Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Word Study Wednesday- Link Up Define Rib

Have you started your own Word Studies yet? If you decide to and if you are blogging about them, consider linking up with A Cherished Keeper!

I chose to study the word rib and I have to say that I had no idea where *4R-ing this this little three letter word would take me! (*4R- Research, Reason, Relate, Record.) I'm not going to pretend that I fully understand all that this little word means. I'm researching and processing as I look for personal application. Maybe your research will take you further or down a different road. That being said, here we go...

Did you ever wonder why God chose to make woman from man's rib? One day I was reading through Genesis and this question struck me. In my thinking, being made from the heart would be much more meaningful than a rib. I have yet to see a... rib... on a card expressing love to a spouse. Hearts are always depicted when it comes to cards, letters, and special occasions; they portray love.

So, I'm on a quest to try to understand the purpose of being made from a rib vs. a heart (I'll be studying the word heart for next week's word study). There must be a purpose behind it!

The definition for my focus (Research): 
Webster's 1828 Dictionary

n. [L. costa, signifies side, border, extremity.]
1. A bone of animal bodies which forms a part of the frame of the thorax. The ribs in the human body are twelve on each side, proceeding from the spine to the sternum, or towards it, and serving to inclose and protect the heart and lungs.

Defining my underlined words:

BONE, n.
1. A firm hard substance of a dull white color, composing some part of the frame of an animal body. The bones of an animal support all the softer parts, as the flesh and vessels.

v.t. [L. armus, Eng. arm.]
1. To fit or prepare and unite several parts in a regular structure or entire thing; to fabricate by orderly construction and union of various parts; as, to frame a house or other building.
2. To fit one thing to another; to adjust; to make suitable.

, v.t. [L.protectus, protego; pro and tego; to cover; Gr. with a prefix; Eng. deck. See Deck.] To cover or shield from danger or injury; to defend; to guard; to preserve in safety; a word of general import both in a literal and figurative sense. Walls protect a city or garrison; clothing is designed to protect the body from cold; arms may protect one from an assault; our houses protect us from the inclemencies of the weather; the law protects our persons and property; the father protects his children, and the guardian his ward; a shade protects us from extreme heat; a navy protects our commerce and our shores; embassadors are protected from arrest.

Looking at how *rib* is used in Scripture (Research):

Genesis 2:21-22
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man."

Looking at how *bone* is used in Scripture. 

Genesis 2:23

"And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.” NKJV 

Ephesians 5:30
30 For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. 

I figured I couldn't be the only one who questioned this. So, I did some other research and came across this article. I learned a lot from it!

Application (Reason and Relate):  

The rib is a bone... a framework. What an amazing framework it is! To think of how symbolic it was for Eve to be made from a rib of Adam is amazing! "For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones." Ephesians 5:30.

Now... I'm still wondering why a rib? There are many bones... why a rib? What do the ribs do? Ribs protect the heart and they
protect parts of the stomach, kidney and spleen. This is what I am thinking at this time...

Ribs protect the heart. In contrast, as wives we have a wonderful opportunity to be the one person our husbands entrust their hearts with. As a wife, you can protect your husband’s heart by respecting him, loving him, caring for him, praying for him, staying faithful to him, supporting him, and encouraging him in the Lord.

Ribs protect parts of the stomach, kidney and spleen. Well, we as wives can protect our husband’s health by preparing healthy meals, making sure he gets enough sleep and rest, and encouraging him to exercise. This is a wonderful thing to do out of love for your husband… think of it in reverse. Wouldn’t you just swoon for a man who was tender toward you and showed his love for you in such evident ways???

The rib cage expands- as the lungs inhale. When our husbands take a deep breath before they take a leap of faith in their daily lives (especially toward a challenge God has given them), as wives we can lift up like the rib cage to give room for our husbands to expand their growth in the Lord.

The rib cage moves down as the lungs exhale to squeeze air out of the lungs. Wives can help their husbands decompress [stress] out of their lives by helping them find solitude in their relationship. The husband and wife relationship needs to be a sanctuary for both people. We can do this by setting the tone with our attitudes, actions and words; and this is where we need to ask ourselves what kind of a wife we truly are and what kind do we desire to be?

What Kind of a Rib Are You???
Interestingly enough, I was reminded that men and women both have 24 ribs arranged in 12 pairs- and they are broken into 3 categories: True Ribs, False Ribs, and Floating Ribs. 

True Ribs- These are the first seven bones. They happen to connect to the spine (the backbone) in back. They also connect in front; the true ribs connect to the breastbone or sternum by strips of costal cartilage. Ever heard the phrase, “Behind every successful man is a woman”? Well, not just any woman but a true wife who edifies her husband, prays for him, and comes along side him to support him in the Lord. She doesn’t only watch her husband’s back but she watches out for him out front too. She looks out for his best interests and keeps watch of potential snares in life. God has given women radar of sorts. The true wife uses it for the benefit of her husband. The “cartilage” that holds them together is the Lord. 

False Ribs- These are the next three pairs of bones. Now, these are slightly shorter than the true ribs and connect to the spine in back. However, these ribs are not connected to the sternum in front, but instead they are attached to the lowest true rib. So, when I think of a false wife in this context, she perhaps started out with the intentions of a true wife but she is self-centered and does not have her focus on the eternal. While she may sometimes watch her husband’s back, she does not offer the full protection of the True Wife.
Floating Ribs- These ribs are even smaller than the other two sets. They are attached to the spine at the back, but they don’t connect to anything in the front. Wow, so the Floating Wife is just kind of there but… floating. Maybe she doesn’t know where she stands in her relationship with her husband, maybe she isn’t sure what her feelings are for him, maybe she doesn’t know how to come along side him and be a True Wife. So, she’s floating in some kind of fog in life, in her marriage… and doesn’t seem to have a compass to direct her.
Sometimes Ribs are Broken!
It’s true. Broken ribs can be a fact of life and they can take a long time to heal. If you feel like you are a “broken rib” … maybe exhausted and feeling like you don’t have much value as a wife, take your hurt to the Lord and ask Him to heal you and show you what to do.
What set of ribs do you think Eve came from? We may never know. But I do know that I want to be *like* the True Ribs. I want to be a True Wife, larger than the others because as this kind of wife I can make a great and positive impact on my husband. And I need to rely on the Lord daily for this goal because I need that “cartilage” to hold me to my husband’s backbone and sternum. What kind of rib… er wife do you want to be?



  1. Thank you, Anna-Marie! I can't get over how much there is to learn through word studies (especially with little words like *rib*). :)

  2. Never would've guessed what a great devotional 'rib' would provide. - CN

    1. It's the little unexpected things like this that make it so engaging! I look forward to seeing your posts in the near future, CN. :)

  3. okay, I love this. can't even believe how much meat came from rib. (ha!).

  4. Oh, I love this! Great word!! It is amazing what we can learn through word studies. I really need to get on board!

    1. I can't wait for you to participate, Healthy Homeschool 101! It's wonderful to be learning from word studies so many others are doing! :)