Lately I’ve been pondering and praying about what it really means to be a Christian woman. And what I’m discovering is blasting my little comfort zone to pieces. Warning: you can keep reading but it just may scare your apron off.
Let’s start at the beginning when Eve was created to be a “helper”…
—Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
When we think of Eve being created as a “helper” for Adam, we tend to assume that word describes her role. But what if it is much deeper than that? What if it describes her heart?
Think of the women in your life. Encouraging, comforting, cooking, painting, working…it is almost all for someone else. They labor on behalf of love. This “helping” varies in its intensity. Sometimes it is a soft hand brushed across the hot brow of a sick child. But often it is fierce, strong, wild, bold.
The word for “helper” is the same word often used when God helps us. David writes in the Psalms, “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20). Here the help that comes from God is the kind one needs in war—it sits side-by-side with a shield.
We, as women, often do go to battle. We fight cancer. We fight for our marriages. We fight for our children. And in doing so, we help.
Perhaps we have defined this word too narrowly because a part of us grasps what it truly means. Deep inside we have sensed our full calling…and it is terrifying. So we define, and let it be defined for us, that “helping” is quiet and safe.
And sometimes it is. It has been said that humility is “strength under control.” So at times we do “help” in the ways servants do—not because we must but because our hearts love deeply enough to put the needs of others before our own. This is a beautiful part of being a woman.
But other times, perhaps, we hold back our help because it would mean stepping out of our comfort zones, getting messy, dirty, and involved. We know it would take all of our strength, we might get wounded in the process, and people could misunderstand.
Yet it remains that we are “helpers” created and called by the one who is our Help. So we must look to Him for the complete picture of what that word means.
God’s heart is the place where “woman” began and, though we may look elsewhere, it is still the place where we (as women) find who we are in the end.