Because of a shortage of maids (domestics), the minister’s wife advertised for a male domestic to help around the house. The next morning, a nicely dressed young man came to the front door of the parsonage.
The minister opened the door and immediately got into conversation. “Can you start breakfast by 7 o’clock?” asked the minister. “I guess so,” the young man said awkwardly.
“Can you polish all the silver, wash all the dishes, do all the laundry, take care of the lawn, wash all the windows, iron all the clothes and keep the house clean and tidy?”
The young man was speechless. Finally, he spoke out. “Look, pastor, I came here to see about getting married to my girl. But, if it’s going to be that much work, you can count me out right now!”
- Genesis 2 gives us a detailed and deeper account, or a close-up look of the creation of human beings.
- We find Adam in the Garden of Eden, and creation completed, when God created the first woman.
LIVING SINGLE IS NOT GOOD SAYS GOD
(It is) not good that man should be alone: …
The Bible states that for the first time, God saw something which was not good in His creation.
- For even though man was surrounded with beauty, through trees that produced delicious fruit (vs 9).
- And was given meaningful work to do, (to manage, or supervise, and to watch over the garden) (vs 15).
- And was given power and freedom to invent, choosing a name for each of the animals and birds (vs 19 & 20).
God realized that something was lacking, as the birds and animals could not provide the companionship that the man needed. God had created the man as a social being who needed to be inter-dependent on fellow human beings.
Now one can argue that some of the most important heroes in the Bible, like the Apostle Paul and John the Baptist were single or unmarried. Yet, the Bible states that while some are called to be single, God’s universal will is that ‘it is not good for the man to be alone’. In the Hebrew, God is makingis a strong statement; and this statement emphasizesthe fact that “It is not good for the man to be alone”.
WIVES ARE SHAPED TO BE HELPERS BY GOD
I will make him a suitable helper.
The woman God made was not a “lesser creature.” The same God who made Adam in God’s image also created Eve in His own image (Gen. 1:27). Furthermore, both Adam and Eve were instructed to rule over creation (Gen. 1:29).
So, Eve was not inferior to Adam, nor Adam inferior to Eve. They could both fellowship with God and both equally reflect God’s nature such as love, holiness, good works etc.
In addition, God’s method of taking a rib from Adam’s side, teaches us that man and woman were equal. Adam did not view his God given wife as an assistant or a second-class citizen, or a servant. There is a lovely Jewish tradition saying:
God did not take Eve from Adam’s foot, in case he tries to dominate her; or from his head in case she sees herself as above him. Instead, God took Eve from Adam’s rib, that the two might go through life side by side. She was created from and must remain close and dear to his heart.
So, we husbands must not treat our wife as a ‘thing or tool to be used’, nor as a servant, but as ‘a person of worth’. If not, our marriage will end in tragedy or continue in misery.
I will make him a suitable helper.
The Bible calls husbands the spiritual leaders of the home, and wives’ helpers. Now the word ‘helper’ has often been misunderstood and used to support a distorted view of marriage, leaving women feeling devalued in the family.
Now the word ‘helper’ does not suggest subordination, or slave, or servant, as the same Hebrew word “ezer” is used in the Old Testament to describe God Himself, who helps His people. Therefore, when the wife is called a ‘helper’,
- It does not mean that the man is to be the bread winner and work outside the home; while the woman is to be the housekeeper and must never have an outside job.
- Or, that the wife does all the cooking and cleaning and work a full-time job, while the husband has no responsibility at home except, to sit in front of the TV.
In the Bible, the word ‘helper’ is also used, to describe Holy Spirit. The Greek word for the Holy Spirit is paraclete” which means ‘one called alongside to help.’ The world thinks that ‘helping’ is a position of inferiority, but, if the Holy Spirit is called a helper, it elevates the role of helping to a high place.
I will make him a suitable helper.(a helper opposite to him)”
The saying that “opposites attract” is true in Rebecca’s and my marriage. We are very different in many ways.
- For instance, I am hasty; I may get an idea into my head and act impulsively. Rebecca is cautious. She will carefully think things through logically.
- When angry I can be explosive, Rebecca silent!
- When it comes to generosity, I am ‘tight fisted’; Rebecca more open handed to others.
- I am more of an extrovert, Rebecca more an introvert.
So, all couples who say, ‘we are incompatible’, remember that marriage involves 2 people, with different backgrounds, personalities, desires, views, priorities, interest and hobbies, being joined together. In addition to some of the differences Rebecca and I have, in your marriage
- One may be task oriented and the other people-oriented
- One structured and the other flexible
- One an initiator and the other a supporter
“Making a marriage work is not about tolerating your partner’s differences; it’s about treasuring them”.
Now different versions of the Bible translate this idea of ‘helper’ in a variety of ways, but the idea is essentially the same in each of them:
AMP – I will make him a helper [one who balances him—a counterpart who is] suitable and complementary for him.”
Every couple who marries, have similarities as many differences. So, there will be differences in your spouse, in the way he or she perceives, thinks, feels, and behaves as well as differences in attitudes and opinions. Now being different is not wrong! It helps us to feel complete, because of what the other person has to offer.
Therefore, we should not look at differences as irritating, or something to compete with, or eliminate or change in your spouse which leads to conflict. Rather, we should view our differences as something unique to be appreciated, as it helps to balance our weaknesses and shortcomings. The ‘missing pieces in the puzzle are completed’, and the ‘dormant is enriched by what is dominant in the other’. Norman Wright in their book, ‘Before You say, “I Do”
“Your partner is not you. He or she is ‘other’ created in God’s image, not yours. He has a right to be other, to be treated and respected as other’.
MSG – I’ll make him a helper, a companion.”
In ancient Israel, the wife’s role and responsibility towards their husbands was presenting her husband with children, (especially male children) and to manage the household. Now in Sri Lanka too many have such views. But here we see that God created the woman to provide her husband with companionship. She was to be his soul mate and trusted friend.
The dictionary defines a companion as “somebody who accompanies you, spends time with you, or is a friend,”. Presently, do we see our spouse companionably drawing together or separately drifting apart? In an article by Focus on the Family the author states:
“If you and your spouse are growing apart, you may have overlooked an important piece of the intimacy puzzle: friendship”.
So, find things to do together outside the bedroom, whether it’s a recreational activity, a ministry opportunity, a fitness program, a weekend out together, or a Friday night dinner date etc. The writer of Focus on the Family also states:
“A wife’s loving companionship was designed by God to meet her husband’s number one relationship need”.