I just noticed Michelle De Rusha's post on Genesis and laughed when she said she wondered what new insight could we possibly gain from the creation story.
Our pastor's current series is on Genesis and this week he focused on the creation of Woman. Quite an impressive creation of God when the Hebrew meaning of "helper" is understood.
As I sat and listened to our pastor, my mind was clicking off the well worn passages but my pen was idle. I was sure that I would not even need the blank note page in our bulletin. Then our pastor began delving into the unique and powerful characteristics God designed into making Woman. I clicked my pen, grabbed the clean white note sheet, and began scribbling as fast as I could.
Even though the Woman is often thought of as the "help-meet" for man or his "helper"--"helpmate" in some versions--it is a weak translation of the Hebrew Word, "ezer," which is used in Genesis to describe this creation known as Woman. According to the Hebrew translation of "ezer", God's intention for this rib that He extracted from Adam (a sign of their oneness) is more significant than the English interpretation. (See an explanation by "Women in the Scriptures" and "God's Word to Women".)
According to our pastor, "helper" is accurately translated as "valuable, powerful, one called alongside to help and to complete man."
He even referenced New Testament Scriptures such as John 14:16, where the word "Helper" is used to describe the Holy Spirit, the one who will be there to aid us, to comfort us, to guide us.
When a Woman's role is viewed from this perspective of "power" and "completion", it not only esteems her role in God's creation but adds a tremendous responsibility on her to "stand by her man" as the song goes. We Women are vital in bringing life and strength into our husbands and into the marriage. Sounds like more than just tending the garden~although that is a gift as well.
"Masculinity is not complete without femininity," our pastor continued. "Woman's creation out of Adam makes her his equal."
However, we need to be careful not to use this new-found definition of our role as a means of usurping our husband's authority.
In Ephesians 5:22-28, Scripture explains both roles so clearly. I like the way, The Amplified Bible translates verse 22: "Wives, be subject--be submissive and adapt yourselves--to your own husbands as (a service) to the Lord."
Then let's look at the translation of verses 23-29 in The Message. I think this translation captures the essence of our oneness--Man and Woman--and yet our unique roles in God's creation plan.
"The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as He(Caps, mine) exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
"Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church--a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything He )Caps, mine) does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor--since they're already 'one' in marriage."
Pastor concluded with the eloquence of our role: "When a woman treats her counterpart as an image bearer of Christ--treats him with respect--she brings glory to God, honoring the vessel from which she was created."
Ladies, we have a high calling. One that is cloaked in tender love but delivers a powerful force to the union called marriage. (See an article I wrote here about this) Let's bring glory to God and strength and honor to our husbands.
From My Heart to Yours,