In the beginning, man was a hopeless romantic, desperate for true love. That’s the first message I take away from today’s Old Testament reading.
The Lord God sees his creation looking forlorn and mopey in paradise. We can imagine Adam singing, “All by Myself” for days on end. God, growing weary of this off-key warbling, remarks, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And so He decides to find a “suitable partner” for Adam by bringing him a wide range of birds and beasts. This deleted scene would be kind of hilarious.
God trots out a giraffe and says, “Well? How about this?”
“Kind of tall,” Adam replies.
God pulls a hippopotamus from the river.
“That looks dangerous,” says Adam.
A peacock steps forward, its plumage spread wide in iridescent splendor.
“I mean, it’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong…”
Who knows how many episodes aired in this very first season of the Bachelor? Did God ever grow frustrated with Adam? I can picture Adam finding some reason to reject a golden retriever, and God replying, “Ugh! Your standards are too high!”
In the end, the first man just wanted what we all do: someone he could talk to, someone with common interests, someone he could share his life with.
And so it was that God crafted Adam a partner from his very own body. This time, Adam could raise no objections. As he lays his eyes on the first woman in the history of the world, we can almost hear Etta James singing in the background. “At last,” Adam says. His love has come along. His lonely days are over. “And the two of them become one flesh.”
Today, as some celebrate Valentine’s Day and others lament the arrival of “Singles Awareness Day,” we can all appreciate Adam’s ordeal and take comfort in the fact that finding romance was a challenge from the very start. More importantly, though, we can be encouraged by the second message that emerges from this passage: God wants us to find a perfect match. His role in this sequence of events leaves no doubt. He recognizes loneliness and He acknowledges that it is “not good.” He desires a “suitable partner” for each of us, and He actively assists us in finding one.
Whether our day holds the promise of a candlelit dinner or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and Netflix, we can all give thanks that God seeks to meet our needs. If man is made in God’s image, then God must be a romantic, too.
—Andrew Fondell is an English teacher who is beyond grateful to be celebrating his 12th Valentine’s Day with his very own “suitable partner.”