Getting into a relationship will not fix your loneliness.
I know that idea rests somewhere in the hearts of most single people. I find myself thinking it all the time. Fortunately, we’re all wrong.
I say fortunately because it’s not a good idea to use a romantic relationship to try and fix our loneliness problem. A romantic relationship will not solve your longing for relationship. Our loneliness problem is way too big for one person or even a group of people to handle.
It’s a God sized problem. Anything less than a God sized solution won’t cut it. Thankfully, God went out of His way to send the help that we need.
Loneliness does not come from our unmet need for romance or friendship. It comes from our unmet need for God. Even though we are right to look for intimacy, we are looking for it in the wrong way.
Our hearts were made for deep intimacy. They yearn for that intimacy and don’t feel satisfied without it. Most of us, myself included, tend to believe that the best source of that intimacy comes from a marriage or best friend.
This assumption makes sense, but it’s wrong. We think of these as the best sources of intimacy because we don’t know an even greater source exists. Simply put, we don’t know the incredibly powerful intimacy we can experience with Jesus.
Most of us understand that we need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Like I talked about in a previous blog, developing that relationship is easier said than done. Even though we know that Jesus loves us, seeking intimacy with Him can be kind of awkward or weird.
Intimacy with Christ sounds kind of weird because He’s a God and we can’t see Him. Hanging out with Jesus isn’t exactly like grabbing coffee with our best friend. Even though it may seem odd to have intimacy with Jesus, He offers the satisfaction that your heart desires.
Born With a Broken Heart
The yearning we all feel for romance and meaningful friendship is really strong because it comes from a very large hole in our hearts. We came into this world with that hole. Our hearts were made to be in constant relationship with God and after the fall our hearts broke without that relationship.
Jesus didn’t get up on that Cross and come back from the grave just to give us a ticket to Heaven. He did those things so that He could have a relationship with us. He wants to give us that relationship because He knows that’s what we need.
He doesn’t send all of us a spouse because He knows that’s not going to fix the problem.
Even though I know this to be true, I really struggle with this truth. I really want to find a great Christian girl and get married. I have to fight a daily battle to keep myself from believing that marriage will completely satisfy my heart.
I know that the loss of my parents really contributed to the difficulty of this struggle. After we lost Dad and started to lose Mom, I felt incredibly hurt and lonely. I often shoved that pain and frustration down with the expectation of one day finding a wife.
I assumed that a girl was supposed to fill the hole left by my parents. This made sense in my head, but it also set me up for a great deal of trouble later on. I put such a powerful expectation on finding a girl that my dating life became a roller coaster, and all of my baggage came along for the ride.
The Anticipation is Killing Me
In the past every time I became interested in a girl, the emotional roller coaster would begin. An email, text, or phone call could make my heart rise up to the greatest heights or sink to the lowest depths. That last sentence was a little dramatic because I was surprisingly dramatic about girls who I would only take on one date.
I found myself on that roller coaster because my incredibly high expectations when it came to dating and marriage. I expected the love of a girl would help me deal with the loss of my parents and I would get really excited when I thought that was right around the corner. Then when anything went wrong, it felt like the floor had dropped out from under me.
Needless to say, I don’t recommend this approach to dating.
Not all of us carry around the baggage of losing our parents. All of us do carry around a broken heart that we desperately want to be put back together. Even though we don’t all experience the same frustrating roller coaster that I did, we still have plenty of highs and lows when it comes to dating.
While it’s not a bad thing to experience these emotions, we must do our part to keep them from ruling our lives. In the past when my dating life was struggling, it noticeably impacted the rest of my life. That problem only changed when I started taking my past pains and baggage to God.
The Greatest Breakfast of My Life
At one point, God stepped in and showed me that it was time to strop trying to put a Band-Aid on my broken heart. My heart went through the ringer and I decided to sit down for breakfast with some of my small group and lay out all my thoughts for them. God spoke through them and showed me that I needed to take a break from dating and start seeing a counselor.
I wasn’t pleased with the idea. I fought back with some words that weren’t nice. Looking back now, it was one of the biggest turning points in both my dating life and healing from the loss of my parents.
Even though it had been two years since I’d lost my Mom, my heart was still reeling from that loss. I had been trying to duct tape my heart together with friends, pleasure, and hopefully the right girl. I’ve had to slowly lay all of those at the feet of God.
I had to give up trying to fix my broken heart on my own. I had to take my wounds one by one to God and ask Him to heal them. This process is a slow one and I’m still working through it.
That said, I don’t regret a single minute of that process. While I still haven’t found the girl I want to meet at the chapel, I have found incredible peace, comfort, and joy because Jesus has already started to heal my lonely and broken heart. I’m pretty sure that marriage will be great, but I know for certain that nothing will ever compare to God slowly making my heart whole.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” – Isaiah 61:1 ESV
Opening my heart to God and asking Him heal it is a daily struggle. I don’t regret a single moment of that struggle though. Every small victory gives me less loneliness and more God and that is truly priceless.
I understand that it’s really difficult to see a cute couple walk out of church and feel that your life wouldn’t be complete without a spouse. I understand because I’ve had that feeling this week. I also know for certain that I wouldn’t trade anything for the incredible healing that God has given me.
If I had to choose between marriage and God continuing to heal my heart, I would choose the second option every day of the week.
Image Copyright: Frank Vincentz http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bad_Muskau_-_Berliner_Stra%C3%9Fe_-_Jakobuskirche_-_Friedhof_-_Machbuba_03_ies.jpg by