At each step in the creation process, Genesis notes that God paused to observe that his work was good. In fact, the author of Genesis sites that God “saw it was good” seven times. “And God saw that the light was good” (Genesis 1:4). “And God saw it was good” (1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25). “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (1:31). Good. Good. Good.
Everything was good… except for one thing. Apparently when God created man (Adam), some time elapsed between the creation of Adam and the creation of woman (Eve). During that time (which I will call Adam’s short-lived bachelorhood), a garden is planted, the coordinates of that garden are specified, God establishes some ground rules, Adam is given the job of “creation keeper” and God asks Adam to name all the creatures he had created.
However, throughout that last day of creation, something was missing. Something was incomplete. Something was not good. And God noticed.
He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18). So God added a “helper fit for him” (2:20). Eve. Woman. What’s remarkable about the relationship between Adam and Eve is not just that they are two separate people hitting it off, good for each other. But that they were created as a sort of two-in-one deal.
I say their relationship is a two-in-one because God used man to create woman. God caused Adam to fall asleep and as he slept, God took a rib bone from Adam and used that rib bone to create Eve. A bit creepy? Poetic is more like it. Because of God’s artistic license, Adam can lovingly declare that Eve is bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (2:23). In a unique sense, God not only created humans to be relational, but also to be, in a very real sense, irreversibly connected to each other.
And as the creation account concludes, the author of Genesis describes this first couple as “one flesh” (2:24), communicating the purposeful uniqueness of man and woman’s relationship that beautifully reflects the multi-relational character of God’s, “own image” (1:27).
My favorite explanation as to why God is Trinitarian (three persons in one God) is that God is a God of relationship. And if he is a God of relationship, he must therefore reflect, in his nature, his own character. Thus the complex relational nature of God – Father, Son, and Spirit.
This relational God – Father, Son, and Spirit – then created us, his creatures, to also be relational. It’s part of our natural human make-up. It’s also part of our being created in God’s own image. And it’s not just in the relationship between man and woman. It’s also reflected in the relationship of human being to human being and in the relationship of human being to God. We were created by a relationally complex God to be relationally complex. In other words, it’s complicated! But a part of who we are and need to be.
Moments before Jesus was arrested to be crucified, he took time to pray for these complex but important relationships. He prayed, “I also ask ‘that they may be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me… and loved them even as you loved me’” (John 17:21,23).
We were born out of and into relationship. Our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual make-up naturally requires relationship. Take a moment to think of all the relationships in your life…
Are all of the relationships you thought of human-to-human? If so, what is your relationship to the multi-relational Creator? He lovingly created you in his image. And it is miraculously through relationship that we have a chance to know him and believe in him. Look for him. It’s complicated, but it is good.