Last Sunday's Old Testament reading had a gap in it. And while the gap is understandable to keep the reading focused on the them of humanity's fall and rebellion against God, it unfortunately means that we never get to hear the story of the creation of Eve in worship.
Which is really a loss, because the story fundamentally alters the way we see the relationship between men and women:
18 Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ 19So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal 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 each living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,
‘This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.’
24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
- Genesis 1.18-25
Notice in the image above how the woman is being drawn out of the man's side. This is the deep connection that God desires for men and women, not one of domination and violence, but one of mutual dependence and relationship. And notice that Adam is not yet Adam. Before the creation of the woman, he is just "man." It is after the woman is created from him that Adam becomes Adam and Eve becomes Eve. Our identities depend, are known, only in the human community upon which we all depend. Each of us only becomes who he or she is in a community of other created, dependent human beings.
These are hard words in a world in which we all want to make it on our own. But we can't. Men need women. Women need men. We all need each other, for "in Adam we have all be one."