Love and Relationships
WOMAN - THE HELPER
WOMAN – THE HELPER
Who is a woman?
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a woman is an adult female person. But for the sake of this writing, I will give an extension to the meaning of the word “woman” in one sentence. A woman for me is not just an adult female human, but also anyone who has the potentiality to be an adult female human. Ipso facto, a female – child, adolescent or adult.
Why do women exist?
Women were created not because man was deficient, but because he was not fulfilled or satisfied. He felt as if something was missing, as the whole of nature – plants and animals alike could not give him the required companionship. The gap in the level between him and these creatures was too much that time could not fill up. And so, God being omniscient, knew how best to satisfy man’s desire.
Taking a glance at the Book of Books, we will see how God satisfied man’s desire and brought forth the awesome creature – woman.
Genesis 2:18 – “Then the Lord said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.’” It was said that God formed animals and birds, but not one of them was a suitable companion for man. Verse 21 - 23 says “then God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of man’s ribs and closed up the flesh. He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. Then the man said, ‘At last, here is one of my own kind – bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.’”
Observe keenly the words of other translations of Genesis 2:18
AMP (Amplified) version
Now the Lord God said, “It is not good (beneficial) for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [one who balances him—a counterpart who is] suitable and complementary for him.”
NRSVA (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized)
Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’
EHV (Evangelical Heritage) version
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is a suitable partner for him.”
EXB (Expanded Bible) version
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper [C in the sense of a partner or ally; the word does not imply subordinate status; see Ps. 79:9] who ·is right for [is suitable for; corresponds with] him.”
NLT (New Living Translation)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
It is not good for the man to be alone, so I will create a companion for him, a perfectly suited partner.
HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) version
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”
ISV (International Standard Version)
Later, the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make the woman to be an authority corresponding to him.”
LEB (Lexham English Bible) version
Then Yahweh God said, “it is not good that the man is alone. I will make for him a helper as his counterpart.”
Notice these words: suitable, complementary, comparable, like, partner, helper, fit, … These words give a clear idea of who the woman is and what was God’s intent for creating her.
Take note of the clause – “…here is one of my own kind – the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” This makes clear that no one is superior or inferior to the other – man or woman; rather, both are complements of each other. They are partners in the sense of it, or companions. Now, these words: partners, companions, complementary connote equality (although in diversity).
There is one thing notable in God’s creation – complementariness; light of the day and light of night, night and day, land and sea, mountains and valleys, male and female (in animals and plants), and finally man and woman. Of all these created things in their pairs, none is higher or more superior to the other, they are simply complements. For plants and animals, they are male and female for longevity of life and protection of a kind. But, in man and woman, it goes way beyond just longevity of life, multiplication of race, protection and continuity of a race. It goes way beyond because they are rational beings, and unlike the others, they were made in God’s image and likeness. Remember, God did not make only the man in His image and likeness, He made the woman too wholly and completely in His image and likeness too. This is to establish the fact that they are not different in the sense of difference in substance, neither are the different in level, but same likeness, one kind, but different in form (complex).
“Behind every great man, there is a woman.”
We often neglect the fact that women are really great creatures – in personality, in morphology, in intelligence and above all in spirituality. Women are gateways in the spiritual realm. History gives concrete evidence to the greatness of women – from the Great women of old: Sarah, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Queen Helen of the Cross, Dorcas, Lydia, Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Margaret Thatcher, Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa), and so many others.
Having understood God’s concept in the creation of mankind - man and woman; God’s reason for creating us thus – Woman, as a helper for man. The following will help us be the best for each other, and get the best from each other.
1. Valuing: To the woman: Do you value yourself as a woman? Do you see yourself as a woman, are you proud of your womanhood? Do you see yourself as superior or inferior to man? Do you value yourself as a unique being, same kind with man but different in form (complex)?
To the man: Do you value the woman (women) in your life – mother, wife, sisters, daughters, friends, etc? Do you see them as equals, lesser beings or objects to be used? Do you value them for who they are and how they are? Do you take pride in them?
Someone, something you do not value or hold in high regard or attribute value to cannot be beneficial to you and cannot help you.
2. Consulting: One who has a helper, a mate, a companion, a complement can benefit from the person through consulting. One who wears the shoe knows where it hurts. An onlooker does not know. But if one tells the “onlooker” that one’s legs hurt, the person might help proffer a solution. No one knows it all and no being is higher in intellect – man or woman. God created both same.
Do you consult your woman (wife, mother, sister, partner) in making important decisions? You think she is not smart – have you consulted her?
3. Listening: One who values someone listens to the person. Do you listen to the woman or do you see her views, opinions or suggestions as invalid, illogical and/or clueless?
4. Understanding: Do you understand (or strive or try to understand) the woman from her complex, from her viewpoint? What are your expectations – do you expect her to be a man (or like a man)? Definitely, she cannot be a man, just as you cannot be a woman. As a woman, do you understand yourself, or do you see yourself as inadequate for being a woman and then, strive even against your life and nature to do things that are not meant for you, but for the man just to show adequacy? Do you understand that you are whole the way you are?
Only one who understands a person relates well with the person and gets the best from the person.
5. Appreciation: Do you appreciate yourself – your womanhood, your beauty, your charm, your sexuality, your psychology, your morphology, your abilities…? Do you recognize and appreciate your achievements, your progress, your maturity, your growth…? Do you appreciate her – the woman (or women) in your life; do you appreciate her “little” input which you see, not forgetting the “great” input which you do not see and might never know of? Do you appreciate her for being your mother – carrying you for nine months in her womb, and for nurturing you through infancy? Do you appreciate her for being the mother of your children, for being your home keeper – for the going-to-bed late at night, the midnight prayers and cries to Heaven, the disrupted sleep and the early-morning waking? How do you treat your woman – do you treat her as a queen? You want to be treated as a king and lord, treat your woman as a queen. Do you carry yourself as a queen or as a worthless woman (Yes, a woman who does not value herself or who does degrading things makes herself worthless….)? Do you appreciate your womanhood – your ability to bear and raise children (ability to be a mother), keep homes…? Do you appreciate your “little” and “great” wins alike or do you compare yourself with the man?
6. Validation: Do you believe and know that the woman is different in complex – morphology, logical reasoning, expression of emotions, sexuality, psychology, and so on? A man can never be a woman, just as a woman can never be a man (forget the role switching and the transgender matter). Do you validate her fears, feelings and emotions, her ideas and concepts, her intuitions and suggestions, her dreams and aspirations? Do you validate your feelings as a woman or do you neglect, despise, rupture or suppress them?
7. Expression: Do you express yourself – your ideas, fears, concerns, feelings: affection, anger, joy… or do you suppress them? Do you encourage her and give her room to express herself or do you shut her up? You can only know her through her expressions – thoughts, words and actions. You can only understand yourself fully and know yourself intrinsically if you express yourself. You can only get what you want, or who you need if you express yourself (I do not think mind readers exist and even if they do, they will not be enough to go round to each woman to read her heart and say what lies therein).
8. Availability: Are you available to the woman (your woman)? Or do you convert your availability to money at the end of the month or biweekly? Do you see availability as a holistic subject or see it as just being sexually intimate? Are you available to yourself as a woman – do you take good care of yourself – hygiene, feeding, health, physical appearance, and so on?
9. Openness: Do you share with your woman? Do you give her a sense of belonging - making her feel and know that she matters and is no stranger to you? Do you share your plans with her and do you make her feel free telling you hers? Do you share your thoughts with her and allow her share hers with you without fear of criticism?
10. Myths and Superstitions: “Women are monsters, women are devils”, some people say. But I ask, “Did God create monsters and devils to be helpers of man?” Impossible. If women are monsters, then, who is God who created them? God is ens perfectissimum meaning that God is all perfect and all good and so, nothing evil comes forth from Him, nor are His actions imperfect. To prove to you that women are not evil, Jesus, who is God Himself came through a woman – Blessed Virgin Mary. Not only did He come to the world through a woman, He had women who attended to Him during His earthly ministry – Salome, Mary Magdalene, Mary, Mother of James and John, Martha and others. He did not despise them. Now, if Jesus who is God does not despise women, who are we then to despise them?
Women, good women (I used “good” here, because I do not doubt the fact that there are “bad” women, this might not be natural as such, but might be inherited or acquired; just as there are men who are bad too) are golden. They worth more than the finest jewels, more than the purest gold refined seven times in the furnace; and they are scarcer than the rarest metals. But their impact makes the earth tremble so much that the foundation quakes.
You ignore your woman, or treat her like some worthless thing; you simply call God a fool for creating such awesome beings, and for creating us male and female.
Nota Bene: God created us male and female to be complements of each other (the one filling up for the other; complementing is the term). God never intended that any of the parties; male or female be a subjugate to the other.
If God loves not women, He would not have handed His Church to the care of His mother when He said while on the Cross: “Mother behold your son; son behold your mother”.
11. Acknowledgement: Do you acknowledge your woman – in public, before friends and colleagues…, everywhere? The acknowledgement of a woman is the beginning of transformational love in a home or relationship: friendship or courtship. When you attribute honour to a person, the person is spurred to do more just to live up to the honour attributed and to gain even more honours.
12. Equality: Do you see yourself as an equal to the man? Do you see the woman as an equal? This point cannot be over emphasized – we are complements, two sides of a coin. And, on a coin, both sides are equal, no side has more value than the other. They are both made of the same material, but their faces are different. So also, it is with the man and the woman. We are equals; we are complements. Do not forget this term “complements”.
13. Presentness: Are you present to yourself as a woman – to the challenges facing you, to your advantages, to the opportunities open to you, to you – the you inside of you, not just the outside you? Many women are only present to the “outside you” and neglect the “inner you”, forgetting that the “inside you” is deterministic to the “outside you”. Pay attention to both parts of you, neglect none, do not pay attention to one at the expense of the other. But rather, let there be a balance. Are you present to the woman? If Adam was present, I do not think Eve would have fallen to the temptation of the serpent. The law was given to the man by God (being the head and first in creation), and then passed down from Adam to Eve. If Adam was present (available and accessible), Eve would probably not have eaten of the fruit. But then, Adam was not present. Eve ate of the fruit and gave to Adam and he ate too and then their eyes were opened. Note this: When Eve ate the fruit, she felt nothing, she did not realize that she was naked until Adam ate it. This was because Adam (the man) is the head, and it was to him that the laws of the garden were given. However, Eve played a significant role to the fall of man. This brings us to another sub-topic.
Women Are Gateways:
Women are gateways both in the physical and spiritual realm. I will explain this. Supposing the serpent came to Adam to tempt him, do you think Adam would have fallen prey to the advances and deception of the serpent having received the laws from God and having been in communion with God even before the woman was made? Your guess is as good as mine. Adam might not have fallen. The serpent knew this and so decided to go through the woman, knowing full well that to have got her is to have gotten the man. In reality, when a child wants something desperately, who does he go to? The woman – his mother. His mother them takes it up from there, prepares her husband’s choice meal, waits on him while at the table, rubs his head gently and caresses him lovingly. Man loses his guards and after everything, the child’s wish is granted. Remember the story of Sampson and Delilah. Remember the story of Herod, Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, her daughter who danced at his birthday feast and John the Baptist. There are many more cases to cite. But let’s go back to Adam and Eve. Mankind fell because of the fall of Adam, who fell through Eve. In same way, mankind was redeemed through the death of Christ, who came through Mary, when she said – “Fiat voluntas tua” (meaning: Let it be done according to Your will). Women are gateways to both evil and to good. Knowing this, women have to be conscious about what they think, say or do (as much as men too), so as not to say “yes” to some evil, but to stand by what is right knowing that a fall of a woman does not end with a fall of a single head, but multiple heads.
Having come this far (though not intending to make this writing a lengthy one), I would not want to bore you further. Thus, in conclusion, I will end with these iconic quotes:
“Women belong in all places where decisions are made. …It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We need to reshape our own perspective of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” – Beyonce.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey.
“You don’t have to play masculine to be a strong woman.” – Mary Elizabeth Whitestead.
“There is MALE inside every FEMALE, MR in every MRS; HE in every SHE. Which proves that man cannot live without woman.” – Unknown.
“You educate a man, you educate a man; you educate a woman, you educate a generation.” – Brigham Young.
“It is unmanly. It is not some expression of macho virtue. It is the absolute antithesis of this. Real men don’t bully women…. Respect for women… is so important.” – Malcolm Turnbull.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
I dedicate this writing to every woman. May you find beauty in your womanhood.
© Alpha Writings