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5 reasons it is “not good for man to be alone”

In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” In six days God created dry land, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and animals. At the end of each day, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But for the first time in the creation account He saw something that was not good—man being alone. God’s statement is even more interesting when we consider that Adam and Eve had not yet disobeyed. We don't typically think of anything being “not good” until after the fall. Since Adam had not sinned yet, it was not Adam himself who was not good. Neither was it anything he had or had not done that was not good. It was simply Adam’s being alone that was not good. Here are five reasons why it isn't good for man to be alone!

In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” In six days God created dry land, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and animals. At the end of each day, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But for the first time in the creation account He saw something that was not good—man being alone.

God’s statement is even more interesting when we consider that Adam and Eve had not yet disobeyed. We don’t typically think of anything being “not good” until after the fall. Since Adam had not sinned yet, it was not Adam himself who was not good. Neither was it anything he had or had not done that was not good. It was simply Adam’s being alone that was not good. Here are five reasons why it isn’t good for man to be alone:

1. It is not good for man to be alone, because he won’t have the help he needs

Leading and providing for a family is a lot of work, and a wife can help lighten that load. This is why Paul said, “Man was not created for woman, but woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:9). A lot of discouragement can come a husband’s way, and if he does not receive encouragement from his wife, where will he get it? Yes, there are other resources such as Scripture and relying on the Lord, but if that was all God wanted men to have, He would not have said, “I will make him a helper.”

2. It is not good for man to be alone, because he won’t receive the blessing of fulfilling God’s second command

In Genesis 2:18 God said, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” Whenever the Bible discusses children they’re always presented very positively. Psalm 127:3-5 says:

Behold, children are a heritage (some translations say “gift”) from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128 is titled something close to, “Blessings for Those Who Fear the LORD.” The main blessing is children as verses 1, 3-4 record:

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways…
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.

It was a sign of God’s blessing when He multiplied children:

  • Deuteronomy 7 records the blessings for obedience under the Old Covenant, and verse 13 says: “He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb.”
  • The blessings for obedience under the Old Covenant are again repeated in Deuteronomy 28, and verse 4 says, “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body.”

3. It is not good for man to be alone, because he won’t be able to satisfy the desires God has given him

God has given men (and women) healthy desires that He wants satisfied within marriage. The desires are sexual (Hebrews 13:4), emotional, mental, and spiritual. People can have great friends, but they should not take the place of a husband or wife. God wants people to have a companion through life, and part of the reason He created marriage is to see that fulfilled.

4. It is not good for man to be alone, because he won’t have the benefit of a woman’s influence

While it is not always the case, it is common for married men to become gentler and more sensitive. After Katie and I were married, my parents frequently told me how much she influenced me for the better.

5. It is not good for man to be alone, because he won’t experience the sanctification marriage provides

God accomplishes much of the work He wants to do in our lives through marriage. After Scripture and the Holy Spirit, marriage is the greatest way God teaches us forgiveness, sacrifice, patience, dying to self, and the list goes on. When people remain single they can often develop a greater selfishness as they are able to live only for themselves. Once married they should be living for their spouses, and this is wonderfully sanctifying.

Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord”

This is a nice companion verse to Genesis 2:18. When a man receives a wife, he should see her this way. He should understand he is not receiving something neutral or amoral. To illustrate how much of a good thing a wife is, consider God’s observation when He finished creating the heavens and the earth: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).

A wife takes “not good” and makes it “very good”

This is the end of the sixth day, but earlier in the day, in Genesis 2:18, God observed, “This is not good.” What changed to go from “not good” to “good”? God created a woman. That is how good women are. That is how much of a good thing a wife is:

Discussion Questions

  • Of the five reasons why it is not good for man to be alone, which stood out to you the most? Why?
  • How can a wife encourage her husband?
  • First Corinthians 11:9 says, “Man was not created for woman, but woman for man.” What application does this have for your marriage?
  • How has God taught you forgiveness, sacrifice, patience, and dying to self in your marriage?
  • How can a wife treat her husband so that he sees her as a “good thing” and as “favor from the Lord?”

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6 thoughts on “5 reasons it is “not good for man to be alone”

  1. Hi Scott
    Great post 🙂 what I love about the story of God creating man and woman is that God realized that man was alone while He God enjoyed the fellowship of Trinity. Man needed another in order to more fully represent the image of God (3 in 1).
    I loved how you added your view of wife as taking good to very good. I found that very encouraging so thank you for that.
    Now for your discussion questions 🙂
    1) I think I’ve answered this question
    2) I think one of the best ways a wife can encourage her husband is to really see him. By this I mean taking the time to notice what he does for her and the family; appreciating him and not trying to fit him in her views or ideals. To value him for who he is today.
    3) This applies to my marriage in my submitting to my husband and ensuring that we maintain a united front especially when it comes to our boys. Our older two boys are at the stage of hearing mom say no and then asking dad the same question or vice versa. For me and my hubby we make sure that the boys here the same answer. I also try to emphasize to the boys that they must respect their daddy and listen to him. I will also sometimes gather the boys aside to provide space for my hubby when he is working or I feel he is needing some space to watch his sport and relax.
    4) ha ha ha this one needs a phone conversation to answer ha ha ha. I will give it my best. Although we’ve been married almost 11 yrs (I got married at 20 so yes still a young 31), God really deepened my understanding of unconditional and sacrificial love these past 3-4 years. Ive learned to love my husband regardless of his actions or views. I choose to be with him everyday of my life because I love him so dearly. I’ve learned to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit about when to speak and when to be silent (don’t always get it right) or when to reach out and love instead of jumping on the fighting train. This often takes patience and trust. Patience with life and my hubby. Trust that God will meet the needs of us all. These are lessons that couples should learn in their marriage irrespective of sharing Christian beliefs and my reason is because this is a small reflection of how Jesus loves us. Marriage is not about the individual its all about your spouse. You lay aside yourself to love your spouse with everything you’ve got. I hope I’ve answered your question justly.
    5) A husband sees his wife as very good when he feels seen, appreciated and understood by her. For me this has meant, flirting and being playful with my husband, laughing with him and teasing him back or in other words keep things fun and light. It has meant accepting him for who he is and embracing our differences (we are more different than alike lol). It’s extending trust and allowing him the freedom he needs to be a man so I mustn’t be controlling. It also means sharing my heart with him and listening to his heart without getting defensive (where possible).

    Great post again 🙂

    1. Hi Ailie,
      Wow, thanks for the wonderfully thorough thoughts! I hope others who read the post take the time to read your comment too. You’re welcome; I’m glad the post encouraged you.

      I also just wanted to say thanks so much for your commitment to marriage. You’ve shared before that your husband isn’t a believer, so while many people might be tempted to leave their unbelieving spouse (even though Scripture forbids it in 1 Corinthians 7 and in a subtler way in 1 Peter 3), I appreciate your faithfulness to your husband. I will pray that the Lord will use your commitment to your husband (which is really a commitment to Christ), to win over your husband as 1 Peter 3:1-2 describes. Thanks for your testimony Ailie. I truly mean it.

  2. These are great reasons. Most of them I have thought about before, but not number “A wife takes ‘not good’ and makes it ‘very good.’” I love that!

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing your favorite :).

  3. These are all wonderful points on why marriage is so important. How do you feel about those who are called to live a single life? As many people do not get married and yet they still follow God’s will and participate in His plans.

    Fellowship with fellow Christians allows for many singles to still be included in God’s work – and those same single people often help in ways married couples cannot as married couples with young kids spend their time raising their kids… Thanks for your thoughts again Scott

    1. Hi Marissa,
      Good question.

      You said, “many people do not get married.” I would disagree with the word “many.” Yes, there are some people called to singleness, but the normal, expected pattern for most (if not almost all) people is marriage. Regarding singleness, here’s part of 1 Corinthians 7:32-34:

      But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife…The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.

      According to Paul, one of the advantages of singleness is it allows service to the Lord with a wholehearted devotedness that married people can’t exhibit. The reason is married people have to take care of their spouse (and often children), while single people can focus entirely on the Lord. Anna and Paul are good examples. They wouldn’t have been able to commit themselves to the Lord’s service in the way they did if they were married. But Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7, and the examples he and Anna set, are not meant condemn or minimize marriage or the expectation for most people to get married.

Do you have a question or thought? If so, please share!