In a previous post I responded to a colleague’s question about how the follower is a “helper” in the dance (in reference to Gen. 2:18). Recently I have learned more about the context and meaning of the term that is translated “helper” in that verse, and consequently I want to revisit the question in light of this new information.
The new information comes from a study series taught by Dr. John Yates, rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, N.C. In the study notes, Dr. Yates writes:
The term, “helper,” used to describe Eve is often used of God himself. [Exodus 18:4, Deuteronomy 33:7, 1Samuel 7:12] It essentially means one who provides what is lacking/what the other is incapable of on his or her own. A helper is therefore not an assistant but a necessary and complementary partner.
This explanation of Eve’s relationship to Adam and, more generally, wives to husbands is depicted in partner dance. Both the follower and leader are equally important to the dance; they are equal partners with distinct and complementary roles.
While the observations I presented in the original post are valid, I believe this additional explanation gives more accurate insight into the significance of the female’s role — applicable in both dance and marriage. Men and women were created by God as equal and complementary partners. Dr. Yates’ study validated this truth with numerous scriptures.
Partner dance presents an experience akin to what God intended for marriage, including cooperation between equal and complementary partners. Dancing with your spouse (or taking dance lessons together) is a great way to learn and practice partnership in your marriage.
Husbands, in what ways is your wife a necessary and complementary partner to you?