So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28 (ESV)
There are some who teach authority and hierarchy is the most important principle of God’s dealing with us.
But before hierarchy came PARTNERSHIP. MALE and FEMALE He created THEM.
God told Adam and Eve to SUBDUE and HAVE DOMINION but this was secondary.
Before DOMINION comes the command to BE FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY. This is through PARTNERSHIP, COOPERATION and sexual procreation. Sexual procreation is a picture of equal partnership.
The man is stronger and more assertive but the woman is the one who bears and produces the new life in her body and from her body. Each partner is stronger than the other in a different way.
The false spirit of religion tries to make a men bosses and women their servants but this is not God’s purpose in creation.
Genesis 2:18 (ESV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
The word HELPER is the Hebrew word AZAR which is most often used to refer to GOD Himself as the Helper of mankind.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20 (NASB)
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? Psalm 121:1 (NASB)
Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8 (NASB)
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Psalm 146:5 (NASB)
The hierarchical relationship between man and woman was actually a consequence of the fall. When men are bossy masters over women, we should see this as a manifestation of the sinful nature.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”Genesis 3:16 (ESV)
The New Covenant was introduced by Jesus, who was born of a woman. When Jesus was presented in the Temple on the day of His circumcision, he was hailed by a woman who was a significant spiritual leader in the Temple in Jerusalem at a time when the official male priesthood was seriously corrupted.
Luke 2:36-38 (NKJV) Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Under the Law of Moses, a woman was not able to give evidence with the same authority as a man but the cross paid the penalty for the fall of mankind and women were restored to the position of equal dignity designed by God in the beginning.
The first witness to the resurrection of Jesus was a woman and this was designed by God on purpose.
Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. Mark 16:9-11 (NKJV)
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14 (NKJV)