I recently shared a meal with a dear brother in Christ, a time during which he and I enjoyed various pleasantries and a few common laughs. And, as many men feel the need to do, we took the opportunity to put our heads together and resolve many problems plaguing our modern world. As our conversation developed, my companion and I “dropped our guard” and revealed to each other certain personal “shortfalls” as buffers before complaining of our surrounding circumstances. You know how guys talk... “I know I’m not perfect, but I sure wish such and such would change.” Of course, as one thing led to another, our thoughts shifted to our home lives, namely the topic of wives and marriage.
As our chat was winding down, God led me to ask my friend a pointed question – “Friend, what do you believe God’s plan for marriage to be?” After a pause, my beloved brother in Christ responded, “God gave me my wife to be my helper.”
Did God Really Say?
Later that day, as I reviewed our conversation in my mind, I heard God ask me a question, "Did I really say woman was to be ‘man’s’ helper, or did I say ‘a’ helper?”
I ran to get the book and found the place in the creation record where it is written –
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)
The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. (Genesis 2:20)
My helper...A helper...Who’s helper is she?
While Genesis 2 records the creation of two equal human beings in detail, it also reveals differences in their God-given functions and responsibilities. God did not create the man and the woman at the same time, but rather He created Adam first and Eve later for the specific role of being a helper.
While the word “helper” carries very positive connotations—even being used of God Himself as the helper of Israel (Deuteronomy 33:7; Psalm 33:20)—it still describes someone in a relationship of service to another. But don’t miss this – Eve was created, not for Adam but for God.
Men, your wife is a helper, but she’s not your helper. She is God’s helper; His “ideal partner.”
Yet while Eve was God’s helper, she was “suitable for” Adam. The second important word in this verse is the word “suitable.” It literally means “according to the opposite of him.” You may be thinking, “Yes! My wife is the total opposite of me!” But wait. The Hebrew word for “suitable” also means “that of an appropriate match.” Eve was not created above or below Adam; she complimented him. Eve was “just right” for Adam.
Don’t be confused. Your wife was created by God, for God, to be His helper. She is God’s “ideal partner,” your “total opposite,” yet simultaneously an appropriate match, suitable and just right for you. Indeed, she is suitable sandpaper, held gently in God’s sovereign hand, used lovingly in your life.
Did you really think “suitable” meant bringing your beer, sliding on your slippers, and serving your favorite supper all while wearing nothing but a few pieces of duct tape?
Or do you not know, ...one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife...how she may please her husband (1Corinthians 7:33, 34). There’s a conflict of interest here. Didn’t you know before you married that she liked shoes, kittens, babies, talking, crying, feelings, flowers, candles, shoes, Pinterest, and days of our lives? Did I mention shoes?
The Husband is the Head of the Wife
I know, I know the headship verses. For the husband is the head of the wife... (Ephesians 5:23). Did you think headship meant lordship? Does the body serve the head, or does the head serve the body?
- Christ is the head of His body, the church (Colossians 1:18)
- The head holds the body together (Colossians 2:19)
- The head nourishes and cherishes the body (Ephesians 5:28-29)
- The head sacrifices for the body (Ephesians 5:25)
Men, make the first move and serve her as your queen. Then, step back and watch while she crowns you as her king.
Have you been sharp with her? Sandpaper is suitable for something with sharp edges. And you husbands must be loving and kind to your wives and not bitter against them nor harsh (Colossians 3:19).
Husband, are you irritated with her? Does she aggravate you? Maybe that’s because there’s some of you in her. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man (1 Corinthians 11:8). The man said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man (Genesis 2:23).
For indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake (1 Corinthians 11:9). That points to Adam’s inadequacy, not Eve’s insufficiency. Woman was made by God, to participate with God, to sand down all the places in man that want to be like God.
Jesus gave his life for your wife, so he could give his life to your wife, in order to work through your wife, toward a goal that He might transform your life.
Husbands, what if God really said His thought behind marriage was less about your happiness and more about your holiness?
For this is the will of God, your sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3a)
Your spouse is a gift from God. Here at Crossway we offer marriage counseling to help couples understand how God wants to be the life of your marriage. Please call us if you have questions about marriage or would just like to talk with someone about life.