Never Alone (Single & Following Jesus Series Part IV)

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Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close,~Psalm 27:10. 

…I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually‚ÄĒregardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age,~Matthew 28:20 (Amplified Version). 

One of the things people think of the unmarried is they battle with significant loneliness. I want to let you in on a little secret, there are married people who have the same struggle. 

Over the years I have encountered numerous married people who feel alone in their marriage. They have someone to live with them, yet the other person is more like a roommate. 

These are some real quotes from married women. 

“He’s more interested in video games than he is in me.” 

“I feel like I am living with a big child. I just take care of everything.” 

“There is nothing worse than rolling over next to someone not interested in you.” 

“My husband changed the moment I said ‘I do.'”

“I spend most of my time by myself.” 

I highly recommend each person maintain their relationship with God, let it go deeper, and maintain community. 

I have seen roughly 60% of the couples married the past 10 years divorce and they did not really maintain friendships with anyone outside of their spouse. They also allowed their relationship with God to fizzle. 

Adam did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or other humans. Marriage provided human community. We are meant to have human community and family. 

The first stop is God. 

There are needs only God can fulfill. He is always present. God never leaves, nor forsakes. God is good. God can fill our love bucket to overflowing. God is to be the primary source of community. 

If we have the Holy Spirit, we have full access to God. We have a built in best friend. 

The second stop is family/friendships. 

I lumped friendships and family together because not everyone has an incredible family that is supportive, loving, or present. 

Cultivating healthy, God centered friendships is one way to combat lonliness. 

I have had a few people state they struggle with making friends. The only counsel I have is be a good friend. In our world of busyness and look out for yourself, it can be challenging to make genuine friendships. It is not impossible. 

Papa God I ask for any person reading this to have authentic, loving, mutual, good, and blessed relationships. I ask for blessed community and that you would bring people into their lives that love them deeply and fully. I ask for iron sharpening iron relationships. I ask for genuine friendships and family (spiritual and natural). May not one person feel excluded, left out, or unloved. 

Community Involvement

I truly believe we are here to make a difference, not just consume from others and the world. 

Psychology Today did a report that stated that those who invest in others feel more joy and connection. 

We are not alone in this world. Getting together with others for a greater good is one way to combat loneliness. I am not suggesting we should give for selfish motives. I am saying sitting at home all the time without any human connection, thinking about a marital relationship, is not the best use of time. It is actually a waste of time. There are so many other things that can be done. 

Who wants their legacy to be, “Died glued to the couch.” 

The truth is even if a person feels alone does not mean they are alone. God is Emmanual (God with us). God also knit every believer into His family. God’s spiritual family has billions of people. There are churches everywhere with connect groups, small groups, and many have community outside Sunday mornings. 

I also meet people all the time who say they wish for a friend or community yet they never do the inviting/pursuing. They expect to be pursued, invited. It’s okay to be the one who invites someone else out for coffee or lunch. It is okay to start your own group, club, or organize events. It’s okay to leave the house. The computer and Netflix will be there when you get back home. ūüôā 

Lord I bless every person reading this series. Help them to see they are never alone. They are wanted, cherished, loved, celebrated, desired, and significant. Bless each person, married or single, with divine connections and deeper intimacy with you. Heal their souls from any loneliness, pain, or feelings of being left out. In Jesus powerful name. Amen! 

Enjoy Your Season (Relationship Series)

  
I have learned how to be content with whatever I have,~Phil 4:11 (Apostle Paul)

There’s beauty in contentment. It’s the ability to express gratitude in the moment, in the season. It’s a choice to look at what God is doing, what God has done, and find joy in Him alone. 

I’ve met so many people on my walk with God who are waiting for something to happen to enjoy life. If only I could, “Have a boyfriend or girlfriend.” If only I could, “Get married or have children.” If only I could, “Have a best friend or tons of friends to do things with, then I’d be happy.” 

The problem with this type of thinking is it negates that every blessing brings a new set of challenges. Adding people to our lives reduces the amount of free time we have. We have a new level of sacrifice that is required if we want to be good, quality friends and not deadbeats. We have to learn the other person’s strengths and weaknesses. 

The movies often do a poor job of expressing the reality of real relationships. They don’t show the seasons, the learning, the growing, the akwardness, the suffering, disappointment, or sorrow. What is painted is non stop Magical Kingdom. Who doesn’t love adventure, fun, good times all the time? The reality is anything worth having takes effort. 

Healthy relationships are also based on two people having their own lives and identies. Unhealthy relationships are codependent. When relationships are used as a means to find identity and happiness it leads to heartache. 

I’ve had long term relationships. My happiness did not come from that person. It came from God. So when God let me know that relationship wasn’t headed in the right direction I could step away and still live a fulfilled, joyful life. 

People don’t complete us, God does. Any source of identity or fix for contentment outside God leads to pain. People are not God. God never intended for others to fulfill us. 

Contentment in God is the best place. God does not change. God is stable. God’s love and affection is not wavering. He doesn’t love one minute and then withhold love another. God’s love isn’t shallow, based on our appearance or what we can do for Him. God’s love isn’t selfish. He’s not simply looking out for Himself. God’s love isn’t based on merit, it’s independent of our behavior. 

An identity rooted in Christ is rock solid. An identity rooted in relationships with people is like the shifting sands. It can fade away. Spouses can pass away, children too. Friends can come and go. Dating or courtships can end. No one can separate us from God’s love. 

Joy rooted in God grows with relationship and abiding in Him. Joy rooted in what’s happening is simply happiness and can be taken away or shifted based on circumstances. 

Contentment rooted in who God is lasts for eternity. 

I’m unmarried…so I continually give thanks for the following. 

  • God’s unfailing love and friendship. 
  • As much time as I want with God.
  • The ability to truly invest in people’s lives without distractions. 
  • The ability to be present without wondering what a spouse or children need. 
  • Sleep and rest.
  • Traveling wherever I want to go, whenever I want to go. 
  • The ability to be involved in and lead multiple ministries. 
  • Time with my family that’s undivided-there’s one not two families to keep up with.
  • Serving others by opening my home, giving of my time. 
  • A clean house. 
  • Money to bless others in need. The ability to sow into others without checking in with someone. 
  • Peace. 
  • Quiet. 
  • The ability to work and go to school.
  • Learning more of who I am in Christ and my individual destiny with God. 
  • Feeling loved and cherished every day by God. 
  • Being under God’s authority which is always used to love and protect, not out of selfishness or control. 
  • Being loved for who I am not what I have to offer or my physical appearance. 
  • Growing in Godly confidence and wisdom.
  • Writing and lots of time to write/create. 
  • Adventures with God and friends.
  • Building a business with God. 
  • Time alone with Holy Spirit to be taught by Him.
  • Having my heart, mind, body protected.

I also give thanks for the basics: food, water, shelter, and clean clothing. I give thanks for everything! God is good all the time. In every single season, God is good. 

Whether you are married or single, theres something to be thankful for and contentment can be found in God. I encourage everyone to make a list of things they are thankful for and thank God. 

God bless you! 

Erin Lamb 

Joined Together (Identity in Christ Part 17)

Couple on Beach

Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?~ 2 Corinthians 6:14.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you,~John 15:19.

Tonight, I wanted to tackle a somewhat controversial topic, our associations with non-believers. Some read scriptures and say that we should no longer associate with anyone who does not believe what we believe. That is not what Jesus modeled for us. He interacted with sinners, ate with them, and treated them well (Matthew 9:10). He loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). The verses in the Bible that warn us not to be yoked, linked, bound, and to have partnership with those who have no love for Christ speak to something deeper. It is not that as believers we are more valuable or loved by God. God loves everyone the same. The Bible does not tell us to look down our noses at anyone, but to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are not to be arrogant. We are also not called to forsake wisdom.

To be yoked which 2 Corinthians 6:14 original translation used, meant to be tied together, joined together, linked in a bond where one person went, the other must follow. A good example you may be able to relate to is a three legged race. If the two people are tied together, there is no opportunity to go a separate way. One will have to compromise. God advises us not to be linked, joined, and partnered in situations with people who do not love Him and the choices made can cause us to forsake His ways for the relationship. It’s not a, “Avoid all people who don’t think like you.” It’s a “Don’t link your life to things or relationships that may cause you to compromise.” In our day and time I can think of several examples.

1. Marriage. God tells us not to marry someone who does not believe in Him or follow Him. Not to be cruel or controlling, but He knows that in marriage two become one. How can two be joined together if they do not agree? He also states that if you marry someone and they don’t believe, it’s not grounds for divorce. So, if you’re already married to someone who is not a believer, leaving them solely for that reason is not validated by scripture. God knows trying to join two lives together with two people who love God can be challenging. Trying to join two people where one is in love with God and the other is not, can be more challenging.

2. Business partnerships.  Being business partners is something to pray about, seek God, and seek Godly counsel. If you link your life or livelihood to someone who has different morals, ethics, and core values, you may run into trouble down the line if they decide to go in a direction that is opposite your belief system.

3. Friendships, close friendships. I have friends who do not love God. I love them the same as the ones who do. I do not, however, engage in all the same activities they do. I do not compromise my beliefs to be there for them. If they go some place I don’t feel is appropriate for me to go, I don’t go. God is the standard for living, not friends, especially those who have no relationship with Him. I choose not to spend copious amounts of time with people who constantly speak negatively of others, gossip, etc…And sometimes if it’s someone I am bound to by family ties, I will try to change the subject or keep it positive.¬† I am friendly to everyone, but I don’t allow everyone or everything full access to my life. I am learning as I grow to allow God to pick my friends and close confidants. He knows all and has everyone’s best interests at heart. He knows how to link the right people together.

Final words:

We were not created to fit in, blend in, or conform to the ways of this world. We were not created to force the world to be like us. We were created for the glory of God. We are a light in the world. We are no longer in darkness. We have nothing to brag about, we can only boast in God’s goodness and show the world how awesome our Papa is. We are not spiritual snobs, but humble partners with Christ to impact the world. May we link our lives to Jesus. May we love the way He loves without compromising our integrity or walk with Him. May we be an influence in this world instead of being influenced. May our relationships be what God wants them to be.

You are loved friends. I hope this post shed some light on a controversial topic. Blessings,~Erin

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