The Good, the NOT Good, and the VERY Good
We just returned from facilitating a marriage retreat at Camp Christian in Mill Run, PA (learn more about Camp Christian here). The theme of the retreat was Blessing Your Spouse. We had a wonderful time with a great group of couples. At one point, we talked about the good, the NOT good and the VERY good of creation. Starting with the fourth day of creation, God looked at His work and “saw that it was good.” However, as His creation neared completion, He saw one thing that was NOT good. He saw that man was alone and said, “It is NOT good for man to be alone.” In response, God fashioned a woman out of the man’s rib…a person like man yet unique from him in many ways, a person with whom he could know God more completely. Man now had a companion who could stand face to face with him and reflect the image of God to him and with him. He was not alone! With a woman at his side, man would be able to know the relational intimacy and love that creates new life and reflects the image of God.
God had now “created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” But, creation was not yet complete. To complete creation, “God blessed them [Adam and Eve]….” I am fascinated that the first blessing spoken by God was to bless a couple—a couple created by God in the image of God. After God had blessed Adam and Eve, creation was complete. He “saw all He had made, and behold, it was VERY good.” Creation was not VERY good until there was a couple, a man and a woman, created in the image of God and blessed by God. Creation became VERY good after God blessed the first couple to fill the earth, to share their love, to create life, to tame the earth, and to harness the potential of the earth for the benefit of all. The history of man began when a God of relationship, in whose reign justice and compassion join together in love, created people in His image and blessed them with the task to reign in a manner reflective of His image. And that reign begins with marriage—two people joining their lives and futures, sharing their love and knowledge, and working together to fill the earth with life and peace. What a grand calling we have when we join together in marriage and in love.
Let me end this short blog with a blessing for you and your marriage, a blessing adapted from God’s blessing of Adam and Eve found in Genesis 1:28-30:
“As a couple, be fruitful—pass on your life and your knowledge with creativity and love;
Fill the earth with your vibrant love and joy, beginning with your marriage and extending to the all those around you.
Let the glory of God shine through your marriage; courageously utilize the power instilled in you by the nature of God’s image to replace what leads to death in this world with generative, eternal life.
Rule with compassionate, loving stewardship over all created beings, both the persons & animals God may place under your care.
Know that God will always remain with you and your relationship, “even to the ends of the world.” He will care for you and your relationship emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually as you strive to share His love with one another, your children, your spiritual family, and all those created in His image.
Then God saw everything that He had mad, and indeed it was VERY good!”