Uniquely Female: The Scriptural Blueprint for Femininity
- Friday, April 09, 2010
The Female Enriched the Male
". . . a helper fit for him." (Genesis 2:18)
God created woman to be a helper. "Helper" is another word that begs explanation. It's not a term that indicates a lesser status, or the type of help that assists in a trivial way.
The Hebrew word (ezer) is a very powerful one. It's most often used with reference to the Lord being our helper
(Psalms 33:20). An ezer provides help that enriches, and makes the recipient more fruitful than he would be without that help. God created the woman to enrich the man by providing invaluable support that without her he would not have.
What the man lacks, the woman accomplishes. She makes it possible for them to receive the blessing that he could not achieve alone. Woman plays an integral part in the survival and success of the human race. Without her, man could not be fruitful—physically or metaphorically.
So does that mean that women exist to serve the selfish ends of men? Absolutely not. The phrase "fit for him" literally means "like opposite him"—like an image in a mirror. The term is unique to Genesis. It expresses the notion of complementarity.
She's not exactly like him. She's like-opposite him. Corresponding. Harmonized. Suitable. An exact fit. She's a "helper," but more importantly, she's a helper "alongside."
The alongside part is extremely important. The purpose, of woman helping man isn't about exalting the man. It's not about him. Her help contributes to the both of them achieving a greater, nobler, eternal purpose that is far bigger and more significant than their own existence. She struggles alongside for the same purpose for which he struggles. And what is that? The glory of God. The Lord says that He formed and created sons and daughters to magnify His glory:
(Isaiah 43:6-7). A woman helps a man achieve the purpose of exalting and displaying the jaw-dropping magnificence of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the glory of God. That's what she helps him do.
The Female Deferred to the Male
"The Lord God . . . brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘. . . she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Genesis 2:23)
I think that the first male and female intuitively knew how to behave. He knew what it meant to be a man. She knew what it meant to be a woman. So when the Lord presented the bride to the groom, the man spontaneously broke into a poem that expressed ecstatic love and delight, and at the same time demonstrated his intuitive grasp of the nature of their relationship. He named her—thus fulfilling his responsibility to initiate and lead. She joyfully responded with deference. For both of them, it was the natural and beautiful thing to do.
When God presented Eve to Adam, you don't see Eve taking charge and saying, "Wait a minute, Adam, I'm going to name myself—thank you very much! In fact, I'm going to be the one doing the naming around here. . . . I've thought of a great name for you!" No. That's not what happened. Adam and Eve acted according to their God-given bents. He initiated. She responded. The pattern of their relationship reflected who God created them to be.
The Lord created woman with a bent to be amenable, relational, and receptive. He created man with a bent to initiate, provide, and protect. As we talked about in an earlier chapter, Genesis 3:16 indicates that sin severely damaged the God-given inclination of both: Sin twisted the positive desire of woman to respond amenably to man into a negative desire to resist and rebel against him. It twisted the positive drive of man to use his strength to lead, protect, and provide for woman into a negative tendency to abuse or refuse that responsibility.
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