9 Reasons for God’s Design of Marriage: The Wife as Helper and Encourager – Part 1
As we talk more about God’s design for marriage, I reiterate I am not a trained pastor. I also am not an expert in God’s exact design for marriage. These posts are only meant to explore and provoke thought and further discussion and research. I am attempting to drill down and examine bits and pieces of a complex system of relationships God put in motion. I hope that you will be able to take bits and pieces of this post to help you improve your marriage using God’s original idea as your baseline.
One might think that while writing these post that I am saying men are greater than women. That is far from the truth. Over the years of my marriage (11 and counting now), I have not been the perfect husband. I would like to say my wife has been the perfect wife. She is to me! I am the failure in our marriage, if there is one. Let’s just say I have had plenty of “learning moments.” I am no stranger to mistakes and goof ups.
All of this aside, as I mentioned in a previous post, I still believe husbands hold the greater responsibility in relationships. We are instructed to love our wives the same way Christ loves us. A wife grows and develops into the person God created her to be, ultimately due to the safety of their husband’s love as does the church (Refer to Ephesians 5). I do not, however, diminish the belief that the husband and wife are equals and both have major roles to play.
With that said, I want to take a bold journey to define a wife’s role in marriage as God meant it to be. It may look radically different from what we see in the United States today. I am not writing about whether a wife should work or make money or be a house wife. I don’t think God’s intent is to dictate whether a wife works or not. This post is not about what you should or shouldn’t do in your life as a woman.
I want the focus of this post to be about how a woman should RELATE to her husband based on God’s intent. Let’s start with some translation exercises from Genesis 2.
Let’s start with the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. It is written that when God brought all the animals he had made to Adam “…no suitable helper was found” (Genesis 2:20) for him. Directly after that, he formed the woman (Eve) out of Adam’s rib.
By understanding what “no suitable helper” originally means, we will better understand why God created Eve. One source says that “helper” here means “a person who comes along in times of crisis.” Don’t we all wish we had one of those when bad things happen!
What does this meaning tell us about God’s original intent for the wife? Possibly that she would be there for Adam if a crisis arose? This feels strange to me. At that time, Adam was not really in crisis. He was in a perfect garden.
However, what I do understand from the context is that God saw Adam has needing something more. So, my question is what do all of us need most in life? I believe each of us would answer in this way: “love, acceptance, and to be fully known.” If we use our own understanding of this context, we can see that Eve might have been intended to be a helper, encourager or companion for Adam to help him see his full identity and potential.
Now one might say, “Why would we not get that from God?” I would encourage you to check out my other post to gather more information of why God saw the need to provide us with more. Let’s just say companionship is an important part of who God is. God was not necessarily human at that time, and being the loving God he is, he wanted to give Adam that experience of being with someone like himself.
The Hebrew of helper or as the KJV says “help meet” is ʿēzer, It literally means “aid, help…with stuff.” If you look at where this same word is used throughout the Old Testament, it mostly refers to God helping Israel. Putting it all together in these other contexts, we find that God created Eve to be a helper or aid, like Him, to Adam. We might say she was meant to assist God in helping Adam.
Other Bible translations say it in different ways, which may help us find more depth and meaning to Eve’s purpose.
The New Living Translation states it this way: “…But there was no helper just right for him.”
The Good News Translation states: “…but not one of them was a suitable companion to help him.”
The Revised Standard Version states: “…but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him.”
The New King James Version reads: “….But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”
Exploring these different translations of the Bible, you can see that a helper of some sort is needed. What type of helper is needed? Possibly one that is comparable, suitable, just right, or a good fit. God seems to desire the perfect match for Adam.
Combine what we said about husbands in the previous post and the information we just discussed. The idea of a perfect match seems fitting.
We will end our discussion of a woman’s role here for this post and will continue it in PART 2. I hope that you are enjoying this so far.
IF YOU MISSED IT, CHECK OUT THE START OF THIS SERIES: 9 Reasons for God’s Design of Marriage
PREVIOUS POST: 9 REASONS FOR GOD’S DESIGN OF MARRIAGE: THE HUSBAND AS THE CHOSEN LEADER
I hope that this has been helpful. I hope I have given you information that you can go back to when you need it. If you have any further questions or need help, please call me and set up an appointment or check out some of my other BLOG POSTS.
Want to read the rest of the blog series? START HERE
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 706-955-0230.
To schedule an appointment online, click below!