Day 13 — The Main Reason You Need Someone
31-Day Marriage Devotional
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” — (Genesis 2:18)
The difference in how you read this verse depends on whether you are looking through a dirty window or a clean window. If you are interpreting Adam’s situation through the lens of your depravity, it would be easy to conclude that Adam was lacking and longing for more than what he had.
If you are interpreting Adam’s situation through the lens of contentment, your understanding for why the Lord said it was not good for him to be alone will be different. The tendency is to look at Genesis 2:18 from your experience of loneliness and needs, which can tempt you to upload the text from a sin-centered, dirty window perspective. And you will look back at the text while mapping your experience over it.
There was no sin in Adam. The things he thought and felt were remarkably different from how you experience life. It had not occurred to Adam that there was a problem with not having a wife since there was no such thing created at that time. The cliche “you can’t know what you can’t know” has important application. It reminds me of a newly hatched duck that sees a dog before anything else. What does it do? It follows the dog. The dog becomes the parent of the duck. A duck does not know what you know, so it’s okay following the dog.
Adam was living large: He was benefiting from all the Lord created. To speculate that Adam longed for something that did not exist would be pushing the text too far. Adam was the hatched duckling. Life was good. But the Lord was in creative mode. He knew what needed to happen, and Adam was not part of the decision-making committee (Genesis 1:26–27). His role was to be the happy recipient of whatever the Lord decided to bring his way.
What Adam lacked was not someone to fill his empty love cup, but someone who would allow him to put God fully on display in the world. Adam was like the world’s greatest baseball player with no place to play. He was suited up and equipped, but had no place to do the one thing he was designed to do, which was to image the divine community.
Adam did not need love but needed someone to be the recipient of his love. When Jesus talked about relationships, He did not talk about what we needed, but what we needed to do. For example, when He talked about how to live out the Bible well, He said to love Him and to love others most of all (Matthew 22:36–40). The primary direction of God’s love is always toward others, not toward ourselves (John 3:16).
When Paul talked about man’s relationship with his wife, He said that he should give his life for her (Ephesians 5:25). When Paul gave his version of the two great commandments, he stated that we should count others as more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3–4).
In a God-centered world, your thoughts are always directed to God and others more than yourself, which is critical insight when you think about Adam’s world. He did not need Eve as though there was something wrong with him. He needed Eve so he could more effectively image the Community who created him. And Eve did not need Adam’s love because there was nothing wrong with her. She needed Adam so she could have the opportunity to put the Trinity on display.
Time to Reflect
What is the main reason you want your spouse — to meet your desires or to spread the fame of God?
What do you need to change about yourself to position your marriage to more effectively spread the fame of God? Whatever that thing is, start implementing an action plan today.
Originally published at Rick Thomas.