Part 1 was about Adam needing Eve to complete him. Part 2 was about how Adam needs Eve — not to use her but to love her as the best part of who he is. In doing so, he is loving her in the best way possible: to love her as he loves himself.
When the religious authorities of Jesus’s day asked him what the greatest commandment was, he gave them the first two greatest commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And then he told them that all the other commands are founded on those two (Matt 22:34-40).
It is interesting to note that the religious authorities were originally asking Jesus about marriage. Perhaps Jesus had Adam and Eve in mind when he was answering their question about the greatest commandment.
That could either be speculation, or I could also be on to something.
Why didn’t Jesus just give the first commandment? Why give both the first and the second?
I think it’s because these two loves (love for God and love for neighbor) are so tied to one another that they can’t be thought of as separate acts. It’s impossible to love God unless we love our neighbors as ourselves.
In part 2, I shared how God made humanity in his image as male and female. Could it be that the sacrificial, “as-yourself” kind of love shared between Adam and Eve as well as all other husbands and wives reflect the nature of God’s love in its most essential form? Could it be that the degree to which we understand humanity as the image of God is the degree to which we will learn how to see the opposite sex as we were meant to see one another?
It would explain a lot.
For starters, men are known to treat women like dirt, like sex objects to be robbed of their dignity. I think that has a lot to do with our failure to see men and women alike in the image of God, and to see the value in that.
To bring it closer to home, it’s difficult for any guy to watch pornography if they’re deeply aware that the person on the screen is God’s image. Every guy should be confronted with this reality, as if God were saying to them, “You’re going to do that to my image?”
Next post in this series: How Adam failed to love Eve, and why there is still hope for the redemption of human sexuality…