For many years I was taught that my purpose as a wife/woman, was to be a helper for my husband. A sort of divinely appointed personal assistant to him. He was the one to take the initiative; I was there to serve him, to help him fulfill God’s vision and call on his life. If I was to have any kind of strategic role, it was to be through my husband.
This teaching mainly came from Genesis 2:18, which in the King James Version of the Bible says this:
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
More modern versions also describe the woman as a helper for man.
It is an enlightening exercise, however, to look at the other occasions on which this word “helper” is used. Of the 21 times, the Hebrew word “ezer” is used, in 16, it refers to God. Typical examples include, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2) or “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8). On three occasions, it is used in a decidedly militaristic context (eg Hosea 13:9).
The Hebrew word translated “meet” or “fit” means literally in front of with the understanding of “comparable to.” Someone alongside.
The impression is not that of a “Girl Friday.” It is more of a coach or rescuer, a valued consultant brought in to assist where man is lacking.