Women find empowerment in ezer kenegdo

Grace Cho shares on women’s identity and needed role in the church.

Rebecca Mitchell

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In the search for wisdom on God’s truth and his way for us to live life, Grace Cho shared on the topic of women’s identity through two words: ezer and kenegdo. She asked us a question, “What is your picture of a Christian woman?” Our minds rattled with elements of truth we had been taught over the years as we filled our notebooks or phones with these images.

At the start of it all, Cho reminded us that these truths had been taught with care and thought, even though the list could include boxed-in identities of quiet, working in the background or lacking opinions. For Cho, the ideal to become a leader in the church, as a woman, was to marry a pastor.

As we began to look at the use of ezer in the Old Testament, she shared of the 21 usages ranging from Eve to requests for military aid to God’s character of helper and rescuer. Cho explained God’s role for women not as a sidekick but as an individual no weaker than man. To me, there are great examples of these roles in Mrs. Incredible as the sidekick in “The Incredibles” and as an equal defender of justice in “Incredibles 2.” In defining kenegdo, Cho used the phrases “in front of,” “in sight of” and “opposite of.”

In following after these identities in connection with bearing the image of God, Cho said women need to be included in leading and engaging the church so it does not continue to “limp along.” Cho also shared how men need to hear from women, and women from men, for a full view of God. With this shared wisdom from God we as women and men are charged with multiplying God’s image, with making disciples of all nations.

By the end, I had learned of my important identity as a woman in the kingdom of God. She told us it is not formed out of being a mother or wife, a great listener or an obedient servant. She told us these truths through the Holy Spirit’s magnificent teaching, through Genesis 1:26-27 simply stated, not twisted.