Many single Christians today are in a world of distress when it comes to spending a night or two alone through the week or even, inconceivably, on the weekend. Just hop on over to Christian Mingle and you’ll see hundreds of Christian men and women out looking for the solution to their loneliness (I actually love Christian Mingle and endorse them here on my website).
You’ve probably been there; I’ve been there; those lonely nights when you sit at home by yourself, unable to make plans with anyone, asking yourself, “Why do I feel so disconnected from everyone?” “Do I even matter to anyone?”
If you have asked yourself these questions or anything of that sort, I will do my best to give you the answer you seek.
Time Alone Allows You to Learn More About Yourself
Immediately following my breakup with my ex-fiancé, I felt like my worth had diminished to nothing, even questioning if I ever had any to begin with. Turns out, I let my relationship with my fiancé determine who I was, and that was my first mistake.
What I learned over the next few months was that I really knew very little about myself. I had been in a relationship for the better part of three years and I had somewhere along the way forgotten who I was. Constant nights of compromise or a desire to please my fiancé led to me ever so frequently indulging in her personal favorite foods, movies, and music artists while so rarely partaking in any of my own personal favorites. That is not to say that we shouldn’t treat our significant others with their favorite items, but it is to say that we often times forget about ours while attempting to put a smile on his or her face every week.
So when my relationship died, I was left alone on the weekends. But I was left in a different state of alone than I had ever experienced; not only did I not have anyone someone beside me binge-watching Once Upon A Time on Netflix, but I didn’t even know the guy on the inside of my broken and teary-eyed self. But over time, I began to remember and relearn what truly made me happy; I started watching my favorite shows again (but for real, Once Upon A Time is a killer show); I started eating my favorite foods again; I started listening to my favorite music again; and as I found myself sitting alone on my couch on an occasional Friday night, I began to remember who Josh really was.
Time Alone Allows You to Find Your Identity
I know this point sounds like it might mean the same thing as the last point, but there is a slight difference here.
Many times Christians get into relationships for long periods of time and they eventually find their identity in that relationship. What I mean by this is that when John and Mary were dating for two years, people rarely ever thought of John without thinking of Mary and vice versa- even John and Mary themselves! When I was in my long-term relationship with my ex-fiancé, I never imagined a time in my life without her, so naturally I began to see myself as simply one half of a duo rather than an individual with personal preferences, interests, and goals. Spending time alone after a breakup allows us to focus on ourselves again and find identity outside of the relationship.
However, this is even true for those who might have never found themselves in a relationship. Many Christian men and women who have never been in a relationship still suffer from identity crisis. We sometimes find our identity in our ministry, our position in the church, our family, our friends, our jobs, our hobbies, or anything of that matter. All of those things are wonderful, but that is not where our identity is to be found. But where should it be found and how does spending time alone help me find it? Simple answer: Jesus.
Yes, true Christian identity is found in Jesus. Big surprise, huh? It’s such a simple concept, yet so many Christians fail to see it for what it is.
When you made the decision to surrender your life to God and follow Christ, you were adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5; Rom 8:29). You might have ministries, positions, families, friends, jobs, or hobbies, but those do not define the Christian; Christ defines the Christian.
Spending time alone allows you to remember that and to rediscover your identity in Christ. Ask yourself this question: What did Jesus gain by leaving Heaven and coming to die on Earth? Surely he had everything in Heaven that he wanted, right? Not quite… What he didn’t have was you. Jesus left Heaven, surrendered to mortality, and took on a painful and humiliating death so that he could have you. When you aren’t tied down with other things on Friday night, time alone allows you to reflect upon such a radical truth and to rediscover your true identity: a child of the Most High God who was bought with a price.
Time Alone Allows You to Spend Time With Jesus
It’s 2016 and everybody is in a rush to get everywhere. Just look outside at any freeway and you’ll see people driving like maniacs hoping not to be late to work just because they waited until the last possible minute to leave. It’s such expected behavior for people my age (25) to go out on the weekends and hit up the club scene or at least catch dinner with your friends or significant others. Weekends are lit with people being social, but what about staying at home alone for a change? “That’s just too boring,” you say. God says otherwise.
As a man who works no less than 70 hours every week, I understand how it feels to always be busy, but do I really devote enough time through my week to spending time with the one who allows me to wake up every morning and go to work? I’m an assistant pastor at my church and I’ll be the first to admit that I could really spend more time in prayer and reading my Bible.
Being alone doesn’t mean you’re alone; Jesus is everywhere and he’s more than willing to spend time with you, and I can promise you that his company far surpasses even that of a significant other. Why not use your weekend-alone as an opportunity to love on Jesus a little more than you have recently? Spend time in prayer, spend time reading his word, spend time singing songs about and to him (even if you’re like me and have a sub-par singing voice). I promise that you will find peace in such an evening “alone.”
Though we Christians sometimes face days and nights alone, they can actually be for our good. I challenge you to take these words and apply them to your life. Instead of feeling so down or blue about not having any friends to hang out with on Friday night, or not having a dinner date planned for Saturday evening, feel thankful for the time you now have to learn more about yourself, rediscover your true identity, and love on the one who will love on you right back a million fold. I promise that you’ll soon start to see those lonely feelings fade away into the wind.