Summary: God has a clear design for marriage, and our way is not working.
“Here Comes the Bride!”
Pastor Sean Harder
November 2, 2008
Let me start with a brief true story called “Head of Household”.
Irritated by the 1971 Canadian census form defining the husband as the Head of the household, I wrote in the space marked Householder comments: “In this family my husband and I definitely share the household equally, and I wish to register my complaint at your archaic wording.”
Several days later, when I checked over the form before mailing it, I found to my chagrin that my husband had penned the following after my note: “Statements made by the employees do not necessarily reflect the position of management,” and signed it Head of the Household.
Well, today we are going to see God create the woman from Adam’s own body, and I think today we get good insight into God’s design for marriage.
I. The Purpose of the Bride (v. 18)
A. Accompaniment (v. 18a)
So for some reason God decides that man should not be alone. This wasn’t like an oops, I said it was very good but I missed this on thing. Remember this is the second creation account in Genesis. In Genesis 1 God already said that he created them male and female and said it was very good after that. He created them both on the sixth day and this is just a more detailed description of how He did it. See Eccles 4:7-11 about being alone.
B. Assistance (v. 18b)
The phrase “suitable helper” has often been misunderstood, and used to support a distorted view of marriage. Helper here is `ezer, and means “a support,” “a helper,” or “an assistant.” It does not imply subordination, because the same word is used to describe God as man’s helper. The concept strongly supports equality of women. Only one who is “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” and thus fully shares the human identity, could possibly meet anyone’s deeper needs. In its original conception, then, marriage was the union of equals, each respecting as well as caring for the other, and each committed to be the other’s helper.
I will make a helper suitable for him; a help like him, one of the same nature and the same rank of beings; or a help near him, one to cohabit with him, and to be always at hand; a help before him, one that he should look upon with pleasure and delight. Note then that in our best state in this world we have need of one another’s help; for we are members one of another, and the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee. We must therefore be glad to receive help from others, and give help to others, at every opportunity. (2.) It is God only who perfectly knows our wants, and is perfectly able to supply them all. In him alone our help is, and from him are all our helpers. (3.) A suitable wife is a help-meet, or meeter of needs, and is from the Lord. The relationship is then likely to be comfortable when likeness directs and determines the choice, and mutual helpfulness is the constant desire. Codependency is not a disorder as I was taught in the counseling field, it is God’s design. But when we take advantage of someone’s desire to meet our needs and don’t have a heart of reciprocation or appreciation, misery is created.
A helper fit for him means: corresponding to or like him. Adam made no complaints or ever said he needed or wanted a helper. This was God’s decision and the woman was a gift. Adam was fully satisfied with God being his companion and it should be noted that it is in this context that God gives him another companion to share this relationship with. Many single folks are looking for a spouse to make them happy. Notice here, Adam was completely content with God, then was given a partner.
No person can fill this void, and I strongly recommend that those of you who are single get to the place of contentment without a spouse, then often miraculously, God will present one to you. Having a strong relationship with God puts us in a place of entering relationships to meet other’s needs, not to have our needs met. This is a paradox I saw so often as a counselor, that when we get into relationships to meet other’s needs and don’t even think of our own, that’s when our’s get met as well. But when we are seeking a spouse to fill us up, we are often disappointed and then pull back from wanting to meet their needs, and the relationship dies.
Eve was not given as Adam’s servant. In fact man is made from dirt and she is not. God made us equal, but he also gave us specific roles that would honor God.