Right now, and for a long time, men and women have been at each other’s throats. O.J. and Nicole Simpson, John and Lorena Bobbitt are reflections of just how bad relations between men and women have gotten. Our nation reels at the horror stories and sheer volume of accounts of domestic violence — that means acts of hatred so brutal against people you supposedly love that the law calls them criminal. It used to be that people feared crime on the streets; today being at home is not necessarily any safer.
The Simpsons and the Bobbitts are dramatic examples, but no one can deny that something serious is wrong. If man and woman hated sexual sin (infidelity and selfishness) as much as they hate each other, there would be more peace at home and at least there would be more room to love. God’s created order is the cure for domestic violence1 — men and women loving each other as they were designed by God to do, resulting in communion together and mutual fulfillment. The restoration of all things cannot come about until men and women become one, without competition and strife over who will do what. Love demands that both will do whatever it takes.
Many young women in the Sixties wanted to have life-giving, supportive marriages with their men, focused on nurturing their families and raising their children with vision, removed from the rat race of the establishment. Although this appealing approach to life was in the heart of many, most failed to attain it...why? Because men and women have not found a way to stay together that works. Marriage is often rejected as a technicality or forsaken when the price becomes too high. Co-habiting and casual encounters work no better. Nobody acknowledges sin any more. Nothing is anybody’s fault. Everybody is a victim and nobody is accountable for doing wrong. People have forgotten what God said and how He created us, as humans, male and female, to be with each other.2
Men and women were created to need each other, to be united as one. Today men and women are divided, at odds, at each other’s throat — physically, emotionally, spiritually, even financially. Unless the hearts of men and women can be restored to each other — to love each other — then the earth will never be restored.3 The divisions between the sexes need to be seen for what they are: sin, that is, alienation, separation, selfishness. Men have mistreated women and because of it women have lost respect for men and have become bitter towards them. Retaliation becomes justified. Historically, nothing can compare to the suffering women have endured at the hands of men. So what is the remedy?
Finding God’s way again — discovering how to “get back to the garden” so to speak — is the answer. Most relationships today are so far “east of Eden” that not many remember or care what made Eden the paradise that it was: man and woman together in communion with their creator, God. There is a spiritual reality to that distance and only by travelling the road back can men and women find what was lost there, in God’s perfect creation.
It is more than a myth that a man and a woman can live together in love and peace. It is the foremost desire in the heart of Americans today: to have a marriage that works. It is the essence of what the human heart longs for. If we can’t find it with the one we love the most, we can’t have it for anyone else either, much less the world. So, where are we?
Men have been declared the problem, the chief enemy of women. Woman makes a grave error to see man as the enemy. Without him, she is going nowhere worth going. She needs him and he needs her. Only by submitting to God’s purpose for us can healing come and unity be restored to men and women. Joining forces to battle sin and the effects of sin will accomplish a lot more than waging war with each other, since each other is not the real enemy.4 Men and women were created to be lovers, but it will only work if we do it God’s way. Keep reading to find out how.