Not everything in the Garden of Eden was “good.” In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” This is rather surprising because of what we’ve read in Genesis chapter one. Roop, says, “Because in Genesis 1 we listened to the repeated refrain, And God saw that it was good, the not good of this speech stands out sharply. After providing a garden and granting freedom, still one problem must be solved—loneliness.”[1] This is not a contradiction at all. In an article in the Review and Expositor, Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford writes, “But read closely: Yhwh Elohim does not find a lack of goodness in anything that has already been created. Rather, the lack of goodness rests in the solitary state of humankind. Humankind needs humankind. We were not created to dwell in isolation, but rather in relationship.” Nancy, then quotes Terrien, “ ‘In Till the Heart Sings, Samuel Terrien writes, The ancient mentality, especially Hebraic, considered aloneness as the negation of authentic living, for true life is not individual but corporate and social.’”[2]

Although the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible, the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unmistakable in the Bible.  The traditional statement expresses to us the idea of only one God, but in three separate persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus speaks of the harmony that existed in all eternity with the Father. Back in Genesis 1:26-27 we see God’s first deliberation between the three. It says, “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Havin been created in God’s image requires man to live in community. “The Bible never considers the possibility that people can be whole as isolated individuals; that is possible only in relationship.”[3]

The need for human companionship is not just for sociological reasons. God made us that way. But even secular psychology acknowledges that it’s “not good” for us to be alone. Berscheid (1985) reported that when people were asked, What is necessary for your happiness? or What makes your life meaningful? most people first mention satisfying close relationships with family, friends, or romantic partners. One 16-nation survey found that separated and divorced people were half as likely as married people to declare themselves very happy. Those who lack strong social bonds experience higher rates of both mental and physical illness. In the United States, mortality rates for all causes of death are consistently higher for divorced, single, and widowed individuals. Although there are many possible explanations for this relationship other than affiliation, efforts to control for other variables have found a persistent, independent, and robust effect of social relations.[4]

[1] Roop, Eugene F. 1987. Genesis. Believers Church Bible Commentary. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.

[2] 2006. Review and Expositor 103, no. 2: 348.

[3] Ryken, Leland, Jim Wilhoit, Tremper Longman, Colin Duriez, Douglas Penney, and Daniel G. Reid. 2000. In Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, electronic ed., 945. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[4] Bolt, M. 1999. “Affiliation, Need for.” In Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling, edited by David G. Benner and Peter C. Hill, 2nd ed., 55. Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.