As a pastor I counsel many people who are lonely and who desperately want to find Mr or Mrs right. Loneliness is eating away at them and it seems that all they can think about is being with someone almost at any cost. Their peace is gone. Their sense of well being is gone. They have little or no happiness. They are being eaten alive by their intense desire to be in a relationship and to find love. While this may seem pretty human, I’ll be straight with you, it’s idolatry and it makes God jealous.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:3-6
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5
Most of us don’t actively worship an idol like they did in ancient times and still do in many parts of the world. We may not be bowing down to carved images or but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t guilty of idolatry. Idolatry is anything we use to bring us happiness apart from God. Idolatry includes everything we seek to have apart from or in spite of the will of God. As Colossians 3:5 states, covetousness is considered idolatry (see also Ephesians 5:5). If we are covetous, we can’t expect to make it to heaven. We can’t expect to receive God’s blessings and his protection and mercy. This is serious stuff and not to be taken lightly!
Are you ready to do God’s will no matter what?
So let’s apply this principle of idolatry and covetousness to the topic of dating and finding a life mate. Are you ready to do God’s will even if it may go against what you want? Are you ready to submit to God’s will for your life and trust that he really has your best interests at heart? Are you ready to remain single for the rest of your life if God so wills it? We don’t need another human being to make us happy, we only need God. It’s true that having a godly person in our life can enrich our life and bring us joy but it isn’t necessary for us to be happy. Happiness is a choice. It comes when we place ourselves in God’s hands and trust him with our life, our plans and our future. It comes when we accept, assuming that we have already made the decision to follow God, that everything that we currently have in our life is there by his will and for our best interests.
Loneliness is certainly a form of suffering. Just because we suffer from being alone however doesn’t mean it isn’t God’s will for us. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5. God permits suffering in our life to teach us obedience. Even Jesus wasn’t excluded from learning obedience through the things he suffered. “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” – Hebrews 5:7-8.
Can you learn to be happy with your life right now?
God wants you and I to accept what he has given us today. To be happy in Him. To be content with what we have. To trust that God has our best interests and our happiness in mind. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11. He want us to learn the secret of being content with whatever comes our way. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:11-13.
God loves you. He sees you suffering. He wants what’s best for you. If you are suffering from loneliness or despair take heart. God has good things in mind for you. They may not be exactly what you want them to be but if you’ll learn to accept what he gives you day by day, you can find happiness and contentment.
Are you ready to trust him with your whole life?