Having moved from gardening to cross-gender relationships in one fell swoop with last week’s post, I thought I’d make a couple more points this week about Eve’s creation as the first woman.
As I mentioned last week, some view the creation of woman out of man as being a sexist slur. I’m going to share my perspective on how positively I see The Bible’s presentation of the birth of womankind. Much later in The Bible it states, ‘the woman is the glory of man’.
See, Adam was nothing without Eve. Just a lonely bloke with some animals in an orchard. Adam didn’t have any glory until Eve was created. But I don’t think this is a put down for Eve. She is described as ‘a helper suitable for him’.
Some may see the word ‘helper’ and think there is a negative connotation, but that’s a misinterpretation of The Bible. Being a helper doesn’t make you weak. Christians believe that God is our helper. The Holy Spirit is our helper.
There’s a lot of modern western baggage we’ve got to throw off the side of the cliff before we can understand The Bible’s concept of ‘helper’ correctly.
Eve’s not running alongside Adam kowtowing and pathetically uttering, ‘yes sir; no sir’. Her work complements his. When he can’t, she can. It’s not master and the apprentice. I think that’s a misunderstanding of patriachy.
They are a team.
It’s very easy to end up seeing only the polar opposites of complete subordination and complete autonomy when we think about the perspective given on womankind in The Bible. But I think if we starting bounding from pole to pole, we’re thinking too simplistically.
When it comes to the male and female relationship, it cannot be easily defined, not even in The Bible. Consider this:
“In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”
There’s a beautiful interdependence that we unfortunately, so easily and so often, get out of balance. We could sit around for days, years, trying to explain it and understand it (some of us do); but in the end we have to just sit back and see the wonder of God in what he has created.
A woman. A helper suitable for him.
But he’s not in a position of total autonomy and control. There’s an interdependence. But what exactly is that beautiful interdependence?
In the words of U2: “The mysterious distance between a man and a woman”.
Yours in the mystery,
Image Credit: Personal Collection