For many years, I was taught that my purpose as a wife and woman was to help my husband—to be a sort of divinely appointed personal assistant to him. He was the one to take the initiative; I was there to help him fulfill God’s vision and call on his life. If I was to have any kind of strategic role, it was to be through my husband.
While I am happy to serve my husband, there seemed an inherent injustice in how this worked itself out in church life.
This teaching mainly came from Genesis 2:18, which in the King James Version of the Bible says this: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
More modern versions also describe the woman as a helper for man.
It was very enlightening for me to discover more about this word helper. The Hebrew word, ezer, is used 21 times in the Old Testament. Of these, in all but six it refers to God. Typical examples include, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help [ezer]? My help [ezer] comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2, NKJV). Or “Our help [ezer] is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 124:8). The word contains the ideas of power and strength, a guide, mentor and shield.
The Hebrew word translated meet or fit means literally "in front of" with the understanding of “comparable to.”
The impression is more of a valued consultant than a personal girl Friday. It’s a delight to be an ezer.
Adapted from Felicity Dale's blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is the author of numerous books including Simply Church. She is an an advocate for women in the church and trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.