"AN HELP MEET FOR HIM"
There is an interesting phrase in the Bible that many people misquote or misunderstand. It is found two times in Genesis chapter 2, exclusively.
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto 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 shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
The interesting phrase in the passage above, "an help meet for him", is found in verses 18 and 20. When we study this phrase, we can gain a more clear understanding of what the Lord wants a wife to be. The Lord has given us many passages in His Word about marriage, and that teach women specifically about their role. This is one of those passages.
We see in the above passage that Eve was created to be "an help meet" for her husband.
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Notice that the two words are separated in the scriptures. God has a reason for this. Many misquote this passage by implying that the two words are together, thus "helpmeet", and miss much of the blessing of studying the two words separately.
When we study the word "meet" in the scriptures, we find the meaning God intended for it.
1. Opposites attract.
God created it to be that way for a reason.
In Strong's definitions, we find the meaning of "meet" to be, "a part opposite; specifically a counterpart". This shows that God intended for opposites to be attracted to one another, that Eve was given to Adam to be his opposite, or "counterpart". Opposites complete one another. Just as a half circle needs it's counterpart or opposite to be complete, God intended for opposites to complete one another in marriage. Thus He made it so that they attract one another. A completion of one's self is an attraction that draws people together.
If partners will not fight their opposites, but will embrace their opposite-ness, and work together as a whole, they will live to experience the completeness that God intended for every married couple to have.
One can look around and see many examples of this. Many times a non-verbal husband can be seen with a very talkative wife. Sometimes the opposite is true. The nontalkative person found the talkative one to be very attractive, because he (or she) was fun to be with by keeping the conversation lively, a skill which the non-verbal person lacks.
Many people bemoan the fact that they married someone so completely opposite to themselves, yet this opposite to themselves is very necessary. I do not like math and do as little as I can get by with. My husband is very proficient at it and has always balanced our checkbooks. You see, he completes me. It would be a sad thing if a person who does not like to balance checkbooks, and puts it off "forever", married someone just like himself. Imagine the mess they would end up in!
Another example: when Steve and I married, I was a very quiet person and probably too serious all of the time. He is usually quite social and together, we had a good balance for socializing and being hospitable. Not too much, but just enough. My husband has helped to cause me to learn to be more of an open and hospitable person. He completed me. This is scriptural.
When we dated, I was attracted to his fun loving nature and his forever-joking-personality. Those who know him, know what I am talking about. ~smile!~ He was probably attracted to me because I did not compete with him for center stage. And I laughed at his jokes! Later into our marriage, I found his personality to be very irritating. ~smile, again!~ When I wanted to talk seriously about something, he made jokes out of it and refused to get serious! My, oh my, aren't we opposites!
I believe I complemented Steve by being his opposite. He needed me to help him to "settle down". Someone had to be serious about the children's needs and to be careful in spending. I was usually the one who hardly ever spent anything in order to be able to live within our means. Steve now praises me for these very things that used to irritate him! The Lord has changed Steve a lot and he has learned to be more serious about life, about serving the Lord, and about our finances, as well as many other things.
Now, we embrace our oppositeness and appreciate each other for the good each of our personalities brings to our marriage.
2. Let the Bible explain itself.
Even though we looked at the Strong's definition of "meet", the best way and the more sure way of finding the meaning of a Bible word is to let the Bible explain itself. We should not put total trust in the meaning a dictionary gives to a word, but should compare it to what the Bible itself says about the word.
Thus, we should always look for the other verses in scripture that have the same word in them and compare the meanings. Because the word, "meet" in Gen. 2 is an adjective, describing the noun, "help", (God is going to give Adam an help for him, one who is meet to be that help), we must look for the verses that have "meet" in them in the adjective sense.
These are some of the ones I have found. We will look at the meaning of each as it seems to be in the verses:
26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God... Here we may assume the meaning to be "fitting".
...a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil? Here "fitting" is appropriate,or possibly, "perfectly suitable".
II Kings 10:3:
3 Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house. Here, "best, and meetest" seems to mean the "best suited" for the job.
... and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. Here we can assume the phrase means, "best or perfectly suited for her".
14 As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. Here the word means "fitting", or "right".
4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?
5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet for any work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned? Here we have two of the words in the same passage. They seem to mean "fit" or "right for the usage intended".
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: Everyone has probably heard this passage at some time or another. The word here could mean "fit" or "right".
In studying the meaning of the word "help", we must notice that "help" is in the noun form in the passage in Genesis. Eve was meant to be Adam's help. Note these verses about our God, with the same usage:
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
We see an "help" means, "an aid when needed, strength, or assistance". A wife is to be her husband's aid, being an assistance in whatever capacity he needs. She may also be his strength in some ways, strengthening him when needed.
3. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Putting this together, Eve was given as a perfectly fitted counterpart for her husband, in order to be the right help for him.
All of the above verses are very important to get a clearer meaning of what God intended for a wife to be.
We see then that the woman was given to the man to be this perfectly fitted (right) help to her husband.
When we see this truth, we are more willing to be of more help to our husbands, according to what their specific needs are.
Every man is certainly different ,and what is perfectly fitting for one husband may not be so for another. Our job is to be our own husband's "help" in whatever that is. We are the opposite of them in many ways, and so together, we two make a whole, or "one". Thus, we find another way in which we are "one flesh". We "fill up" what is lacking in our husbands, as they do us. We are both perfectly fitted together to make a more perfect "whole". God's design is always right and perfect and we should praise HIM for it!
We women, today, quite often rebel from our God-given role, and feel that we do not wish to be our husband's counterpart or opposite. We do not wish to be his help as God has designed it. Basically, our attitude is, I should not have to complete him. He should complete me! Today we hear the phrase, "It's all about me!" Well, this is what we are really saying when we have this attitude.
The Lord has said in I Corinthians11:
1 Cor. 11:8-9:
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
When we remember that God has his order and that the man was not created for the woman, but rather that she was created for him, we will see that the happiness and the harmony of our homes is in our hands. A good wife and a godly one, will gladly do whatever will make for harmony and whatever will make her husband happy. Even if this means being a servant to a husband in many aspects. Usually a saved husband will not take advantage of this kind of wife, but will be humbled by her. He will then love her more fully and thus learn to give of himself for her as God intended.
Sometimes a godly wife is married to an ungodly husband. Does this excuse her from her role? No, the scriptures prove otherwise.
In reading I Peter 2 and the first verse of I Peter 3, you will see that a wife is to take a servant's attitude, even to a "froward" husband. This would likely be an unkind one or overbearing one.
1 Peter 2:18-3:2:
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness...
Ch. 3 :
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Who is to say that maybe through serving an ungodly husband, a wife may win him to the Lord, as I Cor. 7 states? Or who is to say but that the Lord will greatly use such a wife to help others in the future, because of her faithfulness to the job He has called her to do? The Lord will reward our service for him!
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
We must count our blessings, and cheerfully serve our own husbands! Our reward will come from what kind of a wife we have been. May we all be the kind that the Lord can greatly use, the kind that He would have us to be!