I wrote yesterday about laughing with Kyle about the ridiculousness (i.e. horrifying embarrassment) of my Monday. Being able to laugh with a friend about what would otherwise be a freakishly terrible day completely changed the lens through which I viewed the morning’s experiences.
My parents lived in China for three years for an expat assignment, and they had a blast, but they each told me separately that, without the other, it would have been an awful three years. Because my dad had my mom there with him, he was able to vent – and then laugh – about the comical nature of trying to run an efficient and profitable business in a country that values full employment and saving face above all else. Because my mom had my dad there with her, she was able to chuckle about her stories of shopping at the grocery store, moo-ing at the butcher to ensure they ate beef (not dog) for dinner. If either of them had lived in rural China alone for three years, the experience would have been frustratingly painful and disconcerting. Instead, it was a wonderfully memorable adventure for them as a couple.
I am often struck by a rather revealing statement in the biblical story of creation. After God created both land and sea, He “saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:10). When He created plants and vegetation, He “saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:12). He created the sun and moon and “saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:18). Three more times, God looks over His creation and declares it “good”. But in the midst of this perfection, prior to sin entering the world and corrupting God’s creation, God sees one thing that He declares NOT good: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). And so God creates a wife for Adam, and Adam names her Eve.
What this tells me is that loneliness existed before sin entered the world. Despite having a perfect, uninhibited relationship with a perfect and holy God, Adam was lonely. Despite living in paradise, Adam was lonely. Despite looking around at all of the rest of creation and declaring it “good”, God saw Adam’s isolation and declared it “not good”.
Adam’s loneliness was not a sin. We were created in the image of the Triune God and, therefore, were created for companionship. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help… Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer” (Eccl. 4:9-12).
I am striving to be content in my singleness, because I know that God is the ultimate Satisfier of my Soul. No man can “complete me” or fully satisfy me. Every human being is fallible and will disappoint me, just as I will disappoint them. But I long for a companion to share my life with – someone to laugh with about the hard days and rejoice with in the good days – because I was created for companionship. We all were. Loneliness is not a sin. And it is not good for man to be alone.