There are few things that will offend a woman faster than when they are called a helper or told to submit to their husbands. I’m a strong woman and use to rebel against those words, myself, still struggle with it at times, but because it’s in the Bible and God is asking this of us, I started to unpack it.
Ever heard the song Female by Keith Urban? My daughter and I love how he lists all the different roles women have played through history and today. Our favorite part, however, is when he says:
When somebody talks about how it was Adam first
Does that make you second best?
Or did he save the best for last?
We jokingly say, of course, He saved the best for last. I don’t believe God saved the best for last, but I do believe that we were created for a purpose much larger than many of us realize.
Women – brokeness – unknown value:
Standing in line at the grocery store looking at the sculpted body of the woman on the Shape magazine, I feel myself being pulled by comparison and body shaming. Know what I’m talking about? It’s so easy to fall into that trap of comparison and shaming. Why? It gets me so upset sometimes. I find that the most vulnerable places that I find my brokenness are: Fitness expectations, my overall body image, and my blindness toward my gifts because I would rather have the gifts another woman has.
Fitness: I have spent most of my life in the fitness industry. I still love fitness, but I can not be a member of a fitness facility any longer. I fall victim to comparison, self-hate and an overwhelming desire to be accepted by others at the gym. It’s not a healthy place for me, so I workout at home and find other ways to use my love of fitness. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. Most of us enter into the fitness center to lose weight, to strive and achieve the perfect body – ok at first it’s just to look better – but without fail, deep down- we are seeking perfection. Because of pressure from society and self-hate, we go day after day, get on the scale day after day only to be further disappointed as we see little progress on our part and watch other ‘seemingly perfect women’ get results. Let me ask you this; Do you go to the gym hoping to get skinnier so you can love yourself more or do you go because it feels good to sweat? Be honest… From experience, I can tell you that if you’re chasing skinny, you’ll never find it because as long as your mind is critical about yourself – you’ll never be good enough in your own eyes. You need to renew your mind then, and only then will your body follow.
Overall Body Image: I, right along with many of your I’m sure, self-shame/self-hate my body. I catch myself saying things I don’t like about my body a lot. Sadly, that impacts the way I go about my day. If I sit and hate on myself, my capacity to love my family drops drastically! As a matter of fact, I can get pretty nasty when the self-hate is high because I don’t have the grace and patience for anyone else. If I fail to give myself love, grace, and patience – it will carry over to other areas, every single time.
I honestly believe that this is part of the reason our world is in so much termoil, women have forgotten the beatuy in which God made each of us. We were created to save, love, empower… but we’re too busy comparing, shaming and self-hating to fufill our purpose – there isn’t enough energy to do both…
Everywhere we look in media we are confronted with zero-cellulite-zero-body-fat-supermodel-sexy-bodied women! Guess what? That’s not real life and no matter how hard we try we will never be without cellulite – plus, aren’t dimples supposed to be cute – who cares where they are on our bodies – dimples are adorable.
Hand Made Signs/Pinterest syndrome: I love Pinterest, I find all my meal planning there and am so grateful for all the people out there that try new things and post them! Keep it up! However, it is a trap, at times, for feeling less than good about my own gifts. I see woman planning parties, cooking great food and living life ‘perfectly’. I end up face-planting into comparison instead of celebrating someone else’s gifts. We actually end up not seeing our gifts and start looking at ourselves as giftless humans with no purpose, value or direction…(ok that might be a bit harsh – but that’s kind of what we tell ourselves) Wishing we could be more like the women who are so perfect and wonderful…
God has blessed each of us with our own unique set of gifts so that as a whole we can lean on one another, conquer greater things, and fulfill God’s purpose. I know I can not make a beautiful handmade wooden sign, even though I really really wish I could. I do know, however, that I am a beautiful hand-made sign. I’m a sign of God’s grace and love and generosity. I’ve been made for a specific purpose that no one else can fulfill – and so are you! God needs us to stop trying to be each other and start saying “wow you have a gift, I have this gift… Let’s partner up and enlarge God’s Kingdom together”.
You are a beautiful hand-made sign for a grand purpose fit just for you
Who We Really Are
As I stated, in the beginning, there is no biblical word that will offend a woman faster than submission or that we were created to be a helper. But, the word helper was only used in regards to a few people in the Bible – namely the Holy Spirit. God could have chosen any number of labels for us, or even left it up to Adam to name us… but he chose Ezer Kenegdo
I’m no biblical scholar, so I’m not going to try to unpack everything within the meaning of those words – But here are some things I’ve read that have transformed the way I view who I am and my mission is as a woman, wife, and mom:
“She will be his strongest ally in pursuing God’s purposes and his first roadblock when he veers off course.”
“The ezer is a warrior.”
“Together they will daily prove in countless and surprising ways that two are always better than one.”
“The man needs everything she brings to their global mission.”“It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a companion of strength and power who has a saving power and is equal with him.”