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.
Lose the Toxic, Not the Masculinity
Above I linked to a Family Life article about the recent ad from Gillette. It is an insightful article in view of loosing the “toxic” and not the masculinity. As a father to 4 boys, I want them to see a biblical man serving God for the advancement of His kingdom, not mine, and not theirs. A man that loves their mother and will protect her, serve her, and build her up (Ephesians 5:25-28). I want them to see a man who brings them up in the fear and adoration of the LORD (Ephesians 6:4), learning how to love as Christ did, and serve their Heavenly King without reserve or doubt. Because in the end, when you face judgement (and we all will) God will cause each of us to give an account of everything we did in each and every second of time He allowed us to be on this Earth.
Maybe, just maybe, the humanistic religion that so permeates our society feeds the “toxic” in masculinity. Humanistic religion says you are an animal (so why be surprised when people act like it?) Pornography says, women are a usable tool to satisfy a sadistic desire born out of a wicked and corrupt heart (so why treat them with dignity and respect?). The abortion industry (the willful murder of millions of children) feeds this standard. Feminism says, women are god and men are useless (so why do are men even around?)
“26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
Did you catch that, God saw all that He, (not you, not me, not any person on this earth, but God) made and behold it was very good. God, through the sacrificial slaughter of His Son Jesus Christ is the only hope for a world dying a death of willful disobedience, and headed for God’s eternal prison (Hell)!
Showing up (not just physically)
Not only do I show up to work, I show up early. In fact for the first hour or so I am the only person there. Do you know anyone like that? Seize the day, early bird gets the worm etc.. You see men when we show up to work, we don’t just show up and hum through our day. We show up with an intentionality that is innate within us and motivates us to close deals, make new partnerships, drive sales, fix problems and conquer the tasks and challenges we face daily. It is this mindset that comes from the very foundations of who we are. We use our mental fortitude, agility and skills of negotiation to put down any problems that may arise. We expend ourselves mentally and this is good. After all work was part of the original creation prior to the fall and therefore is good.
But what does it look like when you get home to your family? You may say, “I don’t have a family.” Sure that is alright but I still say, what does it look like when you get home? Many times when we come home from work we may assume we should not have to be bothered because we have put in our days duties. We drop the intentionality, mental fortitude, agility and skills of negotiation at the doorstep leaving work. We come home to a family happy to see us. We see a wife struggling to find purpose and encouragement in her daily plight. Children happy to see dad but also struggling with their own version of negotiation skills in various problems they face as siblings. What do we do? Many times we hit the couch or the La-Z-Boy and burn out in front of the T.V. to the destruction of our families.
The point is simply this, is your intentionality rooted in your faith in Christ or your job? If it is rooted in your job, you will never come home with the intentionality that you take to work. Because it is not rooted in Jesus Christ, your family will continue to coast through life with no real leadership and direction. Playing with your kids and telling your wife how much you love her and them is merely surface level. Jesus is the head of the man and the man the head of the family.
If you are not aligned under Christ you may have success in your job but it will be to the forfeiture of your family. You say, “well I maintain order in my home and lead.” A family does not thrive under the rule of a dictator barking orders as his foot crosses the threshold of the door. Therefore, ask yourself, does your family rejoice when they hear your car pull up or do they cringe?
What does this look like you may ask? First and foremost, you cannot just show up physically and pat yourself on the back. Your family needs to know that you are there physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They need to see your intentionality and desire to serve them. This needs to be rooted in Christ through faith or will quickly turn into an idol where you get the glory and when things go wrong, they get the resentment.
Doing your best / Giving your best
There was an incident in Genesis 4 between Cain, Abel and God.
So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
Upon immediate reading of the text it appears that Abel is favored but Cain is overlooked. But if we carefully take into account what the text says about the offerings both men brought we can see where the difference is and which one truly understood his place before God. Look again, “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.”
Here you see that Abel brought the firstlings, or to put it in a way we can all understand, he brought his very best. He surveyed his flock and took notice, then chose to take the best and bring it to God. To many times we as men bring our best to work, but leave the left overs for our families. As if that was not bad enough, when we are fully spent we give God whatever crummy left overs we can muster. This, my friend is wrong. Why do we expend ourselves at work but excuse ourselves at home? Why do we work hard at our job but but forfeit our time with God?
The answer is simple, our alignment is incorrect and our priorities are wrong. God deserves our very best every day, and it should be the first thing we do. I know we have to keep a job and need to support our families but that does not mean we have to expend ourselves to the point where our families become a burden in our selfishness. We should stay faithful to the Lord at work, do our best, and pray for strength and help on our way home. God is faithful and He will help us.
Trying to impress the boss
The next thing we do at work but not at home is trying to impress the boss. There is nothing wrong with doing good honest work and trying to impress the boss. After all work is good and we should do what we can to set ourselves apart from the rest in a way that is aligned under a mighty and good God.
But I fear that the only boss we are trying to impress is one that bears no weight on eternity. When we get home from work, our abilities don’t disappear, we turn them off. My brothers that ought not to be so. God is the ultimate boss; as creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them, He is the one who has authority over all. There is nothing we can do to impress God.
But we should be aligning ourselves under His authority and working diligently to further His kingdom in our home. This looks like a man that comes home from work and seeks to serve the King. A man that loves his wife, engages his children for the Kingdom and spiritually leads by example. It is not, coming home turning the game on and telling the kids not to bother you while exhorting your wife to serve you. This is the opposite of what it means to serve the boss.
Encouraging your team members
How many times at work do we work on team projects, collaborative meetings and share encouragement? I fear more often than we do at home. Let’s evaluate the definition of encouragement.
the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
Encouragement is a verb, it is an action which means it requires movement on our part as husbands and fathers. Do we give support, confidence and hope to our wife and children or are we merely assuring them of our circumstantial love once we have served ourselves? Giving support means helping someone with something. Giving confidence means building up another by speaking truth and life into their ear. Giving hope means sharing with them the truth of scripture. God created a perfect and right world, mankind disobeyed God willfully and as a result the world and its inhabitants were plunged into a perpetual state of sin and decay. The Bible says,
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
that is short of perfect holiness. And for those sins, the Bible says
for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You see this is the ultimate hope, the hope that carries us through the pain and toil, the groaning and grunting of this sin cursed world and into eternity with our Creator. But one can only receive this hope by repenting (turning away from their sins) and putting their faith and trust in Christ and Christ alone. There is no other. Is this the type of encouragement your family receives from you? Do you come home and intentionally build them up for the kingdom of God and His glory, or do you tear down, and belittle?
Sacrificing for the advancement of the company
How many late nights have you spent working on that proposal? How many long hours have been put in to meet a deadline? Perhaps a better question to ask is, how many times have you skipped a family affair for the advancement of your employer? My brother if the answers that complete these questions result in “more than I should have;” we must reevaluate our priorities. Jesus said,
What shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul, or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
The question is this, why would you sacrifice your eternity for temporary advancement in the here and now? What would you exchange for your soul? If we are making sacrifices to the advancement our employers agenda at the detriment to our families we are doing it wrong. Sacrificing for the greater good is giving up what we want or desire and serving another. This does not mean losing your job or quitting; it simply means spending less extra time at work and instead, investing into your family sacrificially.
This might look like turning down a big project you know will tear into your time with your family. It may look like turning down a promotion if it requires you to be at work more often and at home less. I know this sounds crazy in our modern society but is it really? If a man’s job is to love, lead and sacrifice for his family to impact eternity, what good can he do from his office desk? Do not gain the world only to let your family fall. I assure you that big money and big stuff is only stuff. You will never see a moving truck behind a hearse. Jesus finished his teaching by saying this
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels!
I wonder, are we teaching our families to be ashamed of Christ in a futile attempt at gaining the world? My brothers these things ought not to be so.