It was a normal Saturday morning: I was making the coffee and boiling the eggs for breakfast. The kitten was wining about not having any milk to drink and I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes enough to be forgetful of her. Steam screamed from the orange bauble-kettle and I turned off the burner to scoop Folgers into the French press, sprinkling the pile of dark grounds with a dash of orangy-brown cinnamon and pouring the steaming water up to the brim. After pealing the eggs and dousing them in black pepper, I sat down, opened up my Bible, and began to read. Not soon after taking my first bite of yolk-soaked toast, I was hit with this mind-shattering verse:
“For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11:8-9
Now ladies, how do we feel about this?
As a newlywed, I have been learning quite a lot about my role as a wife, and let me tell you, it has not been an easy route; nor, I imagine, will it continue to be for quite some time. And perhaps it might have been a bit harder at first because of this fact: Men were not created for women. They were not created to serve them, respect them, love them, provide for them, or make them feel beautiful. They just weren’t. If they were, Adam would have been the second human, created to serve his wife Eve.
Instead, Eve was created for her man. She was to be his “help meet”. Meaning, she was a gift to Adam because she was completely designed to give him his every need. She was made from him and for him to be a helper, an encourager, a lover, and a team mate.
You all know the way it went, right? Eve was actually created from Adam’s rib. She actually was made from him. She is that much a part of him, and now, even though a wife is not cut from her husband’s side, she is still to come along side him (very much like a rib), and help him in the calling God has on his life.
Now, at first I thought that this meant women were below men, unequal and inferior to men. And to be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time swallowing this. Who of us ladies wouldn’t?
But this is not the case.
We were designed to be our husband’s help meet. So, we were created by God with a special man in mind for us. And when God created that man, he had us in mind as that man’s special helper. We were created, not to serve all men, but to serve and help and love and reverence one man: our husband.
Some of you may think: “Well Claire, this still seems like women get the short end of the stick!”
But it’s not true. We have the privilege of serving our husbands because, just like the Holy Spirit serves the Father and the Son and yet is still part of who God is, so we are in our marriages.
We are one with our husband. “The two shall become one flesh”— and so we are a part of him in a sense. Our natural design already is to nurture, encourage, love, defer to, and reverence. And when we do all of those very natural things for our counter part, our other half, our partner heir in the Kingdom, we make our husbands cherish us, love us, and value us as part of himself (his rib- if you will).
When we truly understand this scripture, we might read it as this: “For the Father is of the Son, but Christ is of God. Neither is the Father created for the Holy Spirit, but rather, the Holy Spirit was created for God.”
The only way, wives, we will ever see the beauty of the way God truly designed marriage to be, is if we start thinking of it as a reflection of God.
…However, I imagine some of you were like me that morning, utterly astounded and pretty much hacking up your breakfast when you read this kind of language. So….what does it mean to you?
How have you ladies seen this verse to be true in your lives? How has God been reflected in your marriage?