Ezer Kenegdo What??
Don’t you find it strange that after traveling the world, doing missions and ministry, having load of fun, studying, working, buying a house, and so on, single girls still feel…single?
The thing is, all that stuff is just not enough to fulfil the feminine heart. Why is that? In the creation account in the first chapters of Genesis, the whole design (the mission statement, if you will) for humanity is laid out. It goes something like this:
1. God wants to glorify himself through his creation.
2. He creates a really nice world as the habitat for the pinnacle of his creation (humans).
3. He creates a man and lets him be in charge of the world.
4. He creates a woman to be with the man so he isn’t lonely.
5. The man and woman have babies.
6. The world is filled with humans!
7. Thus, God is glorified.
Let’s just read that back and see where we fit into the picture…oh yes, in steps 4 and 5. Help the man not to be lonely, and have babies. Simple! (If only.)
Genesis 2:18 is pretty clear. God is looking at his creation and pondering whether it’s missing something important. He sees that Adam is moping around, and literally says: ‘It’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Now the Hebrew word that most Bibles translate as ‘helper’ in this verse is ezer kenegdo, which actually means ‘strong helper’. There are two very important words here. STRONG and HELPER. God is not saying that women are weak. He does not say that they are lesser. But he does say that they are there to help the man.
There are lots of ways that women can help men. (They sure need it.) And you know what, it’s in a woman’s nature to want to help. As soon as a man asks a woman for a favour, she is usually more than happy to step in. It just comes naturally. But unfortunately, although women want to help, many are scared to make themselves vulnerable like this because of past hurts. And on top of that, many men misunderstand (or abuse) a woman’s deep love of serving, and will ask things of her that really aren’t appropriate. This happens a lot in church world, when a male leader or pastor takes advantage of single women in the community by asking them to help all the time. It’s quite common for those women to develop a strong attachment to that man (or even a major crush), which is usually unrequited and leaves the girl feeling shattered, used or betrayed.
Think about the old cliché – the working man having an affair with his secretary. It’s so common, there has to be some kind of psychological link to this sequence. I mean, why doesn’t he run off with the IT girl, or the cleaner, or the woman in the next office? I’ll tell you why – it’s because the secretary is literally his workplace ezer kenegdo! She runs his calendar, she knows how he likes his coffee, she orders his Uber – and she comforts him after a bad meeting or a professional crisis. It is in her heart to reach out to him and to nurture him, to help him.
This is the natural order of things. The man works and fights the elements, and the woman is the safe place for the man to come back to and get comforted so he can get back out there and try again. When a man and a woman are in this ‘dance’, it’s almost impossible for them not to develop a strong bond, and potentially a romantic attachment. So ideally, this happens in the context of a romantic relationship/marriage.
There’s a lot more to say about this, so keep an eye out for future posts. But here’s a takeaway thought for you: are you already someone’s ezer kenegdo? Is it fulfilling, reciprocated, and appropriate? Do you have emotional space to be an ezer kenegdo to a potential husband? Do you even want to be an ezer kenegdo?
Big questions. Chat soon. xo