The first real incident we see of Small Man Syndrome occurred when Adam lashed out at his wife. SMSers attack those they consider lower on the food chain. This time, let’s see why Adam acts like this and how to prevent it in our own lives.
Why blame her?
God created Adam first and made him spiritual leader. Man is not better than woman, but definitely distinct from her. Both men and women reflect God’s glory by filling their role with joy. Husbands should joyfully serve their wife and children with direction, vision, and teaching. Wives should joyfully join the man’s purpose and draw out greatness in him by quality questions (I Corinthians 14:35).
We men often let our carnality excuse us from instructing our families in the ways of God. When Eve faced a spiritual decision about eating from the tree of knowledge, Adam seemed to fade into the shadows. Genesis 3:6 tells us he was with her when she ate the forbidden fruit. So why did he not stop her? He shrugged off his responsibility and the world went to pieces. Worse than just ignore the dilemma, Adam joined his wife in her waywardness.
Too many men today step back and let their wives be the leaders of the home. Women have devotions with the kids everyday, read Bible stories, and pray with them. Where are the men who will get between the serpent and their families? You cannot just sit on the sofa while your wife becomes high priest of the home. By the way, if you want to interact with your family spiritually, go to Devotions with Dad and get started correctly.
Covering his shame
After letting his wife lead in a spiritual matter, Adam led her in hiding their shame. They covered their indecency with leaves and sneaked out of view from God’s all-seeing eye. While great men confess their sin, small men hide it.
Adam should have looked his wife in the face and said, “I was wrong.” As a father, I have had to look my children in the eye and admit my faults. To act like I’m never wrong would be to raise more small men. I must be big enough to kneel in repentance.
Classic Small Man Syndrome
Here we have one of the clearest incidents of SMS in action. Adam gets nailed by God for his sin. And, small man that he is, Adam says, “It wasn’t my fault—it’s this woman you gave me!”
SMS is all about putting others down so you feel big about yourself. It can be as rude as insults and direct accusation, or it can be subtle and sneaky like reminding a person of his or her past mistake when they try to correct you.
Standing in the presence of Almighty God, Adam cut down the woman He had made. That’s small. When Adam would not fess up to his own wrongdoing God cursed him. The man who would stoop so low as to damage the morale of his wife now had to pull weeds and wipe sweat the rest of his life. Next time you are stressed out at work or exhausted from a project, man, remember we got our lot by SMS.
God created Eve out of Adam’s side. She was his own bone and flesh (Genesis 2:23). Men, when we are cruel to our own wives and children we are destroying our own selves. Harshness toward your wife is self-mutilation:
“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29).
God ordained that when a man marries, he must leave mommy and daddy (Genesis 2:24). Many men do damage at home by being a momma’s boy. If he runs around trying to please his parents more than his wife, he is hurting his own flesh. But we can get into all that later.
If we are going to reign in life, we must learn the servant attitude of the greatest man, Jesus Christ. He teaches us to lead by serving. He shows us to teach by doing. He guides us to rise in life by lifting others. Following His example and learning His heart will cure the ravages of Small Man Syndrome.