In a recent documentary entitled Eve in Exile, Rebekah Merkle makes the following observation: “I don’t think even the third-wave feminists have any idea what they’re fighting for… Every battle has been won and now we’ve gotten into the weird space where we don’t know what a woman is.”  Feminist ideology portrays Eve, the symbol of womanhood, as wandering through a confused world, robbed of her purpose and identity, living outside the garden.   In the national dialogue, the question is being asked, “What is a woman?”   

I think Merkle makes a valid point.  Maybe 10 years ago, when feminism was in full ascendency, the sense of being lost in a confused world was not a topic. But today it feels like the cry of a dissatisfied, questioning feminist yearning for a place called home, sensing she has been “exiled from Eden.”

There is a place for men and women in our culture to live in harmony in the garden, rightly related to each other.  Could it be that men haven’t fulfilled their God-given task in the garden, thus causing women to flee – only to find themselves lost outside the garden?  Maybe men need to reevaluate their roles.  Is it possible for men to woo women back to the garden?  

T.D. Jake of The Potter’s House preached a Father’s Day sermon entitled Real Men Pour In, which  I found very insightful: “We are raising up women to be men,” noted Jake. “When men are led by women, the divine order is broken… Real men pour in,” Jake said. “If Adam had not allowed Eve to pour into him, sin would have never come into the world. Sin came into the world because Adam broke the order.” 

Men are not to receive initially from women.  He warned women to “be careful about pouring too much into us” because “we are designed to pour into you and you are designed to take what we pour into you and increase it and make it better.”  He further warns women, “until you create a need that I can pour into, I have no place in your life.”  

Today the cry is, “Let’s prove to the men how dispensable they are.”  But this cry,” observes Jake, “is born out of pain, ’cause we hurt you, and betrayed you, and lied to you and cheated on you, and you became like you are out of pain.  But watch what is born of pain.”  He urged women to hold men to a higher standard instead of trying to replace them.  “Anatomically, men pour in.  Life begins when men pour in.  We were designed to pour in; you were designed to preserve what is poured in.” Jake told the women in his church.  “As it is in the physical, so it is in the spiritual.  We are designed to pour in.”

Drawing from both Eve in Exile and Real Men Pour In, I offer these observations:

First,  the voice of angry, wounded  women living outside the garden, is partly our fault.  As men, we have to own up to our role in failing to create space for Eve to grow. 

Second,  I  appreciate the image of “pouring in.”  If I can’t pour into my wife and others, I have the responsibility to get right with God, so that His Spirit will flow through me in the rough days ahead.

Third,  man and woman can both live  together in the garden.  As a man I can only “pour in” what is in my container: “Lord, fill me with your love, allowing me to meet the needs of my wife.”