When God created Adam, he had everything going for him; a harmonious relationship with God, a bountiful food supply, and a luscious garden to call home. However, God knew the importance of relationships and knew that Adam needed a companion to do life with.
It is not good for man to live alone.
God’s insight is never wrong and is always timely.
Created for Love
God didn’t create Adam out of need. God created Adam out of love for His son. God the Father created the world through the Son and for the Son. Their eternal relationship was perfect and complete and was not lacking.
As Adam worked the garden and fulfilled God’s will in his life, God wanted Adam to experience the love He had for the Son. He wanted Adam to know the love of God and wanted Adam to share that same love with someone else. Jesus alludes to this in John 17 when He says desires His followers to see the glory in person that God has given Him - through the love they exhibited before the foundation of the world.
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:22-24
As an image-bearer of God the Father, none of the previously created creatures would suffice for Adam. Not because Adam thought so, but because God knew so.
God Created a Companion for Adam
God took a rib bone of Adam and created a suitable companion in Eve. The image-bearer was now connected to another image-bearer that could share a mutual love from God and for God. The created could now experience a deeper level of connection that could reflect the relationship between the Father and Son. This is not limited to marital relationships. Jesus Himself experienced various levels of connection with John, Peter, James, the disciples, His ministry caravan, and other followers.
Finding Connection for Ourselves
Not all of our relationships share the same level of connection. However, we should be able to identify a deeper connectedness to some in our lives. It is quite possible to be surrounded by a multitude of people and not experience a connectedness that we need or even desire. We can have meaningful relationships in our lives that lack deeper connection because we limit the depths we allow the roots to grow.
We often find ourselves surrounded by shallow relationships because we haven’t done the hard work of cultivating our hearts. The cultivating that needs to take place is the ability to give a piece of ourselves away for the sake of creating a deeper connection. Much like the rib bone taken from Adam to create Eve, we too need to be willing to give more of ourselves to create deeper connections.
I will confess, that as a husband, father, pastor, and friend to many, I often struggle with connectedness. The enemy has planted a seed of fear in my heart (and all our hearts) that being known is not healthy and destroys relationships. I tend to fence in the garden of my life, guard the gate, and prevent meaningful relationships to develop the connectedness I crave and desire. The fruit of those relationships is not as plentiful as it could be if I would be more open to giving more of myself.
So, what do we do? How do we cultivate deeper connections?
First, don’t give up. It is God’s design for you to cultivate connections, first with Him and then through Him. Living on an island in the Caribbean sounds enticing and relaxing but living on a relational island is exhausting and unhealthy. God the Father continues to pursue us in our relationship and serves as a reminder of how we are to pursue deeper connections with other image-bearers.
Second, pray on two fronts. Ask God to show you specifically what is causing you to guard the gate. Is it a bad experience? Have you been hurt? Do you have trouble trusting? As He reveals those areas, let Him work through them to cultivate your heart for the connections you need and desire.
The second prayer request is to ask God to reveal to you the individual that you could develop a deeper connection with. It could be a spouse, a small group member, a friend at work, or someone else who has a relationship with the Lord you have admired.
Time to Start
If you could use some work in this area of your life, now is the time to get started. God can and will help you create healthy connections with others to walk through life together. He desires those relationships for you because He is a relational Father. He can heal your hurts and inhibitions and give you the boldness to step out toward a new friendship. He has always loved the Son and wants you to experience that same love with His Son and through His Son.
Let’s all get started at working toward a deeper connection with others just as God intended.
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