The Need For a Wife (Zacharias T. Fomum)
After God had made man and given him His work to do for Him, God soon found that man could not accomplish God’s work as he was. There was a need for a helper. Man was alone and needed a companion who would help him to do God’s work.
We insist that the need for a wife was a need for a partner who could help man to accomplish God’s work. It was of a lonely, labouring man that God said,
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2.18).
The helper had to be a compatible helper, not just any helper. She had to be fit to help do God’s work.
In God’s original purpose, marriage was the acquisition of a helper fit to help man to accomplish God’s work. Without God’s work, there would therefore be no reason for a helper.
God intends a wife to be a helper fit to help a man to do His work.
THE SEARCH FOR A HELPER FIT
God is not a dreamer or a theorizer. He saw that man needed a helper fit to help him to accomplish His purposes. He did not leave things there. He went out to put what He saw into action. He began to look for the helper fit for man. He could have added something to His relationship with man so that man would be able to accomplish His work without the need for a helper. However, He did not do so. He decided to look for someone else, apart from Himself, yet one in vital relationship with Himself to accomplish this need.
So serious was the task of finding a compatible partner that even God did not find it easy. There was a seeking process and an elimination process. The Bible says,
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’ ” (Genesis 2.18-23).
Neither the beast of the field, nor the birds of the air, nor the cattle of the field could become the helper fit for man because:
They were related to God only in a passive way as creatures and Creator.
They were not able to enter into the fullest fellowship with man.
They were only passively related to the work of God. They did not have it as an active goal to do the work of God for God’s glory.
Anyone who has not received God’s new nature given to man through “rebirth by the Spirit of God” will not relate to God as he should. He will also not relate to man as he should, nor will he commit himself without reservation to doing God’s work for God’s glory. He is in some ways like a beast of the field, a bird of the air or cattle of the field.
We have said that when God decided to make a helper fit for man, He did not find the process of choosing easy. There was a seeking process and an elimination process. The Lord did not impose His own choice on man; rather, He brought various possibilities to man and allowed man to be the final decider in the whole matter. For example, out of the ground, the Lord God formed every beast of the field and brought them to Adam to see how he could call them. He coolly gave them names and that was all. There was some relationship between man and these beasts of the field, but it was not enough. The next thing that the Lord did was to form every bird of the air and bring them to man. The reaction was the same. He gave them names but was not fully involved with them. Thirdly, the Lord formed all the cattle of the field and brought them to Adam, and he treated them just as he had treated the other creatures. So, at this point, God had brought the following groups of creatures to man to see if he would find his helper fit amongst them:
Every beast of the field.
Every bird of the air.
Every cattle of the field.
As we have seen, God did not dictate to man whom he was to choose. He presented the possibilities to man and left it to man to decide. God, thereby, gave man total freedom as to whom he could have as his helper.
It is interesting to know that although every beast, bird and cattle had been presented to man, and although man named each one of them and thus indicated that he could have some relationship with them and also find some use for them in the work to which God had called him, the Bible nevertheless says,“But for man there was not found a helper fit for him.” The Bible does not say, “But for man there was not found a helper for him.” The beast of the field, the birds of the air and the cattle of the field were helpers, but they were not helpers fit for man.
There had to be a helper, and the helper that man was looking for was a special helper, a helper fit to help him to accomplish God’s work. Man was looking for the best helper who would best help him to do God’s work in such a way that God would be most satisfied.
MAN’S STANDARD FOR A HELPER FIT
The fact that man did not just accept anything that was brought to him by the Lord God shows that he clearly understood the fact that God was not forcing things on him. It further shows the fact that he knew what he was looking for and, therefore, was prepared to wait until he found what he wanted. He was more or less saying that although he needed a helper, he would rather stay without a helper than have just any helper. He understood the full implications of having a helper. He knew that the helper he accepted would influence him in a most profound way, and that he could succeed or fail in his life’s goal, depending on who that helper was.
He, therefore, had his standard against which he weighed the entire creature that the Lord brought to him. The helper fit had to:
Be capable of entering into the fullest fellowship with God.
Be capable of entering into the fullest fellowship with himself.
Be capable of understanding in full measure the work that God had called him to do for Him.
Be prepared to commit all of herself to that work and, thereby, make it her life’s goal to help him to accomplish that work.
He was prepared to choose only the one who could be the best in each of these spheres. He was determined not to settle for mediocrity when God was prepared to give him the best.
He also ensured that he was what he should be. Therefore, in looking for a helper fit he, too, ensured that he would be to her a helper fit. Therefore man had to:
Labour to enter into the fullest fellowship with God and maintain it.
Be prepared to let all of himself go, so he could enter into the fullest fellowship with his partner.
Labour to understand in full measure the work that God had for him to do.
Commit himself without reservation to that work and make it his life’s goal to ensure that that work was done to the best satisfaction of God.
So marriage in God’s purpose required two helpers fit to help each other to accomplish the work of God. Marriage is the union of two helpers fit to accomplish God’s work.
Man was created fit. He possessed God’s life; he was in vital fellowship with God. He was totally committed to the Lord. He was given work by God and he understood what that work was. He was committed to that work. In addition, he had a capacity to give himself away completely and to build the partner into all that God wanted.
Being himself fit, the only problem now was the search for and the acquisition of a helper fit. The animals, birds, etc., could not be man’s helper fit. This is obvious because of the following reasons:
First of all, these creatures did not have God’s nature. They could, therefore, not enter into vital fellowship with God. They could not discern the needs of God and respond freely to these. Secondly, not having God’s nature that was in man, they could not enter into full fellowship with man. They could not share man’s ambitions and purposes. Thirdly, they could not understand God’s work and could not consciously commit themselves to it. Fourthly, they had no overriding purpose which man could help them to accomplish. These failures on the part of the animals and birds eliminated them from any possibility that any one of them could become a helper fit for the man.
GOD SECURES A HELPER FIT
God never gives up any of His purposes, regardless of how much time it takes and how difficult the task is. He will spare nothing in order to bring His ordained purpose to pass. With regard to the finding of a helper fit for man, He decided to carry out a surgical operation. He caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and, while he slept, He took out one of his ribs and made it into a woman.
The woman thus came out of the man. She, therefore, had all that the man had. She had:
A capacity for very deep fellowship with God.
A capacity for a very profound relationship with man.
Knowledge of God’s work and a willingness to do it God’s way and for God’s purpose.
She was a compatible partner. She was a helper fit.
MAN CHOOSES THE WOMAN
After God had made the woman, He brought her to Adam just as He had brought the other creatures. He did not woo Adam into accepting her. He did not suggest it to him. Immediately when Adam saw her he spoke out,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).
When Adam saw the woman, he immediately chose her to be his. There was no compulsion. He was free to give her a name and to treat her as he had treated all the other creatures that God had brought to him. Instead, he shouted for joy. He said, “This at last …” Yes, “at last!” The search had taken much time. She was not easy to come by, but at last she was found. He accepted her fully and with total joy. He made her his choice. Had he not made her his choice, God would have gone ahead to seek someone who would be accepted by him as his perfect choice. Adam brought the process of seeking for a helper fit for him to an end when he saw in the woman all that he wanted. She was his helper fit! God had made her. Man chose her for himself and the matter was settled.
With the choice made, man could then enter into the marriage relationship with his wife. In the purpose of God, marriage comes after the choosing has taken place. The Bible says,
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2.24).
The question arises: When can a man leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and the two become one flesh? The Bible’s answer is that a man may leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh when the man has satisfied the following conditions:
He has received God’s nature through the new birth.
He has committed himself to a vital relationship with God in
He has seen God’s work for him.
He is totally committed to that work.
He has the approval from God that he needs a helper fit for that Work.
He is committed to making himself one that can be helped.
He has seen and chosen the helper fit for himself whom God has for him.
And the woman in turn has:
received God’s nature through the new birth,
committed herself to a vital relationship with God in deepest union,
seen a man called by God to do God’s work,
received from God that that man needs a helper fit for the work,
received from God that she is that helper fit for the man,
been chosen by the man to be his helper fit,
chosen the man who has chosen her.
Until these crucial matters are settled, no two people may be involved in any sexual relationship. To do so would be to court the disfavour of God.
WHEN A MAN CHOOSES AND A WOMAN ACCEPTS TO BE CHOSEN
When a man chooses a woman he must ask himself the following question:
“Is this woman the best suited to help me to accomplish all of the work that God has called me to do for Him?”
If she is not, she should be left alone. She is not God’s choice for you. You must not choose her.
Before a woman accepts a man, she must ask herself the following question:
“Is this man totally committed to the will of God so that in becoming his helper, I shall be totally satisfying the heart of God?”
If the man is totally committed to the will of God, then a commitment to help him will be a commitment to the total will of God. If the man is divided at heart, then a commitment to become his wife will be a commitment to divided loyalty. If the man is purposeless, then a commitment to him will be a commitment to advance purposelessness, for you will help him to accomplish purposelessness.