5 Myths about loneliness:
Part 1 God doesn’t want us to be lonely…..or does he?
When I was single, Genesis 2:18 caused much angst. If God himself said being alone wasn’t good, why was I twenty-eight and still single and alone? Did I mess up and make a decision that took me from the path that would have led to marriage? Was I being punished for not being content? Did I or my intended spouse mess up and ruin God’s plan for our lives? Was there a test I needed to pass before God would give me a mate? Was I more effective single and not to be married until I was able to prove I could accomplish more for Christ with a husband at my side?
I studied scriptures and clung to the promises- God will provide for my needs, will not withhold his goodness, and is acutely aware of my pains and burdens yet as I approached my 30’s I found myself the last of three children still living at home, very much alone, and very lonely. My older sister was married and had three children, and my baby brother and his wife were expecting number two. It seemed like all my younger friends were walking the isle to matrimonial bliss, and starting families, while life passed by leaving me in it’s wake. I felt oppressively lonely the evening I stayed home to babysit for my sister’s kids so she and her husband could attend a party for all the young married couples at our church. It hurt to know my siblings and many close friend were enjoying the holiday together at a party I was excluded from because a ring was absent from my finger. My life seemed to be a contradiction to the faith I professed and the the verses I clung to for hope.
I wasn’t supposed to be alone and lonely…..or was I?
Genesis 2:18, says God created the universe and as He watched His most precious creation acclimate to his surroundings, God declared there was a physical aspect of man that presented a need. Man was physically alone in the vast expanse of a spectacular creation and God declared it was not good for a single man to experience His creation and to spend his years doing so in solitude. In scripture we see many practical reasons why this is so: safety is found in numbers, man needs counsel outside himself, we are made better and sharpened in the presence of others, two people provide warmth, a threefold cord is not easily broken,….. Because our Creator is a loving Father who delights in giving good gifts to his children He took care of the problem in one mysterious act by physically forming a second version of humankind suited to “help, and complement man” and from that point on, technically man would never again be alone.
By creating Eve, our All Wise God, took care of the “alone” problem (although the presence of sin and death has messed this up to), but I truly believe the the Giver of Life never intended for the feeling of loneliness to completely withdraw from man’s heart heart and soul. Man was created for Spiritual communion with his Savior. You and I were created to enjoy and glorify Christ in and through the wonders of His creation. The heavens were flung across space to declare God’s presence drawing us in terror and wonder to his throne in incessant adoration. Mankind, sinful and imperfect, quick to disappoint and hurt stands purposefully in stark contrast to our all loving and righteous God. The presence of sinful man should evoke deep unquenchable pangs of loneliness, driving us to Christ. Failure prone man should make us acutely aware of the true and satisfying relationship that the physical world, bound in sin, denies us. Mankind was meant to encourage and complement this pursuit but never to distract from it or quench it. God never intended Eve or any other human to fulfill our need for a spiritual relationship with him.
This is demonstrated by millions of married woman who weep behind closed doors even though children run through their halls squealing with delight and husbands join them in bed every night. This is why a college student living in a dorm can feel isolated and overcome with loneliness despite being surrounded by roommates and friends. Loneliness screams “something is missing… there is something better…I am not who I was intended to be” and that something is true fellowship and delight in Christ.
Your single status, and your eventual marriage will never vanquish loneliness and need, don’t expect it to and don’t demand humanity fill a space only God is worthy to occupy.
God receives no joy in the anguish of your heart because of unfulfilled desires. Your loving Father delights in meeting your deepest needs and wants, but His purpose is to truly fill you by bring you into restoration and fellowship with him. He can and will do this through both the presence and absence of every emotional and physical need you experience. Don’t believe the lie that loneliness is a sign you have failed or that God has overlooked you. There is a plan and purpose in every emotion and need and that purpose centers around Christ the lover of your soul. Don’t run from loneliness, determine to experience and see Christ through it. Loneliness is a poignant reminder something is amiss and not as it should be, and it makes us look to and long for the day our relationship is completely restored as it was intended.
Next time: Part 2-I am lonely because something is missing from my life ?