The garden was a beautiful place and was perfect in every way. No man could have asked for a better place to live. There was little work and everything one would need was provided. Well, almost everything. There were lots of friendly animals but none of them were exactly like Adam. He was the only beingi made by God that lacked the capacity to reproduce. He was the sole representative of the human race. Except for his daily conversation with God there was no one for him to talk to. Not exactly true. He could talk to the animals but they didn’t talk back.
When God had finished his work in the garden and making all the different living things he placed Adam in the garden to take care of it. He gave Adam responsibility for the living beings as well. Adam had very few restrictions, really, just one. God commanded Adam that he not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Everything was fine except for one thing. There was no other Human for him to associate with. He needed a partner that was like him. God did a very unique thing in the creation story. He made another human being but he made that one differently. The woman was a bi-product of the man. They shared the same DNA. Adam was created from the dust (?) but Eve was created from the man. God intended it to be a partnership.
Of all the creation, men and women are the only ones who are so closely linked that they can become one flesh. How then, did men get the idea that they were not only in charge of the garden and the animals but the women too? Soon, women were viewed like the cattle. Bought, sold, traded. Used, misused, abandoned. Second class, second fiddle, and second thought.
God meant for men to partnership with women because it isn’t good for humans to live alone. Partners partnered with others and communities were begun. Men and women shared the work and the responsibility of life together. In each of the created beings love was planted. When men and women love each other their unity banishes loneliness. Man was given a woman to cherish as his own flesh, assuming the same responsibility to care for her as for God’s garden. That was a grave responsibility. The woman was given to the man to be a worker-along-side-of. Some folks still haven’t figured that out.
I’m wondering how men rationalize treating the person that is bone of bone and flesh of flesh as second class people. Their relationship is to be “one flesh.” When they are one flesh they will never be lonely. So when God had given Eve to Adam he stopped work and saw that it was all very good. Husbands, fathers, brothers, keep that in mind.