The following is an excerpt from Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. I have invited him to write some guest posts on Genesis 2:18 when God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a him a helper comparable to him.”
For six straight days, God created dry land, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and animals. At the end of each day, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But for the first time in the Creation account, in Genesis 2:18, God saw something that was not good—man’s being alone.
God’s statement is even more interesting when we consider that Adam and Eve had not yet disobeyed. We do not typically think of anything being “not good” until after the Fall. Since Adam had not sinned yet, it was not Adam himself who was not good. Neither was it anything he had or had not done that was not good. It was simply Adam’s being alone that was not good. Let’s understand why it was not—and still is not—good for man to be alone.
Why Man Needs Needs a Helper…
- If man is alone, he does not have the help he needs. Leading and providing for a family is a lot of work. There is a huge load on men’s shoulders, and a wife can help lighten that load. This is why the Apostle Paul states, “Man was not created for woman, but woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:9). A lot of discouragement can come a man’s way, and if he does not receive encouragement from his wife, where will he get it? Yes, there are other resources such as Scripture and relying on the Lord, but if that was all God wanted men to have, He would not have said, “I will make him a helper.”
- Children are one of God’s greatest blessings. If man is alone, he cannot fulfill the second command God gave: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).
- God has given men and women healthy desires that He wants satisfied within marriage (Hebrews 13:4). Some of these desires go beyond physical intimacy. God creates people as relational beings with emotional, mental, and social longings that are best satisfied in marriage. People can have great friends, but they should not take the place of a spouse. God wants people to have a companion through life, and part of the reason He created marriage is to see that fulfilled.
- If man is alone, he does not have the benefit of a woman’s influence. While it is not always the case, it is common for married men to become gentler and more sensitive. After Katie and I were married, my parents frequently told me how much she influenced me for the better.
- If man is alone, he will not experience the sanctification of marriage itself. God accomplishes much of the work He wants to do in our lives through marriage. After Scripture and the Holy Spirit, marriage is the greatest way God teaches us forgiveness, sacrifice, patience, dying to self, and the list goes on. When people remain single they can often develop a greater selfishness as they are able to live only for themselves. Once married they should be living for their spouse, and this is wonderfully sanctifying.
A nice companion verse to Genesis 2:18 is Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” When a man receives a wife, he should see her this way; he should understand he is not receiving something neutral or amoral. To illustrate how much of a good thing a wife is, consider God’s observation when He finished creating the heavens and the earth: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis1:31).
This is the end of the sixth day, but earlier in the day, in Genesis 2:18, God observed, “This is not good.” What had changed to go from “not good” to “good”? God had created a woman. That is how good women are. That is how much of a good thing a wife is. The addition of a woman can transform something “not good” into “very good.”
When a husband thinks about his wife, he should see her as someone who takes him from “not good” to “very good.” And when a wife thinks about her husband, she should think about helping him move from “not good” to “very good.” She should be treating her husband in such a way that he can see her as “a good thing” and as “favor from the Lord.” She should be giving him the help he needs and, most importantly, the help God wants him to have.
Next post we will discuss why women shouldn’t be frustrated – or worse offended – by the word “helper”, but why they should instead be encouraged by the title!