The serpent speaks to Eve “Are you sure you aren’t allowed to eat any of the fruit?” Eve starts to respond, trying to resist temptation, she seeks to explain what God had really said but the Serpent counter attacks causing her to doubt the truthfulness and goodness of God. Eventually she takes and eats.
Notice where Adam is in all this.
“… she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
What should Adam have been doing? He should have been saying to his wife – “No, let’s not listen to the serpent. We need to go back to what God says.” He should have been reminding her that God is good and that all God’s Words have come true. Instead, he is silent and then he acquiesces. Adams’ responsibility in the relationship should have been to ensure that they both heard God speak together and were guarded from the tempters lies.
I believe that this shows us something of what headship is about. What does it mean to say that the husband is the head (Ephesians 5)? I don’t think that it means he is to boss his wife about, make all the decisions, rule the roost or get his own way. Nor is it about a husband bein in effect a priest, a mediator between God and his family. However, I do believe that we as husbands have a responsibility to ensure that God’s word is heard in our homes. When there’s a big decision to make, when times are tough, when the family are under pressure, we should be saying “what does God have to say here?” It’s a responsibility thing. Every time we take this responsibility, we also remember that our forefather, Adam relinquished it. Sadly, too often, we do retreat from the responsibility. We allow our own selfish desires to drive the agenda and we are the ones who need someone else to say to us “What does God say?”
Similarly, in the church, this is why the qualification of an elder is to be able to teach. Elders have a very specific responsibility. We are not leaders because of our great charisma or intellect. We are not to boss the church about and we are not to enforce our decisions. Rather, our responsibility is to make sure that God’s Word is heard so that the church is guarded from error and fed on the truth. Elders should be the ones who in every service, members’ meeting and 1-1 conversation ensure that the question is asked “What does God say?”