“The fundamental reason why it was not good for Adam to be alone was not because of a need to fulfilled within Adam, but rather because of a deficiency in his ability to accurately image God. He couldn’t make the invisible kingdom visible while he was alone because the invisible kingdom is a community. Adam needed Eve to accurately reflect God.”
“And it was good…”
Those words reverberate throughout the first two chapters of Genesis. That’s why the hollow thud of Genesis 2:18 packs so much power. “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Those words don’t seem to belong in a pre-Genesis 3 world. Yet, they are here to highlight the importance of the woman to the man. His aloneness is not good.
But what of that aloneness. Why is it not good?
Early in our marriage, in my pre barbeque grill days, I loathed the times when my wife would leave for a few days to visit family. I knew that I had a steady diet of McDonalds, fish sticks, and pizza rolls until she returned. I was helpless without her mad cooking skills. So it was certainly not good that Mike was alone. But this cannot be what the text means. Adam could have been a fine cook, I’m sure.
Maybe it’s not good for Adam because he is a sexual being. Every other creature had a mate. They could all reproduce. But not Adam. Is he burning with sexual desire and so it’s not good for him to be alone? Or is it some other need which Adam has within himself that cannot be met apart from a woman? Is it an emotional need? A physical need? A spiritual need?
Yes and no.
I believe all of those are part of the answer for why it is not good for Adam to be alone. But there is a much greater reason why it’s not good for him to be alone and it’s found in the text. When God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image…” and then in Genesis 1:28 tasked them with being fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth he was tasking humanity with spreading His glory throughout the whole world. He was calling upon humanity to accurately image Him.