From the beginning of time we have known that it is not good for man to be alone. The most basic of all human needs is the need to love and be loved. Yet, our mobile lifestyles create shallow roots resulting in 70% of Americans claiming to have many acquaintances but few close friends. The following are 10 thoughts on why we need meaningful relationships:
1. Mother Teresa: “Loneliness is the leprosy of modern society.”
2. 4 out of 10 admit to frequent feelings of loneliness. (Gallup)
3. The absence of relationships results in absence of affirmation, shared experience and disclosure.
4. A life unshared is only half lived.
5. Nothing so shapes us as the relationships we have in life.
6. The average American moves 11.7 times in a lifetime. (U.S. Census Bureau)
7. Ecclesssiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one.”
8. Self-absorption leaves little room for quality relationships.
9. The intimate family relationships that nurtured us in our early years are rarely replaced once the family unit disperses.
10. Social networks alone will not create the trust and shared experiences of face-to-face friendships.
Never has there been so great a need for meaningful relationships. In a fast-paced, high-tech, highly mobile society we must be intentional in cultivating connectedness and community. The joy of living well is found in stepping beyond our independence and isolation towards a quality of life only to be found with others.
Rev. Bill Shuler is pastor of Capital Life church in Arlington, Virginia.