Because the husband listened to the voice of the wife…

Our pastor preached from Genesis 17 (Sarah and Hagar), 1 Samuel 1 (Hannah and her son), Galatians 4:21-31 (The Law v. Freedom as represented by Sarah and Hagar) at church this afternoon. Notice the language in Genesis 3:17 and Genesis 16:2. (More here)

And to Adam he said,

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
(Genesis 3:17)

Sarah leads Hagar to Abraham, by
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, 1800-1882, German

And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16:2)

In the former situation, because the husband listened to the voice of the wife, the entire race of man fell into sin. In the latter situation, because the husband listened to the voice of the wife, for 4000 years the Middle East has been at war due to the descendants of the two children from Abraham fighting each other (one from the Godly promise and the other from the fleshly demand).

Not that it isn’t good for the husband to listen to the wife. A wife’s counsel is good, (Proverbs 31:11-12, 26). The problem with Eve and Sarah, they were advising the husband to step outside God’s ways. In Eve’s case, to ignore God’s commandment, and in Sarah’s case, to go outside God’s promise. Neither situation ended well.

Wives, give good counsel. You can’t go wrong if the advice you give or the help you offer is inside the constraints of God’s statutes. And in order to know where those limits begin and end, you have to read your Bible.