Executive Director’s Column -- By: Randy L. Stinson
Executive Director’s Column
Exposition of the Danvers Statement: Affirmation 4
Executive Director, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Louisville, Kentucky
The fourth affirmation of the Danvers Statement deals with the Fall and its primary effects on the relationship between men and women.
4. The Fall introduced distortion into the relationships between men and women.
The Fall introduces a vast array of distortions to the good and wise design of male headship that God intended. This is a key distinctive in the complementarian position. Those who oppose the Danvers Statement typically argue that the Fall brought about headship and submission between men and women and that this is overcome in Christ. The Danvers Statement argues that even prior to the Fall there was male headship in marriage and the Fall distorted this understanding of role relationships. This can be seen in the fact that no new relationships were introduced after the Fall; they are presumed.
First, with regard to Eve, there are two areas affected - childbearing and her relationship with her husband (Gen. 3:16). Her childbearing (in principle, an ability present before the Fall) will now be marked by pain. Her willingness to embrace the provision and protection of her God-given head (present before the Fall) will now be marked by a sinful desire regarding this headship. Egalitarians have wanted to say that the woman’s curse by which her “desire” will be for her husband is the introduction of a wrongful, sinful sense of her submissiveness. But how can it be sinful to desire to help and to serve? Rather, the key to interpreting this text comes from Gen. 4:7 where the same wording is used. Here, sin’s “desire” is clearly to take control of Cain, so God tells Cain he must master it. In Gen. 3:16, then, the woman’s desire is for illegitimate control, attempting to resist her husband’s God-created male headship over her.
Second, with regard to Adam, two areas are affected - work and his relationship with his wife (Gen. 3:16–17). His work (present before the Fall) will now be marked by hardship and difficulty. His role as head (present before the Fall) will now be marked by the necessity to rule in the relationship. Notice that before the Fall, the man could lead without the need to “rule over” the woman, because before the Fall, she willingly and joyfully followed his leadership. But now with sin, he is challenged, and he is faced with the necessity to rule.
In these areas - motherhood, work, and ma...
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