"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul…. 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; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Genesis 2: 7, 21-24 (King James Version)
"The fulfillment of marriage is that joy in which each lover's true being is flowering because its growth is being welcomed and unconsciously encouraged by the other in the infinite series of daily decisions which is their life together."
What do I think it means to "cleave" together?
How does the idea of "cleaving" to one another affect my marriage as well as my relationship with God?
If I do not have a husband, how can I "cleave" to God to find solace in my alone times?
"Be the mate God designed you to be."
-Anthony T. Evans
There are times in Scripture when I wish the writers would have given a few more details. My husband Jim laughs when I say this because he knows that the two of us are as different as night and day when it comes to story telling. I want every detail down to the color of her shoes. Jim may not even recognize that "it" was a "her" and the "she" had "shoes" on "her" feet!
Our story today from the Eden home of the first couple on earth is one story where a few more details would have been beneficial. But since there aren't too many details given, I'm going to take a stab in the dark and you are welcome to disagree and share your own opinion. Genesis 2 begins with God finishing the work of creation and resting on Day 7. In verses 4 & 5 we find a review of what God had done through His creative power. Then in verse 7, we are told that God created man from the earth and "planted" him in his own garden home, called Eden. In verse 18, we find an interesting situation taking place. The Bible says that the "Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet" (Genesis 2: 18).
I want to look at these two words recorded in Genesis, "help meet." Interestingly, both these words come from the very same Hebrew root of a word which means to "aid." Now dictionaries sometimes define "helpmeet" as one word meaning helper. But if we read Genesis in context, our loving Heavenly Father, after creating a spectacular world and then giving life to man and planting him in a gorgeous garden home, said, "Something's missing! Man is alone – and it isn't a good thing for him to be alone. I'm going to give him a gift that will 'aid,' him. Yes – "aid" – is the meaning of help meet. Maybe because of the fact that I spent 6 years as a nurse, I think of "first aid" when I hear the word "aid." While aid often comes in the form of assistance or help for a person in need, in Genesis God says the aid His daughters are to give mankind, is solace from loneliness. This isn't me saying man was missing something – these are God's words. Furthermore, God Himself said He didn't want man to be alone so, and I love this, God created woman from man's side. A rib no less. Not the head so we could crow about rulership. Not the feet so we as women could be trampled on. But from the side – an encouragement from our Father and Creator that we walk together – helping and assisting and aiding each other to find completeness and wholeness.
There's one other detail in this Eden story that I don't want to overlook. In Genesis 2:22, the Bible records that after Eve was created, God "brought her unto the man (Adam)." Girls, we are God's gift and don't you forget it. God brought (or as the Hebrew says, 'carried') Eve to Adam. Wouldn't you have just loved to have been in Eden at the moment God brought His first daughter to Adam and said, "Adam, I have a gift for you! Please take care of this treasure. She is part of you. She came from your rib. Love her like you would love yourself for she is here to aid you – a cure for that aloneness that has made you feel incomplete. She is your wholeness and you are hers."
This is what I believe God said at that first marriage. This was His plan at the beginning – it was His dream and hope.
Sadly, we as His girls have sometimes let Him down. Instead of waiting for Him to give us to His man, we sell ourselves short and give ourselves away too cheaply. Instead of realizing that wholeness was God's intent for our relationships, we allow others to chip away at our self-worth until finally there's nothing left for us to give. We can't "aid" someone the way God planned if we need all the "first aid" ourselves.
As God's daughters, the heirs of Eve created in a perfect garden home, let us embrace all that God had in mind for us. May we recognize that we are God's gift – a gift that was given to bring wholeness between men and women. A gift that was God's cure for man's aloneness.
"Gracious God, always faithful in Your love for us,
We rejoice in Your presence.
You created love and out of loneliness
You unite us in Your wholeness.
You offer us Your word and
You lead us in Your light.
You open Your loving arms and
embrace us with Your strength.
Our Creator, the Giver of all blessed gifts.
Bless all creation through Your
spirit sustain our hearts and fill
us with Your love which knows no end."
-Book of Worship (Adapted)
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus