In Genesis 2:18, God said it’s not good for man to be alone. Therefore, he created Eve for Adam. She was called his “helper.” The word in the original Hebrew text is ezer. I don’t think “helper” gives the full understanding of what this word means.
In other places in the Bible, the word ezer describes God himself as a helper, rock, or our strength. For example, God is the ezer of the fatherless (Psalm 10:14). He was King David’s ezer and deliverer (Psalm 70:5). In Deuteronomy 33:29, God was described in military terms as one’s shield and ezer and a glorious sword. In fact, on three different occasions in the Bible, the word ezer is used to describe God in a military context.
In my opinion, thinking of Eve as a rock, or strength, or a military fighter, or a protector gives all wives an added importance in the marriage relationship. Wives are not mere companions. They are not simply passive bystanders. Their responsibility isn’t limited to just supporting their husbands in life’s endeavors.
To the contrary! A wife is a rock a husband can lean on when he is experiencing life’s difficult trials. She is a source of strength when a husband feels too listless to fight. She will fight for him, giving help, strength, and courage.
In Genesis 2:18, the word ezer is combined with the Hebrew word kenegdo to give even more specificity as to why Eve was created. Kenegdo implies being equal to and one with. It implies that she came from the man’s side only to become one with him again in marriage.
Therefore, when you place these two words together—ezer-kenegdo—it’s easy to see how inadequate the term “helpmate” is to describe the woman. Literally, ezer-kenegdo implies a rock and strength of the same nature. It implies equality, mutuality, and harmony with the husband.
Husband, you show love to your wife by sharing your heart. Ephesians 5:33 states that a husband is to love his wife. It’s apparently her greatest need in the relationship. When a husband really loves his wife, he shares his heart with her. He knows she is a source of strength. He knows she wants to fight for him and what he’s going through. He knows she feels honored to do so. When all this happens, you two will move closer to one another.
You will become one as she operates as ezer-kenegdo.
- In what ways is your wife’s sensitivity her strength?
- In what ways have you seen your wife as a rock, source of strength, and fighter for you?
- How does oneness occur when you recognize your wife’s equal and unique contribution to your marriage?
- How does your wife fulfill the role of ezer, or helper, in your marriage?
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