Check out the results of my survey last week about loneliness:
How Often Do You Experience Loneliness?
|Single Men (23 men)||0%||9%||26%||39%||26%|
|Married Men (50 men)||14%||12%||30%||20%||24%|
|Single Women (110 women)||0%||11%||42%||34%||14%|
|Married Women (375 women)||3%||15%||34%||34%||13%|
Admittedly, the results are probably more statistically significant for the women. The stats on the men may be more accurate if we had a lot more men participating. But I think these numbers can still be of some help.
It seems really interesting to me that apparently, almost everyone experiences loneliness at least occasionally.
According to these survey results, all singles experience loneliness at some point and 86% of married men and 97% of married women do, as well.
It looks like there may be some married men and women who don’t feel lonely at all – so it does appear, from the surface – that marriage may create an improvement for some people in how lonely they feel.
It is also interesting to me that the single men and married men had about the same percentage of men who feel lonely constantly (again, we would need more numbers to have statistically significant results). The women also seem to have about the same number of women – whether married or single – who constantly feel lonely. I was surprised to see that the men’s numbers for constant loneliness are twice as high as the women’s percentages are. I wonder if those who felt lonely constantly before marriage are the same ones who felt lonely constantly after marriage?
At least 44% of responders in each group encounter loneliness a lot (often or constantly).
Marriage may help somewhat with loneliness compared to someone being single. But if we are looking to marriage or any particular human relationship to be a cure-all for loneliness, most of us are going to be really disappointed.
How can we – no matter in which demographic we find ourselves – experience victory over loneliness? I am going to share some things that greatly help me:
- I do best when I focus on finding all of my emotional/spiritual needs in Christ and when I look to Him primarily for fulfillment, companionship, spiritual/emotional intimacy, love, and acceptance.
- When I am filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit, it is really hard to feel lonely – even if I am alone or even if others are not meeting my needs.
- I depend also on my prayer partners. I can email them if I am feeling lonely and they pray for me. I never feel lonely when I am with women who are seeking God wholeheartedly. I depend on mentors, accountability partners, and prayer partners. We need the Body of Christ!
- If I change the focus from “No one is doing X for me,” to “How can I bless someone?” that really helps a lot.
- What I meditate on and where I allow my thoughts to go make all the difference in the world. If I allow myself to dwell on negative thoughts, I can find reasons to feel lonely. But if I focus on the fact that I belong to Christ and all that He has is mine and I engage in singing praises to God and write down lists of things to be thankful for, I am filled to overflowing.
- Once I am filled up with God, I love to connect with people to minister to them. What a joy that is! To share God’s love, to share the treasures in His Word, and to pray with other people and watch God transform lives.
- I love to worship by myself or with other believers and sing praises to God together. I don’t want to forsake meeting together with others from the Body of Christ.
- I also realize that sometimes God isolates me purposely so that He can work in my life more effectively. I long to embrace those times now rather than fight them and invite Him to do whatever pruning, instructing, disciplining, and refining He wants to do in my heart.
What has God shown you in this season or in past seasons of life about overcoming loneliness? Let’s share together and learn from one another! 🙂
In Christ, we can have real contentment:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:6-8
… be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 3:5
Here is an awesome resource – please check out this book by Andrew Murray “Absolute Surrender” this is a link to a free download. I think it is almost impossible to be fully surrendered to Christ and overflowing with His Spirit and to feel lonely.