120. Why are people making women equal to men?
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Dear Dr. Smith

The Bible says the woman is the help meet for the man. Why are people trying to change that, and make women equal to men? Isn’t that against God’s will? Please tell me, is the woman a helper or a companion?
Concerned.

Dear Concerned,
I believe the passage you are referring to is found in Gen 2:18. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  The New International Version translates ‘help meet’ as “helper” which comes from the Hebrew word “Etzer.” An examination of the use of the word “helper” reveals that it does not connote any sense of inferiority. For example, the Psalmist described God as the “helper” of the fatherless (Psa 10:14), he prayed, be thou my “helper” (Psa 30:10). The writer to the Hebrews affirms; “the Lord is my ‘helper’, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb 13:6).
The movement of the text is not one from superior to subordinate, but from incompleteness to completeness, from loneliness to companionship. When God in His infinite wisdom instructed man to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, He was establishing the sanctity of marriage and marital companionship not insubordination. Here are some characteristics of companions; the way God intended them to be in marriage.

Companions enhance each other. They seek the best for each other. They are aware of their strengths and limitations, their feelings and thoughts. They take risks by choosing to be vulnerable as they reveal their true selves.

Companions care about the welfare of each other. They promote the growth and development of each other. They desire to see each other achieve their greatest potential.

Companions have respect for the dignity of each other. They are not threatened by one another, but rather they support individuation and personal authenticity. They do not seek to control or dominate each other.

Companions take responsibility for the needs of the other. They are concern for the health and happiness of each other. They are patient and understanding and are willing to accept each other unconditionally, while they work to support any changes that are necessary.

Companions spend quality time together. They are comfortable in each other’s presence and seek intimacy with each other.

Companions trust each other. They can accept the challenges and seek to problem solve and maintain open communication. They are able to establish other meaningful relationships while establishing clear boundaries.

Companions are capable and competent. They can survive in the absence of the other, although they complement and care deeply for each other.

The notion that women are just “helpmeets” or “helpers” is antithetical to the teachings of the Bible. Instead, women are companions in marriage. If for some reason you are not experiencing companionship in your relationship, then you may need some professional help. I pray God, that you will understand the right role of women in marriage and that your marriage will be a beautiful one enhanced by your companion. God bless.

Dr. Smith
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