Read Genesis 2:15-18
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (NRSV)
The first thing God called ‘not good’ in his good creation was the aloneness of the first man. All the vegetation and animal and sea life could not overcome this aloneness. So God made another human being to fix the problem. Not another man, but a woman. So God brought into being sexual complementarity, gender differentiation. Man didn’t just need another man, but he needed a woman.
But what we might overlook here is that the woman was not just created to offer the man some suitable feminine companionship. Not just sex and the possibility of procreation. The woman was to be an all-round helper. Note the man was given the mammoth task of caring for the earth, making a living on the earth. It seems God realised he needed help to do the job not just companionship in his loneliness.
Men and women were together given the task of being God’s representatives on earth. They are necessary to one another. And one is not superior to the other: a helper and partner is not a subservient being.
Of course the relationship between men and women has been corrupted by the fact that human beings decided to do things their way rather than God’s way. Similar with humankind’s relationship with the created world. But in the beginning, men and women were meant to be equal partners in carrying out God’s assignment, not just real or potential marriage partners. Men needed help, not just sex. Still true today!