April 24, 2024

Godly Wife: Do You Dominate Your Husband?

This entry is part 16 of 18 in the series Godly Wife

I find it interesting to note what happened in the Garden of Eden after man had sinned.  You see, each of the people there involved (if you call the serpent a person) was punished in a given area.

  • To the Serpent: Crawl on your belly, eat dust, bite the heel of the Seed of the Woman, but have its head crushed.
  • To Adam: The ground would be cursed, and he would die.
  • To Eve: Pain in child birth and the husband would rule over her.

That God put this in place at this point in time says to me that this was not the case in the Garden.  I think we gain a further insight into the Garden relationship by looking at how Eve got Adam to sin– something Adam knew he shouldn’t do.

We could get into the fascinating discussion of why Adam ate, but the point was that Eve and Adam had an equal relationship– something that wouldn’t be possible with a sin nature.  So, God did what needed to be done– He selected someone to be the leader of the couple, and did so by His divine will.

The problem is, sin likes to promote self.  In the case of Eve and every woman after her, it is not in human nature to be pleased with having someone over us, and for “no apparent reason.”  If you add up human nature and the current state of feminism you see that rather than being homes that are set up as God ordained in Genesis, we have homes that are set up the exact opposite, with women dominating their husbands or exacting concessions out of him for they very benefit of being in the wife’s presence or bed.

Since we know from the Word of God that women have a weakness for domination, are you as a wife on guard that you do not dominate your husband?  This is something that requires a lot of work and attention for it’s easy to fall into the trap.

I would lump in here the propensity to equate your husband with one of the children– someone that you can order around and treat diminutively simply because you’re better at manipulation, emotions, or whatever it is that you know about him and how to push his buttons.

God commands wives to be above that.  That’s why He said that if you’re married to an unsaved spouse you don’t win him by forcing, belittling, or shaming him into going to church– you do it with a Christlike testimony and a meek and humble spirit.  Win them with kindness and you’re doing what God wants for you!

Question Idea taken from Questions for a Godly Wife

Series Navigation<< Godly Wife: Are You Keeping Your Wedding Vows?<< Godly Wife: Are You Openly Appreciative of Your Husband?Godly Wife: Have You Cut the Cord? >>
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9 thoughts on “Godly Wife: Do You Dominate Your Husband?

  1. You know, I’ve thought about Eve’s tendency to “convince” her husband, and to “blame” him, but not about her tendency to dominate being a weakness in general for women. Sure, I know it is, from the feminism movement, but this was interesting.

    Thanks, MIn. I don’t want to be a domineering woman! :blink:

  2. Mary, just a note, the woman didnt blame the man, she blamed the serpent.


    I have always read that verse to mean “He shall lord it over her” not just be her boss. I would like to look up that word “rule” in Strong’s and see what the strength of the word is in this case. I also find it interesting that the Lord cursed her with sorrow in childbirth AND INCREASED conception! So that she would have more and more babies and it would be hard for her.

    “thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

    I agree that women try to dominate their husbands, but I am not thoroughly convinced that this is what the verse says. Her desire is for her husband… what does that mean? I thought it meant she would pine after him and long for him to cherish her, but that he would rule over her, and lord it over her instead.


  3. Meg, the word for rule over is mashal {maw-shal’} which seems to me to be more “have the rule over” than “to lord it over her.” In context, Joseph was the ruler over all Egypt (same word), but he did not lord it over anyone. It seems consistent to say that the husband is to be the leader by God’s decree– and this carries forth into the New Testament with Paul basing the leadership in the home off of Genesis. There needed to be an order to the family because of sin– it could no longer be in harmony.

    t@shuwqah {tesh-oo-kaw’} is a little harder to decipher. I’m afraid comparing the other uses isn’t that helpful. The other other reference is in the Song of Solomon:

    I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. – Sgs 7:10

    It certainly means that the wife was to long for her husband (and I have seen many women who long for a husband, so I can agree with this) but I don’t know that it’s incorrect to say that this verse does not teach that women would have a tendency to try to dominate their husbands.

    My thoughts are that if there’s a natural order to things, our sinful nature exerting self will have the tendency to do the opposite. If God said that it was the man’s place to have the authority, there’s a reason He said it– in this case, because the woman would not naturally let that be.

  4. if you were to look at the scriputres before GOD even made the woman he said that she would be help mate for Adam. that means that for someone to be anothers helper they would be submissive to the one that they are helping. think about it, it is not very often that the helper runs the job but takes the orders.

    Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

  5. MIN, apperently I never came back to this thread… but after Charles came by I got an email so I came back to catch up….

    After reading your comment, I went back to the post: It would seem strange to me that the curse would be the same as what the Lord had decreed before Eve was even made…

    Is the word Maschal EVER used to mean “lord it over”? I don’t know the answer, but it just seems odd that the husband’s lordship would be a curse when it was the order of things from the beginning.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  6. I have searched for some time to uncover the meaning of this curse upon the woman pronounced in Genesis. Though I fully agree that women tend to desire control, and domination,and it is certainly a curse, still I can find no verification that the word “desire” means anything other than literally what it says, “to long after.” This would be a blessing, for women to truly desire their husbands (not their huband’s authority). Has anyone uncovered any references or details from the Hebrew that this verse means she would desire to dominate her husband? If so, please share as I cannot extrapolate meaning that is not supported in the Word.

  7. Jeanne, that’s the part that’s hard for me to figure out, actually. I think “your desire to be toward your husband” is a place indicator rather than an internal/natural thing. Without sin there was no need to have anyone other than God in charge, but with sin someone in the family had to be placed in a role of authority. Paul uses this passage indirectly when he talks about the roles of the sexes– that God ordained here in Genesis the role of the woman to be under the man’s authority.

    However, due to our sin nature, we have the constant temptation to overrule God’s order of things, and one of the strongest desires I’ve seen in women is to have authority over their husbands.

    Does that make any sense?

  8. Hello, great article! Does this translation shed any light on the matter – Its from the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, and it reads: 16 And to the woman He said, “I will make most severe your pangs in childbearing; In pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

    Could it mean that she will have pain in childbearing yet (still) her (sexual) urge would be toward him, and (in addition to that) he (Adam) would rule over her?

    1. Isn’t the salient part not the whole “what does urge mean”, but “he shall rule over you”? I can see where desire vs. urge comes in, but I think the question is more along the lines of that last phrase.

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