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.” God could’ve created Eve and given her to Adam. Instead, He had Adam name the animals for two reasons:

  1. Establish Adam’s headship over creation
  2. Reveal Adam’s lack of a helper

Genesis 2:20 records, “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” Adam noticed the animals were in pairs, but he was not part of any pair. With Adam longing for a mate, God was ready to create Eve.

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 during creation 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 sinned. 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 contains, “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, sexual desires (Hebrews 13:4) that He wants satisfied within marriage. The desires for intimacy are 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?”

31 thoughts on “5 Reasons It Is “Not Good for Man to Be Alone”

    1. Yes, this stuff can seem very sexist at casual glance, and in this fallen world (with sin in it), men absolutely have used these scriptures to oppress, suppress, and dominate women rather than uplift them.

      Early in my marriage (lasted 31 years till his untimely death) my husband once said to me, “CAN’T YOU JUST AGREE WITH EVERYTHING I SAY?! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN IDEAS?!” Granted he was only 23 when he said this, but I did burst out laughing, and replied, “Get used to it, dude. I actually DO have my own thoughts and my own ability to be discerning! Furthermore, if you think that being my husband automatically authorizes you to shut my mind down, you can’t just forget that right this minute.”

      And so, he did figure it out. He was a fine husband.

    2. Mary,
      Thank you for responding to Grace.

      Whether something seems sexist (like headship and submission), harsh (the doctrine of eternal punishment), or untrue (miracles in Scripture), the questions are not, “What do we think? What makes the most sense to us? Is this what we want to believe?” The question is, “What does the Bible teach?”

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. Thanks for your 31 years of marriage; wonderful testimony. Regarding his comment, I’m sorry he said that, and I’m glad he learned to value your thoughts and counsel. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make Him a helper comparable to him.” At least part of the reason for that helper (as I wrote in this post), is man needs his to hear his wife’s advice when making decisions.

    3. Scott thank you. How do you respond to Paul’s writings 1 Corinthians 7: 1-16 , 25-40 . As a teacher of the bible I have learned not to seek common ground but to teach what the book says.I believe the only way to be fruitful was to create women. This is why God said its not good for man ( not Adam).The bible is not incredibly sexist and neither is Jesus. Eve ate first of the fruit , the curse .. your desire shall be for your husband ( women’s desire shall be to rule her husband) but he shall rule over you.. battle of the sexes ..God Bless

    4. Hi Larry,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the approach you said you take to teaching.

      Regarding your question, it’s definitely a good (and obvious one) considering the topic. What are we to think about Paul’s words about singleness in light of God’s statement in Genesis 2:18 about man being alone? There are only two possibilities: there’s a contradiction in Scripture, or there’s some way to harmonize these verses. I definitely lean toward the latter.

      Much of the harmonizing can take place when looking at 1 Corinthians 7:26:

      I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is

      Paul wrote this when the church was experiencing heavy persecution. Not the best time to get married and start a family! The typical pattern for most people though is marriage and children. There are a few exceptions, take for instance those with the gift of singleness, but for most, getting married and having children is God’s will.

      Additionally, we can look at Scripture to see these verses harmonized. There are a few single men, such as Paul and Jesus, but the majority of men were married and they had children. So we can say that while singleness is the acceptable path for a few, it’s only a few. For the majority it would “not be good if they were alone.”

  1. What did Jesus say about, “Mann being alone is not gut”? Are there any Bible verses that you could suggest? Danke.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you’re asking. Jesus never quoted Genesis 2:18, which is where God said, “It is not good for man to be lone.” The closest would be the two times (Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7) He said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?

  2. That’s true. It isn’t good for the man to be alone… I’m really sorry when a divorce happens. It’s happens with me. I’m terrified with the consequence.
    I would to be close to my family and be a support to my son and help him with his homework…

    1. Hello John,
      I’m very sorry that you’ve been through a divorce! Is there any chance of you being able to reconcile with your wife? I will pray for that to take place!

      I’m glad you want to be close to your family and continue to invest in their (especially your children’s) lives. Hopefully if your wife sees that it will soften her heart toward you.

    1. Hi Connor,
      Yes, there are definitely some difficulties associated with raising children. We’re about to have our seventh, and we hope the Lord will bless us with even more. The reason is that the difficulties pale in comparison to the blessings. Children are one of God’s greatest gifts on this side of heaven. I hope you don’t miss out!

  3. I am praying for a godly husband who will love me and be very loving. I am so tired of being alone am having a very difficult time. I am trying to stand on God’s Word for believing God for the husband He has for me.

    1. Hi Jo,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Singleness is difficult. I will pray God brings you a godly husband, and that His grace is sufficient for you during your singleness. If I might encourage you, while you stand on God’s Word regarding a husband, make sure you stand on His Word regarding contentment. I don’t mean that as a discouragement, but as an encouragement. I hope you believe God can help you be settled during season of waiting.

    2. Don’t waste your time ! I have been praying for years for a good wife and I am great loving man myself and I keep getting disrespected and treated badly ..

    3. Hello Anthony,
      I’m glad you’re praying for a “good” wife. I’m hoping that means “a godly” wife? Also, you said:

      I am a great loving man

      If you don’t mind me asking, do you think this sounds prideful? If you work to be the godly husband God wants you to be, you can trust Him to provide a godly wife. If you’re being disrespected and treated badly, then are you pursuing Christian or non-Christian women?

  4. I was married for 16 yrs to my wife. She because pregnant and we had the baby . It was one of Beautiful experiences of my life. I loved that little boy . I help her with the baby but I had to go back to work. In the meantime she had her mother come to help her while I was at work. Her mother was very controlling and wanted to do things her way which I did not like. So there was a little conflict between myself and her mother . We were happy by ourselves without her mothers influence. Then one day I came home from work and she was gone with the baby. She moved into her mothers house. 2 weeks later I get a letter from her lawyer that she wants the divorce. It’s been 11 months since then and she still wants a divorce. Have not talk to her all this time because everything is working through the lawyers. She don’t want to talk when I asked her what happened she doesn’t say anything to talk aboutt You talk about being alone I’ve been alone now for almost a year it’s terrible I have no friends family but they’re busy all the time I really don’t have anybody in my life . in is quite depressing and very lonely

    1. Hello George,
      Thanks for sharing your story. Since the Bible forbids accepting one person’s story until the other side is heard, I can’t comment much on the situation with your wife: Proverbs 18:17 – The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

      I will say that if the divorce isn’t final, keep praying for an opportunity to speak to your wife. If she shares with you the reasons she wants to divorce, try to humbly listen and ask for forgiveness. I say “try,” because it’s never easy to listen to someone else criticize us without defending ourselves. Plus, I’m sure you have your frustrations with your wife too; there’s always fault on both sides.

      I am sorry about the loneliness you’re experiencing, and I’m sure it’s very difficult. Have you been attending church? God wants to meet many of the desires we have through the body of Christ. Perhaps if you’re wife learns you’re going to church that might give her some encouragement regarding staying with you? Even if that doesn’t happen God’s desire is still for you to be in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

  5. Well unfortunately this is a very completely different time that we live in now since the real good old fashioned ladies years ago made real love really happened back then, and today it is very difficult for many of us good men to still be alone since many of us really wanted to meet the right good woman to settle down with to have a family. Today the women are nothing at all like the old days since most of these women just want to sleep around with all different kinds of men now instead of committing themselves to just only one man. So as you can see that this is a real problem for many of us very serious innocent good men really looking for a relationship now. And with so many women that like to party and get wasted all the time which as you can see that even God unfortunately has no control at all over these type of women that are like this nowadays which makes it very sad. And i do agree with you one hundred percent that man shouldn’t be alone at all since many of us are still single today because of these type of women since they’re very much to blame anyway. It really does take two to tango, but unfortunately these women just don’t care at all. Quite a change in the women of today compared to the old days. Wouldn’t you say?

    1. Hello,
      I know plenty of godly women in our church and in other churches. Generally the women we end up interacting with are more a product of the way our lives our lived. Go to bars and meet women who attend bars. Go to church and meet women who attend church. If you’re genuinely looking for a godly woman, pray for one and God will have no trouble bring the right one into your life.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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