The LORD God created a loving human partnership

Posted Mar 21, 2017

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Daily Scripture

Genesis 2:15-25

15 The LORD God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. 16 The LORD God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; 17 but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!” 18 Then the LORD God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. 20 The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. But a helper perfect for him was nowhere to be found.

21 So the LORD God put the human into a deep and heavy sleep, and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh over it. 22 With the rib taken from the human, the LORD God fashioned a woman and brought her to the human being. 23 The human said,

“This one finally is bone from my bones
        and flesh from my flesh.
She will be called a woman
        because from a man she was taken.”

24 This is the reason that a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they weren’t embarrassed.

Reflection Questions

Ancient Near Eastern cultures, including the Hebrews’, valued men more than women in many legal and practical ways. Even so, in the Hebrew creation stories, God made male AND female in God’s image, and the woman was man’s helper and partner, not his servant. Genesis described human innocence with the phrase “They were both naked, and they felt no shame.” God intended male and female to become “one flesh,” said Genesis, in delight and bonding free of shame.

  • In 1706, preacher Matthew Henry wrote that Eve was “not made out of [Adam’s] head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” Have you known couples who live out this quality of mutual companionship with each other? How can partners combine their unique strengths in a bond of mutual respect and love?
  • Reflect on yourself as a citizen and a child of God. In what ways have you lived into God’s first command to “take care” of the garden God created? In what ways have your country and your culture cared well for creation? Can you think of areas in which you want to alter your life to take better care of God’s creation—including yourself?

Prayer

Lord God, as I read these stories of a harmonious, innocent creation, I feel an inner homesickness. I want to live that way again. Thank you for promising that, by your grace, one day I can do that. Amen.

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Courtney Felzke

Courtney Felzke

Courtney Felzke is Chaplain of Silver Link, providing Pastoral Care to many within the Silver Link Ministry as well as doing work behind the scenes in the ministry. She coordinates care for those served by the ministry and recruits and trains new volunteers.

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.’”

Today I want to focus on verse 18, about the importance of companionship for humans. I found Pastor Adam’s explanation from his sermon most helpful as we think about what "helper" meant in verse 18. Adam taught us that the word "helper" comes from the Greek word edzer, which means one who is strong and rescues the weak. This definition immediately led me to think of many of the couples I’ve had the privilege of getting to know and minister to.

I’ve been blessed to work with seniors in various capacities over the last 7 years. Before coming to Resurrection I worked in a Senior Living Community, doing activities and marketing with the community. I came to the church almost 5 years ago, and have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Silver Link ministry, Resurrection’s ministry dedicated to bringing church to those who are no longer able to come to the physical church building. I’ve gotten to know many wonderful couples over the years, many who have been married 50-plus years. Truly an inspiration to us all!

The couples who came to my mind when I first heard the word edzer are the couples where one person is diagnosed with dementia. In these situations, I’ve seen the spouse who doesn't have dementia continue to extend remarkable care and love for the person with dementia. I’ve seen countless times where the person who has dementia moves into a locked memory care community. The other spouse continues to visit their loved one frequently, sometimes daily, making sure that their loved one has the best care possible. This spouse makes sure their loved one is still groomed, fed, and dressed appropriately. I’ve seen spouses who bring in music players and dance with their loved ones, sing with their loved ones, or simply spend time holding hands and enjoying the music side by side. I hear from spouses who often read Scripture and pray with their loved ones, for they know how important God remains in the life of their spouse. The love that remains between the couples, even the spouse with dementia, is amazing. I’ve even seen where the person with dementia can’t speak any longer and doesn’t seem to recognize anyone (although we can’t know for sure), but their spouse still remains at their side. We know that the need for companionship and love never ends.

As I’ve spoken to these spouses who care for their loved one with dementia, I’ve talked about what amazing love they continue to extend to their spouse even when the disease is at its worst. They tell me it’s simply what you do in marriage, that they have taken turns over the years being each other’s helpers, each others rock, each others all. This is what God intended when God saw the need for humans to not be alone. God saw the need for us to find persons to walk with through life hand in hand. I think no one better fulfills this image and this call from God than these amazing couples who never leave the other's side.

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