63. woman shaped hole
I’ve always bristled at the thought whenever someone would say, “you need to be a whole person before you’re ready to be in a relationship.” I never really thought about it but I think I know why – I don’t think it’s Biblical.
In Genesis 2:18-25, we see the creation of the first woman, Eve. It all starts with God sensing that Adam is missing something, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him,” (Gen 2:18b NLT). And so God went to work creating all kinds of animals, bringing them to Adam. Adam in turn gives them names, but even after God’s grand parade, “…there was no companion suitable for him,” (Gen 2:20b NLT).
Funny side-note, some people tell me that I’m too picky. Hell, I think I’m too picky, but it’s a good thing Adam was too because if he wasn’t, he might have settled for llama and God would never have gone on to create Eve. And I don’t want to even begin to think about how procreation would have worked out if that were the case…”damn, did you see the teats on that llama mama? DAMN!”
Anyway, God sees that none of the animals he’s created are right for Adam and so he goes and does something very strange. “So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam’s ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam,” (Gen 2:21-22 NLT).
Up until this point, God had fashioned all of creation out of the ground. But he does something very different when creating the first woman, Eve. He opens Adam up, removes a part of him (a rib), and uses that to create her. Thus, instead of just being another form or creation, woman is “…bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” (Gen 2:23 NIV). And God doesn’t replace the rib (at least not Adam’s rib…despite what some Christians think, men and women have the exact same number or ribs) and so in a very real sense, Adam is made whole when he is with her.
Another side note, the Greeks had a similar kind of idea about men and women and why they feel more whole when together. Plato describes, in one of his writings, a man being split in two. One half became male and the other half became female and that’s why the one is always longing for the other – because they desire to be made whole again.
The thing that I find particularly interesting about the Bible’s account the creation of Eve is the fact that it occurs BEFORE the fall – that is, the world has not yet been corrupted by sin, it is still as God intended it. The longing that Adam felt for another was there from the beginning, it’s not a product of corruption but of design. Man and woman being together is a part of God’s design, and so is Adam’s longing for companionship!
So then, the advice that one needs to be whole before being ready for a relationship is misguided. Man’s longing for companionship predated the fall and thus is an element of God’s design.
I don’t know. I’m no theologian (understatement of the year). I’ve just never heard the story of man and woman explained this way. I’ve always seen loneliness and longing as a product of a fallen world, but what if that’s how we’ve been created?
Not sure what this all means in the long run. It’s an interesting idea (to me). Maybe I’m wrong about this. Any Bible scholars out there able to comment on this?