Tuesday, February 14, 2012
(This is an excerpt from my upcoming book entitled: Preparing a Body for Eternity: From Adam to Christ to All Believers)
Yes, the question needs to be asked. We merely assumed Adam fell in love with Eve and, it seems, even before he met her. That is, if we define love as that feeling of longing for a person you have not met but intuitively believe will fill up your loneliness. Or that feeling one has for a certain person you know whom you eagerly long to fill up your loneliness. It seems then that loneliness is simply that feeling of emptiness or longing (a vacuum seeks to be filled) that is so natural in humans that God alone knew or recognized that the answer for it is His Love dressed in human form -- woman.1
Loneliness then is a preparation for love. Being alone is the first step toward union. One plus one makes one, it creates marriage. When one plus one makes another one, it creates a family. It is God's way of multiplying love, not merely bodies.
Love, in the case of Adam, was a primordial emotion brought about by the eternal nature of his very being. Consider being in Paradise with everything good you could ever have. You would not miss feeling and knowing the love of God. What was God's program for a single man who had everything except a partner? Was love and companionship an afterthought? Most certainly not.
Or think of your life as a growing person with enough knowledge and experience to become a married man or a married woman. Why is love (marital bliss or harmony) so elusive nowadays that it has to compete with so much fear?
Are we any different from what Adam was when he felt lonely? Love could not have been an optional thing for him and, more so, for many of us. The struggles of marriage may have been planted early on in the emotional process that our first parents went through. How is this?
Consider Eve when she found Adam on the first day she lived. Knowing neither loneliness nor love as any mature person would, she must have been fresh as a baby who needed more pampering than romancing. To say that they had love at first sight, on second thought, might be presumptuous. For it may have taken them a while to figure out who the other person was and how each one reacted to the other. Who else was there to teach them the basics of conversation, let alone love? Except God.
This was no Hollywood scene where sparks flew and naked bodies collided in rapturous bliss. This was, well, the end of Creation and the beginning of life and love for the whole Universe, gifts that we find hard to see and fathom even through the eyes and hearts of the first humans who received those gifts.
Uniting them in marriage must have been God's way of defining and introducing love to Adam and Eve. In their case, union came before mutual love. You are one body. This is YOU (pointing to Eve), love your body, Adam. This is YOU (pointing to Adam), love your body, Eve. Marriage is the mirror of God-designed love.2
In defining the two as one in marriage, God was already defining love in all its dimensions. More than the emotional thing that we take it to be, love, as God wanted it from the very beginning, was a recognition of everything that was put into making it possible. That is, without the whole Creation, without the entire goodness in divine handiwork, without the palpable joy and beauty of perfect reality coming from God, marriage and love would all be meaningless. And so, that is the way it is today for people who reject the divine origin of marriage and love and behave as if lust and sinfulness can take the place of loneliness.
Love, then, as an adjunct of marriage is not an evolved human function or trait akin to animal instincts that produce social harmony even among these lower creatures. Monkeys who care for one another by picking lice off their bodies do portray a form of love humans can appreciate and even emulate. On the other hand, we find it hard to accept that a nursing cat would kill its own newborn kittens out of carelessness or anger. Is such cruelty an animal or human fault we learn to abhor while we do other despicable things that run contrary to the call of love as God defined it?
The goodness that God saw in Creation certainly included human love and divine worship, two of the highest characteristics that we have been endowed with together with the privilege of having life. When the Son of God would arrive and call upon fallen humans to keep in mind just two important laws, what do you think they would be?
Right: Love God and love your neighbor. Adam and Eve were the only neighbors in Paradise and they filled the whole place with love. Is this a fanciful dream or a veritable myth? If so, what do we have today: a terrible nightmare or a mirage of social disorder?
The Inventor of love showed liberality in granting humans what they deserved and what they wanted. Love was not forced into their system as if God was so eager to give what humans wanted even before they felt the need. This was likewise the beginnings of prayer. Love and all good things come from God; yet God teaches us prayer (longing, in Adam's case) so He can come to our aid in time of real need.
Nothing is more hard for God than humans not recognizing His love and His power and, therefore, failing to ask Him.
We cannot fault Adam for not knowing how to pray or what to pray for. He was a Johnny-come-firstly and he had so much to learn. For him, love came supernaturally. Can we say the same thing for the second Adam? We will find out as we proceed.
1Eve can be also seen as a figure of Christ Who, as God, became a human in order to teach humans to love. Eve, in that sense, taught Adam the essence of love -- and the reverse case also applies.
2Eph. 5:28: So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
(Photo above: Unforbidden fruits of Love abound around us. Plant and harvest now.)