Genesis 2:18 says “and the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (KJV) Other versions of this verse use the word helpmate. The Hebrew word for meet is ezer which means – to surround, i.e. protect or aid – help, succor.
God created Eve to keep Adam company, to help him, and to procreate with him. They walked side by side in the Garden of Eden, on equal ground, sharing everything. Neither was better than the other. And then the serpent came to destroy the peace that God intended between man and woman.
The sins of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit had a profound influence on the roles that would be deeply ingrained in men and women.
After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve hid from God in the trees. They were afraid because they were naked. This is the first time fear comes into the world. Fear is putting your faith in the devil and that is exactly what Adam and Eve had done by eating the fruit. They listened to Satan instead of the word of God. How many times do we not listen to God and only wind up in a much more complicated situation?
When God asks Adam and Eve if they ate from the tree that He commanded them not to eat from, Adam replies in verse 12 “The women you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Eve responds in verse 13 with, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (NIV)
Immediately, we see their unwillingness to take responsibility. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. This is the beginning of a great difficulty that continues to tarnish relationships in mankind. Very few people choose to take responsibility for their actions.
We want to blame everyone else for our problems. Blaming others is like unforgiveness. We tend to hold on to it which hinders our ability to move on into healing. We have to take responsibility and face our actions and words that had a part in any conflict, in order to share the harmonious relationships God desires for us.
It’s difficult to admit you’ve done something wrong. We all want to appear “perfect” to others. Making mistakes that others see is painful, and so we quickly want to point our finger at someone else. It eases the pain to think it wasn’t our fault and to have others believe it. We want everyone’s approval.
Adam and Eve felt the same way. They were terribly embarrassed when God saw them naked. He knew they had done wrong, and they passed the blame so they wouldn’t feel so bad. We need to look at our mistakes, own up to them, and learn from them. That’s how we grow in our relationship with God and in our relationship with our spouse.
Stay tuned as I look at God’s judgment on Adam and Eve and how it shaped our roles.