Is It Demeaning to be a "Helper?"

Submitted by Hannah D. on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 03:04

God mentioned two things necessary to add to creation before He created Eve.

1) It was not good for the Man, Adam, to be alone.
2) The next creation should be a helpmeet suitable for him.

Helpmeet. The Woman was created to be a helper to her husband. This can ruffle a few feathers among many today. It's easy to gloss over the issue, mentioning that the roles of both the husband and the wife (leadership and submission, respectively) have to do with serving the other (since Christian leadership is primarily servant-leadership at its best and submission, is, obviously, oriented around serving others). Both husband and wife are supposed to serve each other in some way. Selfless love, love that puts the needs and comforts of others above your own, is at the very heart of the Christian faith. So why not just focus on that? Is there any reason to emphasize the wife's role as a "helper" to her husband?

This urge to ignore the title may show an underlining issue: we hear "helper" and think "subordinate," "less important," "not as worthy." Some may even see "helper" as a slight to the husband. In our autonomous culture in particular, to get help is to deny one's admirable self-sufficiency.

Maybe a few Bible verses are sufficient to quell this nonsensical notion.

"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul."
- Ps. 54:4

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I [Jesus] go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."
- Jn. 16:7

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
- Jn. 14:26

" . . . [W]e confidently say, "The LORD is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?"
- Hb. 13:6

If "helper" is a term that God refers to Himself as, why should we, His people, be ashamed of such a title?

The same applies to this objection we have to the term "submission." Particularly, the words "submissive wife." Yikes! Who would ever want - or want to be - such a person?

And yet, the Son submits to the Father - even to the point of accepting the cross. It was Jesus who prayed, "Not My will, but Yours be done." Are we to believe Jesus is less worthy than the Father? Of course not! Neither is the wife less worthy than her husband.

Lest there be any doubt of God's high opinion of the wife's role, and of her worthy status, consider the declaration of Proverbs 12:4, that a virtuous wife is a "crown to her husband."

True to the metaphor of a Christian marriage for Christ and His Church, Isaiah says of the righteous:

"You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God."
- Is. 62:3

Not only that, but God even applies the crown-metaphor to Himself:

"In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown and a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people."
- Is. 28:5

Finally, when the Bible instructs husbands to lead their wives - what does that really mean? Well, the best way to tell is to look at the epitome of Christian leadership - Jesus Christ. And how did He lead?

He got down on the floor and washed His disciples' feet.

He got up on the cross and took the punishment that was rightfully theirs'.

Christian leadership is selfless, serving, edifying, and uplifting to others. In God's model for marriage, women are to be treated in the highest honor. Certainly, they are to submit and serve - but they are also to be cherished and served. In addition, her submission, servant's heart, and role as a helper is nothing more than what her wondrous God has already done for her, and His people.

P.S. If you are a Christian, guess what? You are called to submit and to serve. If a child, to your parents. If in a church, to church leaders. If a wife, to your husband. If you're younger than another Christian, submit to older Christians. If you live in society, submit to government. And as a Christian, submit to God. In fact, "All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed in humility" (1 Peter 5:5).

Author's age when written


Just hopped back on Apricot Pie since forever, haha, and saw this post. This is so, so, so needed. So many women have a misunderstanding of submission, and it can lead to either their domination of their husbands (sometimes even unintentionally!), or a slave-like domination by their husbands. It's what causes so many girls to forego pursuing higher education, goals, or learning; and it's also what causes many girls to pursue those things for the wrong reasons. You're so right; "helper" is not a demeaning term. A girl with a PhD can be the wife and a helper to a mechanic! That's totally okay and never should be looked down upon or seen as her "wasting" her education.
Thank you for writing this!!

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." ~ Anonymous

Hey - it's so great to hear from you! (Love & Math was fascinating, btw!) I totally agree and love your examples (1 Kings' Shunnamite woman comes to mind). Thanks so much for your comment! :)

So glad you enjoyed it!! That is for sure one of my fave math related books! Take care!

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." ~ Anonymous