The church culture I was raised in was not particularly honoring to women. I am not saying they were bad people, I am simply acknowledging that they were a product of a time and culture where women were not honored in general. Women were referred to as “helpmates,” a reference to Genesis 2:18. Men were pastors and evangelists and women were expected to be helpmates by planning fellowship meetings, playing music, decorating Sunday school rooms, and planning vacation Bible school. Often they were expected to do all of this and work a secular job to support their husband's full time ministry. I watched as many women struggled to fit into the pre-defined “helpmate” role while still being true to their own calling and passion. Sadly, I also witnessed their calling and passion slowly die as it got drowned in “helpmate” duties.
Women were made for so much more than the narrow definition of a “helpmate.” I believe God created women with deep spiritual insight, superpowers of forgiveness and love, and an ability to call greatness out of any situation or person. That is the type of helpmate that I believe God referred to in Genesis 2:18: powerful, brave heroine who was created with her own unique calling and passion that should be championed, nurtured, and supported. As a husband of one of these brave warriors, and as a father who is raising the next generation of mighty warriors, I believe I have a responsibility to contribute to changing the stereotype of helpmate that previous generations have created.
Now that I have the men's attention. Men, we love to fix things! When we see a problem, such as the one above, we tend to begin developing a plan to solve it. I want to challenge the men with this one thought: We need to fix ourselves. We need to acknowledge that we are the product of a culture that is not naturally honoring to women. As men who recognize this, we can partner with women by critically examining our own thought processes regarding the women in our lives. Are there areas where we could step back and create a space for her calling? Can we stop talking and listen to her Godly insight about the problem? As you identify areas where you have been less than honoring, ask for forgiveness. And don't worry, forgiveness is another one of her superpowers!
As Godly men we desperately need to become intentional about honoring women's giftings and championing their solutions because God honors and champions them. One of the most beautiful things about a brave woman of God is that she carries the heart of the Father in her desire for community and forgiveness. Nurture, encourage, and support her God given desires and watch as she steps into her rightful place as a world changing powerhouse!
Founder of Kingdom Coaching, Husband, Father and Blogger, Brave Brother