“I take care of him. When he’s happy, I’m happy,” says Stella. Merle replies, “I’m happy when she’s around.” Merle and Stella have been married for 79 years. When Merle was recently admitted to a nursing home, he was miserable—so Stella gladly brought him home. He’s 101, and she’s 95. Though she needs a walker to get around, she lovingly does what she can for her husband, such as preparing the food he likes. But she couldn’t do it on her own. Grandchildren and neighbors help with the things Stella can’t manage.
Stella and Merle’s life together is an example of Genesis 2, where God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (v. 18). None of the creatures God brought before Adam fit that description. Only in Eve, made from the rib of Adam, did Adam find a suitable helper and companion (vv. 19–24).
Eve was the perfect companion for Adam, and through them God instituted marriage. This wasn’t only for the mutual aid of individuals but also to begin a family and to care for creation, which includes other people (1:28). From that first family came a community so that, whether married or single, old or young, none of us would be alone. As a community, God has given us the privilege of sharing “each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Dear God, thank You for creating man and woman for each other and for instituting community so that none of us are truly alone.
Genesis 2:4–24 is the second of two creation accounts. Why two? In Genesis 1, the focus is on God and His awesome power: He speaks the universe—everything—into existence. In Genesis 2, we see a very different focus. After no “suitable helper” is found for Adam among the animals (v. 20), God causes him to sleep and from his rib forms the perfect partner and friend: a woman, Eve. The fit is so perfect that the two become “one flesh” (v. 24). This second account focuses on our fundamental need for relationship as humans created in God’s image. To be made in His likeness is to not be alone. These two creation accounts reveal two wonderful aspects of God’s character: He’s the almighty God who created you and me out of nothing, and yet He’s intimately concerned that we not be alone (v. 18).