I work for a medical device sales company. Sales is already a field typically dominated by men and when you narrow it further to the healthcare industry, it can often feel lonely and defeating as a woman. And as a female myself, I question my place in this industry and my ability to succeed and contribute. I often find myself asking the question, “why even try when everyone around me is a man who can easily relate to the other multitude of men within the industry?”
But when I look to the Word, I see that Jesus understands the importance of women and the vital role they play in his kingdom. That I am needed and I have a purpose. I see powerful women called and used in powerful roles. In fact, I see it starting with the first ever woman herself.
“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’...but for the human no suitable helper was found.”
Enter Eve. Created out of man to serve a specific purpose.: To help her counterpart, Adam, populate and rule over the world God had set before them. Both woman and man were made in God’s image. Together, they represented God and his presence on Earth. Woman was created to be man’s warrior partner, strong and decisive, ruling God’s Kingdom on Earth together.
However, the modern, patriarchal interpretation is that man is to take charge while woman supports his leadership as his “helper”. This word has come to be defined as an individual who is subservient or less than. Helper has become a limited word with a limited understanding.
But when we turn to the Bible, we see a more complex story. In Hebrew, the word for “helper” used in Genesis 2:18 and 20 in reference to Eve is ezer (pronounced “ay-zer”) and it is actually used in the Old Testament in the context of vitally important and powerful acts of rescue and support. For example:
If God believed and intended for women to be subservient or less than, he wouldn’t have used them in so many significant roles.— being the first to greet Jesus after his resurrection. Or helping save an entire race of people. Or birthing and raising the Son of God!
God assigned the powerful role and title of “ezer” to Eve without any narrow qualifications, prescribed limits, or carefully crafted cultural restrictions. It was not used to define how and when a woman is to apply her helpfulness, but rather to alleviate Adam’s loneliness and provide him with a partner in his commission.
Women can fulfill the typical caricature of the soft, sweet and pure Biblical woman, which is incredible and amazing. But they can also fulfill the role of warrior, provider, protector and leader—both powerful roles with the powerful responsibility to help restore life. This responsibility is vital and should not be diminished by the gender of the individual in the role.
Jesus himself challenged these culture-created stigmas. Encouraging women to “sit at His feet.” to learn the Torah when they were told not to. Inviting them to travel as ministers in a culture driven by a woman’s work confining them to the home.
Women fill a purposeful, God-given role as an ezer. But we shouldn’t let the manipulation of this word hold us back. In Jesus’ world, women lead. Jesus’ very purpose was to redeem, restore and renew what was lost in the fall, even in the crazy world of healthcare.
Remember, you were created with and for a purpose—a purpose to further God’s Kingdom with your amazing gifts and talents. Don’t squander them because the world tells you you’re not worthy. The Holiest of Holys says you are the worthiest thing He’s ever made.