Cure loneliness in church, marriage, pastor says

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Just a few days ago, Ann Cochran, the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Health Department, published a helpful piece in The Perry News on a sad reality plaguing people in America. I encourage you to take a few moments and read her post.

That sad reality is loneliness.

Loneliness is a state of ostracism from the companionship and fellowship of others. Ann says it well: “We humans are social creatures, and we have an innate need for companionship.”

Yes and Amen! All people are made in the image of God (Gen. 9:6). That is what makes us different from animals.

Certain animals need more companionship than others. All animals only need companionship out of instinct. Humans are image bearers of God, though. That is why we need companionship.

We were created to reflect the image of God’s character. And God has always experienced perfect companionship within the membership of the Tri-unity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit).

Jesus prayed:

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:22–24, NASB95)

God has created you for companionship. Unfortunately, we live in a post-Christian America. The “I did it my way” mentality has taken away the joy that emerges through meaningful companionship and fellowship with others.

Jesus has the one and only everlasting answer. It is simpler than you can imagine. Jesus has two ways in which he saves us from loneliness. First and foremost, he saves us from loneliness through companionship with himself.

That happens by giving your life to Jesus because you believe he died for your sins. When you trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, Jesus brings you to spiritual life (regeneration). That is how you become a child of God.

Many people use the term “child of God” as if all people are children of God in God’s eyes. That is wrong. That term is exclusive in the Bible. The term “child of God” is exclusively reserved for those who actually know God through faith in Jesus. Joy comes to even the most lonely of Christians because all Christians have fellowship with God.

Amazing things happen in your life when you know Jesus. One amazing thing is the gift of spiritual adoption. When Jesus is your Lord, you are adopted into the family of God and made a member of his people. That people is called the church. That is why all Christians go to church.

Do not be fooled. People who do not go to church are not Christians (1 John 2:19). Church is for people who have faith in Jesus to save them. Church is for people who have fellowship with God.

The Bible calls church “fellowship with one another.” Read 1 John 1:7, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, NASB95).

Fellowship means the sharing of life together. Fellowship is true companionship. True companionship brings the joy which saves us from loneliness. Do you want genuine friends who are committed to you through thick and thin? Join a good church. The first way Jesus saves you from loneliness is through a relationship with him which places you in church.

The second way Jesus saves you from loneliness is through the gift of marriage. Our culture says to forget about the home. It has demonized family so much since the 1960s that women think they need to have a career outside of the home in order to have true value.

Nevertheless, women who center life on a career outside of the home are struggling with depression and suicide at unprecedented levels. That is because God has created women for focusing on the home and training up good human beings.

That does not mean a woman cannot have a career outside of the home. Read Proverbs 31:1–31. It simply means that her central focus is the home, especially if she is married.

The Bible says that God has created us for marriage between one man and one woman, and both have beautiful and complimentary roles in the marriage relationship. Marriage is God’s most basic unit for companionship.

When you are married, you have someone who has committed to being with you until the moment you die. Marriage is a guarantee that you will not be lonely. You will have at least one person by your side.

We understand that there are people who break their marriage covenant. Shame on them. That does not make marriage bad. It makes the covenant breaker bad. Your focus is to prove them wrong. Your job is to encourage covenant keeping.

If and when you are married, you will commit yourself to not being a covenant breaker. You will stick to your spouse. You will only marry a person who convinces you that he or she will actually stick with you.

Culture says, “Waste your physical prime on yourself.” The Bible says, “Invest it into building a family” (Gen. 2:24-25).

Culture says, “Children and a spouse are financial burdens.” The Bible says there is no point in working your entire life if you have no one with whom to share and enjoy the fruit of your labor (Eccl. 2:18-21).

Culture says, “Wait until you are financially stable to build a family.” The Bible says, “Building a family is a greater investment than building your wealth” (Ps. 127:1-5).

Culture says, “Do it your way.” The Bible says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor” (Eccl. 4:9 NASB95).

Eternal joy is only found in a life lived for God. You will never find eternal joy in building wealth or acquiring secular wisdom. God has two means for salvation from loneliness in this life. The first is life lived as a Christian in a local church. The second is a God-ordained marriage, that is, one man and one woman.

Join a church. Get married young. Raise lots of children. Build a family for God.

The Rev. Andrés Reyes is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Perry.

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