The basic picture of a healthy relationship that comes to us out of Eden is that of two people clinging together, two people giving themselves to each other.

In a world full of self-absorbed people, it’s easy to develop our own little self-contained universes: my personal space, my boundaries, my needs, my limits.

We’re not nearly as dependent on others as we used to be. And that can sometimes be a good thing. But it’s left us more isolated and self-satisfied. Because we invest less in the relationships that really count, we find ourselves emptier.

The Creator knew that we needed to be understood on the deepest level. That’s why He performed the first marriage in the Garden of Eden. He joined Adam and Eve together to become one flesh. God designed them to cleave together, to cling to each other.

Our marriages and friendships need that kind of commitment today. We find healing and nurturing only when we invest time and energy—when we invest ourselves—in other people.

Meaningful relationships can develop only when we open ourselves up to others. Only to the degree that we become honest and transparent before them will we find nurturing and healing.

Adam and Eve knew this kind of transparency. The Bible says, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25, NKJV). Such nakedness is much more than two people without clothing. It is two people who are vulnerable before each other, who have nothing to hide.

That’s the kind of relationship God established in the garden. In the beginning He made possible a healthy, honest, accepting companionship. And that’s still His plan for each of us today.