Women. Ah. My favorite subject.
Especially since I’m married to arguably the most merciful, kind and generous woman of all.
Indeed. Any amount of success I have as a father, writer or husband I owe to her.
The running joke around our house is that if not for my wife, I’d still be living with my mother.
In her basement.
Dead serious. My wife is classic helper. Classic companion. I’d be lost without her.
But what does “helper” mean? Where did that term come from?
Furthermore, why did God think man EVEN needed woman? And what does the Bible say about this union?
Let’s take a look.
History Before Woman
Long ago God created a man named Adam. He told Adam [a man made in God’s image] to cultivate the earth.
To subdue it.
Adam shaped wood into tools. Domesticated oxen to plow fertile soil. He groomed fruit trees. He raised honey bees. He cultivated mint and cornflowers.
But the image of God in man was not complete. God said, “It is not good that man his alone.” He wanted to give Adam a companion.
What’s strange about this arrangement is that Adam doesn’t seem to notice his need for a companion.
He appears perfectly content to be alone.
This is problematic. Not to Adam, but to God. And for reasons we might not consider.
History After Woman
Then God created woman. Genesis 2:21-23 tells us what that looked like:
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Because God created woman even though Adam was content in his solitude suggests God had something else in mind for man than merely tinkering around in a garden by himself.
God wanted to give man a partner in the stewardship of that garden. Together man and woman split the labor of subduing the earth.
He commanded them both to rule. To take dominion over the fish. The birds. The badgers.
And this responsibility–a sovereign authority you might say–is another way that man and woman are made in God’s likeness.
God is in charge of the universe…man and woman are in charge of the earth. But mere stewardship of goats and crops wasn’t all.
Something Adam Couldn’t Do Alone
Part of Adam and Eve’s responsibility involved multiplying humans. Procreation. Making babies.
A skill, we all know, Adam could not perform on his own.
This command would ensure God’s image spread over the earth. It allowed for Adam and Eve to fulfill their cultural mandate by sharing their workload with their children.
Yet another division of labor.
Call it imperialism if you want. But all for the glory of God. Here’s what I mean.
What Male-Female Union Does to God’s Glory
Listen: When man and woman work in harmony–sharing the responsibility of creating culture, raising children and sharing the gospel–God is glorified.
And he is glorified within the ordained parameters of marriage.
From the Genesis narrative of the creation of man and woman God demonstrates his plan for marriage equals a monogamous heterosexual relationship.
Proliferation of mankind–God’s image–could not happen any other way.
God knew that his glory was limited in the creation of one man. So he made woman. And then man and woman made child.
This union and procreation honors God. Glorifies him. Extends his joy as this man, woman and child honor them with their hearts and service.
It’s a lifestyle of adoration for their creator. Incomplete when man was alone.
Recommended resource: God, Marriage and Family Andreas J. Kostenberger