"It is not good for man to be alone"

Whenever my wife takes the children out of town to visit family for a few days, my intent is always to get “tons of stuff done.” What usually happens, though, is that I revert to pre-marriage/family habits: staying up until 1:00 a.m. watching t.v. and movies; getting up at about 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. every morning (except Sunday, when I *had* to be up for 8:30 service); and eating out for just about every meal. In short, I turn into something less than a man.

There is a great line in the movie “As Good as it Gets” by Jack N. where he says: “You make me want to be a better man.” What is it about our wives and children that make us better men? Responsibility probably has something to do with it. Accountability, the need to prove oneself to his spouse, whatever. Perhaps it is God’s way of saying, “It is not good for man to be alone.” I am a better person (outwardly) when my dear wife and children are home. We have schedules to keep, and routines that make life more structured. Some people are self-disciplined and could use such time to “get tons of stuff done.” I am not. I need the structure that comes from family life in order to be productive. I am actually more productive when everyone is here. Yeah, life seems more hectic with three children, but at least it is not “without form and void.” Can anyone else relate? (By the way, if my wife is reading this from her remote location, I will say that the house is nice and clean. That I can do–much easier when little Martin (18 months) is not pulling toys out of the toy box constantly!)


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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6 Responses to "It is not good for man to be alone"

  1. Lawrence says:

    If not for my wife, I would not have finally finished remodeling the bathroom (with her color choice even).

    In fact, I would have been happy to just leave it the way it was. Which is what I would have done if I was single.

    Is that what you mean?

  2. Father Hollywood says:

    The head elder of my vicarage parish used to refer to the state of one’s wife being away as being “unsupervised.”

    It was 8 years before my wife and I were separated for even one night – and that was because of the Kantorei tour. As much as I enjoyed Kantorei, I did not like the separation at all.

    Off topic, but related…

    There was a recent article in the local paper about the new trend of husbands and wives actually living in separate cities and only seeing one another on weekends because of jobs. When having two big fat prestigious incomes and job titles is more important than actually living with one’s spouse, that’s a sham marriage that’s begging for trouble. It’s rebellion against marriage as “one flesh.” I would almost (I say “almost”) counsel such a couple to refrain from sex until they get their prioritites in order.

  3. Pastor Beisel says:

    That is really sad. I think that the way your elder put it is right–unsupervised.

  4. The Supervisor says:

    Never fear….order has been restored in the Beisel household, the supervisor has returned! I do need to boast about my husband, who never ceases to amaze me. When I returned the house was freshly vacuumed, new dressers were awaiting our children’s clothes, and the long awaited task of removing the light colored carpet in the dining area was complete showing off a beautiful hardwood floor that needs only a little TLC. For any of you who know Paul, you will also know that he stepped out of his comfort zone on the last task doing this last task completely on his own! I’m very pleased!

  5. ghp says:



    I feel the same way, Pr. Beisel, when my wife & kids are away, or even when I must be away from home without them for a few days.

    In theory, it seems quite appealing, as there is, as you mention, the promise of unbridled accomplishment.

    That pesky Old Adam, however, has other ideas…


  6. Anonymous says:

    I also revert to my single college and seminary days style of living whenever my wife is out of town. I don’t know why that is, but whether I intend it or not, it happens. If I wasn’t married, I would probably be dead by now.

    Fr. Cota

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