I had never heard of woman being an afterthought until some months ago and I felt compelled to do some research on this topic to try to know and understand the truth. It’s rather unfortunate that some believers, believe that woman is an afterthought and woman was not created in the image of God. I feel so blessed that I didn’t have to grow up with this lie because during my research, I found posts by a few ladies who explained how this affected them growing up. They thought they will never be enough as women.
Woman is not an afterthought. In Genesis 1:26 God says,
“Let us make MAN in our image, after our likeness. And let THEM have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”.
In this scripture, God Himself expresses his desire and intent to create mankind; male and female. It seems the source of controversy here is the word, MAN. But God in His infinite wisdom explains in Genesis 5:1-2 what “man” referred to in Gen 1:26 means.
Gen 5:1-2 “This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created”.
This scripture demonstrates that “man” in Gen 1:26 refers to both male and female and they were both created in the likeness of God. God’s intent from the very beginning was to create mankind i.e. both man and woman. However, the first man and woman created were also made to be married in order to multiply to fill the earth and so, there’s a blend of the stories of creation of mankind and the institution of marriage in Genesis 1 and 2. The order of creation does not in any way imply a lack of intention to create woman. The order of creation of mankind has more to do with marriage than the intent of creation.
I believe another major source of controversy is from Gen 2:18.
Genesis 2:18. “The Lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone so I will make him a helper fit for him”.
This is often misinterpreted as God thinking to himself something along the lines of “Oops, man is alone… No! it’s not good for him to be alone! …. It looks like he needs some help….Ah! wait!… hmmm, let me think…. Hmmm!…What can I do?… Hmm!.. Aha!…let me make him a helper now.” This may be slightly exaggerated but I can’t help but feel that this is how people that believe woman is an afterthought think about this scripture.
First, Gen 1:24-31 shows that man and woman were both created on the sixth day. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good
As I have already said above, what is often not realised is that the first woman was not being created as a single woman. She was not only created as a woman but as a wife also, simultaneously. God was not making a co-human or chat-mate for Adam , he was making a wife for him. Therefore, Adam had to realise his need for a wife; a helper before she was even created. This is evident in the subsequent verses.
The next expected event after God says it is not good for man to be alone would be God actually creating man’s helper. But no, this is not what happens next. Instead of making woman when HE realised that the man was alone, God first brought the animals to the man to name them.
Gen 2:19, (NLT) “SO, the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one”.
Lets dive into a little grammar here, shall we?
The word “so” in the beginning of verse 19 shows that, verse 18 is a reason for verse 19. (For example, if you were to say; I don’t feel well. So, my sister is taking me to the hospital. – This means that you’re going to the hospital BECAUSE you’re unwell.) Therefore, God brought the animals to the man to be named as a step towards the making of man’s helper. Why? God wanted to create that need for a companion and helper in Adam. Moreover, Adam realised through his naming of the animals that there was no helper fit for him. This is affirmed in Gen 2:20 which says man gave names to all the animals but STILL, there was no helper just right for him.
Now how do we know that Adam realised he needed a helper fit for him? In Gen 2:23, we are told that when the man saw the woman. He exclaimed; “At Last!!” as if to intimate that he was searching for her.
Saying woman is an afterthought belittles the power and omniscience of God. Let us be careful to not limit the power and full knowledge of our God in an attempt to push man’s traditions and idea of who a woman is or should be.
Finally, dear woman, God does not consider you less of a person. You are not an afterthought! God intentionally and purposefully created you in His image and likeness to have dominion over the earth. It is my prayer that this piece will release you into your purpose and give you the confidence you need to have dominion over the earth and to be who God says you are.