It Is Not Good for a Man to Be Alone
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 NASB
Recently my husband was home alone for three days while I attended a conference. I love to keep things in a specific place; he doesn’t. He tries, but the concept of having a “specific place” is not important to him. We view order differently, and that’s okay. I tried not to be too fussy as I rearranged the refrigerator when I returned home.
After God created Adam, He created a menagerie of living creatures and brought them to Adam to be named. Did Adam notice that the creatures came two by two—mated? Did he sense a need for a mate of his own? God knew his need and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18 NASB).
God put Adam to sleep, removed one of his ribs and formed Eve. When Adam saw the woman did he exclaim, “Wow! You’re the most beautiful creation God has made”? No. Actually he 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”(2:23).
Then Adam added a prophetic statement, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (2:24). Adam had no parents, his children had yet to be born, but he understood God’s primary reason for giving him a mate.
God created the woman to be a helper suitable for the man. According to the dictionary, the word suitable means “corresponding to.” Twenty-first century women may like that definition because it implies equal rank. But the Hebrew word helper means “one who succors” which comes from “to run under.”*
Some people may think that to help–to be under, or to be subordinate to–is to be less important, but that’s not what the Bible means by “helper.” The Bible uses the word “helper” for God (Psalm 54:4), the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), and the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:6). A helper cares for, provides what is lacking, fills the gaps in the other person’s life, and supports.
My husband and I differ in our desire for order. I embrace my role as his helper in this area. When we fulfill our God-given marital roles, we become one flesh. A spiritual completeness is created and God is glorified.
Do you see your role as more or less important than someone else’s role? Or do you view it as a different but equally valuable role? Are you glorifying God by joyfully fulfilling the role He has given you?
Read Acts 13:1-5 and Romans 16:1-2. Who are called helpers and whom had they helped?
Read Ephesians 5:22-24. How does Paul describe the wifely role? Why do you think God gave the husband a leadership role? Why not equal co-leaders?
Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 in Ephesians 5:31. To what does he compare the marriage relationship in verse 32? What are Paul’s reasons for making that comparison?
To read a devotion on the husband’s role in marriage, see Bride in Dig into Words.
Nancy J. Baker
*All Hebrew and Greek transliterations and their definitions are taken from the lexicons provided by www.blueletterbible.org.