Before I even get into the point of this post, if you believe in the power of Jesus – you must believe that we are not defined by our past failures, but in the power of Christ that makes us new. So if you are someone reading this that has made mistakes in relationships in the past, don’t think that you can’t start new by applying new wisdom to your life, your understanding of God, and your relationships. Because I surely fall in that category.
But what I actually feel lead to share with you is this:
Genesis 1 describes creation. Genesis 2 goes into more detail about the creation of man and woman.
First God creates man:
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
then God says:
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
And after many people read that, they get uncomfortable. No woman wants to be known for being “a man’s helper.” It is 2021; we are strong, capable, independent, intelligent… we certainly aren’t going to go back to being defined by being strictly a house-wife.
Isn’t context the key to all understanding?
So let’s do some research.
The word “helper” was translated from the original Hebrew word Ezer.
Understanding the word “Ezer” is vital in understanding the true identity of women. Without taking the time to understand what this word truly means – you will go your entire life without seeing the incredible power that God has placed inside of women from the beginning of time.
So remove all negative bias you have in your head about being labeled as “man’s helper.”
“The word Ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament and almost always refers to God. It is His name. The Lord God Almighty is called our “helper (Read more :
- My father’s God was my helper (Exodus 18:4)
- You [God] are the helper of the fatherless (Psalms 10:14)
- The Lord is with me; he is my helper (Psalms 118:7)
- Our soul waits for the Lord. He is our help and our shield (Psalms 33:20)
“An “Ezer” has little to do with “helping” by doing household chores or taking the back seat in power roles. It comes from two root words meaning “to rescue, to save” and “to be strong” (R. David Freedman, “Woman, a Power Equal to Man”). An ezer protects. An ezer delivers. An ezer kicks butt. An ezer reflects the image of God, who is “our ezer and our shield” (Psalm 33:20), “my ezer and my deliverer” (Psalm 70:5).” (Read more here)
Ezer is the word the Holy Spirit had Moses use to describe the woman when God created her. Women are designed to image God as ezers. God is not a junior assistant or an optional help but gives his people the aid and strength to complete what he calls them to do (read more here).
Our gifts, our wisdom, our loves, and our strengths are part of the big picture of God’s work in the world. Just as God placed the woman in a garden, God puts us in places, including our homes, our churches, our jobs, and our neighborhoods. And as God helped his people as their ezer, we become our people’s ezers—their strong helpers and their necessary allies.* (read more here)
As a wife:
In her book “What’s it like to be married to me?” Linda Dillow explains it like this:
In his excellent book Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs sums it up this way: “A wife has one driving need – to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need – to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy”
With that said: In Genesis 2:18-25, God takes this strong name Ezer and in effect says, “Now you the one called woman, have the same privilege and responsibility that I have. I give you one of My names, Helper. Being a Helper is godlike. As I come alongside you as your Helper, I ask you to come alongside your husband and fill his respect gap as his personal, private, intimate helper. Only you will know what respect looks like for him. Only you can become his intimate ally, his closest companion. Only you will know how to design a personal program of helping for your unique man.
I’m not talking about being your husband’s secretary, seamstress, gardener, or accountant. As wives we are to help our husbands; it is part of the essence of who we are as women. It is within the fabric of our created being. However, the specific expression of what we do as a result of being helpers is unique for each marriage relationship.”
What does all of this mean for you?
God said in Genesis 2:18 that without her, the man’s condition was “not good.” God’s intention in creating the woman for the man was for the two to be partners in the many tasks involved in stewarding God’s creation (read more here).
You are not subordinate to man. You are complementary to man. Complementary is what you are, not what you are doing. The way I see it is that man and woman are like two hands. Your left hand and right hand are in ways the same but also different. You have bones, muscles, veins, skin, nails. And you have fingers and a thumb on each hand. Your left and right hand are the exact opposite of each other, but the one hand is not more important than the other one. One hand might be a little stronger and is your preferred hand, but you can perfectly use each hand on its own. Together your hands can do more. They are even stronger than your preferred hand. You can get more done with less effort when using both hands together (read more here).
But that also means… you aren’t always right either. You don’t have to be in control all of the time either. Constantly look for ways to help others. Be a light to the people that are in your life. You have the power of God within you to help those around you. When you make your main mission each day to be of Godly help to the people in your life, you (over time) are creating a mindset to serve, help, and forgive (just as Christ helps & forgives you).
This entire concept has shattered how I think about myself and my role in my own life, home, and even in society. Hopefully, I was able to explain this concept in a way that makes sense to others.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,
- Deeply Rooted Magazine
- What Is “Ezer”?
- Theology of Work
- Ezer Kenegdo
- Dillow, Linda “What’s it like to be Married to Me?” pages 127-129.
- *McKinley, John “Necessary Allies—God as Ezer, Woman as Ezer”—a paper presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 17–19, 2015, Atlanta, GA.