"This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

Genesis 2:23

As we celebrate my wife’s birthday today I am thankful for yet another year with her to celebrate her life and to ask God to bless her with much laughter and love on this, her special day and throughout this next year. My wife loves to laugh and I hope she sees and hears many things throughout the day that bring her much happiness and joy. She deserves a day like today, a day to be loved, appreciated and celebrated.

As I think about her birthday today I am reminded of what her nickname is and the significance it has on a day like today. I call my wife Ishtee which is the phonic sounded out version of the Hebrew word Ishti which most often is translated to mean, “My Woman.”

In Genesis 2:23-24 Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman (ishah), because she was taken out of Man (ish)." For this reason a man (ish) shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife (ishah); and they shall become one flesh.”

In studying the creation of man and woman we can learn the intention of God’s creation by studying closely the Hebrew words that describe Adam and then the woman who God fashioned for him from himself. Those of us who read an English translation of the Bible might be surprised to learn that the word “Adam” is a neutral term simply meaning "human," and not specifically a man. Eve was not given her name until after the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Prior to that when God called Adam, He was calling both Adam and Eve when He said, “Adam “Ish” where are you?” In the original Hebrew text, all references to Adam are neutral until God takes some of Adam's flesh and makes a woman “ishah”, in Hebrew. It’s only at that point is Adam called “ish”, a man. The Hebrew word “ishah” points to her origin from within the “ish”, something that we can easily imitate within the English language, with the words "man" and "woman."

The interesting point in studying our Bible is learning that Adam is never called an “ish” until the “ishah” has been separated or as the Bible says “taken from him”. It is as if God is saying that male and female cannot define themselves fully as human without or apart from the other. Though man came first in creation's order, to be fruitful and to multiply owes its continuation to the fact that “ishah” (woman) gives birth to “ish” (man). Man comes from women in the reproductive cycle. In other words marriage shows us that to be fruitful and multiply we need each other. My wife's birthday is an opportunity for me to appreciate her publicly and recognize my need for her.

When a man and woman marry, the Bible teaches us that they become "one." Marriage between a biological male and bilogical female is God’s ordained means of symbolizing our returning to God's first design before the “ish” and “ishah” were separated. The complementarity between man and woman is inherent in the way they were taken apart from each other, as the first “ishah” provides what the “ish” lacks. In God's design, it is the two together who ultimately best reflect the image and glory of God.

Today as I celebrate Ishtee’s birthday I thank God for the day she was born into this world for it was on that day that the best part of me began the journey home to my own heart when we would become husband and wife. Adam named his wife “Eve” for she was the “mother of all living.” In other words Adam recognized the significance Eve’s life would play in bringing life into this world. On my wife’s birthday I recognize afresh the life Lee brings to mine. A JFK quote comes to mind today when I think of her, “All these years later after loving you I have come to know that the only thing I can add to my life now is quantity, not quality.”

Happy Birthday Ishtee!

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24


Michael Osthimer





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