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In the beginning, God gave dominion to whom?

Gen 1:26 ¶ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Dominion was given to the man and the woman.
They are the king and the queen.

Husband rule over wife is a consequence of the fall:

Gen 3:16 ¶ Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

I operated for many many years under the assumption that God had given my husband a position of authority over me. But what does Scripture say? I searched the bible for the concepts of “husband” and “authority” used in the same passage. Here is the result of that search:
Keyword Search There is nothing in the New Testament which grants a husband authority over his wife, with the exception of 1 Cor 7:4 where the wife is given identical authority over her husband’s body!

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” 1 Cor 7:4

But I still thought power over was inherent in “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” Eph 5:23

When I started moving into a more deeply intimate relationship with the Lord, and I could feel the Lord’s love for me, HIS tenderness, HIS nourishing, HIS cherishing, HIS understanding, HIS provision…. then I realized how husband is supposed to be “head of the wife”. Let’s look at the entire verse of Eph 5:23 “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and he is the saviour of the body.” It doesn’t say “husband is head as Jesus is LORD”. It says “husband is head as Jesus is SAVIOR”! It is a description of sacrificial love. It is a description of a deeply intimate connection, the head is ONE with the body. If a part of the body hurts, the head will register the pain and will minister with tenderness and compassion as Jesus role models in the gospels. “Head of the wife” is not intended to be a ruler/lord/master/boss role.

It took me quite awhile-years- to untangle my mind from the idea that “husband is master”. When I believed that way, and confused the concept of “submission” and “obedience”, I would “obey” my husband’s every whim, but I was very unhappy about it! I was resentful and bitter. Which it turns out, is not submission at all! Submission preserves my right to say “no” (or “yes”). Submission is an attitude of humble cooperation.

Abigail in 1 Sam 25 is a submissive wife who disobeys.
Esther is a submissive wife who disobeys.
Sapphira (Acts 5) is a wife who should have submissively told her husband “no” but instead goes along with him agreeing to “lie to the Holy Spirit”.

For a very long time, I was like Sapphira. I “agreed” with my husband to lie to the Holy Spirit. I tolerated sinful behavior from him in a misplaced attempt to be “submissive”. I wondered why I felt so weary and heavy laden in my life and my marriage. 😦 It was because I was laboring under a yoke which was not from the Lord.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matt 11:28-30

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