I was intrigued by the way “Mymoss” ties together God’s statement that human beings are not meant to be alone in Gen. 2:18 with our need for one another and for God in this post.
It finally ocurred to me to look up one place where Paul quotes that same Genesis passage, Ephesians 5:28-32. In Ephesians Paul is using an ideal loving marriage bond as an anology of the relationship of Christ and the church.
Only as I went back and read the letter from the beginning did I realize that this quote occurs at the culmination of an extended discussion about how we must allow the presence of the Holy Spirit within us to change how we relate to God and to one another. We must change from self-centered living to Christ-centered living through the living power and instruction of the Holy Spirit within us.
Only as we allow the Holy Spirit to mold us in Jesus’ image can we live up to the high calling God intended for us from the very beginning (Eph. 2:10). [I speak in more detail about this calling in my page Moses’ God.]
Eph. 2:10 already links us back to the Genesis accounts of the creation of human beings. All of Paul’s statements about how we need to live in the love and unity of the Spirit make sense if seen alongside his argument that Paul has come to reconcile Gentile and Jewish believers in Jesus Christ into one loving, harmonious body that can live and work together in such a way as to be an object lesson to the non-believing world’s powers-that-be (Eph. 3:10-11). For this reason He gives spiritual gifts of many kinds, to make this harmony and goodness grow so that we may become just like the God in whose image we were originally created: Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:11-16).
As Mymoss points out, the mystery that makes harmonious living possible is that Christ lives in us through the Holy Spirit. God is not divided, so neither should we be. We therefore should be submitting ourselves to one another (Eph. 5:22). It is at this point in Paul’s flow of thought that He brings in Gen. 2:18, reminding us that human beings were not meant to be alone, and telling us that the marriage relationship was divinely designed (when there is mutual submission by both partners as in 5:21) was intended from the beginning to be an analogy of Christ and His Bride, the Church (all of redeemed humanity). A mystery hidden throughout the ages, indeed!
We desperately God living in us to fill all the holes in our heart that were meant to be filled with relationship – especially the one shaped to receive the Holy Spirit!
Thanks, Mymoss, for your thought-provoking post.
As our service concluded, we were all reminded by John K. that there are a lot of lonely people out there. It really is not good to be alone! Now, what can we do about it?