What's So Bad About The Term "Helper"?

The burning question for women today is that of identity. Who am I? What is my worth? Am I really significant? Can I be used? Beginning in Genesis, we see that, as a woman, we have meaning and significance in the kingdom of God. Not only are we created for this purpose, but we were also created for much more. God created the woman for the man.

In Genesis, God describes a wife’s role to her husband as a suitable helper. Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’” In this verse, God declares that man was never intended to be alone and thus He creates “a helper suitable for him”. The Hebrew term for “suitable for him” (Heb. kenego) means “corresponding to him or counterpart.” Therefore, making her nature corresponding to his. This shows their equality. Despite being equal to man, woman is different in her biological makeup and DNA. She was made to complement the man, to help him populate and rule the earth, and to unite with him in a loving partnership. This is the first statement in Scripture concerning the women’s role; she is to be a help to the man. The term “helper” in Genesis 2:18 (Hebrew ‘ezer) means “help, support, or aid.” It is used as the key word to describe the women’s role.

In the world we live in today, women refuse to be looked at as merely a helper. It is almost to say that the term helper is demeaning and somehow less significant. Even in the local church we see a woman’s reaction is often to disclaim this term or shy away from using it. The truth is, just like submission, we have shied away from using “helper” due to its believed to be negative connotation. However, the term “helper” is used to describe a characteristic of God.

Within the Old Testament, the term ‘ezer is used to speak of God’s relationship with mankind. In Deuteronomy 33:7, Moses makes an appeal to God to be an ‘ezer to the tribe of Judah. In Psalm 30:10 and 54:4, David describes God as his ‘ezer. In Psalm 121, God is frequently described as a ‘ezer to His people. These passages show how people understood God to be their helper. One can see how the term helper has such a rich meaning because it centers upon the very character of God.

So is being called helper bad? To be a helper means that a woman has the capability, resources, and strength to be a help (Proverbs 31:10-31). 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 says, “For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.” The woman was created to beautifully adorn man and to compliment man’s calling. Alexander Strauch states, “The fact that the woman was made for the sake of the man is proof that the man ‘is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.’”

Women, let me encourage you today to be a helper. Why? Because to be a helper is to show forth a characteristic of God. Remember, our calling is to reflect God to the world so that they may come to know God’s Son, Jesus, as their personal Savior.

12 thoughts on “What's So Bad About The Term "Helper"?”

  1. Buck Thornton says:

    Dear Sister,
    Thank you thank you thank you for this post. This post goes so well with the one from a few days ago about the oldest daughter being in charge, and thus her husband. Helper has become such a bad word.
    Here, in John 14 vs16, Jesus says that the Father will send “another” helper.

    16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever;
    Wow: a man’s helper is is good company !!
    Peter 3 is a beautiful portrait of a woman that is beautiful in God’s sight. Well done good and faithful servant!!!!
    May husbands faithfully treasure the gift God has given them, loving their wife as the Lord loves the Church. Such a “helper” is worthy of praise, and give her the product of her hands- proverbs 31. May husbands remember this part too !

    1. Kathryn Stolz says:

      I do not like the word helper because in our language it implies servant. It puts man at the center of the relationship and woman revolving around him. I think maybe God made woman so man could be more complete, like God , who is a triune relationship serving . Thus he could be more in the image of God than when he was alone. So the traditional view after 40 years with the Lord and married 30 doesn’t seem right to me. I cannot accept the complementarian view and the men who follow it are so often rude and harsh. No many I know have been abused by this teaching.

      1. Stoney Green says:

        Agreed while heartedly
        It’s very demeaning and a lot of men abuse woman under this helper as though we are second and third class people
        I have a very hard time reading my bible or getting close with God for this very reason
        I feel as if I have pot on the lines of an animal
        Cow, pig, dog, woman
        No I don’t think so
        And my dad was a Minister
        So u do believe in God which makes it worse

      2. Stoney Green says:

        I do believe in God
        I just don’t agree with him which makes it hard when your tough to never question or disagree with the Lord

  2. Lilian says:

    I love to be helper, our Lord Jesus Christ was a helper when He was in earth. Helper is a server to whom is in need, as a wife I enjoy to help my husband to make better the work we can do together, when we do both we can be closer.

  3. Teresa says:

    No just no. I was not created for a man. Poor deluded girls, grow up and throw off the shackles of this arcane religion.

    1. Kathryn Stolz says:

      Jesus Christ is not arcane but this teaching is really twisted into some very unchristlike behavior. Womans world does not revolve around men but around the Lord Jesus. Men canlearn from woman teachers. Debra in the Bible held the highest office of the land. She was mighty. The word pastor does not appear in the Bible.

  4. Kathryn Stolz says:

    I think this teaching is off. Woman can teach men. Woman are called to Christ and not to a man. I am a NEW creature in Christ not the woman of the Garden. I revolve around Jesus. I may be good for my husband but I am not his helper. Christ is his helper . The Holy Spirit is our guide. The Danvers teaching is OFF.

  5. Isaac Ali says:

    God’s word is final . We are wasting our time challenging it.Christ os the head of the man and the man is the head of the woman. Businesses who do not help their customers will fail , likewise parents who do not help their children and undoubtedly wives who do not help their husbands. If you are followers of Christ why don’t you do as he says

    1. Dylana says:

      Brother NO!
      Truly, I believe that the bible said we were created in the image of God, men and women he created us. Women- even if we have been gifted the ability to help- are leaders just as equal as God when we were created. To say otherwise is not only disrespectful to any woman who “helps” you but to your very being as you came from a woman. Without a woman, you would not exist unless God made you without the vehicle of a woman.
      A man must honour and respect his wife, if he doesn’t then he is not acting of God and she should leave him and not be unevenly yoked. A man will never have authority over a woman unless she gives it- it is she who gives the authority to submit to him- don’t get it twisted.
      As much as women appreciate men, they don’t need them anymore than a man needs a woman- to say otherwise is not only unbiblical it is chauvinist and disgusting.

  6. Henrik says:

    Sad to read all those negative reviewes by unsubmisive women who refuse to understand the beauty of God’s Word and what is says about women and men and how they each are to follow what God has said about each gender.
    Some of the most ugly women are women who want to be men and act as men – ugly in character.