And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself… And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.
Genesis 2:18, 20
Genesis 2:18, 20
Since the beginning, God has willed that man will not live alone. He needs someone to help him. While the animals do help him, man always longs for someone who will be a helper like himself, meaning human. This was the reason God created woman. The role of the woman in marriage then is to be the helper of man, just as the man is to be a helper for the woman.
The Psalms especially, speaks of God as a helper. This does not mean that God is there at our whim.
The Scriptural meaning of help is someone who is ready to come to assistance, not because someone ordered him, but because he is able and willing to come.
God is our helper, because only he can save. Helping in fact implies strength, because it implies help from enemies, protection in battle. Taken from this context, the woman is to protect the man from harming himself, herself and their children.
Since the woman is a help like the man, the man is to also protect her. If we read Ephesians 5:25, after telling wives to submit to the husband, St Paul could not have been clearer to the man: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church. And delivered himself up for it: that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life. Many read the part of women submitting to husbands, forgetting that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved his church. How did Christ loved the church? He delivered himself up for it to make it holy, cleansing her with water in the word of life.
This is the role of men that is neglected in today’s world. Men, we need to stand up and step up, to love our wives, ready to give ourselves for them, ready to die for our wives. Our goals is not to enjoy ourselves or let them serve us. But our goal is to die to ourselves so we can make our wives holy. Jesus tells us how: by the laver of water in the word of life. Men, we are called to be priests in our families. As priests, we pray for our family. But more importantly, as St Paul said cleanse our wives with the water in the word of life. We are to teach them the Gospel. We are to speak the Word of God to our families. But how can we do this, if we are not immersed in the Word of God.
There are many today who are removing masculinity from the culture. We have effeminate and weak men, who cater only to their own desires and are not willing to stand against evil. Society has lost the idea of a strong manhood, preferring to put men in a box and tame them. St Teresa of Avila realizes the need for strength, that she even told her sister to be manly, meaning, to be strong.
Men, do we want our families to know Jesus? If we do, we must take up our Cross and step up. Be the man God wants us to be. Women, do you want your man to love you and protect you? Help him to be one. Encourage him, love him, honor him.
There is no room for abuse here. If one is in an abusive relationship, you need help. Get it. Because this is also how you can help your spouse to grow in holiness.
Lord God, help me to be the man you want me to be. Help me to give my life for my family, for the glory of your name.