One of my favorite stories in the Bible to learn from is the Garden of Eden. A vast majority of people focus primarily on “the Fall” and the eating of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but there are other, more important lessons I like to focus on here. As a single man, I read this story to get an idea of how I’m supposed to live life before sin entered the world.
The the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)
The first thing God did was give Adam a task, a purpose. God had Adam tend to the Garden, maintain it, and keep it. This is extremely important because it shows that there was always work. Work predated the Fall but became difficult afterward. There is always a purpose placed over our lives, even before we truly understand it.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”Genesis 2:18 (nkjv)
This is often the first scripture people read to stress that marriage is important. However, I don’t think this verse is just confined to marriage. Being the only one of your kind is lonely, isolating, and not fully reflective of the multitude of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1) Even God was not in full isolation. Aloneness not being good is interesting because God created many things and called them all good. We don’t see something being declared NOT good until this verse.
Another important distinction is the phrase “comparable”. The NRSV Bible says “I will make him a helper as his partner.” ESV says “…a helper fit for him”. NIV says “a helper suitable for him.” but COMPARABLE is really different and important.
The NKJV, compared to all of the major translations, is the only one that gives us a hint what all the others might mean by “suitable” and “fit”. It doesn’t mean identical but it also doesn’t mean lessor than. Adam’s mate is purposely chosen as to meet each other’s needs.
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that wasits name.
So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.Genesis 2:19-20 (NKJV)
Adam was deep into his purpose at this time. He was a steward for all of creation for God and working through everything requested of him. I imagine Adam taking account of every creature, naming and noting their differences, but after he finished for the “day”, him going home alone. He pets his prehistoric pet and sits on his La-Z-boy stone as the “uniqueness” of his existence eats away at him. Even the dogs that he counted had others like them.
I take this section to be about the importance of exploring your purpose. You aren’t expected to complete it (He still didn’t name all the fish, etc.) but you expected to be well on your way. Your purpose is too large for you to finish by your lonesome. It’s by design that once we have reached the limits of what we could do alone, we are brought together with our comparable helper. We are supposed to develop relationship with God and understand our purpose before we reach that point.
It’s also important to note that God stated that it was not good for man to be alone before He created all the creatures on the earth then He created woman. I don’t believe good did not know that Eve would need to be made for Adam. He knew, but chose to wait because Adam needed to work first.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.Genesis 2:21-23 (NKJV)
These verses might be the most important in my eyes for understanding the balance of relationships in Christ. Adam was given momentary rest while Eve was being prepared to be brought to him. Adam probably was preparing for Eve thinking she just might be there among the other creatures of the earth but she wasn’t there. He was let down from that and God told him to rest up. Then, while he was sleep, God created Eve. She was still a surprise even though he understood what he desired. You can’t fully compare for what God has planned for you, even if you know it in advance.
Woman was made from his rib. Particularly, why is the rib? The rib protects the heart and lungs, supports the body, and allows a person to breathe. The rib is a vital part of the human body. Eve was also formed from his essence mirroring God & the Word, and Jesus & the Body of Christ. They all are apart, dependent, and reflections of each other.
Typically, whenever we talk about courtship, it is connected to Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds a good thing,Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV)
And obtains favor from the Lord.
We often only focus on the “He who finds a wife” part but I think we miss other equally important messages throughout the word about courtship.
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,Proverbs 19:14 (NIV)
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
God brings Eve to Adam. He could not find her on his own. He did not pick a random creature to be his helper. God gifted Eve to Adam. Anything from God could only be good. Eve was an SIGN of favor towards him. Eve was a blessing. Eve was good and perfect in her purpose and creation.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.James 1:17 (NKJV)
Most importantly, you would not receive favor from the Lord if you did not know the Lord. He wouldn’t gift someone that He views as precious and valuable to someone that wouldn’t value it properly (Matthew 7:6). God will not give a godly woman to an ungodly man and vice versa. You two will be unequally yolked and it will only hinder you on you path towards God’s purpose for you. Even though Adam “found” Eve, it was really God bringing Eve to him.
The beauty behind the entire love story before the fall is that God provided all of Adam’s needs: a purpose, food, shelter, and love. Adam could not do any of it without God. If we listen to the things God has already told us and hold on to those truths we are guaranteed a fulfilling life. When we step out of that and do it on our own, that’s when we get into trouble. Single people*** remember:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
He really meant ALL things.
Turn Your Brightness Up!
***I believe this entire post isn’t just for men but women also. (Galatians 3:28)