Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding comfort in solitutde

Single girls (and guys, too) love to lament their plight of singlehood. They blame their dissatisfaction on the fact that they don't have a significant other. If only they were in a relationship, had someone to love and love them in return, then they would be happy. A relationship would solve their  problems and make them complete.
And then you talk to a dissatisfied married woman (or man) and hear their laundry list of complaints: her husband doesn't listen, doesn't help around the house, is a slob, snores and leaves the bathroom sink with an unsightly grim that he doesn't even seem to notice...the list goes on and on. And what would solve their problems? What would relieve them of their agitation and set their life right again? A change in their husband or a change altogether in marital status. They look to their spouse as the source of their life's troubles and see a change in that person as a solution.
The single girl, longing for a companion, swears she would never make such complaints about her long awaited sweetheart. She would compliment him, make him his favorite dinners, have his coffee ready every morning, do his laundry with a smile, clean the grim of the sink while whistling a happy tune, gently wake him with a kiss when he slept through the alarm....she would cherish him and never get frustrated with his quirks. She would love and embrace his quirks! That is what caused her to fall in love with him in the first place, right? (There are so many things wrong with this picture that I don't even know where to being...)
She'll be stunned by reality after she makes those fateful "I dos." She might have entered into the marriage with the greatest of intentions to be content and happy, believing that this marriage would provide that for her. But the truth is that marriage, singleness, dating - none of them can fill our void, none of them can provide us with true contentment.
Our satisfaction with life cannot be found in a person or in a relationship status. We must be content and complete in our solitude. Our happiness must be drawn out from within us, not from anyone on the outside.
When we base our peace and joy on having a certain person in our life, acting in a certain way and meeting our certain expectations, then we are destined to be on an emotional roller-coaster. Our happiness must come from having a heart that is satisfied with God and God alone. When he fills our heart we won't be looking to a man or woman to satisfy our needs. Our needs will be met before Prince Charming ever walks through the door. He can be an added bonus in life and a wonderful companion in our journey of spiritual growth as we make our way through this earth, but he won't be our sustainer of happiness and source of joy.
Buying into the popular notion that a significant other can put the wandering heart to rest is a gimmick that is being bought in record breaking numbers. Why are dating websites so popular? Because people believe their ultimate dissatisfaction in life is not anything they have done or not done, but the lack of having a loving partner that they can touch and feel. But we do have a loving partner in life. The physical need to see that person and hold onto them gets in the way of realizing the immense outpouring of love that is available if only we would receive it.
The love God has for us can fill us unlike any other. It can bring our wandering hearts to rest, closing down dating website accounts and putting an end to speed dating forever. Instead of looking to find a person to fill a void or looking to change the current spouse who is doing a lousy job at filling the void, we will be filled with a perfect love that cannot be rivaled and never be matched.
This is where true happiness is found. Not in a marriage, not in a boyfriend or girlfriend, not in the husband who makes breakfast in bed or the wife who always lets her husband have control of the remote...ultimate joy is found in being filled with the Holy Spirit. Every other person will come up short, proving to be a poor substitute for the real thing. Don't allow yourself to fall into the trap of believing that your lack of contentment is coming from the lack of a particular person. You already have the person, three in one, who can give your life meaning and peace. You don't need any other.

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