In this season of spooky, creepy, crawly things, it seems like a great time to set the record straight on a few details about the Boogeyman. Every year around this time, I find myself avoiding the stores with the scariest costumes and characters. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never liked the Boogeyman. As a child, he was the scary being I thought I could see in the wood grain of my closet door, and every night when the lights went out I covered my head and hoped to make it til morning. The fear was overwhelming at times. Now that I am an adult, I realize it was just my imagination getting the best of me. However, according to scripture, there's a real Boogeyman in the world, and we can’t pretend he doesn’t exist. If we understand who he is, where he came from, and what he came to do, we can say “Boo” with the power of the Holy Spirit and scare him away!
Who is the Boogeyman?
Clearly the presence of both good and evil exists in the world. We see it all around us from childhood to present day. It has so filled our creative human minds that it’s portrayed in almost every book, fairy tale, and movie. In Snow White, it’s the wicked queen. In Cinderella, it is the mean step mother. In Sleeping Beauty it’s the wicked old witch. In the Garden of Eden it was a creepy, crawly, serpent named Satan whom I like to call the “Boogeyman”.
How did he make his way into every fairy tale and marriage today?
It all started in Eden where all was well in the kingdom until the sneaky snake showed up on the scene. Let’s process the picture together. Adam and Eve lived in a luscious garden in perfect harmony with one another, without any problems or worries. There was no power struggle, no arguing, no apathy, no lack, and no conflict of any kind in their marriage. They simply lived in perfect peace and loved one another completely. There was no chaos in their Caladiums, only peace in their Posies. Can I get an AMEN to that?
Unfortunately, Satan believed if he could cause Adam and Eve to doubt their position as royal children and question their relationship with God, he could cause them to fall into an identity crisis. He succeeded, and as a result most of us have forgotten who we are. It’s like walking through the haunted house at the corn maze every fall and seeing ourself distorted in one of those crazy mirrors to the point we are unrecognizable. In fact, people everywhere are searching for identity in anything they can find instead of living out who they were created to be. That’s because the Boogeyman is still up to his old tricks. He continues to tell the same lie over and over and we continue to lose our distinctive originality and run and hide. Because Adam and Eve failed to trust God and crush the Boogeyman in the garden, the roles of every married couple have experienced its lasting effects. A power struggle was birthed, and today husbands and wives struggle with the desire to each dominate the other. The proof is in what God said to Eve in the moment,
“Your desire will be for your husband and (yet) he will rule over you.” Gen. 3:16b (NIV)
In the Scripture, the word desire in original Hebrew means “to control or to overtake.”
By putting that meaning into context, the scripture would read something like this,
"Eve, your desire will be to control, overtake, and overthrow your husband but your husband will rule over you instead."
Those words can scare the “boo” out of you unless you read the rest of the story. In fact, women everywhere struggle with their own will to be in charge and control the circumstances in their home. That’s where the start of the women’s liberation movement began. It’s roots and shoots took hold in the Garden of Eden. When Eve stepped out of her role, choosing to eat from the tree without first consulting Adam as the unemotional, wise leader and protector God had created him to be, it resulted in the fatal decision to dominate and devour the fruit they weren't to touch. This frolicking female wasn't alone in her mistake. Her hubby stepped out of his role too. He passively failed to protect his bride from the sly tongued serpent and cowered from the command to lay down his life like a warrior if required. Together they had been given everything they needed to live in perfect peace, and yet it wasn't enough. The results produced the tendencies we see in male and female relationships today, Women often try to be in control of it all while men frequently live life in passivity with their head in the proverbial sand letting the Boogeyman scare everyone into palace pandemonium. If we’re honest, we’ve probably all been there before.
Who let the draw bridge down?
Today, the idea of the husband leading his home is relatively obscure due to the influence of culture. For example, cultural humor is one tool that has shaped our relational thinking. Laughter is a way to get humans to let down their guard and receive information. Unfortunately it can be used in both positive or negative ways. In the first part of our marriage, Dan and I traveled for years doing music drama evangelism. One of the most important ministry tools we utilized was comedy sketches. Once the audience started laughing and their walls fell, we would share a serious spiritual truth they would easily receive. Think about it. Almost every sitcom or comedy show on television presents men as weak and unintelligent while women are portrayed as fierce, hormonal, dominating foes? It’s a message that’s delivered after they’ve killed us with laughter. Once we lower the draw bridge, we take in and accept the lie. Much of present cultural norms promote the power and equality for women’s rights while portraying men as weaklings rather than the mighty warriors they were created to be.
What's the good news?
God didn’t let our hope die when the curse was given to Adam and Eve. Instead, in his love and mercy, God sent his son Jesus to save us from the calamity in the castle of Eden. In fact, God has never short-changed the rights of women, yet many are fighting for their right to be equal while criticizing God for limiting them with his design. This is just a lie the Boogeyman has spooked us into believing. The proof is in the example Jesus set in his treatment of women in the scriptures. He always believed in equality and women’s rights despite what we’ve been told. From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he battled on behalf of the women in his life. He showed up and spoke up for the prostitute, the quadruple divorcee’, the menopausal woman, the demon possessed woman, the widow, the adulteress, and the bride.!
What? You mean men and women are equal?
Even though our culture encourages males to be passive and females to rise up and take charge, the truth is, the roles for men and women have been established by God’s design from the beginning of time. That design makes us all powerful and successful in life and love. All we have to do is kick out the liar and walk in the truth.
“God created mankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Gen. 1:27 (NIV)
This means both men and women were equally created to reflect God in who we are. As husband and wife, we’re both made in the same image of the same God. When God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross, he was using his death to build a bridge for men and women to cross over and take back our original dominion and rule the earth as designed before sin occurred. The word dominion means “sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing and controlling.” God gave that gift of dominion to both Adam and Eve, but he also gave them strengths and weaknesses in different areas. Based on those strengths and weaknesses, they were called to walk in their divinely designed role. He is calling us to return to those roles today. Jesus came to restore us and release us from our identity crisis.
How do you overcome the curse of the Boogie Man?
Just as in medieval times, unless an enemy infiltrated the kingdom and successfully overtook the castle, kings and queens maintained their position on the throne until death. Satan may have infiltrated the kingdom gates and overtaken Adam and Eve, but our love story doesn’t have to be a horror story. We too can successfully rule our kingdoms well for a lifetime. As scripture shows, God created Adam first and He created Eve second. This means according to God’s blueprint for marriage, women are born with the innate desire to follow someone and men are born innately to lead and protect others. Our Creator designed women with incredible leadership skills for success in areas of their strengths while at the same time giving them the ability to follow in the areas that are not their's to rule. We don’t have to struggle with the desire to overthrow our husband’s authority in our home anymore. Neither do our husbands have to struggle any longer with being passive and not leading nor protecting us. Through our relationship with Christ, we can step up to our position as king and queen of our domain, crush the enemy with our faith, and take dominion side by side as husband and wife. Through our royal adoption, we can live as the kings and queens of our palace while kicking the Boogeyman out and into the mote where he belongs!
Do you want to live in a war-torn castle or a peaceful palace? The decision is up to you. You are "woman" and you have the power to change the world you live in.
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