Anyone else hate being the needy one in a relationship? Yeah, me too.
It makes me feel weak, unstable, vulnerable, and lesser. I much prefer to reside in the ‘have-it-all-together’ camp – which can also, I’m ashamed to say, cause me to look down on those who don’t.
Admitting my needs, whatever they may be, is frightening and humiliating.
But that mental attitude steers us far off the path that our Creator wants us to walk.
I’ve been thinking a lot about our Creator and the events of His creating lately.
I wonder about Adam’s first moment of awareness. Was it like a shock of lightning coursing through his body, overwhelming him with smells, and sounds and sights, which gradually became discernable as the initial intensity faded? Or was it like a slow wakening after restful sleep, a haziness that eventually wore off, blink by blink?
Either way it must have been an indescribable experience for Adam to receive the breath of God and burst into existence and awareness – not as a baby, but as a grown, thinking, speaking adult.
I wonder what he first beheld. Was it the luminous sun bringing warmth to every bit of his skin? Perhaps the aromatic and diversely colored plant life? Maybe the frolicking animals in constant blissful motion? Or, was it his Creator, in all His shining glory – the Giver of Life, the Eternal Word who made all things to behold?
That thought almost makes me weep. How achingly beautiful and perfect and glorious that moment must have been! When Creator and created first met, in perfect relationship and love.
But the Bible tells us that God recognized something was ‘not good’ – though He had proclaimed the rest of creation to be so.
It was not good for Adam to be alone.
But, wait a minute, Adam wasn’t alone. After all, He had the best selection of pets ever, and more importantly, he walked with God Himself!
But there was no one else like Adam. No one above all earthly creation, yet a little lower than the angels. No one he could have a completely unified relationship with – as a peer and equal.
I wonder if Adam recognized his need too? If not, he was about to.
God paraded all the animals in front of Adam, giving Adam the responsibility and privilege of naming them. But none of them satisfied Adam’s need for a comparable companion.
By this point, Adam must have begun to see the problem – the problem God created. The problem God was making Adam abundantly aware of. The problem God then solved for Adam.
The account of Adam and Eve’s creation intrigues me. Of all the observations we can make from this account, I’ve been riveted with just one lately:
God created humanity in a state of need. In a state of dependence.
Adam needed everything God had created for sustenance and Adam needed Eve, though he had every other good gift from God – and he had a completely unhindered relationship with God Himself!
This was all true in a place and time of absolute perfection! Need was realized even in sinless relationship between God and man and between man and woman.
God created the need, revealed the need, then met the need.
So the question I ask myself, and I ask you too, is this:
What’s wrong with being needy?
God made Adam to need. God made Eve to need. God made us all to need. Can we attempt be at ease in that reality?
As much as my independent personality, mentality, and society is disgusted by the thought of being needy, there is no denying that we were made to need.
Adam needed a relationship with God and all the sustenance He provided. He also needed human relationship – someone to relate to as an equal, someone to touch, someone with whom he could more fully mirror the unity of the triune God, someone with whom he could create. These were needs that could only be satisfied by another human being.
But for some reason I doubt they felt bad or had a complex about their neediness. They were happy to have their needs met by God and by each other.
God created Adam alone on purpose. God gave Adam and Eve physical bodies that needed continual sustenance on purpose. And He allowed sin on purpose. (More on that later)
Why did God create us in such a way that we need and depend on Him and others so much?
As I’ve spent time steeping in these thoughts and in the Word, I’m realizing that acknowledging our need produces several godly characteristics in our lives. It produces first humility, in recognizing that we are wholly dependent on God and His people (the constant reminder that we are not God – though Satan desires us to believe we are God). From there it produces thankfulness, endurance, selflessness, love – just to name a few.
These traits ultimately help us have a right perspective of God, ourselves, and the rest of humanity.
It’s an interesting paradox that the more I am comfortable with my own need and letting others help meet those needs, the more compassionate I become toward others’ needs. The cycle of giving and receiving is empowering.
So here’s what I’ve decided:
I’m the needy person in my life.
You are the needy person in your life.
And that is perfection.
We don’t always express our needs or help meet others’ needs in a perfect way, but the fact that we all have needs is precisely what God intended.
If you’ve ever felt like me, like you cannot betray a sense of need to anyone because you look down on ‘neediness’ and feel like you have to be the strong one in your relationships, can I encourage you to join me in rethinking our need? Can we find rest in the midst of our need because we have a secure relationship with The Provider? And can we allow others to need too? Can we be as willing to receive as give?
Let’s begin to deal with the needy person in our lives (ourselves) by remembering this:
“Nothing is complete of itself, but requires something outside in order to exist.”