Woman: The Helpmeet

Wednesday we talked about men being the head of the household so today we are taking a look at the role of women in marriage. I think this one is going to be a little bit harder to write because the biblical concept of “helpmeet” is vastly misunderstood. It isn’t demeaning and it doesn’t make women inferior. God made the genders uniquely with different strengths and weaknesses and each are valuable and essential to God’s design.  I want to make that clear here and now. In no way will I ever say that one gender is more important or better than the other. Each is wonderful and beautiful in its own way and I think both male and female scream the image of God. It is actually quite amazing how God has portrayed His image in such different genders which is why I will always call for us to appreciate the opposite sex more. With that said, let’s look at the awesome role God has given women: the role of being the helpmeet.

In Genesis 2:18 God declares, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So God created animals and brought them before Adam. Adam then gave them each a name but he did not find a helper suitable for him. So God put Adam in a deep sleep and used one of his ribs to form woman. When God presented the woman to Adam he said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” After this we find the infamous verse 24 that reads, “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” How romantic! They are of the same bone and flesh and they unite as one – marriage. And women play an important role in this union called marriage. If you read Genesis 2 & 3 you will notice that God doesn’t create anymore. The woman was the last thing He created. She was the pinnacle of His creation! It’s like God said, “There, now everything is good, as it should be. It’s complete.” Man and woman were together, united as one, to rule over creation and worship God their Maker. All was well.

But then something terrible happened. Sin crept in. The woman was deceived and her husband, failing to protect his wife, fell into sin as well and they ushered in a fallenness that would forever attack their union, seeking to destroy it. They were cursed and the roles that God had given them became hard. In Genesis 3:16 we find the woman’s curse: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” That desire is to be the leader, not the helper that she was created to be, and to rule over her husband.

What this means for women today is that we have this role to be the helpmeet but a desire to be the leader and that tension causes problems within marriage. I think this is one of the biggest issues in male/female roles. It is evident everywhere but it is most troubling in a marriage. Because in marriage you have a man who is suppose to be the head of his household and you have a woman who is suppose to be his helpmeet but she is wanting to reverse the roles. She wants to be the head and have him follow her because she knows what is best, not him. She is better and smarter at everything and he’s just a big goofball that couldn’t survive without her. This way of thinking has saturated our society but it isn’t fair nor is it true.

Men need women, yes, but women need men too. God created us to need each other, to complete each other. God made men to be the picture of strength, courage, logic, and headship. God created women to be the picture of gentleness, relationship, nurture, and emotion. It’s not that men can’t experience or possess gentleness or that women can’t experience or possess strength but we experience and possess differently. And we need that difference to function as God wants us to.

Wives are their husband’s helpmeet in the way that they use their womanly characteristics and skills to help their husbands live, work, and enjoy life. That is an awesome role. Wives, you have what it takes to support your husband, to help him make decisions, to help him enjoy a quality of life only you can give him. God made Adam a helper fit for him. That helper that is fit for your husband, that helper that is suitable and right, is you. Your husband cannot lead as he should without your help; not because he is inferior but because he is incomplete without you. It is not good for him to be alone so God gave him you. Don’t dishonor that by trying to take on a position or an authority that is not meant for you.

Wives, you have a special and important role and it is one that only you can fill. You and your husband are one. Live as one, work together as one, and fulfill your role of being helpmeet, God’s image of femininity.

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6 thoughts on “Woman: The Helpmeet

  1. Beautifully written! I really appreciate your words on this subject, I’ll have to remember some of the language you’ve used because I tend to miscommunicate on this topic a lot :-/. I hadn’t thought of Adam failing to protect his wife… Though I have often speculated where he was instead of at her side. Or auberge he was an just let her do her thing? I look forward to reading more!!

  2. Sara, thank you! Most of the translations of the Bible say that Adam was with Eve so I take that to mean that he was by her side or at the very least that he was near by and aware of what was going on. I believe that he failed to protect Eve from the serpent and then failed to tell her no when she offered the fruit to him. He failed to fulfill his role and isn’t that a big problem today as well? Husbands fail to fulfill their role and it causes problems! Just like when us wives fail to fulfill our roles. God’s design is best and when we go outside of that design things don’t work!

  3. The Bible clearly states that “Adam was not the one deceived (1 Ti 2:14). Eve was deceived, but Adam was not. He willfully sinned.
    God did not curse Adam and Eve. God cursed the serpent (Ge 3:14). God cursed the ground ( Ge 3:17). However, God never cursed Adam and Eve. In Ge 3:16, God spoke to Eve about the consequences of her sin. As we all know and learn in life, sin has consequences.

    I really enjoyed your post and wisdom. Thanks

    • Kim,
      You are right about 1 Timothy 2:14. When I said “deceived” I meant that he fell into sin. I’m sorry I was unclear. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

      I kindly disagree, however, with your statement that God did not curse Adam and Eve. A curse is a punishment so in that way God did curse them. As you said, He gave them consequences. I just used the word “curse” because of the context of Genesis 3.

      Thank you for reading!

      • Please read the verses carefully. I didn’t list them in my original comment for the sake of brevity.

        So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “CURSED ARE YOU above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust
        all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
        and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,
        and you will strike his heel.” GE 3:14-15

        To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
        with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband,
        and he will rule over you” (Ge 3:16). Notice God never uses the word cursed when talking to Eve.

        To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ (Ge 3:17). Notice that God never says that Adam is cursed. God did however curse the ground, but not Adam.

        “CURSED IS THE GROUND because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it
        all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;
        for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Ge 3:17-19).

        Why is this important?
        According to the King James Dictionary, curse means to utter a wish of evil against one to imprecate evil upon to call for mischief or injury to fall upon to execrate.
        (2) To injure to subject to evil to vex, harass or torment with great calamities.
        (3) To devote to evil
        Long story short, most the definitions of curse have to do with evil. God loves his children and doesn’t wish or bring evil upon them. However, people can choose evil because of free will.

        For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, AND NOT OF EVIL, to give you an expected end (JE 29:11). God doesn’t bring or wish evil upon human beings. We do that to ourselves and others through sinful activity.

        If you know of an example in scripture where God curses or does evil to someone please let me know. Thanks for your time and consideration.

  4. Kim,
    I did read the verses thoroughly and carefully and I still stand by what I said in my last comment. I’m afraid we are getting very off topic from my original post and I don’t think this would be a very beneficial discussion at this time. Should I ever write a post specific to the topics you have brought up then please be a part of the discussion then! Thanks for your thoughts!

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