Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement."-Genesis 2:18
Now I am not one to question God, but sometimes I have a hard time with this verse. It's not that I don't believe it, because I do. I believe that man is made to share his life with his better half.
What I struggle with is the part that leads up to this verse. The part where Adam is kicking it around the garden doing his job (naming all the animals, best job ever) and him being alone. It is never easy to be alone. I for one love to have a quiet time and be away from people. But I yearn for my compliment. I crave the woman that is my better half. Affection and attraction. These are two fundamental things. I think that attraction is the most deadly of these. It is so easy to be attracted to a woman. I mean look at them. They are perfectly crafted by God himself. Every loving stroke creating these perfect vessels. A combination of strength and fragility.
A thousand ships were launched and started a war just for the face of Helen of Troy. Poetry is written about them. Descriptions of her grace, She walks in beauty are immortalized. Even the Bible is full of examples of a woman's beauty and strength. All of Song of Songs is a love poem to Solomon's beloved. Proverbs 31 describes the perfect and godly woman. It is staggeringly hard for a man to not be attracted to a woman. It is ingrained in the very fabric of our being. A part of us literally is in them. Adam's rib was used to create Eve. God used this simple bone of a man to create near perfection called woman. Even Eve's name is translated from Hebrew to mean "source of life" It is no wonder with such a strong need for a woman that so many men fall into sexual sin.
Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between love and lust. Are you really in love with that girl or do you just strongly desire to conquer her? For most guys it is the latter.We want to know that we can have any woman we see. That is where the hard part happens. The world repeatedly tells us to go out and conquer all the things set before us. There is shortage of beautiful and willing women, go out and take what is rightfully and deservingly yours. So how is a man to keep his way pure? Well David says it is by keeping God's word. And I agree. When we bury scripture in our heart it will guide us. When we sleep it will watch over us. And when awake it will talk to us. I personally have never been good at memorizing scripture, and maybe that is why I find myself in situations like this.
Attraction has been discussed at length. Now affection. It is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It is often associated with more than goodwill or friendship. Affection has been broken down into these five basic needs; affiliation, nurturance, play, rejection, and succorance.While this all may be at the subconscious level it doesn't negate that these things are true. We desire to spend time with others, we like to take care of others, we enjoy having fun with others, we reject others, and we need to be helped or protected by others. So where does it change from affection to love? When does a profound fondness for someone turn into Eros? Eros is the Greek word meaning passionate love.Eros doesn't have to be sexual in nature.
So how do you know when you are in Eros? C.S. Lewis wrote about this in his book The Four Loves; Lewis concludes that Eros can become a god to people who fully submit themselves to it. He says that it can be an extremely profound experience for people even up to the point of suicide pacts and furious refusals to part. I fully agree with that. I have personally witnessed some amazing couples who are so far beyond the simple term of Love and are displaying Eros. For example Congressman Ron Paul and his wife. Congressman Paul and his lovely wife Carol have been married since 1957, They have been married for roughly 55 years. Now that is a long time to spend with someone. Is is simply for the proximity need to have a companion or is it the desire to share every part of yourself with someone?
I was recently asked if I have ever been in love. I am not sure. I know that I have a great affection for many people. I have had Philia, the affectionate friendship love. But have I ever been in Eros? I honestly don't think so. I know that I have been blessed to know so many fantastic women and share my life with them, but I have never had the extreme need for them like C.S. Lewis describes when talking about Eros.Would I move heaven and earth for a woman that I Philia? Yes, of course. But I have yet to have someone truly love me back in the way that would translate to Eros. I yearn for the ability to fully give myself to a woman and have her be my perfect compliment. God has granted me Philia on many occasions, but I am waiting for Eros. I need Eros. I have Agape from my Heavenly Father. And I am so very very thankful for that. But I'm waiting and praying that He grants me Eros.
Until that day I will settle for Philia and strive for Eros. God keeps showing me the amazing and godly women, if it is my gift to one day love a woman the way Adam loved Eve or Solomon his beloved, I will be a very fortunate man.