The Seduction of Loneliness at Christmas
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year. Amid the festive gatherings, the holiday season for many bring longings for love and affection to the forefront. As I shopped for Christmas gifts this week, the song, “What do the lonely do at Christmas” by one of my favorite groups came on the sound system. I thought about how some of the most popular songs have loneliness as a major theme at Christmas.
We all will experience loneliness. Loneliness doesn’t care if we are single or married. We live in a culture that expects singles to be lonely and paints the picture that marriage is the solution to loneliness. Married women all too soon realize that having a ring on their finger doesn’t protect their heart when feeling unloved and not valued. Many find themselves committing adultery, if only in their minds, to fill the void that loneliness brings.
Loneliness makes us all vulnerable to temptation and compromise. It can cause us to seek something or someone like a sedative to ease or comfort our pain. Loneliness is not a sin, however what we run to will either draw us closer or further away from God. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves rekindling an inappropriate relationship that wasn’t good for us before just to get through the Christmas holiday.
Don’t let loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you don’t belong with.
Relationship after relationship, we are constantly trying to quench a thirst that only Jesus can satisfy. In John 4, Jesus uses the backdrop of a well to have a conversation with a woman who was lonely and thirsty.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever
drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Refusing to give God your loneliness by quenching your thirst with people and things will keep your heart parched, dry, and imprisoned. Psalm 68:6 says: God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
How can you respond to the seduction of loneliness at Christmas?
1. Admit that you are lonely:
Many are ashamed to admit that they are lonely out of fear of not being spiritual enough. We think that if we have a relationship with Jesus, we will never be lonely. Admitting that you are lonely allows you to seek God’s comfort. David wrote in Psalm 25:16: Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
2. Accept the invitation of loneliness:
God has a purpose for your loneliness. Loneliness is an invitation to deepen your relationship with Jesus. Spend time with Jesus away from distractions. Matthew 11:30 says: Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
3. Allow Jesus to satisfy your longing:
Jesus wants to take your loneliness and make it something beautiful. Write a letter to Jesus surrendering your lonely heart to Him as a gift. Wrap your letter in the most beautiful Christmas paper and bow that you have. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Download today’s journal to write your letter to Jesus.)
4. Align your thoughts:
Your thoughts can make you lose sight of what you don’t have instead of what you do have. If you are single, choose not to focus on the fact that you are not married. Don’t let your mind wander while on a date to what it would be like to be Mrs. His Last Name. As wonderful as marriage is, Lydia Brownback in her book, Finding God in My Loneliness says: Those pictures of others’ lives that we get in our minds or see on social media are rarely the reality.
If you are lonely in your marriage, guard your mind from lustful thoughts that the lure of an affair offers. Whether single or married, 2 Corinthians 10:5 admonishes us to: Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
God is right there with us in our loneliness at Christmas and always. Immanuel means God with us. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being with me. You said you will never leave me or forsake me. Help me to long for your presence more than anyone or anything. Take my loneliness and make it beautiful for your glory. Help me to sing songs of what the real meaning of Christmas is—O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.