One of my favorite old movies is Rear Window with James Stewart. The premise of the movie involves his character being confined to a wheelchair due to a broken leg. Out of sheer boredom, he spends his day looking out his window and into the apartment windows of those in his New York housing complex. As he observes the lives of the people he names them based on their habits of life. One woman he names Miss Lonely Hearts.
Miss Lonely Hearts is a single woman who is apparently desperate for a relationship. She comes home after work each day and spends her evenings alone. In one heartbreaking scene she is seen getting ready for a date and we later learn that her date is imaginary. She eventually tries to take her own life after a failed date in which she is rejected. Why am I spending this much time recounting an old movie? Because Miss Lonely Hearts is not just a fictitious person in a movie, she is alive and well among many single women.
Some are lonely due to circumstances beyond their control; illness, no family, isolation due to physical conditions, or work situations that take a person out of their local for an extended period of time.
Others are lonely because (whether they realize it or not) they choose to be. I have spent quite a bit of time talking about friendships and relationships in the course of this series on singleness and that is intentional. I want those of you who are single to give a lot of thought to these issues because they are prevalent among single women.
People who are lonely say they feel excluded, unwanted, rejected; as if they don’t matter to anyone. They say there are times these feelings are worse than others such at holiday times or other times families gather together.
However, not everyone who is lonely is without blame. Now, before you get ready to clobber me, hear me out. Sometimes people are lonely because they are self-centered and controlling.
The sinful heart always desires its own way and I have met some people who just refuse to compromise, meet another person halfway, or give an inch in relationships or situations. It (whatever “it” is) must be done their way
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? James 1:4 (NASB)
The inner desires of the heart become demands that lead to separation of friends and relationships with other people. Desires become gods and people are driven way by the worship of self in this way. A demanding person will also be abrasive to others. It is not realistic to demand that others see things your way or accept your perspective on things. In addition, demanding people are typically very hard on others, having high expectations of them in character, work ethic, study habits, and other areas of self-control. They perceive those who don’t work as hard as they do as not being interested in responsible performance; they don’t measure up.
Singles can be very discontented in their circumstances, and this too will push people away rather than draw them closer. Discontentedness reveals itself by grumbling and complaining, anger and envy toward those who have what you want or believe you deserve. These are but a few areas that lead single people to be lonely.
That being said, God has a purpose in allowing everything into our lives that comes our way. God is always intentional and purposeful in His working in our lives. God is aware of your feelings of loneliness and you can be assured that He is accomplishing His purposes in it. He uses times of loneliness to draw you closer to Him, to increase your dependence upon Him and to get you alone with Him. Take this time to examine your heart and ask God to do the same.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24
Repent of any sin God reveals to you and take steps to change these things! Begin by determining to glorify God in the relationships you do have. Confess your sin to those you have alienated and ask their forgiveness. Seek to make things right and to change the behaviors that led you to loneliness.