Macedonian Ruins

Bein' a Berean

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

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Fruit of the Fall (updated 2024/06/03)

Are you looking for a marriage that’s fulfilling and overrun with joy and blessing? And what about relationships in general?

God promises this experience when we follow 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)

Do you think God will give you joy if you do not obey His commandments? All around are those doing all sorts of activities and playing every role imaginable in the pursuit of joy—except the one He advises. No lasting joy comes from these activities, just a deeper emptiness.

Obeying someone 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 well-being, is freedom. If you believe that obeying God's directives is demeaning or sexist, you don't know Him.

Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God has demonstrated an unwavering devotion to our well-being—our best in every way. Those 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. 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, and 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, but I can’t help it. I guess it’s just in my nature,” the scorpion pleaded.

The Fallen Nature

God’s standards for harmonious and fulfilling relationships lead us to face our fallen nature. Although aware of our shortcomings, 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 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 progressively cleanse us of it. (my rendition of 1 John 1:9)

At least some of the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics or Gamblers Anonymous almost perfectly mirrors the approach we ought to take to find freedom from our fallen nature faults: 

  • admitted we are powerless to win against that sin issue.
  • believe that God wants to give us victory over that issue.
  • determine to turn that area of our lives over to God.
  • examine the ways that issue is affecting our life and relationships.
  • confess the issue to God, to ourselves, and to another individual.
  • be ready to have God remove the issue.
  • asked Him to remove this issue.
  • list all people we had harmed, and be willing to make amends.

Marriage is, I believe, God’s primary workbench for revealing, confronting, addressing, and correcting issues of our fallen nature and to self-motivate our desire for sanctification—the process of being free of its dictates.

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


  • love your wife as much as (or more than) you love yourself
  • serve and protect her as you would your most prized, delicate, and precious gift


  • keep placing yourself under your husband’s authority as would if he were the Lord
  • fearrevere and respecthim since it is God who has appointed him as overseer (see Spiritual Authority)

These directives are not requests made by your spouse. They are requests made of you by your Creator, who gave his all for you. If that doesn't motivate you to do these, as if God were your spouse, then you need to examine your commitment to the Lord—if you love Him, you will keep His commandments.

We need to be clear. The command is specifically to the wife to be submissive to her husband. It is not for women to be submissive to men. 

A favourite mantra parroted by feminists is, 'I'll not be any man's doormat!' or for men, it's the fear of being labelled as 'henpecked.' If we love God, our mantra would be, 'If God wants me to be a doormat for my husband...' or, 'If God wants me to serve my wife...' I want to—with God helping me. As we determine to be/do these, we will face our ugly nature and learn to ask God for help. That's the whole point!

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God... made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant" Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV) 

Perhaps 'sanctification' could be defined as 'Learning to serve.'

These directives, being gender specific, 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 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 had been 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 that she was first deceived? We know that pride was Satan's downfall, perhaps rebellion against the notion that he was merely a "ministering spirit" serving mankind. Did he play on that same notion that, rather than this status of only a helper for Adam, she could be like God? The same desire that led to Satan's downfall—rebellion against the potter.

Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? Romans 9:21

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 would improve 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:

1) Judgement or Healing? - “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children.

2) Judgement or Revelation? - You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 (NET)

Eve received two consequences for her act. Was the first a judgement or a move toward healing for her physically (explained below), i.e., she would now experience pain in childbirth? The second was a revelation of the future effect her action would have on her relationship with her man.

1) Pain in Childbirth

What was the purpose of putting a painful childbirth on Eve and on all women thereafter? Was it punishment, or was there a purpose? Punishment for the billions of women that followed Eve and for Eve's transgression seems to me to be vindictive and not in the nature of Father.

There may well have been a higher purpose. 

Eve's transgression harmed the nature of women that, when Adam followed, impacted all of man thereafter. We call it the sin nature, the flesh, the old man, etc. It's that part in us that wants to be gods, to rule over others around us, to do what is right in our own eyes.

We see this sin nature at work in Sarah, Abraham's wife. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many children. As his wife, and while still barren, Sarah took it upon herself to 'give' Hagar to Abraham so he could have children. This act resulted in a race that continues to be an affliction to all Abraham’s children.

This nature/desire to dominate people and situations robs women of the harmony and joy in relationships that God designed.

In 1 Timothy 2:14-15, Paul writes:

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who was deceived and fell into transgression. Women, however, will be saved through childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (BSB)

As a pastoral counsellor, I learned that the only way to achieve a healing change of character was through the experience of a "significant emotional event" (Massey). Where Paul writes of women being 'saved' through childbirth, we have the Greek word sōzō, which can also mean "heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole."

I would posit that God had/has a good purpose in the pain of childbirth. The experience could be that "significant emotional event." The trauma of the pain, followed by a lifelong change from self-sufficiency to self-sacrifice, nurturing, and loving service to a very needy baby, would be the catalyst to initiate a change back into the role that the Potter intended for this vessel (Romans 9:21). I suggest it's an initiating factor because Paul adds, "if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control." 

What then of those who are barren? 

It would seem that it is upon them to even more diligently "continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

2) Relating to Her Husband

Some versions read, “Yet your desire will be for your husband.” Having a desire for your husband seems lacking as a divine revelation since there was no one else with whom Eve could relate. The key hinges on the unique Aramaic word translated here as, 'desire.'2 It occurs only three times in scripture (here, Genesis 4:7 and Song of Solomon 7:10). 

In the Genesis 4:7 reference, God warns Cain that sin is driving his feelings against Abel, we find the same Aramaic 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 is that it was sin's desire for Cain to harm Abel. It was Cain's responsibility to master or overpower that desire. The New English Translation (NET) and New Living Translation (NLT), “ Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” is congruent with God’s directive that Cain "But you must subdue it and be its master", i.e. do not let it control you. This understanding—that desire refers to the desire to control her 'ruler'—is in line with the frequent New Testament injunction that the wife submits to her husband. This is not a case of women being required to submit to men.

Applying that deduction to God's judgement against Eve, 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 to "steal, kill, and destroy"3 relationships.

Imagine you were adopted and unaware you had neonatal abstinence syndrome. This is a condition whereby your birth mother was a heroin addict when you were born. Consequently, you, too, were an addict. It’s in your nature.

If you were given a narcotic, you would immediately rekindle your innate bondage to that addiction as though you were the original, willing addict.

Would it be wrong for your adopted parents to withhold this information from you? Of course, it would. Would a desire not to hurt your feelings be a justification for not telling you? You could, unknowingly, find yourself back into a serious addictive pattern. Whereas, if you were aware of it and the seriousness of it, you could avoid the trap. Would the knowledge rob you of freedom or free you to avoid a potential bondage? Both, but with a greater enjoyment of life by losing that freedom.

Similarly, this verse reveals to Eve—and wives in general—that their new fallen nature now has an innate desire to control her husband, conflicting with the fact that generally, he is physically stronger and carries God's directive to rule. This unquenchable desire to control the husband is a root issue for failed marriages—driven by the misguided belief that she can't be happy until she finally controls him. The world media propagates the lie that the freedom to smoke cigarettes (torches of freedom of the early 1900s), to pursue a career (1950s), and the liberation movements (1960s) will finally bring joy. God’s word says otherwise.

New Testament writings confirm women’s struggle against the fallen nature and provide God's solution for achieving joy:

“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

The husband is never instructed to subjugate his wife. This, we'll see, violates God's instructions to them. Conversely, the wife must fight that desire to control her husband.

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 highest good as giving a drink to a reformed alcoholic. The woman, too, like the reformed addict, ought to avoid those temptations with utmost determination—for her well-being.

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 the feminine form of sklērokardia, which Strong's Dictionary defines as a compound word for hard or tough of heart or feelings, implying stubbornness or unchangeability. Unwilling to conform to or follow God's directive?

Is Jesus here saying that Moses (i.e., God's Law) permitted men to 'put away' the wife if she proved stubborn and unchanging?

In the Deuteronomy 24:1-4 passage, divorce is justified "because he has found some indecency in her..." Can we assume the cause goes both ways, i.e., 'she finds indecency in him', or is that messing with God's words as we are warned not to do? 

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. Nowhere is a husband given the responsibility to subjugate his wife; however, he is commanded to sacrificially love and serve her, as we'll see now.

  • As Regarding Adam

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

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

It is important to note that Adam's sin was that he obeyed his wife against God's command. For that reason, the ground was cursed.

As a result of Adam’s part in the fall, it has become the husband’s fallen 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 his activities). Is this why God commands the husband to love his wife to the same degree as he loves himself or his interests?

Do men have a propensity to obey the ‘voice’ of their wives, making God's directive that he would/should rule necessary? Or perhaps it's little boys who are trained to obey their mothers, a training which they carry into later marriage?

“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 our failure to do God's word. It's in our 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, the fruit of the fall, continue to plague husbands and wives today empowering strife, feminism, machoism, and all manner of social conflicts which destroy relationships, marriages, and families.

Once this fruit of the fall is 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 the precious gift that they are, and wives fear and give themselves in submission to their husbands. When we do our lives will be overtaken with unquenchable joy.

Can we 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, and 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 overcoming the "desire" which enslaves and robs us of what we seek most—Joy.

The book of Judges in the Old Testament provides many examples of the benefits of following God's instructions. When we do what we think is right, implying it is contrary to God's instructions, 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 on their obedience—only yours. 

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

Again, it’s only by doing God’s word that we experience His joy, peace and abundant life. 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 b, 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 has taught internationally on various topics.

Without Prejudice. © 2024, Steven., house of bij de Leij., of man.