The helpers God intended women to be

Biblical gender roles is a hotly debated topic.Some people regard the Bible as misogynic because of it. Others completely deny that the Bible teaches different roles for the genders at all. Objectively, what is the Biblical base for gender roles and how should it be viewed? The first and foundational verse on the topic is this:

Gen 2:18 – And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.
 
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he, according to some at least, testifies how this should color gender roles:
 
1 Corinthians 11:9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man :11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord :12 For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.
 
Gen 2:18 and 1 Cor. 11: 9 are often quoted by complimentarians and deserve attention. If God made women to be a help meet, what should women be and do? If God did not make man to be a help meet, what should men not do? We can answer that by looking at the word translated as helper. The word translated as help is ezer. What kind of help is implied in that word? Well, the word ezer is used 21 times in the old testament.
 
->Twice, it refers to women.
 
->18 Times, it refers to God
 
-> Once, it says a weak nation cannot be a helper.
 
When God is a ezer(helper), He is a rescuer, He is help you cannot do without. God is not a helper as the office cleaner is a helper to the office staff, but a helper as a lifeguard is a helper to a drowning man. When a weak nation cannot help, it does not mean that they are incapable of carrying your water or chopping your wood. It means that they are not of much use politically, they cannot rescue anyone.
 
Right after the word ezer, the Hebrew use kenegdo, That means opposite or on eye level with. The women is not an inferior or superrior, but on his height. 

Now, for you to think and pray over:
 
1. Does Genesis 2:18 mean that women as a gender, were created by God to be rescuers to men as a gender, or that wifes were created to be rescuers of their own husbands? Do a women have to rescue only her husband, or most men she meet?
 
 2. 1 Cor. 11:9, 11 and 12 uses words that could be translated as “man” and “woman,” or as “husband” and “wife.” Why do translaters choose to use “man” and “woman” in English?

 3. Would it be correct to read female inferiority into the role of rescuer/ helper? And into being made for another?

 4. In practical terms, what could a woman do to be a rescuer as God intended?

5. Gender roles work both ways. In practical terms,what should a man not do, if he was not made to be a rescuer of his wife?
Please leave comments on how you, or your Bible study group, Biblically answers any of these questions.

On Biblical womanhood, by a single female who love the Lord

Sites like “Ladies against feminism” (LAF) promote what they see, rightly or wrongly, as “Biblical womanhood.” They tell women to be good mothers and wifes, and discuss, among other things, how a Christian woman could raise children in a non-Christian culture. That is good.

And they focus strongly on how God made the sexes differently and called them to different roles. I largely agree. He made us women, on average, quite different from the average man. But if you list God’s orders to all believers in one list, and His orders to only male or female believers in another, the first list would be a lot longer than the second.

Biblical womanhood sites don’t talk about the Great Commission, about witnessing or what Christian love to those outside your family looks like. They rarely mention a prayer life, the fruit of the spirit or the armor of the believer. They seem to make an idol of Biblical womanhood, at the expense of God and His kingdom that should be sought first.*

LAF even have writers that are “stay at home daughters“- unmarried women who do not have a salaried job, but stay at their parents’ home, do housekeeping, and want their parents to help to look for husbands for them. God may possibly have called those few daughters to it. After all, He ordered a prophet to lay on his side for more than a year (Eze 4:4), and another to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1:2)

But for the average young single, LAF seems to get her priorities backwards: 1 Corinthians 7 teaches it is better to stay single, as the married has to focus on pleasing a partner, but the single could focus on God. The stay at home daughters seemingly think that the single female should live to prepare for the things married mothers do.

In short, Biblical Womanhood sites delivers, in my opinion, great messages to married women, as long as those readers remember that to follow the Lord, your focus needs to be a lot wider than “Biblical womanhood” topics. Their message to single women is less useful. Singleness is not a time to get ready for the higher purpose of marriage. Singleness is, Biblically, the opportunity to follow God’s higher purpose with less diversions than the married woman or man.

God does not tell single women to waste their singleness on baking muffins in home-sewn aprons, while thinking of how to look feminine. Seek first the kingdom, not the kitchen.

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* Why would I say that sites on this topic idolize it, and not that a Sunday school teaching site, or a charity’s web page, idolizes teaching or charity? Because Sunday school sites don’t give the impression that focusing on Sunday School alone will make the teacher everything God wants him/ her to be. 

Amen! Preach it, sister?

An enthusiastic Christian women, not long ago, lived submitting to and serving God. She taught and saw fruit on her work. She strived to keep God at the centre of what she does. She was happy, and felt her life was meaningful.
 
And then she stumbled upon some conservative Christian websites. She read on them how there is no spiritual equality between men and women. How women should not teach. (Of course, she knew the “women should not teach” verses, but she understood them differently.) How the shortage of men in most churches is because of the “feminization of the church.” How women should get married and have babies, that is what God wants them to be doing for society. Even, on some, that women should live with their daddies until they get married, as all females should be under the authority of a male.
 
She tried to reason with them, tell them, for example, that the Bible does not teach women should be married, nor that marriage is better and more Godly for women. (1 Cor 7:32-34, etc.) She got ignored, because the men reading it would simply not accept a woman teaching them. Whenever she gave any view on Christianity, she got ignored for that reason.
 
She believed them. And she got unsatisfied with her station in life: Why, if God so much wanted her to be married and have kids, instead of teaching Bible clubs and apologetics, did he not provide her with a Christian husband? She used to thank God for providing what she needs, now she started questioning Him: If a Christian woman needs a Christian man over her, then God clearly did not provide for her needs.
 
She started questioning her work for God. Her apologetics must be against the will of God, for she is trying to teach people- and most of those who care about the topic are men- about the rational believability of Christianity. She started questioning her own Christianity: “If she can be so completely mistaken about what God wanted her to do with her life, if most of the things she thought she heard from God was against his will, does she know Him at all?” One day on one blog, a commenter even told her this: “If no Christian man ever wanted to marry you, are you sure you are a Christian?”
 
That day, God told her to get off sites like that. Whatever other good things she may learn there, they are harming her. Some weeks of confusion later, she cried out to God: “Please, God, this thing about what I should be- please teach me. I don’t even know how to follow you any more, if I ever did. I’ll start by looking up everything you say about women in the Bible. I’ll cross-reference to a concordance and the Greek or Hebrew meanings* given in there. Show me the truth, and don’t let me be misled.”
 
 She then found Loren Cunningham, founder of the large mission organization YWAM (YWAM’s fruit speaks for itself) teaches how the Bible have been misunderstood and mis-translated on the topic of women in the church. Here, you will find links to his “releasing women” .mp3’s, and here and here  you will find more about his book, “Why not women?”
 
As Loren himself say:
The real issue for me is: Can the women be what they were called to be from their mother’s womb? In God. In Christ.
 
Loren’s view seems to resonate with several thoughtful, intelligent people, the sort most likely to think of apologetics. One reader reacts:
My experience has been that the “equality” camp (of which this book is a member) expresses their arguments and evidence by digging deeply into the original languages of Scripture (exegesis). They look at words usage, sentence structure, and contextual understanding of the Scripture passage as a whole which the “troublesome” verses are found in. Their main conclusion is that the English interpretations of Scripture have failed to express the true meaning the Greek or Hebrew speaking writers of Scripture intended…
On the other hand, the “submission” or “headship” camp books I have read and sermons I have heard, focus their arguments and conclusions on the English versions of Scripture, and on anecdotal evidence.
 
If you are thinking about about women’s role in the church, please test this, and see if it measures up to Scripture. After all, the Kingdom work of at least half of all Christians is at stake.
 
 
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Note
* Most of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew or Greek. To understand the Bible better, it is always better to see the original than translations, which may lose some meaning when translated.