To begin, this is not pretended to be researched extensively. It’s merely a comment/thought has grown from the double seed of Debi Pearl and Teri Maxwell in a book (Debi) and talk (Teri) about loving your husbands and being good wives.
Both of them include the beginning in Genesis where the idea of a help meet or “helper” was first introduced. Whenever I have heard this verse discussed I have always noticed the speaker/author adding hastily this isn’t the type of “helper” we call our little ones (that slow us as much as help us).
They point out that the word used to say “helper” here is the same word God uses to describe himself later in the bible. This clarification usually accompanies the point that being this sort of helper is not a lowly position, as it’s the role God himself has, or is in.
Later both Teri and Debi both point out that they are their husbands’ helpmeets, not the other way around. That God has given them the assignment of helping their husband, not of him helping her.
All that said, I was thinking about this yesterday and a new idea entered my mind.
Like these women said, my husband was not given to me as my helpmeet, I was given to him. As the type of helper God it to us (they implied).
So maybe in looking at what my job is, I should be studying what kind of a helper God is, and see what he is doing that I may emulate. That is, I already know it’s not my job to convict, but maybe it is in my role to advise my husband– I may see something more clearly than he. Or I may “make his paths straight” (his way easier or more smooth) by anticipating what he needs and helping with that.
This is a neat (and to me a new) way at looking at my job as a helper to my husband.
But, also because of this way of looking, I think it’s a mistake to imagine I was designed as his helper and not the reverse. Because God doesn’t (as some people seem to think) just sit, taking notes as we pray, then jump to work. He has a plan, and he somehow uses us little humans to accomplish that plan.
(I don’t mean to imply the reverse– that really the woman should be in a God-like position of control– just that if our role looks a little like God’s, it’s definitely not all our husband’s ideas and our following blandly along.)
I’m just beginning to question and think this through, so if anyone else can articulate this better I welcome your thoughts. I still agree that God did not give man as a helpmeet. That is simply plain in scripture– it’s the woman’s title.
But I don’t think the woman’s assignment having that title must exclude the man from also being a helper. It is not a lowly position for the woman, because it is way God describes himself, and is no more lowly for the man.
It’s not scripture, but I believe it was accurate when Diane Sawyer said:
A good marriage is a contest of generosity.
This might just provoke a post. I’ll stop back if it does and you can read my thoughts. I love that last quote.
If God has designated himself as a help meet and it is up to us as women to follow His example, then God is also our provider and leader, and it is up to men to follow His example as well.
I do believe that men and women have roles, and that ours is not necessarily to lead, but to strengthen those that lead. I also believe that we are not obligted to follow someone just because they are male. They must be doing what God asks us to do.