Love for the Lonely – Christian Family Solutions

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By Angie Molkentin

This article first appeared in the April 2024 WELS Women’s Ministry Newsletter.

Have you been called to encourage someone who is lonely? Opportunities abound:

  • Your daughter is lonely because friends at school snubbed her.
  • Your coworker is lonely because she doesn’t have a social life outside of work.
  • Your friend is lonely as she faces life without her loved one by her side.

Ministry to the lonely is critical now more than ever. A 2024 poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) finds that one in three Americans feels lonely every week. Studies show that loneliness increases risk for physical and mental health issues. So addressing loneliness before it spirals is important for physical and spiritual well-being.

Women are 1.5 times more likely than men to reach out to a friend or family member when they are lonely, according to the APA poll. That means each of us has an important mission field right in front of us. It takes great courage for someone to open up about their loneliness. As Christians, we are called to be prepared for these conversations (1 Peter 3:15).

Here are seven truths you can express in conversation with a lonely person:

1. You are not alone in your battles with loneliness. Elijah, David, Paul, and even Jesus felt moments of loneliness. Loneliness is a consequence of our sin-afflicted world.

2. You are deeply loved by your Savior Jesus. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). Your Savior loves you so much that he was willing to go to the lonely cross where even his own Father abandoned him. That is how precious you are to him!

3. Your God is always with you. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Your risen and victorious Savior promised to be with his followers before ascending to his throne. His presence can be hard to feel when your heart hurts, so think about the next truths …

4. You are really in His presence when you receive the Sacrament. The bread and wine are your physical connections to your Savior who loves you. He wants you to receive his presence regularly.

5. God ministers to his people through people. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us” (1 John 4:12). When we love and care for each other, we pour Christ’s love into one another. If you look around, you see evidence of God providing.

6. God provides you with people. “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6). Even if members of your earthly family cause strife, you are a child of God and therefore you have family. Your fellow believers in Christ love you now and look forward to sharing heaven with you. Seek out your Christian sisters for support and offer it to others when you can.

7. Ask for help. Sometimes loneliness leads to deeper problems that require the more experienced counsel of a pastor or a mental health provider. Consider the resources available and refer your friend to help.

Perhaps you are tired because so many other lonely people depend on you. Tired is its own kind of lonely. These truths can be a comfort to you, too. God is ministering to you through your connection to Women’s Ministry. May you be blessed by it, as you are a blessing to others.



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