lack of joy, happiness, success will always be seen as the fault of others—blame.

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion approaches a frog, “Will you give me a ride across the river?”

“No,” said the frog, “you will sting me.”

“Why would I do that to you when you’re helping me across?” argues the scorpion.

After considering, the frog answers, “In that case, okay. I’ll ferry you across.”

They set out, but before they reach the other side the frog feels a sharp sting in its back.

“Why did you sting me?" screamed the frog in pain.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I guess it’s just in my nature,” pled the scorpion.

The Fallen Nature

God’s standards for harmonious and fulfilling relationships lead us to face our fallen nature. Although well aware of our short comings, God will never impose Himself on us, rather, He eagerly waits for us to ask for His help. It is beyond our means to overcome that nature, but when we become aware of it we need only to acknowledge and yield the issue to Him asking for His help in progressively removing its influence from our lives. This cleansing is called sanctification.

If we acknowledge our fallen nature He is faithful and just... to cleanse us of it. (my rendition of 1 John 1:9)

The Twelve Step program of Alcoholic or Gamblers Anonymous almost perfectly mirrors the approach we ought to take to find freedom from our fallen nature faults. Use your particular fault, be it workaholic or control, in place of their alcohol or gambler.

Marriage is, I believe, God’s primary workbench for revealing, confronting, addressing, and correcting issues of our fallen nature and encouraging our progressive sanctification—the process of being free of it.

As to His directives for a fulfilling marriage, God has few very basic, yet crucial, instructions.  Determined obedience, in His strength, will bring results:


  • love your wife as much as you love yourself
  • treat her as you would treat a prized, delicate, and precious artifact


  • keep placing yourself under your husband’s authority
  • fearrevere and respecthim since God has appointed him as overseer (see Spiritual Authority)

These instructions, specific to our gender, begin to make sense when viewed in the light of the events of the fall in the Eden garden of Genesis 3. If you feel they are restrictive or show gender bias you don't really know God.

Roots of Dissension

  • As Regarding Eve

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent approached the woman (later named Eve) in the garden. We are not told if Adam was approached earlier, but if so, it was not successful. Against Eve it was. Had Adam failed to protect Eve, being consumed with another interest? Perhaps. Most Bible translations read that Adam was 'with her,' however, those words are not in the original text. To suggest that Adam was beside her during this conversation should imply they were both deceived and bring into question the truth of Paul's statement:

“And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:14, 2 Corinthians 11:3

What made Eve vulnerable to the serpent's offerings? Again, we are not given much detail, perhaps she felt inferior having been made almost as an afterthought God's last creation. Was it that she was made to be a helper for Adam? Did Eve feel disadvantaged, being the last one in this new environment? We are not told.

What aspect of the serpent’s persuasion enticed her, was it that the fruit was pleasing to the eye or that, by eating it, she could better her status?

We can deduce the latter—improving her status—when we 'reverse engineer' the outcome. The 'outcome,' was God's judgement and His revelation:

Judgement - “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children.

Revelation - Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Eve receives two consequences of her act. The first being a judgement against her physically, i.e., she would now experience pain in childbirth. The second, a revelation, was the effect it would have on how she relates to her man.

It’s this last one that warrants a closer look.

Having a desire for your husband seems lacking as a divine revelation since there was no one else with which to relate. The key hinges on the Aramaic word for, 'desire,'2 which occurs only three times in scripture (Genesis 3:17, 4:7, and Song of Solomon 7:10).

In Genesis 4:7, God warns Cain that sin is driving his feelings against Abel, we find the same word for 'desire' used:

"And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7

The implication here is that it was sin's desire that Cain was to master. It follows that there was a struggle for control in that sin desired Cain to kill Abel. The New English Translation (NET), “its desire is to control you,” is congruent with God’s directive that Cain "must master it", i.e. not let it control him.

Applying that deduction to God's judgement against Eve's, some versions use the conjunction ‘but’ to infer a conflict between her ‘desire’ and God’s directive that “he will rule.” Other translations have interpreted this verse as:

“Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (ESV)

“You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” (NLT, NET)

This now has the effect Jesus described as the intent of our enemy, namely to "steal, kill, and destroy"3 relationships.

This verse reveals to Eve—and to wives in general—that her new fallen nature will impose a desire to control her husband in conflict with the fact that generally he is physically stronger and he carries God's mandate to rule. This unquenchable desire to control the husband is one of the main reasons for failed marriages—driven by the belief that when she finally controls him, she will have the joy she seeks. While God's word says otherwise, today, world media propagate this lie from smoking cigarettes (torches of freedom of the early 1900s), to careers (1950s), and to liberation movements (1960s).

New Testament writings confirm the struggle against Eve's fallen nature and provides God's solution:

“The wives, be putting yourselves in subjection with implicit obedience to your own husbands as to the Lord” Ephesians 5:22, 24 (Wuest)

“Wives, be constantly subjecting yourselves with implicit obedience to your husbands as you ought to do in the Lord.” Colossians 3:18 (Wuest)

“women to… be… subject to their own husbands” Titus 2:5

Paul writes:

‍ But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. 1 Timothy 2:12 (NET)

It may be that placing a woman in either of these positions is as dangerous to her wellbeing as giving a drink to a reformed alcoholic. The woman too, like the reformed addict, ought to avoid that temptation with utmost determination.

Further to this, we read Jesus' words in Matthew 19:8:

Jesus said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way.

The Greek word used for 'hard hearts' here is sklērokardia which is defined as the, "feminine of a compound of 4642 and 2588; hard-heartedness, i.e. (specially), destitution of (spiritual) perception: — hardness of heart." This figuratively meaning, unkind, intolerant, unsympathetic, heartless.

Jesus here is saying that Moses (i.e. God's Law) permitted you (men) to 'put away' your wife if she proved to be hard of heart.

As He did with Cain, God makes it the woman’s responsibility to master, overrule, or deliberately act contrary to that fallen desire within her nature—and to do so successfully when she seeks His help.

  • As Regarding Adam

In Adam’s case, God’s judgement was not against him physically, but against the earth and Adam’s labour and efforts to produce food from it.

“Because you obeyed your wife... the ground is cursed... in painful toil... the sweat of your brow you will eat food" Genesis 3:17-19 (NET)

As a result of Adam’s part in the fall, it has become the husband’s nature to thrust himself with singular focus into tasks like work, golf, fishing, etc., leaving his wife feeling abandoned and not cherished (this feeding her efforts to control him). Is this why God commands the husband to love his wife to the same degree as he loves himself, or his interests?

Do men also have a propensity to obey the ‘voice’ of their wife, making necessary God's directive that he would/should rule? Or perhaps it's little boys who are trained to obey their mothers which carries over to their wives?

“For the husband is the head of the wife” Ephesian 5:23

“Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman” 1 Corinthians 11:3

Here, in this last verse, we have God's design for the family unit.

While it could be argued that a husband who loves his wife in this way would be easy to submit to, don't be fooled into blaming the other for your failure to do God's word. It's in your nature. We would use an 'act' of submission to trick love or an 'act' of loving to trick submission. God is not fooled. Acting as though we have accomplished the real thing is a lie. In reality, professional actors are professional liars.

Those relationship defects, fruit of the fall, continue to plague husbands and wives today empowering strife, feminism, machoism, and all manner social conflicts which destroy relationships, marriages, and families.

Once these fruit of the fall are finally dealt the death blow will the inequalities in roles be necessary? Before the fall the woman was created to be Adam's helpmate. When that sin nature is dealt a death blow we will experience the peace and joy that relationships were designed to be. Then inequalities will be unimportant.


The joy that Father intended in the marriage relationship comes when, in obedience to God, husbands treat their wives as precious and as equals and wives fear and give themselves in submission to their husbands. Can we pick and choose which of God's directives we will adhere to? Can we be partly committed or must it be total? The nature of salvation is that of an exchange, Jesus gave His all for us, in exchange we give our all to him. Anything less is not worthy of him.4

And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. 1 John 3:24 (NET)

If you find God's directives to be repulsive or sexist, you don't know God and are not mastering the "desire" which actually enslaves and robs you of what you seek most—Joy.

The book of Judges, in the Old Testament, provides us with many examples of benefits of doing what God directs. When we do what we think is right, implying it contrary to what God directs, we find ourselves under oppression, ill at ease, and without joy. When we repent and follow God's directives we prosper and rest in joy and peace.

God's directives are not interdependent, which means if one spouse is remiss in doing their part the other is not exempt from doing theirs, but neither is your reward dependent of their obedience—only on yours.

We can master these fallen nature issues through Christ who is our strength.

Again, it’s only in doing God’s word that we experience His joy, peace and abundant life and as with all of God's promises He tells us, "test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy." Malachi 3:10-11


  • Matthew 7:24
  • "What is a Woman's Desire?", Susan T. Foh, The Westminster Theological Journal 37 (1974/75) 376-83, Copyright 1974/75.
  • John 10:10
  • Matthew 10:37-39

©2022, Dr Steven Bydeley, a man.

All publishing rights reserved. Permission is herewith granted to reprint this article for personal use and to link or refer to it; however, no commercial re-publishing of the material in this article is permitted without prior written consent.

Steven is the author of Fathered by God and with his wife Dianne, co-author of Dream Dreams and Dreams the Heal and Counsel. He has been a guest on the Miracle Channel, Trinity Television, and Crossroads Communication, and have taught internationally on various topics.

Without Prejudice. © 2023, Steven., house of bij de Leij., of man.