I was recently given the daunting task to give a comprehensive lecture on the topic of sex within one hour. How could I possibly do justice to this topic in such a short amount of time? Of course I knew to seek the Lord’s leading on how to best face this challenge and was shown that I should not focus on surface behaviors. There were deeper issues to be addressed and as I pondered what to say, a question continued rising in my mind—”What lies beneath sexual and relational brokenness?”
We live in a culture sated with sex, but remain starved for love.
– Christopher West, Fill These Hearts
The glaring answer is sin which is the cause of all human brokenness. But as I thought more deeply on this issue, sometimes what lies beneath this type of brokenness involves more than simply identifying sinful behaviors. What do we humans hunger for in our inner most being? I think the answer is intimacy. The primary drive at the very core of our being is our ever present search for true intimacy. This drive is always there in one form or another. But where does this innate drive originate? The drive for intimacy originates from God Himself.
In the Beginning
In Genesis we read about the marvelous beginnings of the universe and the human race. In Verse 1:26 the Lord states “Let us make man into our image”. We are introduced to the Creator God and this statement first reveals that there He is one God who exists in relationship. Further study of Scripture reveals the three persons of this relationship–Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God is a spirit so if man is made in God’s image, then we should ask how did Adam reflect that image? All of creation, apart from Adam, was spoken into being. But Adam was formed by God out of creation itself. He was the pinnacle of God’s handiwork. God breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7). How then was the image of God made manifest in the dust He created and formed and into which He breathed life?
There were animals, birds, and fishes—an amazing variety of life. The evidence of God could be seen in all of creation and God Himself declared it good. But there was only one man. Adam was the only body person in all of creation. Adam alone reflected the Imago Dei—God’s Image. Only Adam had a self-awareness and only Adam was in relationship with God. He communicated with God in the Garden and experienced intimacy with the One who had created him.
I See You
“It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Frequently I ask people what God did right after He made this statement. The common response is He created Eve. Wrong! God brought all the animals and birds before Adam and gave him the task of naming them. It is my assumption God brought the animals to Adam male and female. God noted Adam’s aloneness and Adam surely must have been sensing something as well. Perhaps God was preparing Adam for what He was about to do.
What must Adam have been feeling as he saw pair after pair of animals come before him? Did he wonder if there was another body-person like himself somewhere? The early church father Augustine once wrote that our heart’s desire is to see another and be seen by that other’s loving look. Just as in the 2009 movie Avatar where the Na’vi people greet each other with the phrase “I see you”, we want to be seen by others in a way that goes beyond our exterior. The animals could view Adam, but they could not see him, returning a knowing glance in return.
After Adam named the animals and saw there was no one like him, God gifted Adam with a helper, a partner who was perfectly and uniquely suited just for him. Upon seeing Eve, Adam remarked “this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” He acknowledged not only seeing Eve, but that he saw another body-person like himself. We have no idea what feelings Adam experienced because we have always had body-persons around us. But Adam not only saw another physical body for the first time, he also saw somebody, another person who bore the Image of God. There must have been such a sense of joy which flooded his being! Adam’s unique solitude was gone forever.