Place of God

Posted on October 26, 2020


Throughout salvation history, God’s people have been warned against the dangers of idolatry.  One way we could define this term is to say that idolatry is putting something that isn’t God in the place that only God should occupy.  In more modern times, Christians are sometimes warned to beware of putting your spouse or children in the place in your life that only God should occupy.  Though this is a legitimate concern, needing your mate for emotional support and needing a significant other in your life is not idolatry. 

Even before the fall, the one and only time that something was not good was when the man was alone.  At that time, our relationship with God was still undamaged by sin.  Further, all of creation was also undamaged by sin.  In the truest sense, the man wasn’t alone.  He had God, and he had all of the animals for company.  The fact that we need a mate of our own species is not a result of the fall (of our sin and the resultant broken relationship with God); it was part of the original design.

We bear the image of God.  Part of that image is that human beings are relational.  God, who is relational within his being, created human beings for relationship. 

The research bears this out.  Human beings do miserably in isolation.  Babies fail to thrive and can die without human contact even if their physical needs are met.  Humans bear up under suffering better if at least one other person knows that they are suffering.  Intimate relationships are analgesic (they reduce pain) and reduce the number of illnesses that we have. 

Any way you look at it, from cradle to grave, human beings need another human to whom they can turn for care, comfort, and support.  The idea that all we should be able to get all of our relationship needs met through our relationship with God is supported neither by scripture nor the evidence.  Needing connection with your spouse is not a spiritual weakness, it is being human.   

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