I'm my Husband's Helper and a Feminist.
Sadly, it’s a confusing time being a woman in the church today; many of us don’t know our role and fear of “crossing boundaries”.
Here is where I stand: Christian women should be feminists; nay, all Christians should be feminists. Unfortunately, the word “feminism” has received a negative connotation as many view feminism as a crazy movement to establish women on top and men on the bottom. But when looking at the definition of the term, we see that it is described as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes.”
With this being said, women and men were created equal; and yet, we take verses such as Genesis 2:18 out of context by assuming men are of “more importance” because 1) Adam was created first and 2) Eve was created to be Adam’s Helper. But, let’s take a closer look at the word “Helper”. Many might think of this word to be quite degrading while believing it’s just another word for a servant, sidekick, assistant, etc. But, the way it is used in this verse is of much more value. “Help” in Hebrew is ‘êzer ; this word can also be found in 1 Samuel 7:12 where Samuel takes a stone, sets it up between Mizpah and Shen, and names it Ebenezer which means “the stone of help” to commemorate God's help to the Israelites in their victory over the Philistines at Mizpah.
Going back to Genesis 2:18 where Eve is created as a helper for Adam, we see she is created not to be an assistant or servant, but rather to be “כנגדו עזר ezer kenegdo, a help, a counterpart of himself, one formed from him, and a perfect resemblance of his person. If the word be rendered scrupulously literally, it signifies one like, or as himself, standing opposite to or before him. And this implies that the woman was to be a perfect resemblance of the man, possessing neither inferiority nor superiority, but being in all things like and equal to himself.”
From this we see how God’s original plan for man and woman was for them to be partners; to walk alongside each other- not man in front of woman. But, because of the Fall, overtime that plan became misconstrued (just as the rest of God’s plan for His creation).
To finalize the topic of “Helper”, in the New Testament, we see how the Holy Spirit is described as the Helper [John 14:16, 26; 15:26]. As Jesus is speaking to His disciples, He promises to them the Holy Spirit, a Helper to be with them forever who will teach them all things.
So women, what a beautiful thing it is to be seen as a helper: a corespondent, a match, a powerful force that God specifically intended women to be.
Although God intended women and men to be equal, we see all throughout the Bible women taking roles deemed as “less than”. Thankfully, in the New Testament, Jesus pushes societal and cultural boundaries. Rather than seeing women as inferior, He sees them as loved and simply as people who are worth being valued and spoken to (Luke 7:11-17, Luke 13:12-16, John 4:9-39, Luke 8:39-47).
An even greater revelation in the New Testament is that Jesus had women disciples. It is assumed that only Jesus’s twelve disciples traveled with him sharing the Good News, but this assumption is simply wrong. In Luke 8:1-3 Jesus is mentioned traveling to villages proclaiming the kingdom of God with the twelve and some women. In Mark 15:41, Mark describes how there were many women who went up to Jerusalem to minister.
In a time where Jewish women were not allowed to leave their household or learn Scripture, Jesus had them travel with Him proclaiming the Good News, He blessed them to sit at His feet and hear his teachings, rather than just serving Him in the kitchen (Luke 10:38-42), and He simply viewed them as equal (Matthew 12:46-50).
So, dear women: God’s plan for you was/ is divine. Without us and our ability to bear children, there would have been no way for Jesus to come into the world to obliterate sin and break all chains and barriers (just let that sink in). Remember, God is intentional with His creation and how He created it. Praise Him that there is no need to compare ourselves to men, for we were created to be man’s counterpart- their mate to walk hand in hand with in order to fulfill God’s purpose. So to you who is serving in kids church or is a stay at home mom; please do no think of your role as “less than”; you are equal to. To you women who are in the business world, stomping on societal boundaries, you are not of more importance; you are equal to. To women in all roles, you are powerful just for being a woman in such a confusing, chaotic time; continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ wherever you are placed. We are equal.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility”- Ephesians 2:14.