Kathryn & Carl

November 17, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn @ 12:42 pm

An interesting subpoint from my wise auntie:

The Holy Spirit is also referred to as a “helper” and “comforter”—ie a spiritually nurturing aspect of the Godhead. In the same I Cor. passage that describes how men are the “head” of women, Paul also says that God the Father is the “head” of Christ.

Perhaps this is a better example of the difference between male and female roles.As the members of the Godhead are equal to one another, so are husbands and wives in marriage.

I think it’s also easy to get hung up on “roles” here, but as we see from scripture it’s hard sometimes to be too specific about who does what in the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is our “comforter” and yet we are told to address our God as “abba,” a child’s name for a loving parent. Sounds like comfort to me. We are told to address our prayers to the Father and yet the Spirit is involved in our prayers in ways we do not always understand.

Maybe this equal, distinct, and yet constantly interinvolved relationship is part of what God meant when he decided to make us in his “image”: multiple identities in unifying relationships—not just husbands and wives, but the Church too.



  1. Good stuff. Gene’s dad actually made the point in his sermon series on Genesis that in order to reflect God’s plural likeness of the Trinity that humankind had to have a unity out of plurality in which man and woman become one.

    You might also be interested in Gene’s dad’s sermon on the creation of Woman in Genesis 2. He goes into great detail on the meaning/usage of the word “help.”

    The statement that the woman is a “help” for the man is, I think, broadly understood as, “She’s his assistant; she’s his gofer; she washes his socks, and cooks his breakfast, and does little things like this.” This is not the way that this word is used elsewhere in the Bible. The predominant use of it in the Scriptures, and the exclusive use in the Pentateuch, is that it describes God’s help of His people when they are in distress. And God certainly is not about washing His people’s socks and cooking their breakfasts, or being their assistant. It is not the idea of a subordinate role: taking orders, carrying out chores, executing decisions that have been made at a higher level. It is someone helping the way God helps His people when they are in need.

    He goes over several example passages and then continues,

    This is not the description of one who is an assistant, of one who is a servant, of one who is a butler. This is a description of one who renders critical aid in a situation that would otherwise be a disaster. Man, by himself, is incapable of succeeding in the task God has given to him. He is incapable of guarding the sanctuary. He is incapable, by himself, of worshiping God adequately in the sanctuary. (Those are the two things he was put in the garden to do: to serve and to guard.) He needs help from God. And God is going to help him, and He’s going to help him by providing the other half of the likeness of God, by providing the woman, to be his help, not his assistant, not his laundress, or his cook, or his handmaid, but his help, to be God’s representative in enabling him to do what he cannot do by himself.

    Comment by Andrea — November 17, 2009 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

    • Fab.

      I guess the thing that continues to puzzle me is that I’ve heard you use the word “patriarchy” to describe your view of Biblical gender roles, and I’m struggling to find a dictionary that defines the word as anything like what I’m hearing here.

      Merriam-Webster gives me: “a social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.”

      Do you feel that this accurately reflects your use of the word?

      Comment by Jane — November 18, 2009 @ 2:26 am | Reply

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