Biblical View of Genders Part 2

Part One covered important foundational issues regarding sexuality and gender. Part two will mainly focus on what God said in Genesis 2:18,

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

The Woman as a Helper

This verse could be one of the most misinterpreted or hated verses in the Bible. On the one hand, some Christians have interpreted this to mean that a wife is less important than the man. On the other hand, this verse is hated by the feminist movement because it seems to say that the woman’s sole purpose is to be for the man.

Neither is intended here. “Helper” does not have a hierarchy thought to it. The word is neither meant to explain superiority or inferiority. This word is used 21 times in God’s Word. Twice it is used of Eve in this passage. Three times it is used of reinforcements on a battlefield to ‘help’ win a battle. 16 times it is used of God being a “helper” of mankind. Psalm 121:1-2 is a great example of David looking for “help” from the Lord.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

David clearly does not think he is better than God, or that God’s sole purpose is to help him. The focus of this word is on the fact that David was inadequate without help from the Lord. If anything, this word in Genesis 2:18 points more to the inadequacy of the man by himself. This is at the heart of God’s statement in Genesis 2:18 right before he announces that he will make a helper.

It is not good that man should be alone.

This could be said of both genders. In one sense, Adam was not adequate by himself, and Eve was created with the intended purpose of helping someone else. This means that both genders are dependent on the other. “Helper” simply focuses on the function of being someone who is there to aid, support, and help in a task. Adam could not oversee and give care to the entire world, and therefore God made him someone to help him accomplish his task.

Both Genders Are Dependent on One another for Companionship and Completion 

Other passages in God’s Word teach more specifically about how a husband and wife function together in God’s plan for marriage. The focus of this passage is mutual dependency. From creation, God teaches the basic principle of synergy in human relationships–that two are better than one. Solomon notes this truth in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand–a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Christianity was one of the first religions to make singleness a viable option. Christ and Paul were both single. It is possible for a person to live a completely fulfilling life without someone else. However, generally speaking, God designed us for companionship and completion with one person from the opposite sex.

The idea that a man is a lone-wolf is sad and untrue. The idea that a woman needs a man to find purpose is ridiculous and unhelpful. Man is dependent on woman just as woman is dependent on man for companionship and completion.

The Gospel

God created us to be dependent on one another. Unfortunately, our sin confuses and rejects that truth.

Mr. or Ms. Independent might think dependency is weakness. Unfortunately, they are normally lonely and proud. In the attempt to be independent, they have built a wall in their life that keeps others out. Mr. or Ms. Independent can be stand-offish, arrogant, self-righteous, and brash.

Mr. or Ms. Needy become obsessively dependent. They crave intimacy so much that they ruin their relationships and isolate themselves from others. Their neediness causes others to build walls up so that Mr. or Ms. Needy cannot drain them of emotional resources. Mr. or Ms. Needy is basically expecting too much of their earthly relationships, making ‘the one‘ into a functional god, which is idolatry. Unfortunately, ‘the one’ can never meet Mr. or Ms. Needy’s insatiable desire for love, because only God can.

Both pride and idolatry are an offense to God. Mr. or Ms. Independent offends God by assuming that they know what is best for their life and ignoring God’s gift of relationships. Mr. or Ms. Needy offends God by worshipping ‘the one’ instead of the One who made them. Both sins are an arrogant offense against a good and holy God. Both sins deserve the full anger of God poured out.

The gospel tells us that we can be forgiven for our pride and idolatry by trusting that Jesus Christ died on the cross as punishment for OUR sins. This gives us a healthy dose of humility and trust in God. As we submit to his rule and rest in his love for us, we are freed to pursue the gift of marriage. In that context, we thank and worship God for all of his good gifts that he has given to us, and we enjoy those gifts to God’s glory.