A small study on ‘ezer knegdo.’
Let’s look at some Bible verses. Please stick with me.
The word I want you to look for in each section is help. Who does the word help relate to? Is it the kind of help we doubt or is it strong and powerful help?
“No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength, it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
in speaking of the two sons of Moses, “The other was named Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”
“Blessed are those who help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.”
These help verses all refer to God being our helper in a powerful manner, wouldn’t you say? The Hebrew root for help in all of these verses is ezer.
Azar (ezer) is used 21 times in the old testament. Twice in reference to Eve. Three times it’s used in reference to nations who helped Israel with military support. The other 16 times it is in reference to God as the helper of Israel.
Now let’s look at, Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a help (ezer) suitable for him.” (NIV)
The Lord is making a powerful helper for Adam.
Let’s pull apart Genesis 2:18 a little more.
God says, “…..I will make a helper (ezer) suitable (k’negdo) for him,” (NIV).
I will make an ezer k’negdo for him.
K’negdo is the Hebrew word used for suitable.
k’negdo comes from neged and means
- in front of,
- in sight of,
- opposite to (a true opposite holds the exact same weight or significance.)
The verses say to me, “I will make a corresponding powerful helper, equal but opposite for him.”
If you put him on one side of a scales and her on the other, they would balance the scales. Man and woman are counterbalances.
Man and woman are two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together or a right hand and a left hand.
We complement one another like peanut butter and jelly. (I don’t know about you but the peanut butter I’m married to is a little nutty.)
It’s not good for man to be alone.
He needs a counterpart who is opposite and sometimes, even against.
We are against when we debate issues together, when we challenge each other to see things from another perspective.
Although I adore the moments when Mr. Muscle and I are in complete harmony, complete harmony doesn’t produce growth. God made us so that we would help each other grow. Growth doesn’t happen without a little pain.
God made both male and female in his image. Put man and woman together through marriage and we make up the full character of God. (There is a jewish thought that Adam contained the full measure of this character, both male and female so to speak, until God drew forth Eve from his rib.)
So, where am I going with all of this?? God made man and woman to be equally strong in opposite ways to help each other. (And then that darn apple caused trouble in paradise. We’ll save that story for another day.)
God made us equally different on purpose!!
We have to see the character of God in each other over and above the differences we have with each other. Trying to relate to your husband like he’s a woman will get you nowhere. God has given him an equal but opposite outlook on a lot of things.
One of these things is sexual intimacy. It is an expression of God’s character. The very first step in understanding how important sex was to my husband was realizing he has a God given outlook.
I remember hurting because I felt like my identity as Bonny was not being taken into consideration when it came to sex. He didn’t take the time to get to know me during the day. Why should I let him know me at night? I remember thinking he didn’t want me, just my ability to conjugate (and not the verb kind).
I wasn’t seeing the big picture.
Here’s where the k’negdo comes in, the against part or challenge: Consider the possibility that there is an equal but opposite alternate universe to the one inside your head and heart. It’s the one inside your husband’s head and heart.
Just because that outlook is different doesn’t make it wrong or superficial. I have to trust God that Mr. Muscle’s outlook on sex is different from mine for a reason.
Please be open to just consider, maybe, possibly, perchance, sexual intimacy really does serve a greater purpose than you are able to wrap your mind around. Remember, without challenge there is no growth.
I love Lori Byerly’s take on this same issue so much I’m referencing it a second time in a matter of months. See Let’s Start in the Beginning.
For a little more about my discovery regarding the meaning of sex, see “Why Sex?”