To the ladies…
I like to boss people around. My siblings know it’s true and could regale you with stories [insert apology that will be sadly invalidated the next time I try to boss you around, and thank you for still loving me and sometimes sticking me under your armpit to show me who’s actually boss]. I know that no one likes a bossy person but there’s something in me that really likes to be in charge.
It’s why I used to bristle at the word “helper” in Genesis 2.
The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
A while back, my conversation with God after reading this verse was to politely ask him if there maybe was a better word he could have chosen. One that made me feel more important? You see it didn’t matter how valuable, even irreplaceable the help–it was still help. It meant to me second fiddle. And I didn’t love that idea. Because the truth is, I’m less like this…
And more like this…
I love to lead. I love to direct. I love to stare a problem down, strategize a solution and then send people out to solve it. And I think for a long time I wrestled with a mistaken belief that being a helper means I need to do these things less. That the drive to lead and direct was unfeminine at best, sinful at worst. No one told me this (well…maybe a few did unintentionally), they were just secret fears and thoughts that crept over my heart like a shadow. They put to death my energy and ambition, encouraged me always to hold back, and kept me questioning God’s directions far more than they ever did propel me to obey.
But the more I study Genesis 1 and 2, the more I come to the realization that God created Adam and Eve in his image so that “they may rule.” This mission is not ultimately about Adam nor is it about Eve. They are both second fiddle. The mission is stewardship over God’s creation. Adam was assigned a role. Eve was as well. One of the special aspects of Eve’s rule is that she is to help Adam. This word,`ezer does not signify inferiority. In fact, it is most often used in the Old Testament to refer to God’s help to man (e.g. Deu 33:29 and Psa 70:5). It simply means help or one who helps.
To live as a woman means to embrace our calling to help–to assist man in our shared mission of bringing God’s kingdom to earth. And for that we’re going to need skills. Leadership skills.
So activate those gifts. Encourage that impulse to lead. Come out of the shadows. You’re going to be bossy and brassy and get it wrong at times. But it’s a greater risk to never live out your mission.