By John Fulton
“Satan has always been after the women. It’s all about the women.”
Those thoughts came to me one day as I was taking a mid-day walk. It jumped out from my biblical studies that a primary objective of Satan is to destroy and erase women.
How could I come to such a conclusion? What train of thoughts led to such a dramatic statement? Well, it starts with the iconic scene in the Garden of Eden that has been used to make so many arguments regarding the roles, strengths, weaknesses, and purpose of men and women.
Genesis 3:1-6 has the well-known story of Satan and Eve.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day 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 tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate" (NASB 1995).
Now, something should stand out to all of us. Satan was in the garden trying to destroy man, and he had a choice. He could go after the man and deceive him into eating the fruit; or he could go after the woman and deceive her. He chose to go after the woman.
Why? Why not go after Adam? After all, he is the man and in charge of all things, even the woman, right? Why chose Eve? All that he tempted her with, Adam could have been tempted with as well. Adam was “with her.”
It’s generally taught that Satan went after Eve because women are more easily deceived than men. This is used to justify the position of men over women because supposedly, men don’t suffer this weakness and can provide women with the guidance and protection they need. But nowhere in scripture does it say women are more easily deceived. Indeed, all the passages that reference this moment (i.e. 1 Timothy 2:14) simple state the fact that the woman was deceived first. And so she was. But never do those passages comment that she was more easily deceived. No, women and men are both deceivable.
So why did Satan choose Eve over Adam as his target? The key is, “she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Adam was right there with her, but he wasn’t going to eat the fruit until he saw Eve do it. He followed her lead.
Women have a power over men. It’s generally not a physical power, in terms of raw strength, but instead a spiritual power. We see this throughout scripture in the prohibition against marrying foreign wives, such as Deuteronomy 7:3-4. “Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you” (NASB 95). The reason men couldn’t marry foreign wives is that the heart of spiritual life is in the women. The foreign women would bring life to their god in the households of the Israelite men and would lead them away from God. If this scripture is not enough, Solomon and his foreign wives, Jezebel, or the advice to Balak from Balaam should suffice as further witness. If women are not aligned with God, they will lead men away from God, and men, generally, will be helpless to resist the pull. Ruth, though a Moabite and not an Israelite, was an exception because she had given her heart to God. “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’” (Ruth 1:16, NASB 95).
Now, what has been said must not to be taken as an excuse for men. Men need to anchor themselves in God and be able to hold true to God against pressure to worship other gods; but the examples just given are meant to show to women that you play an essential role and have exceedingly great influence in the ability of the men in your life to hold true to God or pursue another. The god you follow will easily become the god they follow.
Satan chose Eve in the garden because he knew if he could take her out, there was a good chance Adam was a freebee, and so he was. If Satan can persuade the heart of spiritual life to turn away from God, then he can wipe them both out. If he goes after Adam, all he gets is Adam. Hence, a principle focus of Satan has been the destruction of women, because if he can destroy them and turn them away from God and their God created purpose, the men come much more easily. Only a few strong and stubborn ones will resist.
Circling back to why Satan wants to destroy man: put simply, jealousy. What is he jealous of? Whether you’re a man or woman, you need to understand your uniqueness in the created realm. You are the sole creature that is both spirit and flesh, and to the extent He provides it, you have been given the mind of God; the ability to reason and think. Satan and the angelic host are purely Spirit. God, excluding Jesus, is purely spirit. But humans are both, and Satan and his followers in the angelic host, the demons, are jealous of that. You get to experience something they do not: fleshly, physical existence. You have the potential to enter the kingdom of God, and they do not. “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, NASB 95, emphasis added). Angels cannot enter the kingdom of God, for they are not born of water (possess physical existence), and some of them are jealous because of it. Part of the reason Jesus had to be born of water was so that God could enter his own kingdom. Furthermore, although you are now a little bit lower than the angles, “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:3 NASB 95).
During my studies for a Ph. D. in Theology and Biblical Studies I took an elective class on shamanism. In it, I read many books on shamanism and spiritism. A common theme among these practices is connecting to your power animal and spirit guide. There are many techniques to this, but what stood out in my studies was the spiritual exchange that was going on. The person invited a spirit (demon) into their bodies to receive spiritual power from it. For you are flesh and spirit. You need food to power the physical; you need connection to a spiritual entity to power your spirit. That spiritual food can come from God or a demon. The choice is yours. In shamanism, the practitioners experience a spiritual exchange. The demon enters the flesh and provides spiritual power, and in exchange, the person provides access to their body so the demon can experience flesh; the joy of eating, the pleasure of sex; the thrill of the adrenaline rush; and on and on.
Satan is jealous of mankind and his special place, his fleshly existence, and he has wanted to destroy him ever since his creation. In the garden, Satan believed God when He said that Eve would “surely die” when she ate of the tree. Therefore, he equally believed that by destroying her, he could destroy Adam as well. Mankind would be gone, their special place eliminated, and God’s special creation destroyed. All he had to do was take out the woman, the man comes for free, and it all collapses. And in some ways Eve was the softer target. In perceiving herself as lower in the pecking order, not understanding that the perceived lesser is the greater in God’s economy, and not understanding her great spiritual power, she likely was more ready to seek the wisdom and knowledge of the tree to improve her status.
If you think about it for a second from Satan’s perspective, how utterly vile are women? They not only have this special status with God that men have. They not only will judge Satan and his demons, but inside them can grow even more of these terrible creatures that have this special status with God. These things that will judge him. These things that will walk and talk with God. These things that can enter where he cannot, the kingdom of God. How vial! These women must be stopped, they must be destroyed, they must stop having children and bringing God’s presence to their men. They must be erased.
Just as in the garden, so it is today. Satan seeks to kill the women, to separate them from God, so they will “surely die.” For if they die, the men die, too. And let’s be clear, separation from God is death. One has surely died.
In the garden was a simple order: God, Adam, Eve. Eve was given to Adam so he would have someone to talk with and navigate physical existence with. She was to bring life to Adam, both spiritual life, but also physical life through children. Satan, however, turned her eyes away from her role to another; and he made it appear to be a greater place of being. He deceived her by fertilizing the soil in her mind that it was better to supplant God, to take on His role, and possess the ability to discern good and evil. Satan is up to nothing new today. He’s still working to get women to reject the role God made for them and to “take and eat” of another role that is pleasing to the eye, good for making one wise, and providing for physical life.
The fruit he has dangled is the world that was primarily the world of men: the world outside the home. The world of business, law, politics, academia, advancement, … Satan has convinced women that this world is somehow superior, better, etc., than the sphere granted to them by God. He has convinced them this fruit is good for making them wise, for discerning good and evil, and for providing for the flesh. And so it is. The point here is not that women can’t do these things. Of course they can, and do them exceedingly well. How foolish to think otherwise. The point is not that they should not do them. Why shouldn’t they? Look no further than the Proverbs 31 woman, or Lydia in the New Testament to understand that woman can surely do these things and do them well. Scripture is replete with women engaging in vital roles outside the domestic sphere. The point is, just as when Eve abandoned her foundational roles in the garden and it had cataclysmic consequences for mankind, so it is today.
But what fundamental roles did God give women? What roles are being forgotten?
- First in the garden we have the role of companionship: helping Adam face and overcome the challenges of this life and being with him so he would not be alone (Made For Conversation).
- Second, bearing and/or raising/caring for children. “But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint” (1 Timothy 2:15, NASB 95).
- Thirdly, women are given the role of taking care of their own house. “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan” (1 Timothy 5:14-15, NASB 95 ).
- Finally, but not exhaustively, older women have been given the responsibility of teaching younger women how to live out the roles above. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (1 Timothy 2:3-5, NASB 95).
To take care of a family and husband is demeaned today. To teach younger women how to love their husbands and take care of their homes is outdated and enslaving. To have children just gets in the way of what matters, a career and worldly accomplishment. The women are being taken out, the men are dying because of it, and humanity is collapsing into the abyss. And yes, weak men who don’t hold to God have certainly helped the slide.
Slowly, Satan is erasing all God meant for women fundamentally to be. Satan has convinced them to give up the great spiritual power and immense spiritual influence they were given. Women were given God’s power to manifest life, both physical and spiritual, for a fleshly existence and worldly accomplishment.
Women, men never had the greater role. Their role was never more valuable. In truth it was probably much less. It certainly never had the eternal significance that your roles do.
But do not think accepting God’s roles mean retreating into your home and disappearing from the world; Deborah, Lydia, the woman of Proverbs 31, and many more all stand as witness that holding to these God given roles does not mean anything of the sort.
Slowly, inexorably, women are being taught to despise the place God gave them in exchange for the fruit of the world, and they are being erased. So much so that an entire segment of humanity cannot even define what a woman is anymore or even acknowledge them as such. Women have become “menstruating people,” “birthing persons,” “lactators”, and it goes on and on. Biological males are winning their sports, claiming their prizes, even being called “Woman of the Year.” Soon, what will women have left? If you can’t define something, it doesn’t exist.
Satan wants women erased, undefinable, destroyed and forsaking all God asked them to be, for in so doing he eradicates the pinnacle of God’s creation, mankind. Women, you have been given a great power and enormously important role by God, even if it may look inferior to the world. Don’t be deceived–reclaim your power and your role. Bring back spiritual life to your men, children, fellow women, and society as a whole. Without you connecting to God, your men will not stand, but for rare exception.
Remember, in the economy of God, the apparently lesser role by the standards of the world and men is truly the greater and more impactful role. Men, stand up for your women who hold true to God. Tell them of the great significance of what they do. Honor them, hold them up, and protect them from all comers. Embrace what God has given them, nurture it and help it grow, and enjoy the life that flows from it.
One last example to try to bring home the main point. In First Corinthians chapter eleven Paul talks about heads being covered or not covered. Men are not to pray or prophesize with their head covered, and women are not to pray or prophesize with their head uncovered. But what is Paul referring to when he says “head?” Well, he tells us.
- The head of the man is Christ.
- The head of the woman is the man.
So, to rephrase what Paul says and use his definition of head in the context of chapter eleven we have:
- A man should not pray or prophesize with Christ covered.
- A woman should not pray or prophesize with her man uncovered.
What does that mean for her man to be uncovered? The answer goes back to the progression Paul started with. A woman should not pray or prophesize if her man is not covered by Christ, not that she can’t pray or prophesize at all. Paul was a Jew, which meant he was more than familiar with the stories of Old Testament prophetesses. Therefore, he would not have believed or taught that God does not speak through women.
Paul is saying this: Women, if your man is not following Christ, your first objective is to get him covered by Christ. You have no business praying, prophesizing, and engaging in outside activities if he is not covered by Christ, and you have been granted the spiritual power to help in that. There is no guarantee of success, but that is your primary responsibility. Only as time and energy allows after that are you to focus on other things. If your husband is covered by Christ (or you don’t have a husband) then you are free to engage in praying, prophesizing, etc. Satan knows this. He knows that if he can get you spending your energy elsewhere, he is much more likely to keep your man from Christ and from exhibiting Christ to the world.
This is a spiritual power granted to women. It is to be exercised in the primary roles of God first, and then after that in the world at large. Just as after a woman has ensured her man (head) is covered by Christ she is free to work in the broader church. God’s point is not that women can’t, but that women can do something greater, something no man can do, and after they have done that, they are free to do whatever they dream to do that aligns with Him. Women, you have been granted by God immensely important roles, a central place, and a life giving and God aligning spiritual power. Don’t sacrifice that for the allusion of significance and power the world provides. Don’t let yourselves be erased!
_ _ _