God's creation of woman was for a specific purpose as seen in Genesis chapter 2. God provides simple and practical information in His Word. Some of the most important information about the man/woman relationship is in Genesis chapters 1 - 3. Accepting and applying that information can transform your relationship. It will also help you see how you may have developed to be different from your God-given design.
When you know how a woman is designed, you can grasp how profound the judgment or curse for woman is as stated in Genesis 3:16.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” – Genesis 2:18
Do you remember that it was God who said it was “not good that man should be alone?” It was God. And do you remember what God wanted for man? “A helper comparable to him.” So, God made exactly what man needed – Woman.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” – Genesis 2:21-23
Do not miss God’s clear reasoning here for creating woman. She is to be a helper to man. Other versions say the helper will be “suitable,” “meet,” or “as his counterpart.” And, men, God clearly says you need a helper.
You may have the opinion, as do many, that the role and value of a helper is less than the one who is helped. Satan wants you to think that! That thinking morphs into a value argument. If women do not have or are not allowed to do the same role as men, they must not have the same value. It is the same lie he tells people everywhere: if you do not have a large or prestigious role, it means you are less of a person or less valuable.
On the other hand, if you understand the way God uses the word helper, you might think differently. In fact, understanding “helper” is both humbling and amazing for men and women.
Helper Is An Exceptional Compliment
The Hebrew word used is “ezer,” and it occurs 21 times in the Bible; 19 times it is translated as “help”, and twice as “help meet.” “Ezer” means help, support, aid, and it designates assistance or, more often, the assistant like in Genesis 2:18.
Here is the amazing thing: helper is generally used about God, especially in Psalms.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. – Psalms 121:1-2
Since God describes Himself as a “helper,” then “helper” is an exceptionally good thing! It is not a slur or something demeaning. If you ignore God's view of "helper," you will not like being called a helper.
Women, a helper is a high calling and exactly what you were made for! A helper in a self-centered, individualistic, narcissistic world is counter-cultural. Therefore, opposing the desire of the sin nature to make everything about ME. In effect, a helper looks at life through God’s eyes and acts like God elevating service over self. A helper is an exceptionally good thing because it is a word God uses for Himself!
Comparable or Suitable
Not only a helper but a “helper comparable” or suitable. The Hebrew word “neged” means “what is in front of, corresponding to.” In English, both Webster’s and Collins Dictionary define suitable as “appropriate, proper, a fit, adapted to a use or purpose, satisfying propriety, able, qualified.”
God is the perfect creator. He knows precisely how things, and people, fit together best. That applies to the creation of woman. He created woman as the perfect companion for man.
So, Man is designed to work, to need help, and to need a suitable companion. And Woman is designed to relate, help, support, be compatible with, and be suitable for, Man. God’s design is different for each because they have different roles.
Despite the clarity of the different designs and unique roles, people choose to see it differently. That is especially true when the agenda compares men to women to elevate one over the other.
Remember the Hebrew word “neged”? It can be translated as “in front of” or “in sight of.” Some people interpret this as equality and even superiority. For example:
God created woman to be “in front of” or “visible” to Adam, which would symbolize equality (if not superiority!) in all respects. Even more, one can argue that the female is the helper who rules over the one she helps! – Aida Besancon Spencer, Beyond the Curse
Dr. Bensancon Spencer’s work concerning the first chapters of Genesis is good when compared to other scholars that I have read. Unfortunately, her agenda is to prove that women should have the same ministerial roles as men. That agenda colors her approach. Therefore, she focuses on equality and mutual submission but fails to see that roles are separate from equality or that submission is also used to maintain order. She provides no admission of the reality of equality in value with someone AND having a different role.
Equal and Different
She may know that is true from experience and, more importantly, from the example of the Triune God. But she apparently does not accept it or think that it is important enough to put into her book. The reality is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all are equal AND have different roles. Each member of the Trinity is equal in value, mutually submits to one another, AND maintains order with their different roles. You can see more about the value of understanding submission through the lens of the Image of God in these two courses: 09A - The "S" Word - Submission, and 09B - Authority and Leadership - Paul's Example.
Not Superior or Inferior
There is no doubt that men also improperly interpret God’s Word to push the lie that women are inferior to men. This is unfortunately the consequence of the judgments provided in Genesis 3 (see courses 04A - The Unknown Judgment for Women and 04B - The Unknown Judgment for Men). Dr. Besancon Spencer is fighting a good fight related to equality in value, but the pendulum swings too far when she proposes that the roles are also equal. In contrast to that thinking, Dr. Eugene Merrill provides valuable insight:
That woman was taken from man no more implies the inferiority of woman to man than the taking of man from the ground implies the inferiority of man to the ground. Nor does the term “helper” connote subordination… A helper … is not necessarily dominant or subordinate but one who meets a need in the life and experience of someone else. – Merrill, Eugene A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, p19
The context is clear. Animals have partners to correspond to them, and man needs a partner who complements and corresponds to him. The woman is a perfect partner created by God for man. Man is not superior to her or woman to him AND they have different roles to fulfill.
Consider the following also.
Was Eve Adam’s equal? Yes and no. She was his spiritual equal and … “suitable for him.” But she was not his equal in that she was his “helper.” God did not create man and woman in an undifferentiated way, and their mere maleness and femaleness identify their respective roles. A man, just by virtue of his manhood, is called to lead for God. A woman, just by virtue of her womanhood, is called to help for God. – “Male – Female Equality and Male Headship,” Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 102, Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
God did not create Eve to be superior to Adam; neither did He design her to be his slave. He did give them a perfect relationship: man as the head willingly providing for her, and she willingly submitting to him. Adam saw Eve as one with him in every respect—that was God’s design for a perfectly glorious union.” – Different by Design, MacArthur, John
Going back to the farming metaphor, women are designed to help, nurture, and support the seed. A woman bears, births, assists, aids, and gives relief to what was planted. Like a man, a woman does not do this alone, because she is the complementary companion to help man and his aloneness. That aloneness is often unrecognized by man. Finally, a woman’s design is best utilized in combination with a man’s design, joining in complementary oneness.
Women, you are designed with an emphasis and strength to relate and all the many facets that requires. Whatever you endeavor, whether leading or following, when you use your innate ability to relate, you focus on your strength. Every woman leader that I coach, I ask them to consider leading with their relational design instead of trying to be powerful.
Overall, these three words reasonably describe a woman’s design:
Help, Nurture, and Support.