Passive Men, Wild Women, Part 1 (Genesis 3:1-5)
I want to speak with you this morning on the subject passive men, wild women.
I begin by telling you that Satan hates you and has a diabolical plan for your marriage.
Those of you who are single may have already decided to tune me out. This message is irrelevant to me. I’m single, have been single, and, from all I can tell, I’m going to be single.
Others of you have been divorced, and you have also decided to tune me out. I’ve already had enough people tell me what I did wrong. All I want to be is single. I don’t want to hear anything more about marriage.
This message is for you in that your life may well be the product of Satan’s diabolical plan. You may now be living the fruit of his plan and you need to be aware of its impact upon you. Through understanding what he has done to you and in you, you may be able to take some steps to keep on growing in Christ.
Now do not misunderstand me. Satan is not the direct cause of our marital problems, but the indirect cause. The point is that he put in place a process in the Garden of Eden that he has never needed to change because it works. This process may be the most clever thing Satan ever did. This process simply needs maintenance from generation to generation.
He found a way to accomplish his most basic purposes that is as automatic as breathing, as certain as death, and as effective as gravity. This process marks committed Christian marriages as much as it marks unbelieving marriages. We do not willingly invite this process; we do not actively seek this process; we do not consciously pursue this process. Yet there is no marriage and no family that does not struggle with this process.
Dr. Pierre Mornell, a psychiatrist in Marin County north of San Francisco, has written a book entitled Passive Men, Wild Women, in which he describes several of his clients. Across the years of his practice many women have come to Dr. Mornell with the same complaint. They are married to highly successful men, men who drive across the Golden Gate Bridge every day and go into the financial district of San Francisco where they make their mark on the world. These men are leaders in every way and everywhere--except at home. Each night when these men come home, they cease to be leaders; the only mark they make at home is on the chair in which they sit. Their wives become widows before their time; they are widows almost before they have been wives.
The only problem is that the corpse of their dead husband comes home every night asking, “What’s for dinner? When will it be ready? Where’s the TV guide? I want to know what time the playoff game starts tonight.” These men, active everywhere else, are passive at home. And, according to Dr. Mornell, their wives go wild inside. Even though they are career women themselves, they are emotionally at loose ends. They have no anchor in their lives. They have no way to tell the difference between up and down. They are weightless in the space ship called life, drifting through the air, with no way to ever land on solid ground.
Because their husbands are emotionally and often physically passive, they are wild, wild with frustration, bitterness, and anger. They feel as if they must take over and carry the entire marriage.They make all the decisions concerning money, concerning the children, concerning where they go out for dinner, concerning what they do for vacation--everything! In their minds their husbands aren’t involved in any way in their lives and they struggle greatly with the deep feelings of loss that this passiveness brings.
Now, in fairness to husbands, it is true that many women don’t want it any other way. They complain, often bitterly, but they won’t let their husbands have a say about anything that matters. From the moment of marriage on, these wives have blocked out their husbands and won’t let them provide any kind of leadership. Some wives don’t really know what they’re doing; they don’t intend to do it and don’t realize how destructive their patterns are. Other wives have every intention of doing exactly what they are doing, and they fight for all they’re worth to be in control. In both cases, husbands become passive.
What makes husbands passive?
What makes men so passive they drive women wild?
How did this whole pattern come about?
I believe it is the product of Satan’s design for destruction, his diabolical plan for marriage and the home.
SATAN HAS A DESIGN THAT WILL DESTROY YOUR HOME AND OUR SOCIETY.
We are dealing with one of the most important issues in our society when we look at this pattern and this process.
Satan’s Destruction Starts with Doubt About God’s Word
A. Satan Raises Doubt about God’s Word by Questioning God’s Justice
1. God gave a positive command which Satan made a negative command (Gen. 2:16-17).
2. The key to Satan’s plan is his effort to raise doubt about God’s goodness.
a. If Satan can get us to think that God is against us rather than for us, he has gotten his plan started.
b. If Satan can create confusion about God’s truth and God’s purposes, then has moved us his way.
3. The woman’s response shows she’s starting to think Satan’s way because she also expands on God’s word.
a. Satan misused the word not.
b. The woman said, God won’t even let us touch it, let alone eat it.
Some of you wives may feel this when everything always goes wrong during one of your husband’s business trips. Or when you’re stuck at home with the kids while he goes out and plays golf for business purposes. It really is for business purposes, but you remember the days when you had fun doing business too. Where is God when you need Him?
Once Satan has the advantage he presses it by raising yet another question about God.
B. Satan Raises Doubt about God’s Word by Questioning His Righteousness and His Truth
1. Now he makes an assertion: you will not surely die (there’s that word again).
2. Satan takes God’s exact words and inserts one word: not.
3. This time he doesn’t misuse it; he misplaces it.
4. He makes the opposite of God’s Word sensible, logical, and right.
To win, Satan now has to raise doubt in only one other area, and he just keeps on going.
C. Satan Raises Doubt about God’s Word by Questioning His Motives
1. Satan pictures God as a threatened, fearful, jealous individual who restricted them because He couldn’t handle the competition.
2. We hear the same point made in different ways in our world today.
Such an assertion totally distorts God’s true intention.
Marriage is designed to be a relationship between two co-equal and co-accountable people under the lordship of God Himself. It is the primary relationship in all of life apart from our relationship with Him. It is designed to meet our most basic human need, the need for companionship. It replaces the deepest hurt we can feel as human beings, the hurt of unbroken loneliness.
We do not have a superior/inferior relationship. Men and women are co-equal and co-accountable, not superior and inferior. Man is the managing partner in this 100/100% partnership, but he is not superior. Any man who uses physical, verbal, or sexual abuse as a means of controlling his wife is evil. Any man who has to tell his wife she is to submit to him has lost his ability to lead his wife.
We can see how effective Satan’s process is because he has successfully distorted God’s Word for generations, and his mastery is evident in these days.
And we must understand this because the home is Satan’s target area, not only in the Garden of Eden but in the garden of everyone of our marriages.
Next we see that
Satan’s Design for Destruction Focuses on The Issue of Trust in The Home
A. Satan’s Design for Destruction Focuses on The Issue of Trust Toward God.
1. Eve had a word from God through her husband as to what she was to do 2:16-17.
a. She knew what God had said.
b. It was this word that she distorted.
2. Eve had all the resources she needed to resist Satan.
a. She had a positive experience of God’s goodness.
b. She knew God well, knew His love, His justice, His righteousness.
c. She chose to disregard the truth for a lie.
B. Satan’s Design for Destruction Focuses on The Issue of Trust In Her Husband.
1. Eve was created as Adam’s co-equal with a responsibility to consult with him before she acted.
2. Making a decision of this magnitude was not to be done without her husband’s input.
3. When Eve chose not to trust God, she also chose not to trust her husband.
C. Satan’s Design for Destruction Focuses on The Issue of Trust In Satan.
1. Satan challenged for lordship in her life and won.
a. He created doubt through his insinuating assertions.
b. Now we see he creates desire in her state of doubt, and she submits to his purposes.
c. This chain of submission is always in effect.
d. When a wife refuses to honor and trust God and take Him at His word, she chooses to trust the evil lie of Satan.
e. She does not become satanic or under his direct control; she just becomes under his general control because she refuses to trust God and obey Him.
2. Eve’s eyes are now filled with a vision of the fruit on the tree, and it appealed to her as a woman.
a. It was good for food: every wife wants her husband to eat well and to have physical well being.
b. It was a delight to the eyes: every wife wants to make things beautiful for her husband.
c. It was a desirable for wisdom: every wife wants to help her husband be a better man, to help her husband get ahead.
So Eve’s doubt and desire resulted in disobedience, and this disobedience resulted in another loss of trust.
D. Satan’s Design for Destruction Focuses on The Issue of A Husband’s Trust In God.
1. At this point, Satan has absolutely nothing to do.
2. Adam was the first man to say, “Yes, Dear!”
It is very important for you to understand that Adam was the responsible one in this situation. It is wrong to blame woman for all that has happened. It is wrong to misuse God’s Word to take away Woman’s dignity and her co-equality with man before God. Woman was deceived; man was responsible.
Now we see the impact of all of this.
Satan’s Design for Destruction Reverses Relationships in The Home (and, Therefore, in The World)
A. It Reversed The Husband-Wife Responsibilities.
1. It reversed their leadership responsibilities.
a. Women tend to lead in ways men should.
b. Men tend to follow in ways women should.
c. Men become passive, and women become wild.
2. It reversed their openness.
a. Once they were naked and unashamed; they were comfortably open with nothing to hide.
b. Now they have something to hide; sin, and they work harder at covering their sin than they do at relating to one another.
c. Now there is tension and anger and bitterness because the woman controls and the husband resents it.
d. Now the husband does nothing, and the wife resents it.
e. Now, many husbands don’t mind when the wife carries all the responsibility.
f. I have been like that.
B. It Reversed The Couple-God Relationship.
1. They lost their fellowship with God.
2. The openness between them and God was destroyed.
a. They went from freedom to fear.
b. They went from comfort to shame.
c. They went from truth to lie.
3. Neither of them would accept responsibility for what happened.
a. This is always the case.
b. We blame God.
c. We blame one another.
d. We blame Satan.
e. We blame our parents.
f. We blame our children.
g. We blame our circumstances.
h. We blame everyone else but ourselves.
C. It Reversed Family Relationships.
It brought us Cain and Abel.
A. Satan Has A Design for Destruction That Will Destroy Our Homes, And We Must Look Out for His Pattern.
1. Every home will be attacked.
a. This pattern is a part of our very culture.
b. Understanding this is foundational to the health of our country.
c. We are facing the destruction of marriage and the family, and this is impacting our nation.
2. Trust will be destroyed.
3. Relationships will be reversed.
a. The appeal to doubt and desire always results in disobedience and death when it is successful.
b. Specifics will vary from couple to couple, but one thing never varies.
c. God has given husbands the responsibility to love by leading and the wives the responsibility to respond by trusting.
4. Openness between the couple and God and the couple themselves will be destroyed.
5. Responsibility will be refused.
This is the normal response of a husband who is a man everywhere but at home.
6. Trust relationships can be restored--at great cost to God.
This is why Jesus came to die for us. Husbands and wives must learn from God’s Word together. They must learn to be God’s co-equal and co-accountable partners in which the husband is the managing partner. And they must determine that they will have a marriage that contributes to healing in our society and not to destruction.