Thirty years ago, a book came out entitled, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ it was intended to deal with the complicated relationships between men and women. And though it did give us a different perspective and a few good quotes, it only scratched the surface of the complicated relationships between men and women. In the end, it still left men and women feeling as if they were from different planets struggling to understand the customs and languages the other uses.
But none of us believe this is how God originally intended the relationship between a man and a woman to be. God never intended for men to be from Mars and women from Venus; however, because of ‘original sin,’ the relationship between man and woman has suffered and gone through a horrific downward spiral leaving mankind falling far short of God’s original intention.
In the beginning, man was created in the image and likeness of God, containing both masculinity and femininity. Later in Gen 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” Shortly after saying this, He had the man come forward and had all the animals pass before him so Adam could name them. Gen 2:20, “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for the man, no suitable helper was found.” Gen. 2:21-22. “So, the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” Then while the man was in a deep sleep, God removed all the attributes that comprised femininity in the man and made a ‘suitable helper’ for a man calling her Eve, the ‘source of life,’ or living one.’ God left in Adam all of the attributes associated with masculinity that defined Adam as male.
A Helper From Venus
What, then, would this suitable helper look like? The very things that made her a suitable helper were the very things that characterized her inner qualities. Mankind has made the words ‘suitable helper’ into a kind of ‘hamburger helper’ that you add to something to make it more palatable, not necessarily better.
The Hebrew word kenegdo, usually translated as “suitable” in Gen. 2, means that Eve was designed to be a corresponding and equal partner for Adam. Here we find no sense of subordination stated or implied, or even hinted at, in this passage in Gen. 2. Ezer or “helper” is the name that the Holy Spirit uses to describe the first woman. Ezer is also used in describing aspects of God’s character: he is our strength, our rescuer, our protector, and our help! God created Eve to provide valuable and vital strength and assistance to Adam.
Kenegdo Ezer, “a suitable helper,” is used to describe the first woman without any narrow qualifications, prescribed limits, or carefully crafted cultural restrictions. In other words, it is not specified anywhere in Gen. 2 how the first woman was to express and apply her help toward her husband. Still, presumably, it was to alleviate the man’s “alone-ness” and partner with him in their joint commission. Gen. 1:28.
Unfortunately, too many people have presumed that the woman’s role was to be subservient. But too often they are reading Gen. Chapter 2 with narrow preconceived notions and have failed to see the beautiful expressions of equality, affinity, and unity in this passage.
When Mars and Venus Become One
The whole purpose of the Creation of Eve found in Gen. 2 is to emphasize the unity and covenant commitment that a man and woman have as husband and wife. To read it any other way is to miss the point and distort its meaning and purpose. The first woman was “taken out” of the first human. Before her creation, Eve was already a part of Adam. When Adam looked at Eve, he understood that they would not be complete and the true image of God until they were once more “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!” This is a profound expression of similarity and equality. There is no hint of hierarchy here. But to further emphasize the point, verse 24 says that when a husband and wife join in marriage, they become one flesh, a point which Jesus highlighted in Matt. 19:4-5 & Mark 10:6-7. God’s plan was for the man and the woman to become husband and wife. As they entered the marriage covenant, they would complement and complete each other and become one as they were in the beginning. Gen. 1:26-28. Perhaps gender appreciation is the Godly ideal that should be our aim. Mankind will be restored as in the beginning, male and female created in God’s image, beloved and dwelling with Him in eternity.
Then our Lord presented the woman to the man who realized this was the substance of my substance or bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. The marriage covenant was established as our heavenly Father presented her to Adam. Gen. 2:24. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” How do they become one flesh? After presenting their marriage vows as Holy before God, they consecrate their marriage. That is when they begin to ‘know” one another. Gen 4:1 says, “Adam knew his wife Eve, and she became pregnant.” in Luke 1:34, Mary said this when the angel Gabriel came to her and told her she would be with child. “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” There is something spiritually profound that happens when a man and a woman ’know’ one another, and that brings forth the oneness that God intended for us in the beginning.
Living On The Same Planet
Once we begin to understand the role that masculinity and femininity play in how we were created, the more we can think and communicate with one another as God intended. Our frustration level grows when men and women have unrealistic expectations of one another. There are three very important gifts that we need to be aware of, first is companionship, the second is passion and the third is purpose.
When marriage is done well as God intended, the man and woman not only experience the wonderful emotional and physical intimacy of oneness and companionship that being “one flesh” brings but they also purposefully choose to prefer the other in understanding their differences with mutual respect and honor. They frequently know and sense a deeper, more profound spiritual connection that enables them to be “as one” with their God.
Our prayer is that you realize the ultimate purpose and meaning of marriage. It is God’s gift to us, His children. It provides us with a covering for our aloneness, furnishes us with companionship, and blesses us with the joy of connected intimacy, with one another and with Him.
Rex & Lois