Home ยป Did God Make Man A Woman Servant Suitable for Him? (Genesis 2:18)

Did God Make Man A Woman Servant Suitable for Him? (Genesis 2:18)

by Dr. Eitan Bar
3 minutes read

The perspective one adopts when approaching the Bible has a profound impact on the understanding and interpretation of the text. A prime example of this can be found in Genesis 2:18:

The LORD God said, โ€œIt is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

This verse offers two distinct interpretations. The more traditional perspective suggests that:

The woman was created to serve man…The scriptures state that God created woman to serve man.[i]

However, an alternative interpretation is worth considering. Notably, God refers to the woman as a “helper” instead of a “servant.” This distinction prompts an important question: which party typically requires help, the weaker or the stronger? It is natural for the weaker party to seek assistance. And who should the weaker party look to for help? Not someone even less capable, but rather someone with greater strength or ability. This highlights the significance of the term “helper.”

It is essential to recognize that physical strength should not be viewed as the sole determining factor in this context. While men may generally possess greater physical strength than women, women can excel in other areas, creating a balanced and complementary dynamic. This is particularly evident in many marriages, where men often seek guidance from their wives when facing challenges.

Psalm 70:5 states,

But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.

The word “help” in this verse is “EZER” in Hebrew, which is the same as in Genesis. Clearly, God helping Israel does not imply that God is subordinate or inferior to human beings.

This complementary aspect of the male-female dynamic is further emphasized when examining various cultures and historical contexts. Throughout history, societies have assigned different roles to men and women based on their strengths and weaknesses. In some cultures, women have held positions of power, while in others, they have taken on more supportive roles. Despite these variations, the underlying principle of complementarity between the sexes remains constant.

The role of a servant is to follow orders, while a helper’s role is to provide what is lacking. Help is sought when one lacks the necessary skills or knowledge to complete a task independently, which is why we rely on experts such as mechanics, lawyers, and physicians. This concept of a helper extends beyond the realm of professional expertise, as it also applies to emotional, mental, and spiritual support. In the context of marriage, this type of support is invaluable, as it allows both partners to grow and flourish in their respective roles.

Furthermore, biblical submission addresses structure and order rather than wisdom, value, or worth. While it is true that most groups and structures have a single leader, Jesus demonstrated that true leadership entails serving one’s followers (John 13). This notion of servant leadership is crucial to understanding the dynamics within a marriage or any relationship. A leader who serves their followers, whether they are a husband, a wife, or any other type of leader, is more likely to inspire loyalty, respect, and trust from those they lead.

In addition to servant leadership, mutual submission is a vital component of a healthy relationship. Ephesians 5:21 states, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This verse emphasizes the importance of reciprocity and mutual respect in relationships. It is not just about one partner submitting to the other, but both partners submitting to each other out of love and respect. This establishes a model for relationships that is based on equality, respect, and partnership without demolishing the need for a leader. In this context, the role of a helper becomes even more significant, as it highlights the importance of collaboration and cooperation between partners who help and serve one another out of mutual love and respect.

This article is based on my new book, โ€˜Spiritual Nuggets: 30 Grace-Filled Devotions for Christians Who Are Weary, Judged, Hurting, and in Pain,โ€™ available on this Amazon page.

[i] Ivory Simion, “The War Between Men and Women”, Xlibris, 2009. Pg 20.

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Dr. Eitan Bar
Author, Theologian, Activist