Loneliness is at a high level in American society. Many people deal with this painful issue which can stop us from having a healthy life. If you’re dealing with loneliness, know that you’re not alone. The good news is that loneliness is fixable. However, it might not be as simple as joining a group of people. It might require healing from past pain or developing new social skills to deal with loneliness.
The cause of loneliness.
Today’s society is an information age, where life goes by at a breakneck pace. Technology is a blessing, but it has a way of isolating us. We feel tempted to envy our friends and others we see on social media. In the little worlds of our cell phones, we socialize online instead of in person. We lose social skills by doing so; sadly, some younger people are growing up without knowing how to hold a conversation.
Some people have gone through painful relationships and feel more secure in withdrawing. Others want to make friends but don’t know where to start. Bonds break down over time and take more work than we want to restore. Less than 100 years ago, life looked different in the United States. Most families worked on farms, with deeply connected lives and thriving small communities. However, the Industrial Revolution moved families off the farm and into the city. This move led to family life becoming less connected. The social landscape was permanently changed with the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s, coupled with adjustments in no-fault divorce laws.
Half of the U.S. population grew up with parents who never married or divorced parents. Many people grew up with parents who stayed in abusive or emotionally distant relationships. The fracture of home social structures laid the cultural groundwork for becoming lonely. Psalm 68:6 tells us that God puts the lonely in families. Our families are supposed to be where we seek sanctuary and connect. Still, many people didn’t learn to communicate with their families and follow cultural pressures to connect online instead of in person.
Dealing with feeling lonely.
There’s a difference between being alone and loneliness. You can feel alone without being lonely. However, loneliness can come when you’re in a crowd of people. Loneliness is attributed to disappointment, sadness, insecurity, or grief at its roots. To overcome loneliness, you have to deal with your deeper issues. Some scenarios that could lead to loneliness include parents coping with an empty nest, a college graduate moving to a new town where they don’t know anyone, or a stay-at-home mom feeling overwhelmed with her responsibilities.
Any of these situations and more can lead to loneliness. If it persists, loneliness can lead to other problems, and you’ll need help if you experience symptoms like feeling drained while socializing, lack of self-worth, or not having close friendships. If you experience prolonged loneliness, it can negatively impact your emotional and physical health. Your body reacts to loneliness-induced stress by producing increased amounts of cortisol, a hormone that causes excessive amounts of inflammation.
Untreated loneliness can also cause sleep disorders, depression, eating disorders, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It could also lead to the desire to abuse substances for relief, which worsens your health problems.
What does the Bible say about loneliness?
Whether you’re facing a change in life or going through something hard that you don’t think others will understand, the Bible gives strength and hope. There’s someone who’s always with you and closer than a brother. Jesus is the ultimate comforter and friend. Here are some Bible verses on loneliness.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 27:10 – “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”
1 Samuel 12:22 –“For the sake of his great name, the LORD will not reject His people because the LORD was pleased to make you His own.”
Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Is it okay for Christians to feel loneliness?
Everyone feels lonely from time to time, even Christians, and that’s okay. However, the key is not getting stuck in your loneliness. God doesn’t want you to dwell in your loneliness. Genesis 2 tells us that God thought Adam being alone wasn’t good, even within a sinless being. He made Eve Adam’s best friend, and they joined in fellowship with God. He wants you to connect with others. Still, how do you fight lonely feelings that drag you down? You have to take intentional steps to beat loneliness.
The first thing you should do is develop your relationship with God. He’s always available and willing to listen. While you read the Bible, praise Him and pray, and you’ll feel less lonely. Make your time with God a priority daily, and pray that He’ll help you get past your loneliness.
Second, you should call a family member or friend. Many people only stick to texting, which can feel less personal than a phone call. Phone calls can be more convenient than in-person meetings and instantly lift your spirits. It would help if you also tried getting out of the house more often. You could try setting a goal to get out of the house a few times per week if you spend most of your time at home. A change of scenery can help you connect with others and refresh you.
Loneliness is a natural emotion that everyone will feel at some point. However, you should find relief in having a Father who’s a constant friend that won’t allow you to dwell in your loneliness. Seek Jesus, and you’ll never feel lonely again.