1. God made Eve as a suitable helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18), to be his co-ruler (Genesis 1:27-28). Woman was taken from man’s side, not from his feet, so she is to stand next to him and not under him. They had a perfect relationship (Genesis 2:23-25). The devil by-passed the leadership of the man and went straight to the woman (Genesis 3:1-6).
2. After the Fall, God says “your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). As a result of humanity’s initial disobedience and God’s subsequent judgment, the wife’s desire is to control the husband, and he subdues her. Throughout history, women have been oppressed by the crushing power of men who want to keep them subdued; men have been aggravated by women who want to rise to the top and take over.
Coupled with Satan’s initial attack on marriage, he continues to try to destroy the home through polygamy (Genesis 4:19,23), evil sexual thoughts ( including pornography) and words (Genesis 9:22), adultery (Genesis 16:1-3), homosexuality (Genesis 19:4-11), fornication (sex before marriage), rape (Genesis 34:1,2), incest (Genesis 38:13-18), prostitution (Genesis 38:24), seduction (Genesis 39:7-12).
In Jesus Christ this strife is erased. His love and the filling of the Holy Spirit make it possible to go back to the God-created roles before the Fall, whereby husbands are characterised by sacrificial love and wives by submissiveness and gentleness.
Marriage is a covenant. It is a man and woman coming together and becoming one, not only physically but inwardly growing together and knowing each other inside and out (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31).