Being Alone Is Not Good

We can learn so much about the nature of the husband/wife relationship from Genesis. In this post, we will walk through Genesis 2:18-25, making a few comments. At the end, we will give practical advice about how this works in our lives.

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

The first time that God said “it is not good” in the creation account was about man being alone. I think that still holds true today. No man is an island. I have never met a person who was both happy and secluded. God designed us for companionship, as a mirror of the relational nature of the Trinity.

In the naming of the animals, God was making a point to Adam—he was unique among creation. As Adam searched for companionship in all of the animal kingdom, his loneliness grew. Finally, as God often does when forming a new covenant with mankind, he caused Adam to fall asleep.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 

To prevent us from thinking that men and women have a different makeup, he made woman from the very stuff of man. God did not form a new pile of dust into human flesh and then breath life into it. He made her out of the same basic material as man, to show us that we are the same.

The idea that “Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus” might give us the wrong understanding. The problems in our relationships with the opposite gender do not come from them being a different makeup, but rather from sin. God designed man and woman to be different, but in a wonderfully completing sense. Man and woman are meant to fit together. The fault is not in the nature of the opposite sex, but in the sinful nature of humanity, and that is much scarier.

And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Verses 22-25 are a record of the first wedding ceremony. Verse 22 is the first “Giving of the Bride.” God, being the true Father of Eve, “brought her to the man.” I imagine that as Adam was waking up from his surgery, he looked up and saw God walking Eve–arm in arm–toward him through a clearing in the trees.

The first time that Adam saw Even, he cries out “At last.” This corresponds to some people’s favorite part of a wedding ceremony. The bride is always radiant. The decorations are awe-inspiring fantastic. The first kiss is somewhat awkward and innocent. However, some people love watching the groom as he sees his wife for the first time on the wedding day. The groom’s response is often, “At last!” It is a loving anticipation and longing that is finally met with reality as his soon-to-be bride walks toward him.

A marriage ceremony, by definition, is the beginning of a new family. This new family trumps all other family relationships. Daughters are still daughters and sons are still sons, but the relationship should change, or a world of problems can happen. This wedding ceremony is the mark of that new family relationship.

Applications

  1. Singleness can be good, but generally, it is not good for humans to be alone. We are created as relational creatures, and the greatest earthly relationship that God is the marriage relationship.
  2. We need to stop blaming our marriage struggles on gender issues or ‘translation’ problems. We must realize that our fights are because of sin, not because of our gender.
  3. We need to stop running to ‘Guys Poker Night’ or ‘Girls Shopping Night’ to find someone who can understand us. When we run to our gender to understand us rather than pursuing an intimate relationship with our spouse, we are missing out on the wonderful blessings that God planned for each of us in a marriage relationship. (this, of course, does not mean that we should abandon all other friendships–guys nights and girls nights are good things, but our marriage relationship is primary)
  4. It is good for us to spend some time re-stoking the flame of our romance for our spouse. We should pursue anything that would bring back those thoughts of “At last! Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”

The Gospel and Marriage 

Ultimately, the problem in our marital relationship is sin, not a misunderstanding between the genders. The genders are very different, but they were made to fit together perfectly in a sin-free relationship. Our sin damages all of our life, but it can be most obvious in a relationship with our spouse. Sin is destructive to our lives to show us that it is an atrocity to God. God gives a wonderful gift to us in marriage, but many of us do not appreciate that gift. We hurt our spouse with words, coldness, and sometimes abuse. This ruins the wonderful relationship that God gave us, but much more importantly, this is a sin against the one who gave us our marriage.

The gospel tells us that we can never be good enough. We never appreciate the gifts God gives us. We never use them correctly. Instead, we are selfish, proud, and argumentative in our marriages. No matter how hard we try to improve them or how many books we read, our lives will always fail to honor or thank God for his gift of marriage.

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ died for all of our sins, including ungratefulness, selfishness, pride, and argumentativeness. God pours his wrathful punishment for our sins on Jesus Christ so that we could be justly forgiven. God has forgiven us for all of the ways we failed in our marriages. He will forgive us for all of the ways we will fail in our marriages. But we must confess, believe that we are forgiven, and abandon our sins. He gives us new life so that, by his Spirit’s power, we can thank him for our marriage and honor him through our marriage.

Why Are Humans Relational?

Fair warning: This blog post is for thinkers. Those who dig down deep will find nourishment for their souls.

A decision within the Godhead

Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Fishermen, hunters, farmers, and heroic-men-who-wield-their-shoes-against-the-mighty-spiders-of-darkness, I just gave you your life verse. Put this up in your man-cave. Verse 26 is God’s consultation and decision to create man. This gives us a glimpse into the committee of the Godhead.

The nature of unity within the Trinity

The nature of the Trinity is not ever fully explored by any Biblical author, but most authors assume its reality. In the creation account, we see two hints of the Trinity. The first is Genesis 1:2, where the Holy Spirit is hovering over the face of the waters. The second is in verse 26, where a council takes place to decide what the pinnacle of creation will be. Many Jewish scholars thought that the plural “let us” refers to God meeting with angels about the creation of mankind. But God does not need to council with created things about created more things. Angels have no business being in that meeting. It’s out of their pay grade.

Colossians 1:16-17 tells us that the primary acting member of the Trinity was Jesus Christ:

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

God the Father planned and decreed the creation of the world, God the Son spoke the world into existence, and God the Holy Spirit uniquely interacted with the created world. This is basically how they always function. The Father is sovereign, the Son is effective, and the Spirit binds the members of the Trinity together. These three persons act in their roles and yet are completely one God. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”

Trying to explain the Trinity is like trying to come up with an illustration for how difficult something is: it’s really hard. However, we do know a few things:

  1. God is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4)
  2. God exists as three persons (Matthew 28:19)
  3. They have existed eternally in love and unity (John 17:20-26)

Unity and the Gospel

God did not invent love when he created the world. In fact, if God had not existed as three persons in eternity past, then he could not have been a loving God in eternity past, which means that if he started to be loving when he created the world, then he changes and needs improvement. God cannot change or improve, or else he wouldn’t be God.

He created mankind as relational beings, much the same way that he is a relational God. We were made to enjoy the love that the Triune God has enjoyed throughout eternity past. Adam and Eve enjoyed this love with the Triune God. In a similar way to how the Trinity works, Adam and Eve loved one another in perfect unity, and the loving unity they enjoyed was based in God’s love.

However, Adam and Eve willingly chose to pursue knowledge and joy outside of that unified relationship. Their act of pride and selfishness broke the line of the God’s loving relationship with mankind. Sin, death, plagues, wars, famines, crimes, and everything wrong with this world can be traced back to mankind’s decision to break the line of the unity and love that God was sharing with us.

Rather than leave us to ourselves, God chose to send the second member of the Trinity, his loved Son, into this world to repair that broken line so that we could be reunited to him. The Beloved Son died for our sin on the cross so that God could both justly punish our sin and reunite us to himself. Jesus came back to life and through that power, we can have a new life of love and unity. As Jesus says in John 17:22b-23, “that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

Application

The foundation of marriage can be common interests, goals, or romantic passions. Those things can be good things, but true unity is not found in any temporary trivialities. True loving unity can only be found as the husband and the wife believe in Jesus’ sacrifice and repent of their sins. As they do this, God brings them into a loving relationship with himself. As each individual is unified in Christ, they become unified with each other.

A marriage relationship — the weaving of two lives into one — is about much more than sex, or tax status, or having kids, or combining your income, or soccer practices, or uniting for common goals, or companionship. Marriage is an illustration of God’s actions to be reunited with humanity. And becoming reunited with God is the way to have unity and love within marriage.