Love comes to us through relationships
By Pastor David Sperstad
First Lutheran Church
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and thoughts of love are in the air. Typically I might write of love, in fact the Beatle’s song, “All You Need is Love” is playing on my iPod as I type this article.
Yet, what is love truly about other than the depth of being in relationship? Love comes in all shapes and sizes, but it’s all about the relationship. We were created to be in relationship with one another. We were not created to be alone.
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” Genesis 2:18
The Bible begins with two accounts, two stories of creation, which are told in Genesis. In the first account of creation after God has spoken creating into existence, God evaluates his work by saying it is good. On the last day of creation, of this first story God’s assessment of creation is elevated to being “very good.”
In the second account of creation, we are told of the personal creation of man, formed out of the dust of the earth, brought to life by the breath of God and placed in the beauty of God’s garden in Eden. This newly-created creature, man, is given a task, to till and care for the garden; in this he becomes the first farmer.
As we read this the second account of creation, by all outward appearances, things seem great, or as God evaluated in the first story, “very good.” After all, it’s a beautiful garden, water, trees, plants and a caretaker to watch over God’s creation. Yet, God observes that not everything is in place yet. God’s assessment is that something is missing.
Verse 18 God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone. …” In God’s assessment of creation, the course is set of creating and valuing relationships. Next God has all sorts of animals created, and the lone man is given the task of naming, but none of these are suitable helpers or partners for the man. So out of the man, God creates a partner, a woman.
“At last,” the man exclaims, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
To me it seems clear, that God has created us to be in relationship with his entire creation and with other people who also are God’s creation. God’s assessment that it is “not good to be alone” recognizes for us the importance of our inner need to be with others. While yes, I’ll be the first to admit sometimes it is good to be alone, like on a bike. Truth is, it really isn’t good that we should be alone.
We need the companionship of a spouse of close friends and our families. We are God’s creation and as God’s creation, we are social creatures who find meaning and understanding in our relationships. As hard as we might sometimes try, we cannot live in isolation. God has created us in a way that causes us to depend upon the presence and the giftedness of the other. I happen to believe that we need others in our lives, not just for the purpose of survival, but so that we might just get a glimpse of the face of God.
Each of us was, and is, created in the image of God.
God has created us to be relational beings and we are created in the image of God. God is in relationship with himself, in the “Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and wants to be in relationship with you! Each of us has been created in a unique and special way so that through the relationships with others we might reflect God’s image. We are created in the image of God, so that in relationship with others, God’s image might be reflected back to us.
It is not good for us to be alone. God gives us one another as partners, helpers and as images of God’s wonderful and amazing grace.