27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” – Genesis 1:27-28, NASB
This is the first time in history that the God of Heaven spoke to mankind. This is His first command ever given to man. God had just gone through 6 days of creating the universe from nothing. Everything that can be seen, and everything that cannot be seen, except for God Himself, was made by God and for God. As an act of His perfect love, God spoke the Word, Jesus Christ, to create the world. Jesus went forth from the Father and created the heavens and the earth. God created the entire universe ex nihilo, a Latin term meaning “out of nothing.” God literally spoke His Word, and by the Word of God the heavens and the earth came forth out of nothing. The immaterial became material.
But then on Day 6, God does something very different. He gets His hands dirty. God stooped down in the dirt, and fashioned out of the dust of the ground a man to serve Him and watch over God’s creation. This account in verse 28 of Genesis 1 occurs after the events of Genesis 2:20-23. In 1:28, the woman is clearly in the picture, as the verse says, “and God said to them…”
Man and woman were created equal in the sight of God. This is no theological stretch. Both were born into life from the fingers of the same God, and both were given the same privileges as the other. But then something happened. A wily old serpent came to the woman, tempted her to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and, with her husband’s full consent, ate of it, and so did her husband.
Because of this, sin entered the world. God pronounced righteous judgment. He pronounced judgments on the snake, the man, and the ground. But He also pronounced judgment on the woman:
16″To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'” – Gen. 3:16 NASB
For many years, this verse has been used as a crutch for men to think that they can rule women with an iron fist. Although this is an extreme case, most men would point to this verse as one of several that says that men are somehow a little bit superior to women in some way.
This is dead wrong.
The Apostle Paul, speaking to the Corinthian church, talks about this very issue and puts it to bed permanently. In verse 3 of chapter 11, Paul gives us a clear insight into the Biblical order of male headship, and NOT male dominance, as some would twist it.
3“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” – I Corinthians 3:11
This verse is a two-pronged rebuttal to the belief that men are superior to women. In the following paragraphs, let us together discover what this two-pronged attack is.
It would be best to start with Prong No. 2, because it sets up the explanation for Prong No. 1.
The argument at issue is that men are superior to women. Because, after all, what did God say in Genesis 3:16? “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Let’s answer this issue directly: NO, men are not superior to women. If this verse in I Corinthians is saying that, then by default, God the Father is superior to God the Son. It says at the end of the verse “and God is the head of Christ.” Since it is known that God the Father and God the Son are co-eternal and equal in power, glory, and majesty in every way, the belief that God the Father is superior to God the Son is patently false and illogical. So what does this verse in fact mean? It means that the Father and the Son are equals, but the Son submits lovingly to the Father, and the Father is the loving head of the Son. It does not mean that one is superior to the other.
But now someone will say, “Ok, but if you draw that conclusion, then you have to say the same thing about Christ being the head of every man. If you say that men and women are equal, and God the Father and God the Son are equal, does that not mean that Jesus Christ and man are equal?”
Now let’s answer this directly: NO, Christ is not equal to man. However, there is a reason that this verse makes this reference to the headship of Christ. Christ was the Suffering Servant. He humbled Himself, and became a servant. While He still holds headship and authority over man, He became the servant of man. He served us by doing something for us that none of us could do: He paid the penalty for our sins. He took the blow, He took the beating, He stood in the gap for man. This is Prong No. 1. Christ is the head of man, but He served man by standing in the gap for man, and standing up to the power of sin. In the same way, men, as the head of women, are to serve them, and stand in the gap when they cannot. Men, ours is the responsibility to stand up in the fiery trials, to take the blows and the wounds, to keep our women from harm, and to reconcile them and present them to God, spotless and blameless, as Christ will the church:
“27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;” – Ephesians 5:27-28
So men, lets be the men that God has called us to be. As Christ is the head of man, let us be servant leaders to our women, and as God the Father is the head of Christ, let us be loving and pure in our position of authority, realizing that the female gender is in no way inferior, but to lovingly lead the wives and daughters that our Father blesses us with.