“Men and women are different,” I said. “What are some examples from scriptures of men and women taking on different roles?” Then I sat back. Under the new Mormon youth curriculum, you can do that sort of thing.
“Samsom and Delilah.” True. Not an answer I had foreseen, but true.
“Hannah.” This from the Bishop, who attends our priests quorum ex officio.
“Abigail”. This from me, or rather from my wife. She suggested it earlier that morning after asking what my lesson topic was.
“Adam and Eve.”
Discussion and more discussion. Mother lode.
That afternoon, my wife asked me how it went and I told her. What I learned, I said, was that Adam’s curse and Eve’s curse were more parallel than they seem. Adam has to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; Eve has pain in childbirth. But the effects of pregnancy, the physical debility and the hormones and everything else, have ripples in a woman’s life that can’t be confined to just the pregnancy and delivery. Both curses are lifelong, global statements. They are also complementary. It is the wife’s need that makes the husband the provider, and it is her need that gives his provision meaning.
“Good is the word of the Lord,” she said.
“No doubt,” I said, “but perhaps you’d better explain.”
“Isaiah and Hezekiah,” she said. “Isaiah told him his children would be taken captive to Babylon, but Hezekiah said ‘good is the word of the Lord,’ because it meant the kingdom wouldn’t be conquered for awhile yet. When I see a curse, I try to figure out the blessing in it.”
Adam and Eve, each in their own way, was cursed that they could make meaningful sacrifices for each other and their family. Blessed curse, maldictio felix.