The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
Sensitive and Strong
Have you ever heard a man say it must be a girl driving a car when the driver appears to be tentative on the road? Aside from indecisive, women are also accused to be illogical, emotional, sensitive, and a little too hormonal to lead great movements and companies in the world. But thanks to the increasing number of women who have not shied away from taking on leadership roles, disproving that not only such things are not for a woman, but that being relational, kind, nurturing and tender-hearted, can be powerful and beneficial tools in the workplace.
I have personally met so many professional women who are also great mothers in their homes. It is actually remarkable to watch a working mother at work and at home. Aside from meeting the demands of their work, they make sure to stay on top of all things children and household. This is not in any way an insult to my husband, but I am always awestruck at how, even after having changed my son’s diapers a thousand times by now, he still can’t remember where to get new ones each time I ask him to do it. (You are free to chuckle.) Whereas mothers who have bills to pay, menus to make, staff to manage, amongst a million other things, never forget the crucial soccer schedule, dinner with the husband’s office mates, and instructions for her cleaning lady week in, week out. And this is not exclusive to moms. Is it not that many single women are also good event planners, master of logistics, chef, nurse, financial adviser and more?
I ask us to think about these things because I want us to realize that strength versus femininity is a false dichotomy. We don’t have to choose to be tough or be a girl. The list above should be enough to tell us that women were created to be inherently strong. Yes, strong enough to be on top of things, be in charge of a dozen moving targets at the same time, and still have an ample amount of time to put on some makeup.
But I don’t want to fall into merely stereotyping women. Some of our kind won’t agree to this at all, seeing themselves as more detached and logical, less than the usual depiction of the temperamental woman. I agree with this. Not all women are nurturing, sensitive, emotional. Vilified by others, I must say that women of this kind whose toughness and strength in display are not to be thought of as less or wrong of our gender. Many times I have been asked by women if it is wrong to be evidently strong and I say no. Strength is not reserved for men alone. This is actually embedded in the very first woman’s story, right when Our Creator came up with Eve.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
Beasts of burden, magnificent mammals, with the strong and sturdy Adam, and yet they were not enough for the intended work of the Lord. He could not find anyone fit for the man, fit for the job. He couldn’t see anyone competent enough, and suitable to man and earth’s design and needs. So God had to make a woman, to come up with the perfect helper for Adam.
And Eve isn’t only perfect but an asset and not a liability. Anyone who can help is a blessing not a burden. And we women are fundamentally wired to add value in the lives of men and to this world, which should make it impossible for anyone to think that we are made to be the lesser or weaker gender. Yes, we are differently wired and crafted than men, but I must say that we are of equal value, when it comes to God’s Kingdom and purposes.
The truth is that we even have equal issues. To men who are observed to be unfeeling, the world requires a little more care and sensitivity. Just the same with women who are seen as hardhearted, as well as emotional. The point is that God has given us qualities to hone and to turn into 1) strength and 2) contribution to our aching world, and never hindrances to the call He has placed in our life. We cannot be too emotional and neither should we be efficient but unsympathetic. Instead, let us always be willing to adjust that we may be complimenting fellows and needs that are immediate to us. And whether we fall under the tough or tender columns, when we choose to use it for the benefit of others, it is guaranteed to be seen as strength than a setback.
A perfect example comes to mind when it comes to strength and tenderness in the right places. Mary, the mother of God, could have been terribly hormonal about her situation. After all, she was about to carry the most incomprehensible secret of the world. But she carried through and told no one about her qualms and joys but an older, wiser woman, her cousin Elizabeth. She sang a beautiful song, even though she was pretty much scared in the beginning. Mary was definitely both tender and strong in the right moments. Tough, when she gave birth without any medical assistance, and in no place ideal like a manger to bring the Son of God into this world. And tender to treasure moments in her heart, as she cared after a child she would one day lose (Luke 2:19).
Women, we don’t have to choose between the two — we can be tender and strong at once. And not for no reason, but to be a tremendous blessing into the world.
- Are you more inclined to be tender or tough?
- What negative comments do you get from being so?
- What blessing are you able to give others through your toughness or tenderness?
- Study another woman character in the Bible and see how she was both tender and strong in the right places.