Everyone Needs to Belong
Monday - August 16th
Scripture to Read Today: Genesis 2:8-22
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone."
Many who were isolated and alone during the COVID pandemic have suffered emotional distress and depression. In addition, research shows that those who lived alone, especially among the elderly, experienced the rapid decline of their mental and cognitive health. As people isolated from others due to limits and restrictions designed to thwart the spread of COVID-19, their overall well-being suffered greatly.
Throughout this summer, several shared with me how much they had seen an elderly parent or grandparent lose ground emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. They have been stunned by the rapid decline. Family members have scrambled to adequately care for the needs of a loved one who before COVID seemed stable and now cannot in any sense be considered stable. For many, this has been a sad twist personally in this whole COVID battle. Some feel simply heartbroken.
People suffering because of being lonely and isolated should not shock us. We were never meant to be alone.
According to Genesis chapter two, God never intended for us to live life alone or in isolation. We all need people in our lives. God designed us to experience a sense of belonging. After creating Adam, God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (2:18). Some might argue that God had a life partner in mind - a spouse with whom Adam would enjoy a physical, sexual intimacy that would produce children. While the creation of Eve is part of the solution to Adam's loneliness problem, it does not address the entirety of what being alone meant.
Some suggest that Genesis chapter two teaches that no man is complete without a woman with whom he shares his life. They also suggest that no woman is whole without a husband. But, while marriage might be part of the equation, belonging in a relationship in a community goes far beyond the marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
Belonging with others is part of our need as humans. We cannot survive or thrive without others being there and speaking into our lives. Simply put, everyone needs to belong. Everyone needs to be known, valued, and loved. I need it. You need it. Every person needs it.
All of us were wired by God to need others in our lives - to belong. We need input and interaction with others. We cannot thrive in isolation. Others cannot thrive in isolation. We should initiate allowing others to speak into our lives. We should pursue opportunities to connect and add to the lives of others.
God hard-wired us to live in connection, relationship, and community with others - to BELONG!