I had an epiphany last week, one like never before. Now is a good time. I’m moving up the ladder, leaving behind once and for all the hard times I was born and nurtured in. I’m contemplating a couple of offers; offers I did not seek after but was sought for. Yet the thought occurred to me that although I’m climbing, my potential has a cap. There’s a ceiling on how high I can climb without the right woman.

Although I wrestle with my religious beliefs and very publicly, I cannot escape my foundation of classical Pentecostalism and the Bible I was inundated with as a youth and seminarian. I reflect often on the creation account of Adam and Eve when considering the topic of marriage. Adam was created and placed in a garden of extravagance and beauty. He was charged with taking care of it. At some point, God determined that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Further, it was determined by deity that a suitable helper was needed for Adam to fulfill all he was charged with. At that point, Eve was created.

I’m fully aware of how the word “helper” has been stigmatized and can even be interpreted as insulting. I’m also aware of how this passage borders on anti-feminist. Even so, stick with me. It hit me last week that yes things are good and will get better. However, without the right person beside me, perhaps I’ll never reach great. Adam could have continued alone but there was more to be accomplished with Eve. I find it interesting that in chapter 1 of the Genesis story, the charge to “rule” and “subdue” was given to male and female. Perhaps you can only reach that level- the level beyond taking care of a garden and actually ruling and subduing the planet- with the right one.

I believe the larger point here is that Adam could never reach that next level without Eve. In the same way I believe, based on this story (and plain old logic), that if you are married you should be accomplishing more than you could by yourself. Sadly, most married people I observe actually accomplish far less than they could alone. I find this problematic. There is obviously something wrong with a union in which one or two individuals are actually held back from reaching their full potential because of their spouse and could do better alone. That’s certainly not what I’m looking for. I’m already moving toward really good, the question is who the right individual to push it to great is.

Playtime is over. I’ve not dated much over the past four years. I’m not terribly anxious to hit the dating scene now. I did have this epiphany though and for the first time I feel a desire to be connected to the right person, for these reasons. This is new. I’m still much unpolished in certain areas, still raw in others and unbalanced in a few more. Maybe I’ll work some of that out alone; perhaps I’ll need some help. I’m looking to go from good to great, playtime is indeed over.

5 comments

JWH

Sir! No Pride here… I Concur!

Duane Terrell

1. Notice how he skips the portion in the bible about having children. Just saying.
2. So, you need a woman to help you get to where you're going? Hmm, you seem to alude later to something about "married couples you've observed accomplishing less together than they could alone" which may imply that you believe in a unified goal and not your own goals but that is not made clear in this blog.
3. "Now is a good time. I'm moving up the ladder, leaving behind … the hard times I was born …in. I'm contemplating …offers; offers I did not seek after but was sought for." – I think this is typical of most guys but I find something wrong with it. It's like waiting till the perfect weather comes around before you plant. What happens if the offers dry up? What happens if you take the wrong offer and can't change back to where you were? What happens if you become unemployed for a long time. These thing are not guareenteed to be permenant. This is where being "led by the spirit" is a such an important thing. But… oh well…. I just see a problem here.
4. "…how high I can climb without the right woman."? – I will convert this to a question. You can go as high as God allows and as high as you allow yourself. Paul never married. But you're having struggles with God right now so….
5. The command to subdue etc was givin to Adam. Eve was going to help him with it, but I could just be arguing semantics so….

I suppose the rest of it was ok which means I could either argee with it, somewhat agree with it but not enough for me to debate you over it. I could do marriage philosophy but that would probably be out of scope.

M.D.Mattes

I look forward to the day you meet & marry your wife. Your epiphany is good, though the learning curve may still be a bit steep. I love Genesis 1 & 2 because of the Biblical mandate. It is also important to note a few (I think incredible) features of the story. Everything God makes is good, and He has the author of Genesis clearly state that it is "not good" for man to be alone. After a long day naming animals and napping – the man sings the first love song ever when he sees the woman, his wife, for the first time. (I hope you get that same joy when you meet your wife for the first time.) A "suitable helper" is needed, one that can offer forgiveness and continue to love him (since he is about to throw her under the bus the first time he makes a muck God's commandments). Also, I have not studied it myself, but have been told that the word "helper" is used by the Psalmist at points when he talks of God, this does away with our culture misleadings with the word and role. (The whole tragic case of original sin is also something worth looking into deeper when it comes to understanding roles and even the topic of submission later by Paul…but I will save that story for the next time your in Columbus and we can grab a beer.) Praying for you my brother!

D.M Hopewell

lol oh Duane! I must reply, in my defense, the charge to be fruitful etc. can never be seen as a universal imperative. Yes, I do kinda like the idea of "unified" goals…but I certainly understand we are all individuals, ya know? You also raise a good point on success etc. I do worry about catching someone while I'm on the "up." Frankly, I really wish I could have caught someone during the 3 years I was unemployed…that way I'd know it was really about me. Thanks for the read bro.

D.M Hopewell

Very good insight, as always Mr. Mattes! I do recall your affinity for the Genesis narrative (particularly the creation)- forming, filling etc. I really miss those chats :) I say we do it again very soon. A beer!? I didn't know you CCO folks got down like that ;)unfortunately, I don't drink though so I'll just have to grab my ginger ale like always lol

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