by Dr Trafford Fischer, Discipleship Ministries – Family, Seventh-day Adventist Church, South Pacific Division
Human connections are vital for our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families . . .”
(Psalm 68:5-6a NIV)
At the end of the creation event as recorded in Scripture, God brings His creative acts to a conclusion when He moulds man from the dust, and then declares His work “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But then He surprises us: while Adam is in the presence of his Creator, God informs him that it’s not good that he should be alone (see Genesis 2:18). Even in the company of God, man needed another human connection — another human being that could bring mutual joy and deep intimacy. God clearly intended that His created beings should always be in connection with others — to never live a solitary life.
God didn’t intend that the human heart be broken by loneliness – He made Eve to be with Adam. A human connection was the antidote for loneliness and the means to build love and intimacy.
Research in the social sciences continues to demonstrate just how essential relationships are for our well-being. The quality of our mental and physical health are dependent on our intimate relationships with others. Without relationships we wither and die, both emotionally and physically. Recent discoveries point to the fact that loneliness and isolation can impact our health to the same degree as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and can literally ‘break our hearts.’ The quality of our life diminishes when there is no one to share it with – family, friends, or spouse.
This sense of loneliness seems to be on the increase. There is growing evidence that we are becoming more and more isolated. Those much-desired close relationships our hearts long for aren’t finding their fulfilment in this digital age where we have never been so ‘connected.’ No matter how many Facebook friends we might have, we still long for a genuine human connection. We long to know we are loved and can love in return. We long to see, to touch, to hug, to hold, and no amount of plastic or glass in the shape of a mobile phone can ever provide that experience.
Our text suggests that God designed the family as the antidote to loneliness. God sets the lonely in families. It’s in family that we are to find comfort and healing, renewal and strength. It’s in our families where we are to find a sense of belonging, an identity, and a sense that we are someone of value and worth. It’s in family that we are regularly reminded that we are not alone.
Jesus invites us to be constantly aware of the significance of our families and the role they play in keeping us whole and healthy. Jesus invites us to be ‘alive’ to the needs we all share for love and acceptance, support and nurture, and human connection. Jesus wants us to awaken to just how much we need our families, and how much they need us. Jesus wants us to awaken to His vision of having a community and a nation of healthy, loving families.
God of all wonder, we express our gratitude and praise to You for our families. You have made us for relationships – never to be alone. Grant us Your wisdom and grace as we journey as families in your world. May our families continually be shaped by the love of Your Son and the Presence of Your Spirit. Awaken us to Your call to be a strong, God-loving family that can demonstrate to the world just how much you desire a connection with every human heart. AMEN.
Watch Father to the Fatherless www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSqNbikJc9Y
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- AWAKENING to Christ: Renewal in the Church and Revival in the Nation – with millions coming to Christ. John 3:16
- AWAKENING for Marriage: Renewal of marriages and restoration of marriage. Ephesians 5: 25 -32
- AWAKENING for Family: Renewal and healing for families. Isaiah 61:1
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