Does Loneliness Cause Us to Make Poor Relationship Decisions? | Ep 32

loneliness

With St. Valentine’s Day being just two days ago, this is easily one of the most lonely weeks for some. Mostly because everything surrounding this holiday involves being with someone you love. But, not everyone has someone. In fact, so many deal with loneliness. Not only do we have to deal with loneliness, we often struggle through different levels of loneliness. It’s this loneliness that causes us to seek out relationships with others and can often lead to unhealthy decisions surrounding who we spend time with and who we chose to commit ourselves to.

That’s what we’re talking about in this episode. Thomas mentioned the importance of understanding the role that loneliness plays in bringing us to church, drawing us into a dating relationship and eventually marriage. We go on to talk about how being lonely can be the foundation we use to make excuses to allow ourselves to consider divorce as an option. So, let’s talk about being lonely…

Why are Christians Lonely?

We talked about a couple different reasons. The bigger reason lies within the separation created from Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. That event created a gap in our relationships that we have been trying to close ever since.

The other reason is a bit closer to home and, we believe, has to do with the way that mainstream (institutional) church is structured. Unfortunately, church, as a system, does not often lend itself to offering authentic and close relationships. Some of the loneliest Christians are those sitting among a 2,000 person congregation. Sadly, the way we structure traditional church actually feeds the needs of the organization, but fails to fulfill the needs of the organisms within the walls.

So people come to church hoping for connection and believing they will find it in the group. But, when the superficiality of that connection becomes evident, they decide that maybe the group isn’t intended for connection and their loneliness convinces them that they can find fulfillment in an individual. So they find someone, and date, then marry… even if they don’t get along with the person, being with someone is better than being alone. Until it isn’t.

The Second Level of Loneliness

The second level of lonely occurs after marriage. It often comes with the realization that the person you married cannot fill that desire for connection. Really only God can, but at this point you’re less concerned with that and more concerned with how to get out of the misery. This is typically when people, who may have never previously considered divorce, talk themselves into it being the “only way” or the “best decision for everyone involved”. So we ignore the bible and do what we feel will alleviate our suffering. (To be fair, sometimes divorce may be a necessary thing. We’re not broad stroke painting divorce.) 

God Doesn’t Leave

God’s message to everyone, all the time is, “I will never leave you.” We may feel alone, but if we’re in Christ, we’re not; in fact, it’s impossible for us to be. God’s word is clear…

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

A Note to Singles (But really to the church)

Church, two things.

  1. Stop expecting single people to figure out where they fit into the body. Go find them and welcome them in.
  2. Stop making marriage the highest form of worship or holiness or whatever we make it. There’s a ton to this, but stop acting like the thing singles should aspire to is marriage. Just invite them in and be companionship for them.

 

Mentioned in the show:

Gene Edwards: The Divine Romance

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photo: El Espejo Gotico

Black Lives Do Matter & We’ve Lost That Phileo Feeling | Ep 3

During this episode we tackled a couple of really deep topics.

Black Lives Matter

The first thing we talked about was the Black Lives Matter movement and how Christians, and the Church at large, should answer the issues, accusations and effects on our culture that the movement has drawn attention to. Ultimately, as agents of justice and mercy, we ought to be willing to speak into the issues of racial inequality, reconciliation and the need for reform in so many social and cultural areas of our country.
The consensus we came up with can be summed up in Thomas’ comment, “The church cannot stray away from this topic. We need to be looking for areas of redemption.”
Rocco brought up the fact that so many people in the church, primarily white people, are unsure or afraid to talk openly about these issues. Unfortunately those fears and our quieted voices only make us complicit in the brokenness that continues in these areas. Failing to engage, in word and deed, doesn’t make us cautious, it makes us cowards.
Here are the two talks we mentioned:
*Here at The (G)odd Show we are not endorsing BLM or what they believe and affirm as an organization, but rather are addressing the issues that gave rise to that movement.

Phileo – Brotherly Love

The second topic we discussed is the disappearance of friendships that display deep levels of love between same and even opposite genders. The discussion initiated with an article where the author suggested that romanticism, puritanism and today’s over sexualization of… well, everything, has caused us to trade friendships where we can safely declare our love for another for the bro code and side hugs.
This is contrary to the New Command that Jesus gave us in John 15:34-35
The Kingdom of God is built on love between believers. Or, as Thomas’ pastor, Jeff Tyler, puts it, ” The kingdom of God is built on relationships.” We are meant to be with people. Lots of people.
This flies in the face of the recent popular belief that we ought keep our circle (number of close friends) small. When we adopt this mentality what we are actually saying is that most people aren’t worth having a relationship with.
When we reject relationships, whoever it is with, we are forcing people to ask the question, “If you can’t love me, how can your God love me.”
Here’s the link to the article that prompted the discussion:
Until next time, love each other often and well. Thanks.
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