Images immediately emerge that describe the state of singlehood and solitary confinement, but especially since 2020, a quarantine.

Yet neither of these necessarily fully describes what God meant when He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18 KJV). You see, within a mere civil marital partnership, extreme aloneness is typical. Separation and divorce statistics and personal testimonials aptly speak to that point. To learn what God actually meant, I sought help from the Strong’s Bible Concordance. To my surprise, Strong is silent in all usages of the term in the book of Genesis. It is not until its appearance in the book of Leviticus that any semblance of simply a solitary state is meant from Strong’s list of occurrences.

Therefore, I returned to the text itself. The next most-related term help meet offers only one word: aid. Before you are tempted to reply, “Duh,” there may be more to it than meets the eye. A further reading reveals that the help meet is supplied by the one woman God made from a surgical procedure on the man, during which was removed an element from the deepest part of him. It may be best to call it self. Hmmmm.

When this thing called self is removed from man, God can grace man’s presence with that which elevates him to a higher plane: woman. In every way, it is possible for man and woman to complement each other to the glory of God. When the union of the two is bound by the sacredness of a Holy God, marriage is achieved. Otherwise, there is no true marriage.

“Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved. {PP 46.1}*

“God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided ‘an help meet for him’—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. ‘For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it’ (Ephesians 5:29). ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.’ {PP 46.2}*

“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honorable’ (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. [The other is the seventh-day Sabbath.] When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.” {PP 46.3}*

This divine union of the two becoming one, fully complementing each other according to God’s plan, is the movement from selfhood to otherhood—or more appropriately called communion.

(*PP – Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen G. White, Accessed March 10, 2021.)

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