Genesis 2:18"Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
It is not good that the man should be alone! Before we get into that we need to make mention of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7. To sum, Paul says, in his opinion, that it is better if one is single to remain that way so that their concern will be of serving the LORD. However, if one is without self-control and burns with passion, Paul says to get married. Although, to the one that is married Paul says that his interests are divided between the world and the LORD. One who is married seeks to please their spouse (in the LORD) and has children (Gen. 1:28). Paul makes this very clear that it is not to be taken as God’s word and commandment, rather his opinion.
But as we look at Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” This is paramount to our existence; because,God commands the man and woman to multiply and fill the earth. Without this act there would be no one to write this post nor anyone to read it. Before the rabbits take our attention from the task at hand, let us again focus on Genesis 2:18. It is not good that the man should be alone. This speaks to God’s characteristics and we will address a few.
First God is relational.
In the God head trinity God has deep meaningful relationship within Himself. Confusing? Sure, but know that God did not need us to have relationship, He created us to enjoy the value of relationship both with Him and other humans. The man could not have a relationship with animals. Yes, I understand the warm fuzzies dogs and other pets bring, but it is in no way comparable to the relational feelings another human can return.
While animals can play with you, show unconditional love, and help benefit mental faculties, they are unable to console with words, wisdom, and hugs. You cannot carry on a deep meaningful conversation with your pet. Rather you can but you may trade that conversation for a loss of freedom for fear that you have gone wacky.
Joking aside the point is this, God created man to have a deep meaningful relationship with Him and with other humans. In the case of Genesis 2:18 it was “a helper suitable for him.” The woman! I hear the screams now from both genders “I don’t need a man to be happy” and “I don’t need no woman.” I would agree here as we have pointed out in Paul’s words found in 1 Corinthians 7; however, what we are addressing here is God’s perspective.
Secondly, God is intimate.
Again, within the God head trinity, God has intimacy. However, He created mankind to experience and enjoy that deep intimacy that we feel when we grow close to someone (i.e., our spouse). Better than that, God wanted us to experience the sheer joy that comes from having a deep intimacy with Him. Not because He needed it, rather He knew we would. Intimacy grows when two people experience a level of “togetherness” that is no possible with animals. That intimacy grows to joyous depths when those two people spend an exuberant amount of time with God.
Third God is loving.
If you wish to examine “true love” in action look no further than the cross of Christ. God came down to be born in human flesh so that He could relate to us, identify with us, live like us, experience all the pain, loss, and temptation like us. Then God went to the cross to die for us as the sinless sacrifice, because your sins and my sins require payment. “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“(Romans 3:23). Before He went to the cross He was beaten, whipped, mocked, and treated horribly. Why don’t we let Isaiah tell us in his own words in chapter 53 of his book.
Isaiah 53 1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
When we love our spouse, we love sacrificially. It is difficult and it will bear scars but it is only because God loved us that we are capable of such an act toward another human. We are finally at the purpose of this post, and that is to address Genesis 2:18 in a 1 Corinthians 13:11 world. This world is full of men who act like little boys, sitting around all day playing games and seeking their own interest. My friends, this ought not to be so. It is not good for the man to be alone. What did God create to rectify this foreseeable problem?
Again, you 1 Corinthians 7 men are to devote your time to the LORD. Married or not know that, “when you were a child, you used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when you became a man, you did away with childish things.” Do away with childish things to the Glory of God.
When you “fall out of” love
The other day I was working the ground in what will eventually become our garden and it got me to thinking about gardens and marriage. I remember awhile back I learned one of my co-workers had been recently divorced. To my surprise I inquired as to the reason why.
After some beating around the bush (probably a result of her knowing I was a Christian with strong views on marriage) she said, “we just fell out of love.” This statement lead me to believe that she believed love was and is a vital part of any marriage. I simply responded, “people don’t fall out of love, they just quit trying.”
What does love got to do with it
I followed up my initial claim by saying, “love is a conscious choice we have to make every day and it has everything to do with our marriage. According to the Bible, love is more than a choice, it is a verb. That is, it requires action on our part.” As I continued, I wondered how much was making sense to a non-believer. “Love is willful sacrificial service to your spouse regardless if your own wants/needs are met.
To say that you fell out of love really just means both of you quit sacrificially serving one another.” I realize at this point my audience is probably no longer engaged but the the truth of this is so important. Marriage is a lot like a garden. Here is what I mean. I spent four hours tilling a piece of land so we could plant a garden. After four hours and many blisters later (yes I had gloves on), my wife stopped and said, “I guess this is why you had to spend all day on the farm!”
Marriage & the Garden
The first marriage was created in a garden. One woman was brought to one man and they became one flesh (Gen. 2:24).1 After hours of tilling your soil you must then cultivate then spend much time planting.
After the hard work is done you must now constantly watch the garden. Each passing day the threats become more intense. Grass, weeds, thorns and thistles sprout, animals and birds attack, and before you know it your produce is disappearing or rotting from neglect.
In the beginning Adam was told to “keep” the garden. The Hebrew word is שָׁמַר (shâmar) and it carries with it many connotations but the similarities between all of them are in the context of guarding, protecting cultivating and preserving. This means it was Adam’s job to tend the garden and protect it from that which sought to destroy or corrupt it.
Think about how much effort goes into “keeping” a garden. When you tell someone you “keep” a garden you may not know it but you are saying exactly what Adam was commanded. “I keep a garden, I protect it, I cultivate it, I guard it and preserve it.” It has to be worked daily.
Thorns and Thistles
Marriage, in the same way has to be worked daily and for the same reasons. Because of man’s sin there are things in this world that seek to destroy and raze (to demolish or destroy) your marriage. Gossip, slander, backbiting, and outside forces of ungodly opinion are like the weeds, thorns, and thistles that grow in our marriage.
They must be eradicated daily. Do me a favor, walk outside and look at the cracks in your driveway or in your garden, what do you see? Weeds! You spray them today and they are gone by the next, but come back within a few days or weeks. The weeds, thorns, and thistles in your marriage must be eradicated daily and it takes work to “keep” your marriage.
It’s not just weeds, thorns, and thistles that try to choke out your marriage. There are beastly intruders that attempt to break in steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). These beastly intruders are not found of a strong marriage especially one built on the foundation of God’s solid word.
These intruders seek to devour you through unconfessed sin, a nasty and bitter attitude, other people, and a self-serving mentality. The enemy knows your weakness and knows how to tempt you. It seems that he is more faithful to tempt us then we are to “keep” our marriage. Build your marriage on the solid rock of Christ and let not the enemy raze (Mark 10:9).
Again, What does love have to do with it
Again, I ask what does love have to do with it? Consider that sin is almost always a result of selfishness and pride. A bitter nasty attitude comes from selfishness and pride (usually not getting our way). Letting other people speak into your marriage is not necessarily a bad thing but if these people are speaking falsehood and lies that correspond with your own self-seeking interest in your unkempt marriage, they are simply helping you destroy that which God created.
All of this is a result of fleshly desires rooted in selfishness. Love is a selfless sacrificial action word that results from a choice made daily. In most instances this choice must be made hundreds of times each day. But we must “keep” our marriage as we have been commanded to since the beginning. Is it difficult? You bet, we already discussed that. As a result of sin the enemy seeks whom he may devour. Bear in mind that it is not impossible without God (Luke 18:27).
Humility is the key to sacrificial selfless service to God, to your spouse, and to your fellow brother / sister in Christ. This is not possible on your own. But with God’s wisdom, guidance, and support it is possible. If you are struggling in your marriage ensure that your vertical relationship with God is strong. The more you serve your Creator with a humble heart, the easier it becomes to selflessly serve others, your spouse. Don’t fall out of love but make the choice to love a moment by moment reality in your marriage.