If creation is a gift for man, we have to ask: did Adam live as though the world was a gift? Was he grateful to the Creator?

When God first created Adam, he lived in a state of original happiness. But the Bible does not tell us whether he joyfully embraced the world as an incredible gift. Instead, it focuses on the fact that Adam was alone.

Amidst all the wonders of creation, something was lacking. In Genesis 2:18, for the first time, God notices something that is not good: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Adam, too, is keenly aware of this lack. While naming all the animals, he found no suitable helper. No other creature was fit for him; none could unite with him in a relationship of mutual giving.

When God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” he affirmed that man was created to live in communion. A man reaches his full potential only by living with someone—or, even more completely, by living for someone.

Human existence is characterized by these two words of Genesis: “alone” and “helper.” In a communion of persons, human beings live for each other, as gifts to each other. This is the fulfillment of our original aloneness. When God brings Eve before him, Adam expresses gratitude: “This is now bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.” Adam and Eve were gifts for each other. This mutual gift was expressed by their complementary bodies, male and female.

The body reveals the “living soul” that man became when God breathed life into him. It’s a witness to the fact that all of creation is a gift. Because of this, the body is a witness to the Love that brings forth and sustains all life. Our masculinity and femininity—our sex—is the sign of a gift.

By uniting so closely as to become “one flesh,” husband and wife open themselves to the blessing of procreation (first spoken of in Genesis 1:28). In Genesis, there is a difference between the sex instinct of animals and the procreative power of human beings. Because man alone is created in the image of God, human sexuality is raised to a higher level—the level of persons.

From the beginning, man’s existence as male and female is connected with gift-giving—the nuptial meaning of the body. Human sexuality is fundamentally about mutual self-giving, mirroring the Creator’s love.

Originally posted 2019-05-21 12:30:12.