Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Warrior Women

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper
suitable for him."
-Genesis 2:18

A friend of my husband’s asked us if we would be willing to host a Bible study using our church’s study entitled Sex, Singleness and Marriage. It was a seven week study that unpacked some of the baggage surrounding all of these topics and, undoubtedly, brought up a lot of questions while it was answering others.

One of my favorite things that I learned, however, was regarding the above verse. I had perused several marriage books/articles/sermons about this verse and the verses surrounding it and listened to various opinions about what it all meant. What does it really mean to be someone’s “helper”? And am I only supposed to be a “helper” if I’m married? And frankly, being a “helper” sounded a bit boring.

From the Redeemer study:
“The English word “helper” is, unfortunately, a rather weak word. It connotes an “assistant”—
someone who is less capable and who simply runs errands and does menial tasks. However, the Hebrew word “ezer” is used in the Bible almost every other time to describe God himself, in a military context. For example in Deuteronomy 33:29, we read: Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places. All the citations of “ezer” (helper) in the Bible (including this one from Deuteronomy) illustrate that a helper is someone who helps out of strength, to fill up a need that is lacking in the other. And the Bible’s consistent use of “ezer” with a military reference has led to a consideration of women as warriors working alongside men to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth....

“For example, a broad interpretation of v. 18 is that:
God created the woman to be a warrior alongside the man in advancing, God’s kingdom throughout the earth. This is every woman’s calling, regardless of her age, marital status, or circumstances. Every woman is an ezer from birth to death. We are warriors for God’s purposes alongside our brothers in Christ. (Carolyn Custis James, The Gospel of Ruth, 211)”

If “every woman is an ezer from birth to death” then I should be a warrior for all of the men in my life. My husband, my brother, my father. The men in my life and at my church.

Around the same time that we were going through this study, I was reading through The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. It made me think that the greatest way I can be a warrior for my spouse and the other men in my life is to be a prayer warrior. To take very seriously my role and responsibility as someone who is to be fighting for them…. And to fight with prayer.

I’m now trying to develop a habit of praying for the men of my life with a warrior mentality. With a mentality that acknowledges that part of the reason I was created is to fight for them in the battle of life because they need the support of their warrior wife, daughter, sister, friend.

They need the support of an Ezer.

(P.S. The picture is of Joan of Arc.)


JLTan said...

True. The connotation of "helper" and "helpmate" sounds weaker than what I think the Scriptures mean.

I think the Biblical concept is that of a partnership. Trust and help comes as a part of the partnership, as each partner does the role that he/she is designed for.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

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