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Lying on God's Couch

Loneliness Therapy for Christian Singles

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Loneliness Therapy
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Have you ever felt that nobody understands what you’re going through—including God?

If you’re unmarried, you may feel that way most of the time. You haven't yet found another person you can share your deepest, most intimate secrets with.

In the midst of our loneliness, we forget that Jesus Christ understands us even better than we understand ourselves. Jesus knows about loneliness.

Why Jesus Understands Loneliness

Jesus' disciples didn't really grasp his teachings. He was constantly at odds with the legalistic Pharisees. He bristled when people came only to see miracles and not to hear what he said.

But there was another side to Jesus' loneliness that was even more poignant. He had all the feelings and desires of a normal human being, and it's not far-fetched to believe that he also wanted to have the love of a spouse and the joy of a family.

Scripture tells us about Jesus: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin." (Hebrews 4:15 NIV)

Wanting to be married is not a temptation, but loneliness can be. Jesus was tempted by loneliness, so he does know what you're going through.

Therapy that Gets to the Heart of the Problem

We don't take our loneliness to God as often as we should. Because it's not an audible, two-way conversation, we may wrongly assume that he's not listening. We also have the odd notion that God can't relate to our fast-paced, information-overloaded 21st century.

In his book, The Greatest Counselor in the World, Lloyd John Ogilvie says: “The Holy Spirit takes our mumbling, disjointed, mixed-up words, so often jumbled in with our own selfish desires, and edits the whole thing.”

I don't know about you, but I'm often embarrassed about my prayers. I don't know what to say or how to say it. I don't want to be selfish, but all my desires are centered around what I want, instead of what God wants for me.

Selfishness is a common problem for single people. Living alone, we're used to doing things our own way. Only in the past few years have I been able to realize that God knows what's best for me better than I do.

In taking our prayers to the Father, the Holy Spirit graciously refines them with love, removing our self-destructive desires. He's a therapist who is unfailingly competent and totally trustworthy. And Jesus, who understands loneliness, knows exactly what we need to cope with it.

Going Beyond Listening

You've probably seen cartoons of people lying on a therapist's couch, pouring out their troubles. When we do muster up the courage to take our loneliness to God, we treat him too much like a human therapist.

Unlike a human therapist, God doesn't just take notes then say, "Your time is up." God is different. He gets involved—personally involved.

God still intervenes as he did in Bible times. He answers prayers. He works miracles. He gives strength and hope, especially hope.

We single people need hope, and there is no better source of hope than God. He never tires of listening to you. In fact, his greatest desire is that you keep up a constant conversation with him throughout your day.

When you do that, your loneliness will begin to lift, as mine did. God will show you how to love other people, and how to accept their love in return. With God's encouragement and guidance, we singles can live the Christian life. He never intended for us to do it on our own.

More from Jack Zavada for Christian Singles:
Loneliness: Toothache of the Soul
An Open Letter to Christian Women
The Christian Response to Disappointment
3 Reasons to Avoid Bitterness

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

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