Dear women, for so long, I have felt enslaved to the way I am allowed to see you. The world tells me you are objects, and the Church often tells me, you are man’s helpmate. I have decided I will not see you as objects, nor will I see you as man’s helpmate. I have made a covenant with my heart, to see you as Jesus does.
I write to you, trusting you know your value is not found in physical beauty or sex appeal. I have to confess, it’s not this view of you that is hardest for me to resist, it’s something more hidden and hardly given attention to. As a man, I know I lack something essential. Something so essential I will die if I don’t get it. Something a “helpmate” is incapable of giving me. I know that I have a longing for intimacy that must be met by someone who is like me, yet different from me. It’s hard to admit I cannot find this intimacy alone. I cannot even find it by gaining more knowledge of God. It’s scary to me, that a woman should know this about me, and could potentially use it against me. It’s hard to view you like Jesus does, because it involves repentance.
I started seeing the spiritual parallel with all of this about two years ago. I was confronted with a question: “have you ever worshipped the Holy Spirit?”. I have never felt so strange in my life. I felt embarrassed in my heart. Before my head could get control of things, my heart said “I don’t worship a helper, I worship Jesus who is strong and mighty”. I realized that night, my definition of helper was much different than God’s, and that my craving for intimacy with Jesus can only be met through the Holy Spirit. I felt God’s presence for the first time that night.
When Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit, the language is very similar to the way God talks about you. Jesus said the father would give us an advocate to be with us forever. Just as God did not leave Adam alone and gave him Eve, an advocate, so Jesus promised to be with us by the Holy Spirit. He promised he would not leave us as orphans, because it is not good for us to be alone.
I do not believe God gave Eve to Adam so she could serve him and make him happy, just as I do not believe Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to serve us and make us happy. I believe God gave us part of himself, and your heart tells of that. I’m learning that being in the image of God is so much more than a visualization. You are a creation of God, having DNA of God himself. You are worth fighting for because your heart contains the secrets of God, secrets that hold the freedom Christ came for. Freedom to glorify God by enjoying him forever.
My experience growing up in church was one of men (including myself) failing in leadership. Women were subtly treated as the lesser part of humanity. We gave you “behind the scenes” roles that were supposed to be important. I remember being taught how a biblical woman should act: predictable, passive, and always submissive. Sometimes it was subtle, but honestly, sometimes it wasn’t.
There are still churches and groups of Christians today that tell of this failure. To some degree, we tend to treat the Holy Spirit as the lesser part of God. We say he is an equal part of the trinity, worthy of our heart, yet we teach he is an “it”, fearing an untamed relationship with Jesus. Taken to the extreme, we have reduced the Holy Spirit of God to being a seal, just a security receipt of salvation to make us feel secure. We’ve tried to make God submissive to man. When the power that rose Christ from the dead is suppressed, churches become hollow. I suppressed your true heart and it made me hollow. I saw the intimacy of God inside you, and instead of agreeing to it and protecting it, I was like a little boy, scared to death. This is not what it means to be child like.
Hear me as a man, not gossiping about the Church, but trying to speak the truth in love. I am coming alongside you in agreement, moving toward what God has already been doing. Your heart has been teaching me truths that are freeing to my own heart as a man. Your heart carries the heart of God in a unique way, a way that is needed for the body of Christ to function as it was meant to. Your desire for more intimacy with God is not wrong or arrogant, it is balancing and powerful. It tells of God’s unique ability to completely satisfy us with his presence.
I cherish the image of God that you bear. By your heart, I am encouraged to relate to God, not just talk at him. The more of your heart that is revealed to me, the more I am compelled into intimacy with God. I feel as if the pure truths of your heart are absolutely essential to man’s craving for intimacy with God. The more I am convinced of this, the more strength I feel. I will fight for your heart because it is the very heart of God. To me, the greatest freedom to fight for in this life, is the freedom that comes from the heart of a woman.