Some of you may already know what the phrase, “ezer kenegdo” means. Some of you may not. Today I just wanted to spend a little time talking about it because it is something I think about and strive for on a daily basis.
Ezer kenegdo is a Hebrew phrase that has been translated to mean “helper” or “help meet” or “partner”. “Ezer” (help) is actually a very strong word used in the Bible, it is used for someone who saves or protects another, the one that needs help. “Kenegdo” (meet) means facing or corresponding to. She will provide the help he needs and is neither superior nor inferior to him, she is equal yet different. The original Hebrew verse was translated this way in Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (NIV)
Now some people (some women) at first glance may take offense to this translation. They may think it sounds as if we are just little helpers that are like assistants to our husbands. However, as you can see from the explanation above it is much more than that. Personally I am my husband’s assistant and I love that role. I love making his life easier, more manageable and more stress-free. I definitely see that as part of my job, but I know that God intends there to be so much more….
The true Hebrew meaning of “ezer” is actually a combination of two words, strength and power. God is not referring to a small task or some remedial little helping job where we make sure he gets dressed in the morning and gets off to work. Not at all. Our role as “helpers” is a very important role. We are called to be right by his side helping him with life, with decisions, with struggles, and celebrating blessings. We are to “save and protect” him. That reminds me of a line in the movie “Pretty Woman”….at the end when Richard Gere has climbed up the fire escape stairs to “rescue” Julia Roberts and he asks her what happens now (now that her knight in shining armor has saved her) and she says…”she saves him right back” (because he was scared of heights and climbing those stairs). If you haven’t seen that movie then this analogy will be lost…but to me it is a good illustration for this dynamic. Our husbands are there to protect and provide for us, but we are there to protect and provide for them as well…just in different ways.
God gave our men a big role with a lot of responsiblity. We are here to help put them in a position to succeed at what God has planned for their lives. We are to be supportive, loving, respectful and nurturing. They take care of us and we take care of them. This includes helping them with daily tasks, with long-term goals, with their spiritual walk, with their struggles and their doubts and anything else in between.
That is how it supposed to work. A husband and wife both have big jobs, and I promise most men would not want to trade jobs with a woman. However, men appreciate a wife who is always there to support, respect, love and help them.