Women are unique.
They aren’t all moms, or married, or crafty. Our resources help your ministry embrace women for who they are and wherever they are in life
Women are relational.
They crave true friends and mentors—people who know them beyond their Facebook updates.
Women are leaders.
They don’t believe you have to be a “professional” to make a difference. We create resources that make it easy for you and others to lead wherever you are, and challenge you to serve.
Women are faithful.
They have complicated lives full of ups and downs. We help you create experiences that grow faith in powerful, tangible ways for whatever life brings their way.
Biblical womanhood and worldly womanhood are radically different, just as many things about the Christian life are counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. Without a biblical apologetic for womanhood, individual women and women’s ministries will lose their way.
The following is a summary of the apologetic that is developed in the Biblical Foundations for Womanhood materials.4 This apologetic is based on woman’s creation design as a helper and her redemptive calling to be a life-giver.
The triune God is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God, so when he created man and woman in his own image, the covenantal imprint was stamped upon them. Biblical manhood and womanhood are a reflection of the nature of God. The personal and relational character of God requires that his image-bearers be personal, relational beings, thus he said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:8). The equality and diversity of the Trinity are reflected in gender equality and distinctiveness. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are “the same in substance, equal in power and glory” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 6) but each Person of the Trinity has a different role. God continued, “I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:8). The man and woman were created equally in God’s image but designed for different functions. Even headship and submission are a reflection of the Trinity. “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3). Headship and submission are not a result of the curse; headship and submission have always existed in the very nature of God.
Complementarians must not capitulate. We are not anachronistic throwbacks. We must be in the vanguard of a movement to reclaim the wonder and splendor of gender distinctiveness because this is a reflection of the wonder and splendor of God’s plan and purpose. A biblical understanding of woman’s helper design is essential.
The Hebrew word translated helper, ezer, is frequently used to refer to God as our helper.
These passages give insight into the function of an ezer:
Exodus 18:4: “[Moses named his son] Eliezer, for he said, ‘My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.'”
Psalm 10:14: “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”
Psalm 20:2: “May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.”
Psalm 33:20: “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 70:5: “Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.”
Psalm 72:12-14: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.
Psalm 86:17: “You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
When the man and woman sinned, Woman lost her ability to be a true helper. At this point of hopelessness, God gave hope. He promised that the woman’s offspring would crush Satan’s head (Gen 3:15). Adam affirmed and celebrated his belief in this promise by renaming her: “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Gen 3:20). Eve means life-giver. Because of her rebellion the woman became a life-taker, but because of the promise of life she became a life-giver. This is more than biological. Woman’s redemptive calling is to be a life-giver in every relationship and circumstance.
The following descriptions (see table below) clarify woman’s helper, life-giving ministry. The ezer words are strong, compassionate, relational, life-giving words. Biblical womanhood is a covenantal concept. The helper design would be illogical in an autonomous vacuum. This design is nonsensical in a culture of self but is needful in a culture of covenant.
When a church has a biblical apologetic for womanhood, the foundational concepts of woman’s helper design and life-giving mission can permeate the women’s ministry. Whether that ministry is small and informal or large and well-organized, it can be perpetually and intentionally guided by three questions:
Are we being helpers or hinderers?
Are we being life-givers or life-takers?
Are we equipping women to be helpers and life-givers?
A friend moved to a new city. Her family settled into a church where God’s Word was faithfully preached and she began attending a women’s Bible study, but after several weeks she emailed me that she had a growing concern. “The church is great and the women’s ministry is active, but the more I get to know the women the more I realize that they think like feminists. There is a disconnect between their belief in Scripture and their application of Scripture to their lives as women. How can this be?” I asked where women were learning basic principles of biblical womanhood. Several weeks later she responded, “I’ve looked and listened and I cannot find any place where women are confronted with these truths.” Unfortunately this is a common problem.
Churches are filled with women who have only heard the world’s perspective of womanhood. Even in churches that are complementarian in theory, often women are egalitarian in practice. Many women’s ministries have stopped short of true discipleship that moves from knowledge to wisdom—the application of truth into life. They have helped women perfect some Bible study skills, but they have not discipled them to know how to live as godly, chaste single women, or love their husbands, or care for the sick and oppressed, or support the male leadership of the church. They have not taught women all that Jesus commanded in his Word about their design and calling. Women desperately need an apprenticeship with mature Christian women who will train them in the craft of womanhood