Understanding Communion in the Family and Church

God created man first, but God chose to incarnate himself within a woman first……

……and placed Himself into a family, where God, laying aside His God-only omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, experienced human love, protection, nurture, and was taught by 2 loving parents who loved God with all their hearts, each of whom had made sacrifices in order to give Him life in the earth. This is the first earthly example of the permanent, abiding communion of God with humankind, of God incarnating himself through a human woman to become a human man. It should make us honor and revere the life of every new being whom God ordains and deigns to be conceived and born…..and make us wonder in amazement at the power of the family to be an earthly example of the communion of love exemplified in the Trinity, and bring forth new lives to know and honor God from generation to generation….. This is why we live……This is why we love…… This is how God has chosen to live among humankind, through bringing His Spirit into the spirit, soul and body of those who believe Him and His promise to remain with us forever. Every new life conceived bears the image of God and awaits its fulfillment through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit to bring it alive…… just as every life conceived bears the body of flesh and is subject to the temptations of its desires. The soul- mind, heart, will, personality, and conscience- must be trained in how to subdue the flesh and make space within itself for the Holy Spirit of God to flourish throughout the entire person……

Jesus treats women with honor and respect, He calls them “Daughter” with tenderness…..He deals patiently with them as they ask questions, He assures them a front row at the Resurrection story and the privilege of telling others to “Come and see.”

The practice of order and discipline in “religion” is passed down thru the line of the family of one’s obedient Father in patriarchal cultures  …..however, the ability to experience “communion with the True God” is naturally communicated thru the life and loving example of a good mother who trusts the Lord….. John Wesley knew this, Paul knew this, and I think Jesus’ devotion to his Mother and respect of and honor of women, and his earthly Father and his heavenly Father, shows that He knew it,too.

2 Timothy 1:5, where the author tells Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

A little tongue in cheek science humor here:

Men: XY

Women: XX. (We naturally are given a double dose of the Holy Ghost’s insignia in our genes….. from conception! And pass along at least half of our faith to our children!  When science proved that it was a man’s contribution to the mix that determined gender, women were forever off the hook for failing to produce male progeny to continue family lines.)

Herein lies some of the tension between men and women…. We come at our first understanding of God from different perspectives. And women have an easier time embodying the incarnation of the Holy Spirit that we learned in childbearing.

God may have created man first, but he chose to dwell in a woman first……as the Incarnate Christ in his chosen vessel, Mary. For women, the experience of pregnancy, if God is known and honored, becomes a physical representation of what becomes a lifelong connection to God … but she still must not worship her husband or her children, but keep her eyes on the Lord!

God’s disciplining consequences to the woman for disobedience to His Word:

“To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall deliver children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16 –

If a woman loses sight of her call to love and obey God first, she will become overly dependent on her husband (or children!) and give in to him under dominance that can become a burden on her…. The curse of dependence on one other than God…… and throughout history men have viewed woman’s curse as their privilege, benefit, and blessing….. Just how did such a circumstance as this come about?

Let’s revisit  the origin of man’s perceived privilege and blessing of domination over woman ….

Consider Eve ….and Adam, her co-conspirator in sin… Eve by active engagement with the serpent, Adam by complicit acquiescence, and both for hiding themselves and their shame from their Creator and for their blame of others instead of owning their disobedience and running to the Father in repentance…. Adam failed to lead Eve through righteous example, being disobedient to God in the process himself and failing to hold neither himself nor her accountable to follow God’s instruction. In fact, Adam appears to have misrepresented God’s words, spoken to Adam before Eve was even part of the Eden family, when Adam communicated them to Eve later. In Genesis 2:15-18 we read the report of God’s caution to Adam:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”


Then, when the cunning serpent later approached Eve, in Adam’s presence, we see her offer this second-hand report of God’s words to Adamin Genesis 3:


Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;

How could Eve have known what God had said to Adam except for Adam having told her?  And why would God’s word to Adam in 2:16-17 be substantially different from how Eve described it to the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3 with Adam standing right there?  Did Adam have a lapse of memory?  Did he embellish God’s word when he conveyed it to Eve?  Did Adam keep quiet to keep from having to acknowledge his misrepresentation to Eve?  And when the cunning serpent confronted Eve she could only repeat what Adam had told her, so she actually could not warrant the truth of God’s instruction from a first- person account ….and Adam stood there and said nothing…. nothing.

Adam neither spoke up in defense of God’s instructions in the presence of the serpent nor did Adam correct Eve in the moment nor admonish Eve for her decision after the fact of her taking it and eating. Why?  Did Adam test God, viewing Eve as disposable, willing to sacrifice her to death, since that was the stated consequence for eating from the tree of life?  Did he, out of curiosity, keep quiet and wait to see the outcome, essentially using her like a king’s cup bearer, to taste and determine whether the food contained dangerous poison?  In having failed his responsibility, it seems clear that God made Adam himself come to bear the permanent representative weight of the fall of God’s perfect, very good creation, though many have put the full responsibility on Eve, who was allowed by Adam to walk into a trap set by the serpent.   Adam’s failure in leadership, his own disobedience, and his neglect in acting protectively on behalf of the helper God created to complete him compounded the sin born by Eve. From the one entrusted with much, (Adam) much was required and he failed to show up.

Each of them received a curse from God for their respective roles in the disobedience.  But God provided a reprieve, a way out of the curse for the woman. If a woman knows her true identity in Christ and stands firm in loyalty in worshipping God, the curse upon woman is broken! She is given the opportunity to embrace righteousness and self-restraint over her desires, keeping her proper focus on worship of God instead of getting caught up in dependent desire for her husband or children to define her.  Then she can hope to enjoy a husband who is equally obedient to Christ and who loves her as Christ loves his bride, the church.

The curse says that even In spite of the pain of childbirth, she will still find herself desiring her husband’s affection….. there’s the curse…. born as disloyal desires for one other than God… which many women have found a man wielding as a bondage over them. When a woman is fully devoted to God, and knows freedom in Christ as a result, she is freed from that dominance born of her own desires.  Furthermore, scripture says that by her righteous example, even an unbelieving husband may come to Christ, too, if he is not already an obedient follower of God. And if he IS, he will have already learned to value her as an equal in Christ and will not have used dominance or threats as leverage over her.

1 Corinthians 7:14:

“For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

1 Peter 3:1–2:

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”

John 16:21:

“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.”

Thankfully we do forget the pain, or all families would have only 1 child!

1 Timothy 2:15:

“But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

What joyfully redemptive news for a woman from the curse of potentially abusive dominance by a husband that arises out of his own misunderstanding of the choice she has to exercise obedience to God in the matter!

In pregnancy, childbearing and nursing, the woman is the child’s first connection, the child’s first “love” based on the chiild’s needs being met and trust being formed through that bond. If a mother is godly, she helps establish the child’s father as a full partner in that family dynamic of trust and love, incarnating the model of communion of the Trinity within the family. And together the parents exemplify and demonstrate the communion of the Trinity to the child as he grows and help him transfer that trust in the family to trust in God in Christ as he grows to know the fullness of faith.”

There’s order and beauty and communion and reconciling liberty in relationships of love evidenced and available in God’s wonderful Creation!