Blog by Jenny & Mark Rowan
Genesis 2:18(NIV) “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
The Bible does not tell us how long it was from the time that God created man until He made the statement above. There were 15 verses between the time Adam was formed and when God plucked a rib from him and made Eve. Was that an instantaneous discovery, 15 seconds later or a few months down the road when it became apparent that Adam needed someone to talk to? At one point in verses 19 and 20 it seems that Adam may be looking for a helper among the animals as he was naming them alas “no suitable helper was found.” Actually, I think it was part of God’s plan all along.
In fact, our Creator has always been interested in relationship. Genesis 1:26(NIV) gives us a clue about His relational nature … “Let US make mankind in OUR image…” He never was flying solo. God has been eternally involved in the closest relationship ever known … the Trinity. Three in one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in constant communion. No, I don’t believe God woke up one morning and realized Adam’s loneliness was a bad idea. If Adam did have to wait around a bit for Eve to show up it was certainly intentional. Maybe God was allowing Adam to experience what it was like to be without a friend. Maybe there was a specific reason God created Adam first. It could be that when God pulled the rib out of Adam, He was showing His son that he was created to protect the heart of his helper. It definitely was symbolic of God’s desire for man and woman to be one flesh in marriage. Everything God does is centered around relationship.
In this New Year’s series we are touching on some of the most common resolutions people make each year. We’ve discussed dreams and health and we will also look at enjoying life, but today it is about relationships. Every year a large portion of society sets goals to spend more time with friends and family. I’m here to reinforce that desire!
It Starts At Home
When you are reading through the Bible you may have noticed several familial references. As we already learned, in the first chapter of the Bible God establishes the husband and wife relationship telling them to be fruitful and increase in number … also known as; have a big family! I have tried to do that to the best of my ability. I hope to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” when it comes to procreation.
In Isaiah, God is identified as the Husband of Israel. In the New Testament, believers are called the Bride of Christ. Paul teaches that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church. Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man throughout the Gospels. Jesus also instructs us to call on God as “Our Father.” In Romans, we find out that we’ve been adopted as sons (and daughters) and we can now call God our Daddy (Abba). Family is God’s idea from the beginning to the end.
With that being said, our relationships at home are the first priority. Normally what we talk about before anything else is most important to us. God is no different. The first mention of human relationship in the Bible is in the context of marriage. Our Daddy loves to see us love our husbands and wives well.
The reoccurring theme of marriage in the Bible is one of sacrifice and protection. When God introduces the woman as the “helper” for man, it’s not the idea of someone to help pick up a guy’s dirty drawers. The Hebrew word for helper is ezer. It comes from the root world azar which is the idea of girding, surrounding or defending. Ladies, God trusts you to be a main line of defense for your husband! Adam’s rib was an integral part of the protection for the most valuable parts of his anatomy. When God removed the rib to create Eve, essentially he was showing Adam that he was made to protect the life that was most valuable to him. If we can operate out of this heart of support, protection and sacrifice, not only will our marriages be vibrant but our entire families will be strong. A love relationship is marked not by what each individual can receive, but by what they are willing to give away.
Don’t Forsake Assembling
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25(NIV)
King James Version says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” Many times, this is read to encourage church attendance which I fully support. Make it a priority to show up to church on Sunday or any other day the doors are open. It’s a vital part of Christian life. I believe this goes deeper than perfect Sunday school attendance.
Not giving up meeting together is about making and keeping friends. When Paul was addressing the early church in this passage, most of the assembling was done in homes. They broke bread in those homes. Not only did they break it, I’m pretty sure they ate it, as well. Meeting in homes, eating together, encouraging one another … these activities build community and intimacy in relationships.
You may be thinking, “That sounds all good and well, but where will I find this life-invigorating ‘meeting together’ you speak of in a big church like Wave?” I’m glad you asked. It’s called a Connect Group and you should be in one. Pastor Steve says it often, “The bigger we get. The smaller we get.” Wave Church is called to make a difference in as many people’s lives as possible. That means a lot of people come through the front doors every week. At the same time, we are committed to healthy relationships and those are fostered in meeting together in small groups.
As I mentioned before, coming to church is imperative, but it does not necessarily equate to building friendships that impact your life. Talking to someone after the service for two minutes will not result in a deep relationship. Spurring on one another towards love and good deeds happens when we become invested in the wellbeing of each other’s lives. This happens when we do life together with people who have common vision and goals.
Back to sacrifice — the underlying theme of relationships — Jesus said in John 15:13(NIV), “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus put action behind His words and died to give us the opportunity to be in relationship with His Father. They were fully invested. That perfect union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit literally moved Heaven and Earth to restore the lost relationship that sin created in our lives. This is our example on how to do relationships well. Whatever it takes … help one another, protect one another, encourage one another and love one another.
Bible Study: Dive into God’s desire for good relationships in Louie Giglio’s “Relat(able): Making Relationships Work” 7 day reading plan. https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2984