When God created Adam, he did so in a unique and personal way: “The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7). God lovingly fashioned Adam with personal attention and great care and then intimately breathed life into him. It was as if God knelt over Adam, placed his mouth over Adam’s mouth, and breathed divine life into his body. God demonstrated the same personal and loving approach when he created Eve (Genesis 2:22).
This intimacy between God, Adam, and Eve provides evidence of God’s love and infuses human beings with immense value and worth. God created human beings for relationship—first and foremost—with himself. The primacy of the human relationship with God was made evident when God placed him in the Garden, providing him with food (Genesis 2:9) and companionship (Genesis 2:20).
Yet, Adam was not complete without human companionship (Genesis 2:18). God provides us with a variety of human relationships to help us grow and thrive. These relationships begin in our immediate family (Ephesians 6:4), develop further in friendships (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)—especially within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)—and reaches its ultimate expression in marriage, as husband and wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Anthony Hoekema writes,
The human person is not an isolated being who is complete in himself or herself . . .
. . . Men and women cannot attain to true humanity in isolation; they need the fellowship and stimulation of others. We are social beings. The very fact that man is told to love his neighbor as himself implies that man needs his neighbor.
Man cannot be truly human apart from others.[i]
The truth is, you matter to God. Christ-formation leads us into a greater quality of intimacy with God—the essence of the abundant life.
The loving care that God demonstrated when creating Adam and Eve means a lot to me because from the time I was a little boy, I have struggled with feelings of insecurity and fear. My early childhood experiences with bullying and the abandonment and rejection I felt as a result of my parents’ divorce planted seeds of shame and fear deep into my heart that I still struggle with today. I have to remind myself—sometimes many times a day—how much God loves me. I struggle to believe at times that I matter to God. I’m guessing that you wonder about that at times too. But let this truth penetrate deeply into your heart: God loves you more than you can possibly imagine, even on your worst day. God’s love is constant; it does not ebb and flow depending on our behavior. The fact is, God loves you and me in this moment as much as he will ever love us.
In fact, God loved us before the creation of the world. Paul writes in Ephesians 1:4-6:
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Ephesians 1:3-6, msg
Knowing, believing, and abiding in God’s love fuels Christ-formation and the abundant life. As you live in the reality of God’s love for you revealed in Scripture, confirmed in your heart by the Holy Spirit, and demonstrated by close friends, you will experience a different quality of life. This is the quality of life that Adam and Eve experienced before the Fall. But tragically, sin changed everything.
[i] Anthony A. Hoekema, Created in God’s Image (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986), 76–77.