We all know the second story of creation (Genesis 2:18-23) where God puts man (Adam) in a deep sleep, takes his rib out and creates woman (Eve). Everything God does, He always does with a reason and purpose. God never does anything just cause or at random. One can pose the question: why did God chose to make woman out of a rib? He could’ve easily made her out of man’s arm, or toe, or hip for example. He could’ve also just made woman the same way He made man, from the dust and breath life into her. In order to truly stress the beauty of the marital union and the full bonding of husband and wife, God created woman from man to show that in a marriage husband and wife truly become ONE. St. Irenaeus, one of the church fathers, explains that “this connection is so intimate that their very origins are united.”
But this rib, what’s so special about the rib? Looking at the rib from a physiological view, it can really show us a lot. The ribs are one of the few bones in adults that still contain red bone marrow. Red bone marrow is where red and white blood cells are created. In a human being, blood is ESSENTIAL for life, it brings nutrients all over the body and takes away waste. One can say that blood is life-giving in a way, and we are given life through the blood of Christ Himself. God uses that same bone which creates blood to create a new being, which is woman. However, if we keep looking, the ribs are not the only bones that contain red bone marrow in adults, so one can ask: well if that is the reason then why didn’t God use a vertebra instead? There is something more significant about the rib.
There is a beautiful quote I came across recently by Matthew Henry, “women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” Going back to the rib again, take note where the ribs are positioned and what they do. The ribs create a protective cage around the heart. As women, one of our duties is to take care of the heart, to love and protect it. This becomes especially true when it comes to taking care of the hearts of our men. We were created in our feminine nature to take care of the most vital and vulnerable part of a man; his heart. Just like the ribs structural nature is to protect the heart, so it too lies in our nature to protect the heart.
God always has a purpose for everything He does, and meaning behind His reasons. Only when we start pealing back the meaning and symbolism behind His ways, is His beautiful plan and purpose revealed to us.
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