I’ve had two pieces run at the National Catholic Register in the last couple of months because I’m Catholic, I’m single, and a I’m a guy, and apparently a decent enough writer to opine on living under such a combination of circumstances.
Back at the end of January my first piece looked at the first time God declared something “not good.” That thing God declared “not good” was “for man to be alone.” God had completed creation, had declared creation “good” in stages, and ultimately “very good” when man was introduced on the scene. But—and ladies should really be proud of this—God declared it “not good” for man to remain alone. Woman, it should be noted, never had a chance to be alone, so God never had the chance to declare it “not good” for woman to be alone. Sorry, ladies. 😉
Now, now, let’s not get into the exact nature of Adam before Eve was formed from his rib, the fact of the matter is Adam expressed loneliness and God agreed. Maybe God knew Adam would tend Eden to make it very practical—lots of vegetables and sturdy trees (and barley and hops), plus the exact plants the animals needed for sustenance and everything exactly as it should be, DAGGONIT—without cultivating the beauty of plants grown purely for their splendid flowers and scents, or leaves that blow in the breeze just so, or how they sensually complement one another.
Whatever the case, Adam lamented not finding one like himself, and God agreed that it is “not good” for man to be alone. So He created Eve and gave them to one another. “Be fruitful and multiply,” God charged them. And marriage was instituted. And it was exceptionally good.
Then the fall. It happened. Eve was tempted, Adam did not protect Eve, Eve bit, Adam bit, God honored their choice to grasp at being like unto Him and cast them from the Garden. Together.
They were fruitful, they did multiply, they worked the earth, they bore children, their children did likewise, right unto the present age. Through time societies and civilizations and cultures formed based on the perpetuation of that basic unit of society, the nuclear family begetting and raising children.
Why? Well, God created us all out of a self-effusive love. He created us because His love could not remain within Himself. He created us to know love, to share love, to grow love, so that we might the better know and love Him who is Love itself. The love He gave us to share had to be like his own love or it was not love at all: capable of giving and receiving (NOT taking. never taking. Criminals take; lovers receive) and being self-effusive to some degree.
God’s love resulted most perfectly in the Trinity—the love of the Father begetting the Son, the love between the Father and the Son being the Holy Spirit—but also in creation, ultimately in a creation capable of receiving His love and returning it—man, together as male and female.
We were created as one, but we are fulfilled as two-in-one that results in a third: wife, husband, resulting in a child. Just like the Trinity. See how that works?
Thus, it is not good for man to be alone. Man needs woman, and, yes, woman needs man. But this need is not merely to beget children in some mechanical biological way, it is to draw one another closer to the Lord who is love. In learning to give and to receive man and woman learn how God gives and how we all are to receive His love.
Man and woman are made for one another so that we might get each other to heaven.
P.S. I had intended this to be a piece that drew together both of my NC Register pieces, but once I got typing I realized I had more to say about my first piece than I thought. My second piece was written pretty much in response to comments on the first piece from guys who thought I might be saying their condition or sexual orientation or whatever else meant that since they were not married they were outside God’s plan. I’ll go more into that one sometime soon.