For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:8-9
Does this sound a little strange to you? Another translation reads, “… the man was not created because the woman needed him; the woman was created because the man needed her.” (TPT)
Man was created first. Then woman was created for man. No, that’s not a popular idea, but it’s right there in the Bible.
If we back up to the very beginning, we see that men have needed us from the start. Man was originally created with a need for relationship – and God’s answer was a woman.
In Genesis 2, The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
I like the way Pastor Mike Erre said it when he spoke at Mariners Church in Irvine, California:
…. God created mankind in His Own Image. In the Image of God he created them. Male and female he created them …. And instead of it being good, it’s very good …. The Bible begins with the fundamental, absolute, and unambiguous declaration of the equality between men women …. Both male and female are needed to reflect fully the image of God.
Adam, flying solo through the animal kingdom … God looks at him … the Lord God said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now in English, that sounds like, “Adam, you’re very important, so you need an executive assistant” … or “You need someone to kind of clean up your mess.” But the word helper … in Hebrew … it’s a very strong word. It’s actually used of God. God as a rescuer. So David will cry out to God, “O, God, You’re my help. You’re my strength.” That’s the same word, so you can translate this, “God looked at the man and saw that he needed a rescuer and provided woman.”
Wow. That is powerful. What an important role we have to play! However, Pastor Mike went on to say that – as part of the curse noted in Genesis 3 – the woman’s desire is to control, manage, and fix her husband. And that man will toil his life away. And they won’t get along with one another. I talk more about this in Chapter 5 of my book. I’ll put the link in the description below.
However, we can now give thanks to the Lord for the hope we have through our faith in Jesus Christ, who sets things right again. In Ephesians 5, we learn that man is to love his wife and be willing to die for her … as Christ died for the Church. So far, that sounds like the Best Good Deal for Womankind. But that’s not all there is to it. There’s that part about the wife’s submission, remember?
Clearly, we are created as partners. Essential partners in the work of the Kingdom of God. Through Christ, we are redeemed to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Man is the Leader, and woman is the Follower. He’s not a dictator, and she’s not a silent, meaningless subject. More about that later …
Fortunately, when we get things back in their proper, Heavenly perspective, man has what he needs to do his job, to live out his life doing what God designed him to do. And man was created to be especially adept at four things (five, if you count parallel parking): protecting, providing, problem-solving, and pleasing. Yes, they all begin with the letter “p.” That makes it easier to remember. How cool is that?
Man protects instinctively. He protects the people he loves … and sometimes even people he doesn’t love … and sometimes even people he loves – or doesn’t love – who happen to be angry at him at the time.
Remember that he’s more sensitive than a woman. Here’s where this characteristic comes beautifully into play. His radar is alert for danger, and instead of analyzing his emotions, he takes action … or gives you advice or tries to solve the problem. Which you often hate because you don’t understand his intent. You erroneously believe he’s trying to fix you just to shut you up.
Although that may be partially true (sorry for being so frank), it’s mostly that a man doesn’t like to see someone he loves suffering. He wants the pain to stop … and to stop now. So he gives you advice. He’s trying to protect you from further hurt. You can appreciate how really sweet that is of him … when you understand why he’s doing it.
However, his sensitivity can backfire in a heartbeat.
If he feels like he is being attacked, blamed, or criticized, he will go on the defensive … to protect himself rather than you.
And here is the really sad part: Most of the time, you have absolutely no clue that you might be saying or doing anything that could be even remotely related to attack, blame, or criticism.
This is where we need to understand the power of our language, and that words often hold very different meanings for a man than they do for a woman. So be sure to study carefully all of Part 6: Life at the Tower of Babel for help with communication.
Women have no less than a bazillion ways of telling men they don’t measure up … of taking away the power they have as men.
Here are just a few ways you might be communicating to him that you believe he is inadequate …
- You smirk or roll your eyes at him.
- You give him advice by saying something like:
- Have you ever thought about … ?
- Why don’t you … ?
- You should ….
- You talk about him to other people like he’s not there.
- You laugh at him … when he’s not trying to be funny.
- You blame him for whatever has just gone wrong, usually trying to make yourself look better.
- You correct or criticize him. This one is powerfully emasculating when you do it in front of other people.
One time, I was waltzing with a friend at a very festive ball, when the couple ahead of us tripped, and the woman crashed onto the floor. Her partner, who was obviously concerned, responded immediately to help her to her feet. Her response? She glared at him, shaming him by her facial expression as well as her words. I’m still not sure for whom I felt more empathy: her for falling … or him for being yelled at in front of a ballroom full of his peers.
A Quick Note about Repairing a Disconnection:
If he shuts you out when you’re talking, stop and ask him what he heard you say. If he’s honest with you, he’ll tell you that it felt like an attack, blame, or criticism. And if he tells you that, believe him. It does not mean that’s what you were trying to do. It just means that what you said got lost in translation, and you can try again … but use different words.
I’ll be back again in a few days with Number 2 and Number 3. But if you are eager to learn more now, you can get download my first book on Amazon. It’s also available in softcover. See you soon!
Learn the Truth About Love
Your love story matters. It matters because it belongs to you. It’s what you know and where you live.
Mostly, it matters to God.
What happened to you growing up matters because it’s how you learned about Life and Love and God.
Some of what you learned is true. Some isn’t. That’s what this book is about.