Sunday, January 2, 2011

Genesis 2 - Close Up on the Creation of Man and Woman

LINK: Genesis 2

BACKGROUND


This an amplification of what already went on in Genesis 1 when God created the heavens and the earth and its inhabitants. Notice that in Genesis 1:26-27 that He created man and woman “in His image.” He did not do that with any other creature on earth; just us. So, a whole other chapter is devoted to the amplification of those people that He made!

REFLECTION (written January 2008)

If you are new to the Bible Book Club, you need to know that I am a pretty transparent person. The reflection below may not be very spiritual, but it is honest (and embarrassing)!

Key Verse for me: “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

I find it funny that as I am writing a reflection on the key verse above, my dear George would call saying, “Do you want something from Coffee Culture?” Sometimes I find that he is the servant in our relationship much more than the other way around. In the interest of full disclosure, I should also add that he is not only out buying me a fancy warm beverage in cold temperatures, but he is doing the library book deliveries to shut-ins with the kids (my job) and stopped by the store to pick up Advent candles that were 60% off due to after-Christmas sales. He braved those cold temperature all while I continue to sit with this year’s Advent candles burning down, reading and writing, still in my PJ’s and bathrobe at 1:50 p.m.

Does anyone else see the irony in this?

Oh, it is even worse than that. Let me back up to the wee hours of this morning after my meditation on Genesis 2:

George was still sleeping peacefully in bed. So, I asked myself: “What can I do to be a better helpmate to George? I know, I will bring him coffee in bed. Maybe I will make this a regular habit? That will be a good application of this passage!”

My dear husband loves a morning cup of Jo. I spied the new Gevalia coffeemaker in the corner of the kitchen and sprang into action! I am NOT a coffee drinker. I am ashamed to tell you when the last time I even MADE coffee for my husband. Even when I have my coffee-addicted friends for Bible Study, George sets it all up before he goes to work so I just have to press a button.

Some helpmate, eh? (this is getting embarrassing)

The morning took a comical turn because I felt insecure about my coffee measurement in the maker. Instead of slipping in silently to wake George up by the tantalizing smell of coffee wafting through the cold morning air, I burst into the bedroom in a panic. “George, I can’t figure out how much I am supposed to add. Do you like weak, medium, or strong coffee? Betty Crocker says ¾ tablespoon for every cup of medium strength, but I just don’t feel like that is right. What do you think? Am I supposed to measure the coffee before I grind the whole beans or afterward?”

With a smile, he gave me some helpful advice and drifted off back to sleep.

Then it was not dripping. So, I had to go back in there again. “George, it is not working!” He staggered out of bed (with a smile) and showed me the error of my ways: I had put the water in the wrong opening and pushed the wrong button. . .

At that point I was feeling like George got the wrong helpmate. I ask, “Why did you marry me, George?”

He smiles and simply says, “Because I love you. It is so sweet of you to think of me. Thank you for the coffee.”

Sigh and swoon. I have a gem, but what a disaster of a Bible application.

Now, he is home and talking to me about how he decided to order a cappuccino instead of a latte at Coffee Culture, and “Carol, what is the difference anyway?” I happily look up and find the answer for him on the Internet, and he is pleased.

Now, he is excitedly chattering about going steelhead fishing tomorrow because the river levels are down. I enter into his joy of anticipation over a day on the river.

All of a sudden it hits me: God has given me this specific man, and his specific “helpmate” needs may not include things like fresh coffee in bed. Maybe it includes looking up information about the difference between a cappuccino and a latte (I’m GOOD at that!) or entering into the excitement of his fishing excursion tomorrow. I think it also includes making him laugh. He read this post and loved it. :)

In the midst of this, he gets serious and says, “Carol, the point is that I don’t NEED someone to make my coffee in the morning or even to cook, for that matter. I do need help in other areas.”

I ask, “What are those other areas?"

I receive no answer because our serious conversation is interrupted by a flock of bush tits congregating at the suet feeder. George is excited and he runs to get the camera, and I run over to watch as he snaps away.

It hits me more: Part of my role as George’s helpmate is to enter into his world and celebrate it with him. He loves that. He is a bird-watcher, fisherman, and cook. These are all things that I did not particularly enjoy when we were first married, but I have learned to enjoy them because he does not want to be ALONE! He loves it when I join him in these pursuits.

Back to my question about the areas where I do help in addition to this, he says, “It is managing the house, the logistics of our lives, and the finances because they are just not my thing” (He is a mathematician/statistician, but he can’t balance a checkbook to save his soul!).

So, maybe I am not as pathetic as I think I am?

It dawned on me that the whole POINT is that “it is better that my man (George) not be alone.” It is more about the two of us being together as a team, and our team is going to look different from another couple’s team because we have different personalities, gifts, talents, and abilities. My organized managing abilities compliment his more “free-flowing” creative nature. It is also more about me entering into his joys (and sorrows) too. It is about working as one in a team partnership.

In many marriages, being a helpmate does involve the woman cooking and making coffee. At my mom’s memorial service, I shared that the legacy she left for me is the model of a “helpmate” and “partner" for my dad. My mom got up every morning of their twenty-nine years of marriage to make my dad breakfast (she was aghast when she discovered that I did not do the same)! For mom, it meant that she was the woman behind a “larger than life, life of the party” man, but she REVELED in that role. Being a “helpmate” doesn't look like that in my marriage, but I still learned by her example. It is all about being a helpmate suitable for my husband and not someone else's!

APPLICATION

For the married woman:

When I have led a study called Marriage without Regrets, I have encourage women to sit down with their husbands and find out what being a “helpmate” means in their particular marriage.

Surprisingly I had one woman who was with the Bible Book Club tell me that to sit down and do this was just not possible with her husband. She did not see that as dysfunctional. It made me sad. 

For the unmarried woman:

I was single until I was 31. So, I remember reading this passage and rejoicing that God made me “in His image” and that He did give me, as a woman, a need to nurture and help others. How are you helping others to be all that they can be?

For the married man:

Rejoice like Adam did over the wonderful woman that God has placed in your life and think of the myriad ways that she blesses and helps you to be all that you can be. Let her know that you appreciate her! Praise God for her.

For the unmarried man: 

Treat the women around you with respect and honor. 

Here is an excellent inductive study on this subject too:

Marriage without Regrets: Learning How to Become One 

PRAYER

Lord, make me the kind of helpmate You have designed for me. Teach me to be a wing so that others are blessed by my presence and not a weight because I bring them down. Show me we can all grow to be conformed to your image as we were all created to be!
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