Have you ever thought about what it really means to be “made in the image of God”?
We were made in God’s image.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Think about that – in the image of the Father/Son/Holy Spirit.
What does that even mean? Sometimes the wonder of it is just too much for my little head to take in, so I have to break it down into parts.
One part of it is we were made for relationships. Father/Son/Holy Spirit enjoy a sweet communion of unbroken fellowship. Part of the image of God in me – part of the image of God in you – is how we reflect this divine relationship. And I think relationship is the very thing for which we were created.
Scripture goes on:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formedf every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Women, in particular, were created because it was not good for man to be alone. We were created for relationships with other people. Eve (and women along with her) was specifically designed to be a relationship-er.
Yeah, that word is not in the original Hebrew… I made it up.
Did you know there is research in scientific circles right now that suggests the hormone oxytocin “the cuddle hormone” is part of the reason behind the good relationships experienced by women?
Oxytocin is the hormone our bodies release right after birth and when a woman nurses her baby. It was designed to create a bond between a mother and her baby. It turns out childbirth and nursing aren’t the only things that cause it to be released.
Scientists are still uncovering God’s design, but they now suggest the reason we have such nurturing relationships with other women is because we are chemically wired for it. In other words, we were hardwired for relationships, by design. We were created for relationships and it comes down to the chemicals God constructed to aid in communication between the cells in our body. And science backs this up. 🙂
Crazy, right? Even our cells communicate better with each other than mens’… lol.
So when the Westminster Catechism sums up the reason for our existence as “to glorify God and enjoy him forever” I see the relationship in it.
To enjoy God and glorify him forever is a very relational summary of our purpose!
If we define “glorify” as to give weight to or to show the weight of something… our goal is to take the image of God inherent in our very fibers of being and show its weight to those around us… the image of relationship.
God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. He came down clothed in flesh to rescue us because the written word wasn’t sufficient. He invites us into a personal relationship and shows up to make it happen. We glorify him when we give weight to that characteristic of him that is relationship. We glorify him when we carry his image and reveal his relational-ness to the world around us. Our relationships have the power to show God to people around us just by revealing his relational character.
To enjoy him forever is all about relationship with him, too. To enjoy him is to revel in the invitation into the sweet communion of Father/Son/Holy Spirit. It is a perfect example of and closely tied to the two greatest commandments: Love God. Love others. In other words, we are called to (created to) reach out and bring others into the sweet communion consistent with the image of God in us.
I think it is pretty amazing.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and glorify God and enjoy him forever, starting today… and bring a friend. Go be the relationship-er you were created to be. 🙂