Saturday, September 29, 2007

Life Giver

The book of Genesis opens up with the story of creation. There are two accounts, one is more straightforward than the other, though I would argue that they do not contradict eachother.

In Genesis 2, when woman is created, she is referred to as a helper, help meet, or something along those lines. Not very complimentary sounding. Some of you might already know, but the hebrew phrase used was Eder Kenegdo. It is only used several other times in the entire Bible, all referring to God. And a more accurate translation (claim the ones who helped translate the word into help meet) is "Life Giver".

The obvious meaning of this is that woman have babies - they give life. But what if there's a more subtle, not so obvious one? One that to understand, you must be willing to accept and understand some truths about the male mind. I have been very blessed lately to have a man willing to discuss these things with me and he's provided some interesting points. I am not going to say they are generic and apply to all men, but throughout history, mankind has done some things and written some things that have been very consistent through out.

So, I'm going to start with looking at guys. I want to start with the King who started the Trojan War. Helen of Troy was considered the "face that launched a thousand ships" (so says Christopher Marlowe). I know there's much debate about whether Helen was really the cause for the war, but I don't care. Its a generally held theory. But could it be that men find life in Rescuing?

The next one, courtesy of my guy friend, was that boys will always act differently when girls are around. Mostly, trying to impress them. He mentioned that a math teacher who understands this will call up a girl to the board first to do a math problem - and hopefully the girl will do the problem right. After that, every boy the teacher calls to the board will do their best to outdo the girl. Not because they think they are supposed to be smarter than the girl, but simply because they want to impress the girl. Could it be that men find life in being Respected and impressing?

Now what about this one - what if men have an incredibly difficult time with rejection? Failure? Not being respected and failing to rescue? What if those fears prevent a man from taking a leading role in...anything? But for a man to truly find life, he must conquer that fear and lead? My father says it. My guy friend says it. My pastor says it. These men want to be leaders, but are afraid of doing so. And fear inhibits true life. So, could it be that women are supposed to be submissive in leadership roles so as to give the man the oppurtunity to do so? And when the man does, wouldn't she have fulfilled one of her purposes in life?

Could it be that being a Life Giver is more than just creating and bearing children? Could it be that being a Life Giver requires being the support rather than the leader? Isn't it possible for a woman to find fulfillment in supporting a strong man? And knowing that he is strong because she gave him the chance to be strong?

3 comments:

Chris Krycho said...

Well said! You put into words some things I've considered recently but not been able to verbalize in nearly so coherent a fashion. Thanks. :-)

Lost in Academia said...

Maybe additionally the right women makes so much of a difference that the man is given a life worth living by her.

I love your Trojan War analogy. Particularly, Menelaus, Rightful husband of Helen. In the Greek tradition, Menelaus was a good man, smart, brave, loyal, pious, and noble.

Yet, even a betrayed Menelaus fights for the woman he loves, he forgives her, and takes her home. I like to imagine it's cause with his beloved, he will actually have a life worthy of the name.

But of course, in order to have this wonderful life Helen must ultimately act as well. She must love her husband, for his good qualities and reject the "grass is greener" thinking that led to a decade long war.

This got me thinking, how many young women in our churches are waiting for their "Paris", and ignoring the "Menelaus" around them?

We must always remember, that a man must act for what he wants. But a women must give life as well by reacting in an appropriate manner.

Just Saying.

Nic said...

I couldn't agree more with this. It's something I've come to understand over the past few years of 'being strong and independent'... it puts men off. I had many important lessons in humility in my previous relationship, where I was taught to accept a man's leadership with grace rather than insisting it be 50/50 in certain situations.

Isn't it possible for a woman to find fulfillment in supporting a strong man? And knowing that he is strong because she gave him the chance to be strong?

The only problem is, finding the strong man. ;) Now that I've consciously chosen to be softer, less-obviously independent, I find it harder to get noticed full stop. I feel like I've become a wallflower! But that, of course, is a whole other topic.