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HomeSpiritual GrowthHow the Bible Can Help Cure Loneliness

How the Bible Can Help Cure Loneliness

Everyone needs community, even Christians

Introduction — Loneliness in America

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).”

America is currently facing a loneliness epidemic. This includes even marriages, hence the verse above. Fewer people are getting married today than in the past. But, interestingly, Genesis 2:18 can be also applied to relationships in general. It really is not good for man (and women) to be alone.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many Americans today. Young people are especially lonely. According to articles like this one, Millennials and Gen Z’s are the loneliest generations in America. Many in these age cohorts report having few or no friends at all.

If Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone is to be believed, Americans have been getting lonelier for at least two decades. However, the COVID pandemic and the rise of social media only sped up this epidemic. Thanks to conveniences like online shopping, social networks, and remote jobs, it is now possible for a person to spend most of his or her life online. The COVID lockdowns demonstrated just how plugged in we have become.

The implications of this epidemic are profound. Few things are more damaging to a person’s soul than having to endure the hardships of life alone:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9–11)

Additionally, loneliness can damage a person’s physical health. Being lonely for a prolonged period of time is as lethal as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. If this is the case, what should we do about this situation?

A Solution

Now, this is usually the part where I tell everyone that we need Jesus. That is certainly true, but the Lord designed us to be social creatures. Since being with each other is natural, the Lord can help us rebuild community. Our challenge is learning how to cultivate fellowship in a society that wants to embrace isolation.

Our current age is the logical conclusion of America’s push for individualism. As such, we live in a culture that encourages and sometimes rewards living alone. Additionally, many young people are so used to being alone that they have begun to accept this lifestyle as normal. Therefore, to combat loneliness, we need to make a conscious effort to connect with others.

I should provide some clarification here. I am not saying that a person can’t have alone time. Some people are more introverted than others. Rather, I am saying we need to combat the cultural norm of being alone.

Our challenge here is learning how to not follow the ways of the world. Fortunately, the Lord has taught us through His Word the importance of coming together as a body:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24–25).

There are three key areas where the Lord wants us to make relationships: with our families, with the Church, and with God Himself.

How God Creates Relationships

Family

I define “family” here as both one’s biological relatives and a potential spouse. God created the family, and He wants us to model it after His relationship with the Church. God is the Head of His bride, the Church. As believers, we are God’s children. This is what a human family is supposed to emulate, with the father leading as the head.

Fittingly, God gives commands to each family member. Husbands are to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25) and wives are to respect and submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Children are to honor and obey both parents, but the parents must also not provoke their children to anger (Ephesians 6:1–4).

Few relationships are stronger than a family built on love, trust, and righteousness. Since parents and siblings are the first people children meet, we can say that having good relationships starts at home. If children do not have good relationships with their families, they may find it difficult to make friends elsewhere. As I have argued before, this is why fathers must watch over the spiritual health of the family. Godly families build a godly society.

A Brief Word on Marriage

Biblically speaking, most men and women should get married. Some people have the gift of singleness, but this is the exception, not the rule.

Men and women should generally prepare for the roles they will have to take on in a marriage covenant. Men should learn to become good leaders, and women should make sure they want to follow the man who will soon lead them. A good marriage can build a strong household, but a bad marriage is destructive. Therefore, men and women must seek the Lord’s help to find a godly spouse.

Church

Here, I mean both the visible church and the invisible Church. In other words, I mean a local church building and the body of believers. There are multiple reasons why the Lord commands us to go to church regularly. But suffice it to say, church provides a Christian with things like:

  1. Church discipline and accountability for sins
  2. Edification and instruction
  3. Fellowship with other believers
  4. Assistance from the body of Christ

The Christian walk is not meant to be done alone. It is true that simply going to church every week does not save a person, but this does not mean we should neglect church. Additionally, one should ideally seek membership in a local church that practices sound doctrine. Sticking with one church is wiser than hopping between different churches.

God Himself

If all else fails, we have the Lord Himself to turn to. Primarily, we cultivate our relationship with God by reading His Word and praying to Him. The Bible is God’s living Word, and it is how He speaks to us. It is how we learn about Him. Additionally, prayer is how we communicate with God. Prayer is how we praise the Lord and ask Him to help us with our lives.

However, I want to reemphasize that a Christian should strive to have other friends besides God. The Lord puts people in our lives to help us, so we should thank Him for that. If a Christian lacks close friends, I would encourage him or her to seek the Lord for guidance.

Conclusion

As with many aspects of our moral decay, combating loneliness is straightforward, yet can be difficult. Finding friends and spouses in a post-COVID era is no small feat. We are essentially swimming upstream in a society that continues to flow downward toward further isolation.

The good news is that we can start small. Perhaps the introvert can go out of his way to talk to a coworker. Perhaps a churchgoer should actively try to engage with other church members. Perhaps a believer needs to restore his or her relationship with their family (Romans 12:18).

Regardless of which method we choose, we must rebuild community. I’m afraid this is not optional. In some ways, our lives depend on it. But if we can successfully rebuild our families and our churches, we can provide a spiritual community for lost, lonely souls.

 


Salvation – Eternal Life in Less Than 150 Words

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AuthorBrandon Charles | BCWorldview.org 

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