I believe that our culture, including many in the Christian church, have completely lost sight of what a Genesis 2 woman is. The result of this are the high divorce rates in both Christian and non-Christian marriages. In honor of my wife’s 60th birthday today, I want to share what a Genesis 2 woman is, as I have been blessed to have such a woman.
First let’s take a look at Geneses 2 to see what it says:
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So 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. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then 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.”
24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:18-24
Although all of the creatures God created on days 5 and 6 were formed male and female, He did not follow the same pattern when He made Adam in His own image. I’ve heard some Christians say that this was an oversight on God’s part, but an all knowing God is incapable forgetting to do anything. God purposely delayed in forming woman in order to impress upon Adam his need for a mate and partner.
In verse 20, it says that there was not found a helper fit for him. Too often this is taken to mean that a woman’s role is to be a servant or slave to the man’s needs and desires. Men often quote Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 1-6 to support the subservient role of the woman. However that is not what is meant in Genesis 2:20 when it talks about a helper.
The Hebrew word used for helper in Genesis 2:20 is gēh-zer which means a helper or aid. The root word conveys the primary idea of giving aid in the form of girding up, surrounding and defending, not acting as a servant or slave.
The Genesis 2 woman is one that not only helps her husband in taking care of the house, but she is a woman that stands beside her husband to give him strength and support in everything, good and bad. She defends him against others and against things that may be harmful to him. She girds and supports him when he needs moral, emotional and physical support. She surrounds him with a well run house; a place of peace, comfort and love.
The Genesis 2 woman is a woman who stands next to her husband regardless of the situation. When times are rough, she is there for him. When he is hurting and ill, she is there for him. When he needs advice and counsel, she is there for him.
When Genesis 2:24 states that they shall become one flesh, this is not just a reference to intimate marital relations, but to the entire relationship between them. As one flesh, they share life together as one. What affects one of them affects the other. Consequently, a Genesis 2 woman is a complement to her husband. She completes his being by providing a balance of thought, emotion and love.
And when a man finds a Genesis 2 woman, he needs to follow Ephesians 5:25-31 which states:
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31″Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
A husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church. This is a sacrificial love. Even though Christ was God incarnate and the head of the church, He still took on the role of a servant to the church. He washed the feet of His disciples. In Christ’s day, washing the feet of others was a dirty and lowly job, but one that Christ took on to show His love for His church and His people. Though Christ was head of the church, He always remained humble in caring for it. He never flaunted His authority or power. Never did Christ treat the church as a slave or servant to himself, though He had every right to do so. And ultimately He gave up His life to save the church. This is the example husbands are commanded to follow.
I have been blessed to have a Genesis 2 woman as my wife. We’ve been married for 39 years, 7 months and 9 days, and each day I see more and more of her Genesis 2 qualities.
To begin with, there were a number of strange circumstances that brought us together. As I look back upon it, I clearly see that I didn’t choose her, rather God chose her for me and who am I to argue with Him. Our first 7 years were very rocky to say the least. Regardless of the fool I made of myself in those years, she faithfully stood beside me and prayed for me. Eventually, I saw that I needed to make some changes in my life and set about doing so. Changing habits is not easy and takes time. Rather than harp on me when I slid into old habits, she supported me and encouraged me in a loving and caring way.
Over the years, I’ve received some physical injuries that prevent me from being able to do many things a man normally does. Some household chores are impossible for me to do and others are difficult to say the least. I love to garden and still get frustrated when I can only do a little at a time. I also love to build things out of wood, but that also has become difficult. I’m the first one to admit that I get frustrated and moody by not being able to do the things I like and need to do. However, my Genesis 2 woman is right here beside me. She provides strength when I need it. She surrounds me with her love and care even though I often feel so helpless and useless. She defends me against myself in that she keeps me from doing too much or doing what I shouldn’t so as not to aggravate my condition. She is not my slave or servant, but my equal and in some ways, my better. She is my strength and my defense.
So today, March 9, 2011, I want to dedicate this article to my Genesis 2 wife, Lynn on her 60th birthday and thank her publicly for all she does for me and for us as a couple. I love her more than life itself and would gladly give my life for hers any day any time.