Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

The natural relationship between men and women

1 Corinthians 11:7-9

In this passage, Paul studies Genesis chapters 1 and 2 to discover the natural relationship between men and women. That is, the human relationship that God originally created for them to have with each other. Notice that this is different from their relationship as Christians or their relationship with Christ (see 1 Corinthians 11:11-12).

We can see that, in every country across the world, men often have authority over women. Either God established this arrangement, or it is the result of people's evil deeds. In the Bible, no other explanation is possible. If menís authority was the result of peopleís evil deeds, it would appear in Genesis chapter 3. If God established it, it would appear in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.

Genesis 1:26 says that God made man in the image of God. Genesis 2:7 says that God created man first. Genesis 2:18 shows that God created the first woman to be a helper for the first man. Genesis 2:22 describes how God created her from the manís side. Paul refers to all these verses.

As a man should bring honour to God, so a wife should bring honour to her husband. In the same manner, a daughter should bring honour to her father. That is the natural human relationship between men and women. That is what God originally intended.

The arrangement changed when people began to carry out evil deeds. After that, God said that a husband would rule his wife (Genesis 3:16). But notice that God did not allow men to rule women in an evil or cruel manner. Such behaviour is very wrong. In particular, the Bible teaches that husbands should love their wives (Ephesians 5:28-29). They must provide for their wives and look after them.

Next part: Women, authority, and the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.