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What is the REAL meaning of a woman being the helper of man? Is there gender equality in Christianity? Shouldn’t a male hold women in high esteem?

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January 23, 2019

What is the real meaning of a woman being the helper of man? Is there true gender equality in Christianity? Are women some sort of assistants or second-class citizens? Should a man use this term to dominate women or to overwork them as if they were meant for that? That would be totally unacceptable. I am afraid many males have misunderstood the beauty and depth of this term and hopefully we can put things into perspective in this video.

 

Is it right for a husband to lead his family without involving his spouse? In other words, while he gets to make all the decisions, she gets to sit down quietly. Absolutely not. This is not what God planned for the Christian marriage. The objectives of a married couple are thought through and achieved together. They are not the husband’s objectives. They are the common objectives of both spouses to which they agree to through mutual understanding. And this mutual understanding happens through the sacrificial love each one gives to the other. The man loves his wife to death and therefore it is his duty to please her. And although both genders submit to each other, the wife’s role is emphasized in her submission and respect to her husband. It is unchristian to believe that the husband runs the show, while the wife has no say and must obey. This is absolutely non-trinitarian. We learn from our One Trinitarian God that each Hypostasis (or Person) is equal to the other and all three Hypostases have One Will because of Their love for one another. It is therefore not a monarchy ruled by God the Father, let’s say. No, it is a communion of love between the Trinitarian Persons. Marriage is the mirror of this Trinitarian love, here on earth. Although each person within the couple has his or her opinion, through love, unity prevails. But since we live in a fallen world, there needs to be a leader like in every earthly organization. The man is therefore the head of the wife as St. Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11:3, but he is the head in terms of leadership, not in terms of superiority. The husband leads through serving his wife, not by commanding her. Some people think that men are superior than women. This is not our Christian understanding. So a real Christian man is the one that loves his wife to death. He sacrifices himself for her. Not the one that treats her as if she is a second-class citizen, using and abusing of the word helper in that wrong sense.

 

 

So what does the term helper mean? Let us see what the Scripture teaches us about the creation of Eve. In Genesis 2, it says: “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’”For the first time, something in God’s creation is declared as “not good.” It is not good that man should be alone. This is big. Everything God creates is good. So this is very abnormal. The text is trying to highlight a crucial reality. Let us continue reading: “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”The text wants to emphasize that Adam had to learn of his deep innate need for a woman so God brought to Adam all the animals to name them and in the process he realized how the animals completed each other and therefore he realized his own need. This realization is highlighted at the end of verse 20: “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” This is not to be understood as if Adam was bored and therefore he needed someone to accompany or entertain him. It is much deeper than that.

 

We can realize the importance of this need through our understanding of the One Trinitarian God and us, humans, being ultimately created in the image of the Trinity. As we know, the Holy Trinity is Three Persons in One God as you can see in this triangle. We have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If we remove one side of the triangle, whichever one, would we still have a triangle? No. So each of the triangle sides is absolutely essential for the triangle to exist. Likewise, the existence of each Person within the Trinity is absolutely essential for the One Trinitarian God to exist. This is precisely why the Church Fathers agreed on naming each Person in Greek “Hypostasis.” “Hypo” means “under.” “Stasis” means “standing still” or a “state of stability.” Hypostasis, therefore, means that each Person is under the others and therefore each Person is a cause of stability to the others — each Person is foundational for the others. Now, that precise meaning is what is mirrored in humanity. The woman is the foundation of man. And man is the foundation of the woman. Each gender must exist for the other to continue. This theological understanding is very obvious biologically. No women means no humankind. How would we reproduce? No man, no humankind. And, as the Holy Trinity is One, God created humans to be one. And this is ultimately reflected in marriage. It is no accident that the woman is taken out of the man at the creation, meaning that they were originally one. And then, a woman and a man are joined to be one in holy matrimony. As the Persons of the Trinity are One, so are we. Therefore, a woman being a helper does not mean that she is an assistant, it means that man can’t live without her.

 

In addition, the word helper in Hebrew is Ezer(ay-zer)which implies saving from destruction. For example, in Hosea 13:9, it says: “O Israel, you are destroyed, But your help [ezer] is from Me.” This help that came from God saved them from destruction. It is absolutely vital for life to continue. Also in Deuteronomy 33:29, it says: “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, The shield of your help [ezer] And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places.”The Lord, here, is the shield that protects from the sword. He is the One that helps Israel from succumbing to death. This is the meaning of the word ezer throughout the Old Testament. Again, women are absolutely indispensable to men and vice-versa. The word helper means that men will die without women. We are meant to be together mirroring the All-Holy Trinity. Therefore, any Christian male ought to hold women in very high esteem, as each Person within the Trinity esteems the Others.

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