Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” – Genesis 2:18 ESV
The Chinese character (人) for human is like two lines leaning on each other to stay standing. This is accurately depicting a human as social a creature that needs to have another human to lean on.
In the movie Cast Away, Chuck Noland needed to create a companion from a volleyball named Wilson to talk to when he was stranded on an island. Humans are designed to have a companion to help each other.
According to research(i), loneliness and isolation may represent a greater public health hazard than obesity. New research suggests social isolation can make heart failure patients three and a half times more likely to die than their well-connected peers (ii). There was an experiment showing that infants who are cared for as necessary, but did not receive any social interaction will die or become mentally incapable for life (iii).
Approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are estimated to be suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study(iv). In addition, the most recent U.S. census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and, since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined.
According to studies, people who are continuously married have 75% more wealth at retirement (v) and earn 10-20% more than single men with a similar background (vi). This is because marriage provides a “shock absorber” that helps through disappointment, illnesses, and other difficulties faster. Spouses also hold one another to greater levels of responsibility and self-discipline (vii).
The Lord, who designed us this way, also sent His disciples in teams of two on mission trips. ”After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go”(Luke 10:1). He knew they would be able to go through hardship and make sound judgments when there are two of them working together. Furthermore, He realizes that the synergy between the two disciples will amount to better work than the sum of the work if they were to go alone into the mission field.
In a world that continues to isolate us, let us try to lean on each other more. Ask for help and help others that are in need. This is how God has designed us to be: To stand together.
i. Session 3328: “Loneliness: A Growing Public Health Threat,” Plenary, Saturday, Aug. 5, 3-3:50 p.m. EDT, Room 151A, Street Level, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl., N.W., Washington, D.C.
ii. Journal of the American Heart Association (2018) Social isolation plus heart failure could increase hospitalizations, deaths. Available at: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/social-isolation-plus-heart-failure-could-increase-hospitalizations-deaths (Accessed: 11 October 2022)
iii. Spitz, Rene A (1952) Psychogenic Disease in Infancy. Available at: https://archive.org/details/PsychogenicD (Accessed: 11 October 2022)
iv. Anderson, G.O (2010) Loneliness Among Older Adults: A National Survey of Adults 45+. Available at: https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2014/loneliness_2010.html (Accessed: 11 October 2022)
v. Janet Wilmoth and Gregor Koso, “Does Marital History Matter? Marital Status and Wealth Outcomes Among Preretirement Adults,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 64 (2002): 254–68.
vi. Hyunbae Chun and Injae Lee, “Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?” Economic Inquiry 39 (2001): 307–19; S. Korenman and D. Neumark, “Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?” Journal of Human Resources 26 (2) (1991): 282–307; K. Daniel, “The Marriage Premium,” in M. Tomassi and K. Ierulli (eds.), The New Economics of Human Behavior (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995): 113–25.
vii. Thomas A. Hirschl, Joyce Altobelli, and Mark R. Rank, “Does Marriage Increase the Odds of Affluence? Exploring the Life Course Probabilities,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 65 (4) (2003): 927–38; Joseph Lupton and James P. Smith, “Marriage, Assets and Savings,” in Shoshana A. Grossbard-Schectman (ed.), Marriage and the Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003): 129–52.