Read Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
God never designed for us to go through life alone. Already on Day #6 of creation, He observed the solitude of the man He created and declared that it was “not good” (Gen. 2:18). Consequently, He sought to remedy that.
But the ultimate good life is not necessarily experienced in marriage. Now, that statement may require some explanation…especially to Celeste, my wife! What I mean is that God wants us to be connected to others in meaningful, encouraging, God-glorifying, accountable relationships. Marriage is certainly a unique and important expression of that. It is only in marriage between a man and woman that two people become one. It is only in a husband/wife relationship that God’s gift of sexual intimacy is to be enjoyed. Marriage is a unique blessing from God.
Meanwhile, the unmarried person is of no less value. In fact, Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 7 that there are specific advantages to the single life.
Whether a person is married or not, Solomon points out the vanity, the meaninglessness of the life of one who has no meaningful connection with others. This is the person with “neither son nor brother” (v. 8). It is the man without friends. It is the woman cut off from family. One can argue, “At least this person can give himself/herself more completely to another biblical value…work.” But the purposelessness of such a life is real. His money doesn’t bring contentment. Her life lacks joy.
But, oh the blessing of the life connected to another! Those providential relationships offer accountability and more. Together with others, our productivity increases (v. 9). Friends are there to help us when we stumble in life (v. 10). In close relatives, we find those who are there with us when we face the cold realities of life (v. 11). With God’s help, we can stand with others against the temptations, challenges, and even satanic opposition (v. 12) we may face.
I am grateful to have people like my family, my Grace Group, and others in our pastoral staff who are there for me. So, who are those people in your life?
The contemporary band “Sanctus Real” gives us an upbeat reminder of our need for others in their song “We Need Each Other.” Check it out if you care to.