18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam 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.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
It was God’s design that man as male and female image Him, be a representation of His own glory and splendor. But this design of God wasn’t something offensive, something that the man and the woman themselves recoiled against. Rather it was something that the man himself discovered in the course of creation and that the woman was divinely crafted to fulfill.
For the story tells us that God first made judgment that the creation of the solitary male was not good. Following God’s repeated pronouncement that each part of the creation was “good”, the declaration that the solitary male was “not good” should awaken us from our literary slumber. There was something in the creation that was not good – and this was a world filled with males only.
But note God’s wisdom. God wants the man to sense this, wants him to realize existentially his own lack of a helper suitable to him. And so God parades the animals before him pair by pair and Adam realizes, comes to sense himself, something is just not right here. Where is my helper? Only then, only when the man realizes that it is not good for him to be alone, does God put the man to sleep and craft for him the perfect compliment – a woman, Eve.
The creation account here in Genesis reminds us that God created men and women to live together in harmony. Men are not supposed to be women nor are women supposed to be men. Men and women are not interchangeable – no matter how hard our culture may try to make them so. God has created us different – and this difference both in marriage and in broader society is a gift from Him, a gift to teach us more about himself.
And so, women, have you given thanks that God created the men in this world to be men; have you given thanks that God created your fathers to be men, your husbands to be men, your brothers to be men, your sons to be men. Have you not simply taken mental note of the fact but actually thanked God for it; thanked God that He had the wisdom to put male and female into the world that we might learn to love and respect and honor Him more fully?
Men, have you given thanks that God created the women in this world to be women; have you given thanks that God created your mothers to be women, your wives to be women, your sisters to be women, your daughters to be women. Have you not simply taken mental notes of the fact but actually thanked God for it; thanked God that He had the wisdom to put male and female into the world that we might learn to love and respect and honor Him more fully?
These are the challenges that God’s creation of Adam and Eve place before us. Reminded that we often grumble about our differences as male and female rather than thanking God for them, let us confess our sins together.