Sunday, November 4, 2007

Helper by Design

Note: After this post was published, it was later discovered that a book exists by the same title. The material in this post is not related to the book, Helper by Design by Elyse Fitzpatrick. However, we plan to read and review that book on this site soon.

One of the things we tend to do as fallen creatures in a fallen world is look for someone to blame for everything that goes wrong, especially in matters concerning the opposite sex. Men like to joke that if it weren't for women, they'd still be in Eden. The female comeback to this is that the reason God made men first is because you always do a rough draft before unveiling your final masterpiece.

While these silly statements are made in jest, I believe there is truth in jest, at least in the idea that these comments signify some real resentment on both sides due to our failure to communicate and understand one another. It also stands to reason that because the Bible portrays God in the masculine gender, I think more often than not this results in a communication breakdown between women and their Creator. Many women blame God for the state of their interpersonal relationships with men, reasoning that it was God who declared the woman subject to masculine authority, and since men don't always play fair, we suffer at their hands. Therefore, it's God's fault.

What we are doing here is comparing apples and oranges. We cannot evaluate God's mindset based upon the fallen creation. Rather, we need to look at what the Bible says about God's vision for His creation before sin entered the picture.

In Genesis 1:26, we see God create man in His image. We know from Matthew 5:48 that God is perfect, and that His desire is for us to be perfect as well. So it makes sense that God's creation was created in perfect condition. By Genesis 1:28, we see that God has given everything to both the man and the woman to exercise dominion over the creation together. This is very important. God's original intention was that both male and female were to have authority over the rest of creation. Notice the scripture says that God blessed them and addressed both of them, not just the man. The woman was to be right there beside him, exercising authority as well. However, the man was to be the primary authority (Genesis 2:15), and the woman's role was that of helper (Genesis 2:18).

Now if you're like me, you're not too jazzed by the word helper. It implies that women play second fiddle. But I want to call your attention to something very profound. A few months ago, I was watching a pre-recorded broadcast of The Winning Edge. Dr. Dwayne Mercer was delivering a message on marriage and said something to this effect:

Most people automatically believe that the helper is the inferior role. But do not make that mistake! The helper is not inferior, just different. And here's why: In the book of John, Jesus tells His disciples that upon His departure, He will send them a Helper. Consider these verses:

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—(John 14:16)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (John 15:26)


Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for
if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will
send Him to you. (John 16:7)

No one would argue that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Father or the Son, simply because His role is that of Helper. Likewise, we should never assume that the woman is inferior to the man because her role is that of helper.

The realization set in as I was listening to this message that just as God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26), the woman was created in the image of God as well, only we can infer that she was fashioned after the third Person of the Trinity. Wow! That gives a whole new perspective on the word, helper doesn't it?
No one would argue that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Father or the Son, simply because His role is that of Helper. Likewise, we should never assume that the woman is inferior to the man because her role is that of helper.
One of the things that I learned during my two and a half years of being de-programmed of my feminist ideas is that God is never at fault, and He is never to blame for anything that goes wrong in my life. Being created a woman was not an accident, but a very deliberate, calculated decision made by God. It is an honor to be given the role of helper. Being a helper comes with its own power -- it just manifests itself differently from the power of leadership. We are literally helpless without our Helper. I cannot do anything apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. And I know many men who would say that they wouldn't be where they are today without the help of a godly woman.

The Holy Spirit is quiet and gentle. He softly convicts us of sin, without a word. He gently guides us to the right decisions. In a similar fashion, consider the power women have over the men in their lives -- to gently guide them toward making godly decisions. Of course, this power of influence can be used in an evil way -- just look at the adulteress in Proverbs 7. But as Christians, we want to use our power and influence over the men in our lives in a way that will edify them. After all, we are their helpers. We do not wish to do them harm.

Consider the men in your life. Perhaps you have a brother or a son that you want to encourage toward a deeper relationship with God. If so, you can encourage him to grow in biblical masculinity simply through the quiet example of a gentle spirit, just like our God, the Holy Spirit. How will you exercise your power and influence as a woman? Who will you encourage today?

1 comment:

Natasa said...

Hi, look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8FuPWgD5Kc
I hope you'll like it.