Reclaiming the Role of ‘Helper’ in the Kingdom of God

The term ‘Helper’ has long been a source of contention among many women. There’s a feeling that the ‘helper’ is relegated to the background, scarcely recognized, and often feels underutilized, despite possessing valuable skills and talents. This role, some argue, positions women as second-tier citizens. However, these sentiments stem from our worldly perspective, falling short of understanding the divine intentions behind the unique roles bestowed upon men and women.

When the Creator formed male and female, His intent was not to exalt men and belittle women, nor to imply that ‘helper’ equates to being inferior. Quite the opposite, in fact. God created humans—both men and women—as the apex of all creation, molding both in His divine image (Genesis 1:27). He carefully endowed them with unique and complementary attributes and gifts, crucial to each other and integral to His plan of saturating the earth with His glory.

God did, indeed, create man first, assigning him the primary responsibility (and accountability) in executing His plan (Genesis 2:7, 15–17; 1 Timothy 2:13) to amplify His glory (Ephesians 1:10). Yet, by endowing man with this chief responsibility and accountability, God did not intend to install him as a demi-god, vastly superior to his wife, who was also crafted in God’s image.

Before Eve’s creation, God allowed Adam to realize the enormity of his task and his desperate need for help—both divine and human. God underscored that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He tasked Adam with naming all the animals, eventually leading him to the discovery that “there was not found a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:19–20). The creation of Eve brought Adam immense relief and joy (Genesis 2:23), affirming his need for a helper in this divine mission.

Contrary to misconceptions, woman was not created as an inferior aid, but as an indispensable partner and helper in the grand task of filling the earth with God’s glory. The misconception of Adam’s superiority, his calling implying privilege, and Eve’s subordination, is rooted in human pride and ego, post the Fall. Men have often been led by an arrogant desire for power, and women, in righteous indignation, have asserted their equal right to power and privilege.

In the biblical narrative, and especially in Jesus’s life, we see that earthly power is subject to the righteous and holy God. All actions, leadership, and responsibilities are to be characterized by humility, and self-sacrifice, and never be self-serving or oppressive.

Pride is not the sole preserve of men; women too have been guilty of prioritizing personal image, advancement, and power over honoring God by living true to the roles He assigned us. As God’s people, we should humbly, sacrificially, and joyfully embrace our divine calling, striving to reflect His beauty and righteousness.

God’s plan positions men as the leaders of our homes and churches. While there are biblical instances of women assuming leadership roles typically assigned to men, these exceptions do not signal a departure from God’s original design. Throughout the life of Jesus and the teachings of Paul, women were deeply involved in ministry, however, women were not ordained as pastoral leaders.

My fellow sisters in Christ, it’s an immense honor that God has chosen us as helpers. We are helpers, crafted in God’s image, uniquely equipped to bear God’s image-bearers. What a holy responsibility! Our role is to build up, encourage, and partner with our husbands, pastors, and other male leaders in their God-given tasks. Let us rejoice in our role as helpers, not with discontent or envy, but with gratitude for the vital opportunity to contribute to His kingdom. We must trust that God has placed male leaders in our lives for His greater purpose.

Let’s set aside our skewed perceptions of what it means to be a helper and seek God’s wisdom on how this role can be a blessing to us, to the men in our lives, to our communities, and to all creation. We exist to please the One who delighted in making us helpers in His grand plan. May we find immense joy and satisfaction in this divine calling too.