“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

Gary J. Ellul, pastor, pastoral counselor and licensed therapist

Two halves of a whole

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens 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.” (Gen. 2:18–19)

Isn’t God’s task for man of naming all creatures in Genesis 2 curious?

Wouldn’t it have been easier for God to name all the creatures Himself or to create the woman as a helper first in order for the man to have someone to complete this huge project with him?

The task of naming the creatures was not something God had the man do as busy work.

One reason this task was given to him was to help him understand his uniqueness within this wide world God had created.

Naming every beast of the field and bird of the air meant that the man had to have some kind of interaction or relationship with them.

This also allowed the man to come to an understanding of how very different he was from all the rest of creation.

Then God creates the man a helper, still unique from him, but at the same time taken from him, much more similar than the beasts of the field and birds of the air.

We know that replicating something or creating the second of something does not mean it is exactly the same as the first. You end up with two that are similar.

God’s decision was to make man a helper that was a complete equal to the original. God chose to create a helper that was not more or less than the original, not a mere copy of the original.

God chose to create the perfect equal to be the perfect help-mate for the man. Co-equal helpers to have stewardship over the world God had created.

An astounding miracle of God’s work is seen when it is proven again and again through science; you need 23 pairs of chromosomes to produce a healthy baby — 23 chromosomes from the man and 23 from the woman.

Nothing made by man through time has changed this formula in the least. Co-equal parts to make another whole.

When we view our own marital relationships, this is the work and planning that God put into creating the perfect help-mate for each of us.

Marriage is not a trivial act for us to rush into driven by passion or lust. Marriage is not something to be destroyed on a whim or without thought.

Through the blessing of marriage our Lord brings two halves of a whole together to make one.

We, as children of God, are called to work and live within this unique relationship and strive to keep its wholeness and wellness alive.

As individual halves of a whole we are not promised an easy time of it or a lack of conflict in it, and we know that in every relationship there will be rough waters to tread.

The Holy Spirit’s promise through the writings of Paul in Romans 8 holds true here:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

God works good in our unique relationships, two unique names as one name, husband and wife, helpmates for each other, living together as two halves of a whole with God’s love at the center.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.