This blog’s title is rather provocative amidst today’s debate regarding gender. It’s also the title of an article by Peter J. Leithart in First Things. After saying in Genesis 1 that creation was “very good,” God said in Gen. 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  Pope John Paul II viewed “Adam’s solitude as an opportunity for self-discovery.” According to Leithart, in solitude Adam “learns his uniqueness… [and] distinguishes himself… with his first act of self-consciousness… He discovers himself as ‘person.'”  He is “a matchless being with a unique depth of subjectivity.”

Still, he is alone and incomplete. God created Adam for relationship. “The man alone is no more than a part, a limb without a body.” Adam is, as Paul later says, “head” of the woman. Leithart notes, however, “[a] bodiless head is as monstrous as a headless body. He’s an image of God only together with the woman.”

Leithart explains, “…Man needs help so humanity can achieve what humanity is called to achieve.  Unless the unique powers of woman catalyze the powers of man, and vice versa, mankind cannot reach its destiny… The gift of the woman transforms the man… [Adam] needs a helper to complete the human task… he needs a woman to be fully human.”  Leithart then ends with this: “The woman rescues the man from his solitude so humanity can reach its full glory, because, as Paul says, the woman is the glory of man.”

Men need to remember that Eve was not just to help functionally and vocationally: “The man needs a helper so that the part he is can fit into a whole, the union of two as one flesh.” Adam needs a partner for his task, but he also needs the woman to be fully human. Leithart makes this observation: “Without the helper, the man is as half-finished as a chaotic, darkened earth, as fruitless as land without plants and water. Conversely, woman completes man as light, form and fullness complete the formless earth.” 

Men, here are four takeaways to consider. First, use your own solitude to discover your heavenly Father saying, “You are my beloved.”  Don’t expect a woman to affirm who you are. Affirmation comes from your Father in heaven. In solitude you learn you are a person, “a matchless being with a unique depth of subjectivity.”  “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.” (Gen. 5:1 NIV). 

Second, realize you are not complete. “As God supplies what’s lacking in creation’s deficiency, so he rescues man from his solitude.” We are all “no more than a part, a limb without a body.” Some remain single but find completeness in their relationship with the Lord, in being part of an extended family, and in being part of a church. Married people find wholeness not only in these relationships, but also in marriage itself.

Third, if God has led you into the covenant of marriage, you need your wife to finish the task God has given you. “Adam is created to be earth’s king, but he can’t become king unless he has a queen at his side. The woman rescues the man from inevitable frustration and mission-failure.” Men need to be rescued from their frail egos by a loving and supporting spouse.  Let her into your heart.

Fourth, remember that you are not a whole man in your solitude – you were created for relationship. If God leads you into the marriage relationship, he knows you need your wife to help you flourish on life’s journey. For many, “the gift of the woman transforms the man from a waterless waste into the human equivalent of the garden of God.”