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Not a Casserole Widow™: Ezer Kenegdo

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Submissive. Those words haunt me. I was reading a journal I wrote years ago and came across a line that made me shiver.

“I know I just need to do what God wants me to do in this marriage and be submissive to my husband.”

The tricky part is I should have been submissive to HIS WILL. GOD’s WILL. But I’m pretty sure my husband was my god. Mainly because I had no choice. If I didn’t obey and honor and respect, a will of terror reigned in my home.

So why "Ezer Kenegdo"? What does that mean?

My brilliant friend, Kristi McLelland, recently published a study on her definition of "Ezer Kenegdo" (yes, there are a billion reviews and articles on the web about this, but since I am me, I get to choose the one I like best!) Much of what I refer to here will be based on her teaching.

Ezer Kenegdo is how God described Eve when He created her (Gen 1:20). God knew it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone.

I wonder why.

Why wasn’t it good for Adam to be alone? Did God know he would get lonely? Did God think he needed a servant? A maid? A sex partner? I think God knew Adam would need a friend, a partner. A buddy to talk to and hang out with.

Someone who would enhance God's glory with him.

God created his "Ezer Kenegdo". His “suitable helper”.

Let’s dive into those 2 words.


This is frequently defined as “helper.” Actually, when "Ezer" is used in scripture, a mere 21 times, it refers to God helping Israel because the Israelites couldn’t do it on their own. They needed someone massive next to them to encourage them and to provide knowledge, courage, and power.


When I think of a warrior, I don’t think of “helper” as passive. I think of someone standing tall with their partner, fighting for truth, safety, and honor. Not a woman washing dishes and producing babies. Not a woman who submits to verbal abuse. Not a woman who obeys a faith community as they hush her from speaking her truth.


I’m just going to throw one verse at you where "Ezer" is used as “helper.”

Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and “helper” (EZER) and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights.”

Deuteronomy 33:29

This just doesn’t sound like submission to me. In fact, it sounds to me that as an "Ezer", I have been blessed with the honor of receiving the tools to protect others from enemies.




Kenegdo is used one time in the Bible. And it is in reference to Eve. It refers to one who stands in front of or opposite to. Face to face. Eye to eye. Toe to toe. She is:


Can you think of how you felt when someone stood in front of you, asking you questions, holding you accountable?

For me, this vision evokes memories of tall men interrogating me and scaring me into submission.

That’s not what this means. This means we, as Eves, as women, are to stand and question others, holding them accountable to growth in the Lord, and speaking our truths. Because we are


God used this word to let us, women, know He created us to challenge people to question their personal growth, so they can learn what God sees in them. We have the recognition of being gifted with the approval from God to stand in front of others. Encouraging them to explore who they are and not settle for less than what God believes they can become. You are


for this honor.

The women who find me have had this vision trampled. They come to me broken but fighting to survive. What makes them keep fighting? I believe it is because they intrinsically know they are


A recent motto I’ve see on the internet is “you are good enough.” It never sat well with me. Good enough? While encouraging, it felt hollow. But “good enough warriors?” Hmm. That is a completely different vision.

And to recognize God created you to be that way? Well, now. That works with the feisty side of me.

But even in our knowledge that we have been created to be this way, I know we are held back with doubt, insecurities, and worry.

And that’s ok. You just need a bigger, fancier tool belt. Maybe a little bling on it.

Dream big and embrace your truth.

And when you need a chuckle because the warrior in you feels overwhelmed, click here. The smallest encouragement can be GOOD ENOUGH.

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Kim Hansen, MA-Counseling, BCC, CPC- APSATS

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