Women’s History in the Beginning…
This week starts women's history month and Concerned Women for America's (CWA) month-long celebration of strong women who fought for religious freedoms, justice and liberty. But we can't have a commemoration of women's history without a smart discussion of the world's first woman, Eve.
Eve is often seen as the historical figure responsible for the corruption of mankind. But she is so much more! Her creation, the creation of her husband and the beautiful world around her was a work of art by the Master Artist Himself. Starting with a dark, blank canvas, Genesis 1:2 tells us that God created light, then bodies of water, land, plants, stars, swimming creatures, and animals; each day He created something more magnificent than the last, all leading up to the final day, when the Lord created something special in his own image — man.
Adam could easily have been his final work of art. But as the only true perfectionist, God saw His creation as imperfect without a woman. Genesis 2:18 says, "It is not good that man should be alone." Something was missing. Though God's creation was, at this point, magnificent, He had not yet used it to reveal His relational core, His heart for romance. A lifesaver to the world, meant for great things and meant to mirror His beauty, Eve was the crescendo of creation.
When God created Eve, he called her Ezer Kenegdo. "It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make for him [an ezer kenegdo]" (Gen 2:18). In her book, titled, Captivating, Stasi Eldred points out that this Hebrew phrase closely translates to "sustainer beside him" (emphasis mine). Notice, it's not sustainer "behind him" or "in front of him" but "beside him." What does that imply? Words like "equal co-ruler," "irreplaceable," "partner in crime," and "companion" all come to mind. In other words, Eve was Adam's 2013 version of a "helpmate"; a co-director.
Sadly, most feminists misconstrue the phrase "helpmate" to mean things that hardly resonate with a woman's heart — words like "inferior," "servant," and "oppressed." But this was not at all God's purpose for Eve. Do not let man's limited modern English interpretations rob God's intention of the word EZER KENEGDO. The word is used only 20 other times in the entire Old Testament, and from the context, there could be no higher name given to a woman; EZER KENEGDO was not a word God used lightly. In the 20 other times it is used, never once was it used to describe a "weaker sex" or "servant." Instead, it is used to describe God Himself as the ultimate Lifesaver
In many ways, women are a reflection of God as the life-giver and lifesaver of humankind. Women bring life into the world; women nurture, provide for, and protect the vulnerable lives of their children. Adam would not have had the successful capacity to maintain stewardship over the earth without Eve's unique strengths filling the gaps where he is weak and vice versa. Equal in purpose, different in design. Additionally, Eve is symbolic of God's emotional and romantic core. Women define themselves in terms of their relationships. Unlike little boys, off playing "war" and "cops and robbers," little girls are playing their relational games, like dress-up, doll-house, or tea party. Women constantly monitor the relationship health of family members, friends, and colleagues.
God shows His desire to be pursued, desired, and loved wholeheartedly through the woman's heart desire to be pursued, romanced, and loved. God stands at the door of our hearts, knocking and waiting to be let inside (Rev 3:20). Like every single woman, God wants us to pursue a relationship with Him. He wants to be loved by His creation.
Finally, history shows that God used women to unveil beauty to the world. Sadly, a woman's beauty has been abused and misappropriated. In our over-sexualized culture, women's beauty is sold in the third largest, 30+ billion criminal industry in the world. Young girls battle anorexia and bulimia, because they've bought into the lies that they must imitate the "beauty" on covers of Photoshopped fashion magazines. But every woman is beautifully made by God, without make-up or designer clothes. Every woman has an inner and outer beauty to unveil. God did not create women to constantly strive for a perfect shape or a wrinkle-free brow. Instead, our beauty comes from how we love, lead, heal, comfort, support, encourage, and inspire the others in our lives.
March should be renamed to Ezer Kenegdo History Month. Join CWA as we celebrate every beautiful woman, both past and present, who is an encouragement, co-director, and inspiration to the broken world around her.
Chelsen Vicari, Concerned Women for America's Online Communications Strategist, contributed to this article.
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