Before the fall, Eve was a “help meet” to Adam. The term means a “companion equal.” While the account is figurative as far as humanity is concerned, it is also instructive as to what goes on in an idealized or perfect world. In such a world, women are equal companions to men and are not ruled over or presided over by men. That is the celestial law that we lost.
After the fall, one thing that happened is that hearts turned and women became vulnerable to having their hearts turn to men and to being dominated by men rather than being able to function as man’s equal. As Genesis 3:16 notes, in a fallen world a woman’s desire turns to her husband and he rules over her. That process is proof of a fallen world. Everyone has seen a turned heart in action. A friend gets a new boyfriend and she drops everything and everyone and quits thinking for herself. Anyone who has seen that in action can agree that it is both worse than co-dependence and a sign of a fallen nature.
So, what you you do, how should you respond to the urges of the natural (wo)man? What should you teach or inculcate?
First, learn to deal directly with God and to place your heart on Christ.
Second, promise God not to listen to men beyond the extent to which the men are listening to God. Learn to impose limits.
Which is the path by which women regain their celestial equality to men, in spite of the fall, the false traditions of mankind or the limits of the flesh. Not surprisingly, in many ways, it is the same path by which men accomplish the same thing.
For an alternate reading of the scripture, consider http://www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm?gen3.htm footnote 48 or What is the Woman’s Desire. Both of these reflect the common understandings of a fallen world as they read scripture, and, I would suggest, illustrate exactly what the text does not mean, especially given what we know know of Paul’s writings without later scribal glosses. Compare “The word “obedience,” hupakoe, is quite different from the word “subjection.” Its corresponding verb, from which it comes, is hupakouo, and means literally, “to listen to,” ” [or, as someone else put it, to hearken]
The alternate readings, combined with considering real life and what the prophets have said, time and time again about how women are equal to men, gives us an idea of what we should be working for in a celestial relationship and in order to obey the celestial law.
What lesson do you take away from this and what lesson would you teach your daughter?
For example, the lesson in seeing someone do the “new boyfriend and drop everything else” routine, as my wife notes, is that “a girl needs to know that guys come and go but girlfriends are forever” — rather than learning to dump your girl friends every time you have a new guy.
Additions or thoughts?