To answer the question of why God made woman we must first understand the Biblical concept of progressive revelation. Progressive revelation has to do with how God reveals both history and his plan.
Have you ever watched a movie or television show where they start the story at the beginning, start moving forward in the story only to then reveal flashbacks to what happened at the beginning that you did not know? And then as you watched the story you began to see a larger plan unfold? That is what God does in the Bible through progressive revelation.
In the first chapter of Genesis, we have the first mention of woman in the Bible.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)
So, in this first chapter of Genesis we see God making man and woman. The setting is that God has just created all the animals and other living creatures on the earth. Now he comes to the crown of his creation which is man. Man will be made differently than all the other living creatures he has made. Man will be made in God’s image and his likeness.
We then see God giving his first command to man and woman for them to be fruitful and multiply. He then follows that up with his second command for them to take dominion over the animals and every other living being on the earth.
But when we come to Genesis chapter 2, we get our first flashback, our first progressive revelation from God, showing us more detail of what happened when he created man and woman.
Genesis chapter two reveals that man was made first, and that man took dominion over the animals and named them before God made woman. We then see the more detailed account of God’s creation of woman:
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 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 bones, 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 2:18-23 (KJV)
In Genesis chapter one we did not really get any information as to how or why God made woman, only that he made her. Genesis chapter two reveals to us how and why God made woman. God saw among the animals that no suitable helper for man could be found. Why? Because man needed a helper that was of a similar nature to himself. He could not find the true companionship he needed with any animal. So, God created woman from man so that he would have a companion with a similar yet very different nature.
What do we mean by man and woman’s natures being similar, yet very different? Well if we were to compare a man to a dog would we not say their natures are radically different? The answer is yes. But if we compare a man and woman’s natures against that of a dog the man and woman’s nature look far more similar to each when compared to that of a dog. Yet if we compare only the man and woman against each other then we see that while they share a very a common human nature, they actually have very distinct versions of that human nature.
Genesis chapter 3 ends with God performing the first marriage bringing Adam and Eve together as husband and wife.
So, what have learned thus far about woman’s purpose in creation? We have learned that Eve was specifically created after man and for man. She was created so that he would not be lonely (for companionship) and also to be his helper. But what kind of companion did God design her to be to him? And what kind of helper did God design her to be to him? Did God intend for her to be an equal partner with her husband and equal helper with him? Or did he intend something else?
What Kind of Companion and Helper Did God Create Woman to Be?
For the answers to these questions we must move to the book of Exodus. In the 10th commandment we read the following:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Exodus 20:17 (KJV)
A man’s wife is included in a list of all the things he owns including his house, his manservants, maidservants, cattle and donkeys. This shows us that God did not make woman to be man’s equal companion or helper, but rather he made her to be man’s subordinate companion and helper whom man he would have ownership over.
The fact of a man’s ownership over his wife is further enforced by the Hebrew word for “owner or master” being used to reference a woman’s husband. See the following command about the punishment for adultery:
“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)
The phrase translated in English as “married to an husband” in the original Hebrew literally states “owned by and owner”. So, God is saying if a man be founding lying with a woman owned by an owner, then both the man and woman should be put to death under the civil laws of Israel. In other words, adultery was a property a crime against the husband of a wife whom another man had sex with.
In fact, the Hebrew word for marriage was “owned” as in a woman being owned by a man.
If we look to the book of Numbers the subordinate role of the woman to the man is shown in his right to override any decision she makes:
“If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.
But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.
But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.”
Numbers 30:3-8 (KJV)
So, we see here that while a wife can make decisions, any decision she makes can be overrode by her husband further demonstrating her subordinate position to her husband as her owner.
Why Did God Make Woman to Be a Subordinate Helper to Man?
It is an undeniable fact of the Old Testament that God made woman for man as subordinate companion and helper. The Biblical evidence is overwhelming that women are seen as the property of men, first as the property of their fathers and then as finally as the property of their husbands. Marriage was literally a property transfer from the father to a husband.
Some Christian Egalitarians will not try and get around these Biblical facts as I have laid them out but instead, they will claim that man’s ownership was not God’s original plan, but that it only happened because of sin. Many of these same people claim that when Christ came, he freed women from the ownership of their fathers and husbands and once again restored women to the equal status with men that God intended in the Garden of Eden.
Christian Egalitarians base this theory that women were only put under men because of sin on the follow passage:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)
The problem is that nothing in this passage is speaking of marriage or gender roles. The subject matter is that our salvation and position in Christ. Both Jews and Greeks, men and women, slaves and free can be saved. And when we reach the eternal state all these distinctions will be gone.
But then we come to a big problem for Christian Egalitarians. The same Apostle Paul who wrote their favorite Galatians 3:28 passage also wrote the following passage from Ephesians:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)
Up to this point we have seen that God gave man ownership over woman and that women were designed to be subordinate helpers to their husbands. But we have not seen why God did this. Ephesians chapter gives us part of the answer as to why.
God created marriage to be a picture of the relationship of God to his people as seen by the entirety of Ephesians 5:22-33. That is why God pictures himself as a husband to Israel in the Old Testament and it is why Christ is pictured as the husband to his Church in the New Testament.
Ephesians 5:22-33 annihilates the Christian Egalitarian theory that woman was only temporarily put in a subordinate position to man because of sin. It shows us that this was God’s intention from the very beginning.
But Ephesians 5:22-33 only shows us part of the reason God made woman. Again, the same Apostle Paul who wrote the favorite Galatians 3:28 passage of Christian Egalitarians wrote another passage which actually gives us God’s master plan regarding man and woman. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church he writes the following:
“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”
I Corinthians 11:3-11 (KJV)
It is apparent that Paul was asked by the Corinthian Churches why women must wear head coverings during worship and prayer. This was his response to that question. In answering the question Paul goes back to the creation account and gives us divine commentary on that account. This is yet another flashback and this passage contains the big reveal as to God’s master plan for man and woman in this world. If we look to verse 7 of I Corinthians 11 we see God’s plan:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
Why was woman created? Why did God make woman a subordinate helper for man? Why is man the head of woman and why is the husband the head of the wife in marriage? I Corinthians 11:7 gives us a very clear answer. Because man was made to image God and thereby bring him glory. Woman comes from man as man comes from God and woman was made for the glory of man just as man was made for the glory of God.
The sad reality is, you will rarely if ever hear any churches today teach on this passage as it so conflicts with our culture’s egalitarian views. The idea that half of humanity was created by God to serve the other half is probably the most repugnant teaching of the Bible to our modern western culture.
Every Part of Woman Was Made for Man
I Corinthians 11:7 states the following truth as to why God made woman:
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
Every part of a woman’s being was created to compliment and meet the needs of the man and to help him fulfill his mission to image God.
- Man could not fully image God without being a husband. He needed someone weaker than him who would depend on him for his leadership, provision and protection as mankind must rely on God for his leadership, provision and protection. Therefore, God created woman as the weaker vessel. (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-7)
- Man could not fully image God without being a father. So, God equipped woman with the ability to bear children and care for their needs. (Psalm 127:3-5, 1 Timothy 5:14)
- Man could not fully image God by going out and working in the world and making his mark on the world without someone to care for the needs of his home while he is away. So, God equipped woman with the drive and ability to make a home and care for it so the man would have no worries for his home while he was away. (Psalm 104:23, Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:3-5)
- Man could not fully image God without also having a strong desire for beauty and pleasure because God desires beauty and pleasure. So, he made woman to be beautiful and to desire to be beautiful for man. He designed her with the ability to give man great pleasure as God finds pleasure in his people. (Psalm 45:11, Psalm 149:4, Proverbs 5:15-19, Revelation 4:11)
The Scriptures clearly tell us why God created woman. Woman was created for man to help him fully image God as a husband and father. So God created the woman to be the wife for man and the mother of his children. He made her weaker than man because man must image God’s strength in his leadership, provision and protection.
God wanted man to be a worker, builder, inventor, warrior and all the other things he is and to make his mark on the world as God made his mark on the world. So while man was out making his mark on the world he would need someone to care for the needs of his home. So God created woman with a desire to nest and to make a home for her husband.
God made woman beautiful and to desire to be beautiful for man because God desires the beauty of his people. God made man to desire to take pleasure in woman as God desires to take pleasure in his people. Therefore he made the woman and her body capable of bring man great pleasure.
Just as all the attributes of man were made for God’s glory, so too all the attributes of woman were made for “the glory of the man” as I Corinthians 11:7 tells us.
Finally, I will leave with you several interesting facts about a woman’s physiology and psychology that God placed in her to help her fulfill her role helping man to fulling image God.
- Estrogen in women causes them to have softer and more delicate skin than men. This makes a woman’s touch very soothing in her role as caregiver. It also makes a woman have finer, more delicate facial features than a man.
- A woman’s body purposefully retains more fat than a man’s body does. Her body does this for several reasons. Her fat is first distributed to her breasts, buttocks, hips and legs. This gives a woman that “curvy” look that God intended her to have. Scientists have recently discovered a special fat called DHA that is the crucial building block for infant brain development. A woman’s body pulls heavily from the fat in her hips, buttocks and legs to help her baby develop and after the baby is born the body continues pulling from this fat storage to produce breast milk. This also gives a woman’s body a more “cushy” feel than a man’s more typically muscular body. So this extra fat storage serves two purposes: one for reproduction and child rearing, and at the same time God has wired men to find the curvy look and cushy feel of a woman attractive.
- Human females are the only mammals whose breasts stay large (relatively speaking) even when not pregnant or nursing. Most other female mammals only have protruding breasts when they are filled with milk for nursing; human female breasts, however, are mostly filled with fat. The human female breasts always being present serves God’s intended design for them to be a place of comfort for children as well as a place of comfort and sexual pleasure for husbands.
- Women’s brains are wired for more emotional intelligence than men. Men tend to be more left-brain dominant which makes them more task-oriented. Women use both sides of their brain which helps them to be more intuitive and relational than men.
- Because women are better able to understand, and pick up on emotions, this makes a woman much better suited to dealing with children (who can be extremely emotional). Her emotional intuitiveness helps her to better understand the needs of her infant child well before the child can actually speak.
- A woman’s emotional intelligence also helps her in her caregiver role, which is why most day-care workers are women, and most nurses are women.
- Women are typically less likely to take risks or do risky things than men and God designed this cautiousness in her to help protect her and her children (who are physically weaker than adult men).
This article has undergone a major rewrite since I first published it in April of 2014. Doctrinally it is essentially the same. The vast majority of changes have just been in wording and style.