God designed us to be social creatures. The only thing that was said to be “not good” before the Fall was the fact that Adam was alone. In making this statement, the Holy Spirit tells us just how important human relationships are.
God made Adam. God gave Adam the responsibility of caring for the garden. Then God had Adam name all of the animals. So we know that God communicated with Adam and gave him specific tasks to accomplish. Yet, God makes the observation that there was still no suitable helper for Adam. Remember that the Holy Spirit is recounting these events for our benefit. Don’t think that God is sort of making things up as he goes. We do that–it is very human to evaluate the things we accomplish and make adjustments along the way, as we see what works and what doesn’t. But God doesn’t operate that way.
This sequencing of events shows that God intentionally designed Adam to be in relationship with other people. Just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit existed in perfect harmony and relationship before creation, so Adam was made to live in harmony and relationship with other people. God created Eve and then created the relational structure of the family to be a constant reminder that humanity is to be dependent, submissive, relational and purposeful in all of life.
The structure of the family is a reminder of dependence because children are born totally dependent upon parents for survival. This is the picture of man’s total dependence upon God for everything that he needs, even his next breath.
The family structure is also relational. God created husband and wife to be sexually and relationally intimate with each other. Adam’s response to Eve is one of exclamation and fulfillment. The English Standard Version and The New Living Translation bring out this nuance in their translation of Genesis 2:23.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” ESV
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” NLT
The relational aspect of family is also seen in the warm, intimate relationship between parents and children, and between siblings. The family is the structure God provided for us to learn about relationships.
It is too easy to forget that life is about relationships. Material things come and go. They can be lost, stolen and broken. Nothing material will go with us into eternity. Relationships, however, are the stuff of life, even eternal life. Do not let the pursuit of material things overshadow the value of relationships!