Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Created Image] Gods First Command

Posted by Lex Fear on September 27, 2006

“Where the heck was Adam when Eve was being seduced?”

A little while ago I watched a documentary on Channel 4 called Pram-Face. It was a documentary about young single mothers on benefits- a fly on the wall view of the unglamorous reality of bringing up children alone and on benefits.

Single mothers on benefits, or Pram-faces, get a bad press here in the UK. Generally looked upon with similar disdain reserved for asylum seekers. But something that one of the mothers said, and I’m only quoting from memory, made me stop and think about this particular underclass and their relation to society:

“Ever since I was young I just wanted to have children. I never wanted anything else, I never aspired to anything, just wanted children.”

That’s enough to make a Daily Mail readers’ blood boil. I also know many fellow Xians who would be quick to pick up their stones of righteousness.

In the UK, we live in a society that predominantly looks down upon people who rely on state benefit, particularly if they show no aspirations towards improving their life. We disapprove of young women who seem to have no higher goal than to get pregnant. We class them as a lower intelligence and a lower caste, however I have to question.

Have we as a British society got it the wrong way round?

I’m going to be taking my lead from the Bible, so if you’re not a believer this may not mean much to you, that’s fine. However, to those who connect themselves to faith, God, Jesus or the Word in anyway, it’s time for us to rethink our prejudices.

When I think about the words of the young lady above, I wonder where that desire comes from- where that “low” aspiration and “low” standard was conceived. Then, after some thought, I found the answer, it’s in Gods first command to us human beings:

“So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.” – Genesis 1:27-28 NLT

It occurs to me that young girls whose only aspiration on leaving school is to have babies are not aiming low, they’re actually following the highest command given to us. They are following the natural instinct placed in us by God. Does that mean that they should have a baby straight away and out of wedlock? Obviously not! But it we also should assess our values and our treatment of those who aspire to be mothers. It is women who pursue careers, or possessions, or passion without love or commitment who are unnatural- and I mean that only in a theological sense.

So a young women with a desire only for motherhood is not necessarily wrong, certainly not sinning or a moral failure. However it is clear there is something wrong with society and with young women bringing up children alone and on benefit. Unfortunately the media, the culture and the religious right have focused on the victims rather than the perpetrators. The question I have to ask is…

Where are the men?

Rarely do we see a man or young man condemned for the increases in young single mums on benefits. Yet it is young men impregnating young women and not taking up the responsibility of fatherhood. We are becoming a nation of orphans, a nation without fathers, and it is men who are responsible, not single mothers.

Men have abused their position. Whilst a young girl may get frowned at for getting herself pregnant, a young man will get a pat on the back from his mates for ‘nailing’ her, possibly even older men in his life also.

Why is it as a society we don’t hold fathers and sons to account?

We are allowing men to get away with not taking responsibility for their actions, re-enforcing the idea that sex is something they gain as a reward and not something they give to a life-partner. Going from female to female with no thought for the consequences of their actions, boasting of their conquests down the pub.

Religion is partly to blame for this, the sex-culture has taken over but historically religion has misinterpreted Gods intentions. If we read on in Genesis, Eve eventually sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. God then explains the consequences of their actions, the curse. Mens’ innate lack of responsibility is evident even here:

“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
“Yes,” Adam admitted, “but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the LORD God asked the woman, “How could you do such a thing?”
“The serpent tricked me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly. From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Then he said to the woman, “You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return.” – Genesis 3: 11-19 NLT

The second line I have highlighted is a line that has been responsible for much suffering and injustice to women down the ages, ever since it was spoken. It has been used and is still used today by men in authority who do not want to take responsibility or show compassion: though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master.

I believe mainstream religious authorities have gravely misinterpreted this bit of scripture. Why? Look at Gods original intent for Eve. An equal with Adam, a partner, a lover. What happened? Eve was seduced by the Serpent, and through that seduction she made a gross error. God now puts Eve under Adams authority. Therefore we must ask why God put Eve under Adams authority? Was Gods intention that Adam should lord over Eve, that he should now have some sort of advantage?

For a start, just look at Adams response to being confronted by God. He blames Eve, tries to absolve himself of the responsibility for his actions. Eve can then only blame the Snake (a possible allegory? …only kidding). But there is a
more pressing question that needs to be asked:

Where the heck was Adam when Eve was being seduced?

I reckon God put Adam in authority over Eve for responsibility. God was basically saying to Adam, look you can’t lay blame on someone else, I’m making you responsible for any mistakes in your marriage. God was ordering Adam to care for and look after Eve, to work hard for her, to protect her from the Snakes that are out there.

So as a society, how does God want us to respond to these single mums on benefits? Just as God made Adam responsible for caring, protecting, and working hard for Eve… Perhaps we as a society should be seeking to hold men accountable to the women and children they have abandoned, or are simply too selfish to bring up. Perhaps the Church should seek the opportunity here to lead the way in restoration towards women in general?

I reckon that old and young men who have neglected their father and husband responsibilities are going to have a lot to answer for when they finally meet God.

Thoughts?

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3 Responses to “[Created Image] Gods First Command”

  1. Steve said

    I think you’re dead on Alex.

    I was talking with some friends about it last night, why guys are now the way they are… the guys who are growing up in these conditions, are the result of bad fathering, or a lack there of.

    Boys growing up need to have that father figure in thier lives. They NEED it. They have to have it. They need that man, who will suck it up, accept his responsibility, love his wife, and his kids, show the love that all of them deserve, and live.
    There are more results of this lack of father hood than just single mothers though… it results in homosexuality, and forces many women to ‘settle’ for the man who they think is most ‘manly’ even though the guy is a total wuss!

    We need men who will step up to the plate, and be men of upstanding manly hood.

    And where has the church been, other than nagging. It’s a very similar situation in North America. More single moms are being looked at worse every day for thier lack of doing things and relying on welfare. What about the moms though who are actually trying to do something about being on different assistances programs like benefits/welfare? Where do they come in the picture?
    Just my rant.

  2. Alex Fear said

    The irony is that those single women with children who want to advance have much more difficulty as they attempt to find childcare and fit it in with everything else.

    But how do you think the culture can be shifted? What will it take? It’s pretty clear current school sex education classes aren’t having the right effect.

    Do you think they should introduce some teaching on male responsibilities. Perhaps harsher methods of cutting benefits for males who are unmarried fathers?

    (Of course thats a bit extreme and relies on the assumption that these irresponsible fathers are also on benefits).

  3. Steve said

    I think there needs to be a drastic change in our schools and our general mind sets. Even in the women, the women need to understand the meaning of responsibility and so do the men. It goes both ways.
    Changing schools won’t do anything. Neither will changing laws. it’s the mind. It’s the heart that needs to change, that’s what we need to trigger.

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