Today I rose early, I couldn’t sleep. I had woken to use the bathroom and my eyelids still felt the weight of sleep. But sleep would not come back, so I got up. I sat on the couch and read. I’ve always had an interest in being a woman. I love that God made men and women uniquely different. When single I sometimes got mad at things that men did or aspects of who they were. But (ask my roommate Keri) I always followed the frustration with, “But I still want one!” Now that I’ve been given a man of my own, I’m still interested in how different we are. Sometimes our differences still cause frustration. Other times they make us better. Thus, I’m reading about being a helper.
My book now sits on the floor though. My thoughts are varied. I’m observing our wedding picture which hangs on the wall. Some days this picture becomes part of the wall. I barely see it. Other days I get up close to it, I look at the names of friends who witnessed that day. I remember. Today, however, I’m looking at it in light of the book I’m reading. I peer into the faces. I see me. I see a beloved man. I see us standing close together, smiling. I look into my own eyes staring back. I ponder who I was, and who I’m becoming. Next Tuesday we will have been married two (short)(wonderful) years. Two years. How can time move so fast and so slow all at once?
But there is more to what I’m thinking. I’m thinking of the dreams we had as singles. I’m thinking of how we wanted our lives to intertwine, and now that they do it is not as cut and dry as we thought it might be. I’m also thinking of our culture and how far we’ve come from the Biblical view of men and women. I’m thinking of the little girls in the next generation. Who will show them what it means to be a woman? I don’t even know some days if I display womanhood in the best light. In two years there have been moments when I’ve not elevated my man or been a helper to him.
Being a helper is about being a woman. And being a woman is not about being married. Singles are called to this too. So as my anniversary approaches, and as this book teaches me, I’d like to pass on some encouragement to you. You and I, my sisters, we are daughters of Eve. Eve, the first woman. We, the woman of this generation who get to teach the next generation of girls who they are. It’s a tall task.
Author, Susan Hunt, writes,
Women’s helper design is not so much what we do but rather who we are…. [it] should not be confused with our various roles. Our roles change: Daughter, student, wife, friend, employee, employer, mother, etc… But our design equips us to bring a unique perspective to that role….So the core question is not what is my role, but what is my goal? It is essential to recognize that I am created in the image of God for the purpose of reflecting His image. But I cannot, and should not try to, escape the fact that I am a female and that I am to glorify God as a female person.
So as my anniversary approaches, as I examine myself portrayed two years ago as a bride, and as I think over these two years and into my next year of marriage I am pondering my helper role. I am pondering the next generation of little girls growing up in a feminist culture. I’m pondering the idea that male and female (according to culture) are the same and can be interchanged. The Bible doesn’t promote that, but culture does. It’s sort of a scary thought. I’m praying that my little girls and boys never doubt that they were created by God as either a male or a female.
Hunt notes that the helper design is intrinsic to being a woman. She notes that our worldview forms our idea of being a female. Most people think that a helper is lesser. Rather she writes, “When we consider how God is our helper, we can begin to understand the depth and the power of our female design.”
I’m thinking afresh of my role as helper to Brad, now two years into our marriage. I’m thinking of all women, single or married and how we can be a helper in our culture. Helpers are not just married women. Rather, in God’s design only having men in the world was not good. So God planned a different design, women. Women and men together display God’s glory. Single, or married, will you purpose in your heart to display God’s glory and bear His image as a woman? He has a plan for your life, dear sister! Teach the little girls in your life that they are valuable as women. They have gifts of compassion and service and grace that are unique to their sex! What an incredible God we serve! Let’s be women who elevate God in whichever role He places us in!
(From the book By Design, by Susan Hunt).