“A helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18-23)
With Adam’s work under way, God’s creation was not quite complete. Man needed a companion. He was not created to rule the earth for God’s glory by himself. So, God provided a helper. While Adam was asleep, God took a rib from him and “made it into a woman and brought her to the man.”
This was a significant moment. Adam was uniquely made from the dirt of the ground and given life from the breath of God. Eve, on the other hand, was made from Adam, indicating her equality with him. Eve was made “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” said Adam. By this, he meant that she was everything he was. She had the same dignity and importance. She was kin spiritually, physically, socially, and intellectually. And like Adam, she bore the image of God.
Their sameness didn’t mean she was a duplicate of Adam. Each of them bore God’s image differently. There were certain characteristics of God in Adam that were not in Eve. At the same time, there were certain characteristics of God in Eve that were not in Adam. They each gave God glory in different but complementary ways.
This was evident in their roles as well. By naming the animals, Adam was exercising a certain leadership over them. The same was present when naming Eve: “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” However, Eve was no animal. She was like Adam, a unique creation of God who bore God’s image. Their differences did not make them unequal, but interdependent. Their unique functions and roles supported each other. Adam was carrying the responsibility of loving leadership while Eve had the role of caring submission. Both set the model for men and women today.
- How do you see gender roles defined in our world? In what ways do these definitions differ from God’s design? Is this good?
- What do you suppose this teaches us about God? How can our functions and roles as men and women glorify God when applied His way?
- Does this encourage or convict you in some way? What sort of changes can you make to align yourself with God’s design?