Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"You Will Want to Control"

One of the best pieces of advice I got as a young mother was from my dear friend, a wise woman as well as a wise mother.  She said "Don't let your little girl boss her older brother around.  Girls like to be in control, and it's not good for her to be bossy to him." 

I thought of that advice this week, when reading Janie B. Cheaney's column, "Quite Contrary," on p. 14 of World magazine, 1/21/17.  The gist of the article is about translation "kerfuffles" (great word) that have occurred over the years.  (She uses examples of Chinese to English - which brought back quite the memories of traveling there.  The example she gives is "Loveable but pitiful grass is under your foot."  The first one that I remember was reading in the Air China literature, "Our chefs come up with recipes to make your taste buds sparkle!")

Anyway - she discusses the understanding of Genesis 3:16 in the KJV - "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," and the fact that more recent translations give a stronger interpretation of "thy desire shall be to thy husband" by saying that what it means is  essentially "You will desire to control."

Her last paragraph is so good:  "The curse on Adam and Eve affects what is central to each of them:  occupation and relationship.  Sin's desire for them is possessive and unlawful, reflected in Eve's desire for her husband.  If we women are honest, we should acknowledge how easily our yearning for relationship is twisted into manipulation - just as men must realize how natural authority slides into tyranny.  By submitting to sin's desire, our first parents locked themselves in a permanent power play that won't be solved by fairness or equal rights - only by God's desire to save us from ourselves." 

I realized early in my marriage that there were times that I attempted to manipulate my husband into various decisions, a manipulation that could be so subtle that I didn't even admit it to myself.  It took conscious effort to work out of that mindset and to be straightforward about things.  It is still a temptation at times.  

It is also easy to see how men's natural role of leadership can morph into control, and even abuse, if they do not guard against that, and if the Holy Spirit is not directing their lives.

I think that "You will desire to control" is a good explanation of "Thy desire shall be to thy husband." I would like to see that teaching to young women be more prevalent.  My good friend's instruction in that area was new thinking to me at that time.  It needs to be more commonly taught.

And Janie B. Cheaney, once again, caused me to think, with another home run in her column.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Very interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing.