Joanne Saxton invites women to discover (or rediscover) the gifts and talents that God has vested in them, and more important, the calling He has placed on each of us to seek first the kingdom of God where we are. Joanne’s book is More Than Enchanting. She looks to Genesis 2:18 where God says he will make woman a helper to man. This verse is the foundation of her understanding of the role women should play in the church.

The Hebrew word for helper used there is “ezer kenegdo.” This word refers to someone who has the power to help and describes the nature of helping rather than prescribing a hierarchical view.

Joanne explains that often when we look at helping, we see someone who’s an assistant, someone who’s in the background. While there is nothing wrong with serving God in that way, Genesis 2:18 does not limit women to only that sort of service.

In the broader context of Scripture, the word “ezer” is often used about God, specifically when he’s rescuing his people from their enemies.

By describing women that way God is reaffirming that we were created in his image and called to protect, surround, defend and cherish.

“When we think about it, when we look at women, we see “ezers” everywhere. We see the women who is fighting for her community, we see the women in the workplace and the women at home raising her kids…you see that kind of strength.”

She has seen this understanding of “ezer” and a women’s calling help both women and men.

Women wonder if they can be too strong. Women, like men, have the possibility to be too aggressive, according to Joanne. However, there is nothing wrong with true strength, and it is biblical for women to be strong.

“God’s got big things for us to do. There’s a world that needs saving, and we need to have capacity. We need to be people with mental, emotional and spiritual capacity. We need to be strong.”

Key Scriptures: Psalm 71:18-19Genesis 2:19-25Ephesians 5:21-27

Biblical womanhood