Did God give Adam a wife “for the express purpose of guiding his obedience”? Are Christians wrong in believing that God created Eve as an “an assistant or a co-laborer” or in the role of a “domestic companion” for Adam? Skip Moen would have us to believe the answers to all these questions is – “Yes”.
In the first article in this series we saw that the Bible does in fact tell us what ‘ezer kenegdo’ means by how it refers to women in the context of marriage. God tells us what a woman’s role as help meet looks like. We don’t need a degree in Hebrew or Greek to see that. We can see it by how the Bible speaks to the topic of male and female relationships throughout the entirety of the Scriptures.
In this second article we will examine in more detail Skip’s false doctrine specifically concerning the purpose for which God made woman.
Skip Moen writes in his Book “Guardian Angel” (which we will abbreviate as GA from this point forward):
“What follows the only prohibition God gives Adam? The need for a “suitable helper”, the ‘ezer kenegdo. The argument proceeds from the prohibition concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to the requirement for a helper. Furthermore, the entire story of the first sin focuses on the role of the ‘ezer kenegdo and the tree. How can we ignore the obvious conclusion that the purpose of the ‘ezer kenegdo is somehow connected to the command for Adam to obey?”
Adam doesn’t need an assistant or a co-laborer. The assignment to care for the garden, be fruitful, multiply and take stewardship over the earth is given to both male and female. They equally receive God’s prime directive. But the command prohibiting eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is given to Adam alone. It is not Adam’s productive energy that needs assistance.
It is his faithfulness to God’s instruction. He needs a protector, encourager and spiritual director. He needs someone assigned to keep him on the straight and narrow. He needs one who comes alongside for the express purpose of guiding his obedience. Eve (Havvah) has a role to play, but it is not the role of domestic companion, production assistant or Vice President for Public Works. Unless we recognize this aspect of the description about the Tree, we will not acknowledge that her role is the role of priest and spiritual guide for Adam!
She is designed to make sure Adam stays faithful to God. She is the one who stands between God’s command and Adam’s obedience, watching over him so that he will not go astray. Adam guards the Garden. Eve guards Adam. The help she brings is the help of reminding, rescuing and demonstrating trust. In this role, she parallels God’s ultimate relationship with Israel. God is the protector, provider and deliverer of Israel in the fallen world, but those are roles God takes upon Himself after the Fall. In order to understand the role of the ‘ezer kenegdo, we must look at God’s relationship with human beings before the Fall.” – GA Pg 96-97
So now let’s compare what God’s Word says in the Genesis account:
“15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 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.
20 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.” – Genesis 2:15-20 (KJV)
So Skip’s theory is – Since God’s statement about man needing a help meet comes right after his warning to Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that his purpose in doing this was to give him a “priest and spiritual guide”, someone to “to keep him on the straight and narrow” and someone to come “alongside for the express purpose of guiding his obedience”.
In fact Skip goes out of his way to explain why man did not need a woman for companionship or even child bearing:
“Neither is a woman the solution for domestic labor needs, economic assistance or any other tasks that might be accomplished by animals and/or machines. Furthermore, Adam did not need Havvah for sexual experience. Sex is not the issue here. Neither are offspring since at this point everything created comes directly from the hand of God. Adam could have legitimately assumed that creation by divine fiat was the way things happened. Copulation as a necessity for the birth of offspring had no obvious external evidence to support it. Adam did not lack conversational companionship, psychological interaction or purpose.” – GA Pg. 105-106
So basically in Skip’s mind – Adam did not need a woman to produce children because God could just speak them into existence. He didn’t need anyone to help him with his labors – he had animals for that. He did not even need companionship, after all he had God to talk to right? God gave him a purpose by placing him charge of the animals and the garden – why would he need a help meet? The only logical reason is someone to guide him and protect him and make sure he obeyed God right?
You know what the problem is with Skip’s theory?
There is not one passage in all the Bible that frames a woman’s relationship to man in the terms that Skip has set forth. Not one.
Despite Skip’s notion that man did not need woman for domestic assistance, companionship or reproduction these are some of the core reasons God ACTUALLY SAYS he did made woman.
Woman was made to bear children
In fact in the Genesis account after the fall God speaks to one of the main reasons he made woman:
“16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” – Genesis 3:16-19 (KJV)
God did not say that a woman bearing children was part of the curse, the pain he added to child birth was part of the curse. The ability to conceive and bear children a blessing to her, and more importantly her ability to bear and care for children was a blessing to Adam and was meant to be a blessing for all men.
Jacob prayed this prayer for his son Joseph before he died:
“5 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:” Genesis 49:25 (KJV)
David says this regarding a woman’s fruitfulness in bearing children for her husband:
“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.” – Psalm 128:3 (KJV)
A woman’s womb – her ability to have children is one the central purposes for which God made woman and he did this as a blessing to man.
God also blessed man with a woman’s breasts –which have a duel symbolism of representing the care and feeding of children as well as representing the blessing of sexual pleasure which God brings to man through woman.
But we can see clearly that one of the main purposes for which God made woman was to bear and care for the children of man – straight from the Genesis account and supported throughout the rest of the Scriptures. In fact we can see throughout the Scriptures that a woman did not feel like a woman if she could not bear children. If a woman was barren often times she felt that it was worse than death.
“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.” – Genesis 30:1 (KJV)
This was not because society expected women to bear children as we are so often told today. It was because women were more in tune with the nature God designed them with – the desire to bear and care for children.
Today many women suppress this desire to have children to the detriment of our society and our homes. In fact women that want many children are scolded and mocked and called “baby factories”. Many modern women see having children as holding them back from doing the things that men do (like having careers outside the home). They are taught to see their value in every other place than one of the core places that God designed them – the bearing of and the caring for children.
Woman was made for man’s companionship
“Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” – Malachi 2:14 (KJV)
“Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 9:9 (KJV)
Well Skip may not think so, but God knew that man needed a companion. This is one of the reasons God made woman.
Woman was made for man’s sexual pleasure
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)
One of the reasons that God made woman (but certainly not the only reason) was for her to literally be a source of pleasure to him.
Woman was made to be man’s domestic helper
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14(KJV)
And before any of Skip’s followers get excited about the KJV phrase “guide the house” thinking this gives credence to her being a guide to her husband let me help you out with that phrase.
The phrase “guide the house” in I Timothy 5:14, is an English translation of the Greek word “Oikodespoteo”, which comes from two Greek words “oikos” (house) and “despoteo” (to rule). This literally means to “to occupy one’s self in the management of a household”.
Titus 2:4, a companion passage to this subject of women and the home, calls women to be “keepers at home”. This is a translation of the Greek word “Oikouros” which literally means “watcher or keeper of the house” or “caring for the affairs of the house”.
So neither the “keepers at home” phrase nor the “guide the house” phrase have anything to do with a woman guiding her husband spiritually or in any other way. It has to do with her guiding the domestic affairs of her home. See Proverbs 31 for more detail on this.
Woman is made to give counsel to her husband, not to contend with him
This is very crucial point. I would never say that God meant for a woman to remain silent and never offer her husband any words of wisdom. But she is to give him kind and respectful counsel – not contention.
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” – Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:9 (KJV)
“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” – Proverbs 27:15 (KJV)
There is not one shred of Biblical support for Skip Moen’s theory that God created woman for man for the purposes of being a “priest and spiritual guide”, someone to “to keep him on the straight and narrow” and someone to come “alongside for the express purpose of guiding his obedience”.
Not one verse of Scripture tells a woman to be a guide to her husband.
Not one verse of Scripture tells a woman to keep her husband on the straight and narrow.
Not one verse of Scripture tells a woman she is a priest to her husband.
Instead the Bible tells us and shows us it is a man’s job to be his wife’s spiritual leader and confronter:
The husband confronts the wife
“9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” – Job 2:9-10 (KJV)
The husband can override his wife’s decisions and commitments
“10 And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; 11 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.
12 But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her.” – Numbers 10:30-12 (KJV)
The husband is the spiritual teacher of the wife
“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” – I Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)
The husband is the spiritual leader of his wife, as Christ is the leader of the Church
“23 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.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV)
How is Christ a head to the Church? He is its spiritual guide, its protector and its corrector. This is what a man is to be to his wife. It is not what a wife is to be to her husband.
In upcoming posts we will explore more of the heretical positions of Skip Moen and then at the end we will see how he attempts to deal with what he calls the “bothersome comments” of Paul regarding women in the home and in the Church.