The Noble Work of Helper

The Noble Work of Helper

These days, we all like to be numero uno.

So when we read words like “helper” or “submit,” we balk and resist.

But what if that is where our greatest joys are found?

If life here is really preparation for our heavenly marriage, what does God intend for human marriage to reflect?

In Gen. 2:15, God gave work for Adam to do—to keep this beautiful garden of Eden and from there, cultivate and extend it.

That’s a big job for one person.

And so He makes Eve—a helper fit for him and the work he has been assigned to do.

Animals do not share the image of God and therefore do not share this assignment.

But even though she shares God’s image, she will bring in her own contribution.

Eve is created, not because Adam is lonely, for he communed with God Himself.

She is created because the job is too big for him to do by himself.

This relationship of marriage is created, so that together, they could work side by side.

Together, they would reproduce children who will likewise join them in that work, create their own families, and multiply children to fill the earth.

Together, generation after generation, they were to faithfully work their way through every inch and crevice of the unformed and wild land God had created until the work was done.

Marriage is not primarily about romance, sex, or companionship, though it can include those things.

It is really about serving God’s purposes.

Out of His kindness then, God creates a helper, an ezer. [1]

Lest we think this is a second-class citizen, it is interesting to note that this term is used to describe God Himself (Deut 33:29, Ps. 33:20, 146:5).

When God created Eve, He was creating one who would reflect this part of His nature.

When women understand and embrace this role instead of fighting it, we then take part in something noble.

Yes, God is a tender helper, but if we read other passages using ezer, we will also see God deploying His strength on behalf of those who cannot help themselves.

As a woman, this is how I need to understand my role.

Not as a doormat. Not as a servant. Not as an object.

A helper. An ezer.

Men have a different role. They are to protect, guide, and help move the plans of God forward.

We get in trouble when we do not appreciate these roles—and reverse them. I believe that’s what is the struggle between husband and wife (Gen. 3:16b).

Who will get the last word?  

This is one of marriage’s key challenges—roles.

Yet I also think that learning to live out those roles and working together is where our sanctification happens and our refining occurs.

How might this understanding of roles impact your marriage today?

[1] https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5828.htm

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