Saturday, February 21, 2009

Needing Others

Is it okay to desperately need others? Or what I mean is, as a “Christian,” is it okay to need the love of other people? Does acknowledging this make me less of a Christian; that maybe my need in some way means God’s love isn’t enough for me? Because no matter how “close to God” I may or may not feel, I still recognize this deep need to be loved by others. I believe God calls us to love others as he loves us, but for some reason to me this has always sounded like some sort of service I’m doing for others and not for the benefit of myself. As if I’m graciously bestowing my love and death to self since after all you are in great need. I, on the other hand, am the mature one holding the supply of love and not requiring any for myself.

Is it a sign of growth to recognize I can’t live in solitude, or does this mean I am sad and co-dependent? I used to think I was on this team with God and every problem life threw me could be solved with more prayer or bible reading. And if for some crazy reason life seemed to be falling apart anyways obviously I wasn’t really praying hard enough or with a pure enough heart. I just needed to be a little more spiritual. Exhaustion, depression, and loneliness pretty much summed up that period of my life.

I know that God is ultimately where my hope should lie, but does this mean that needing others is bad? There seems to be a lack of humility somewhere when I believe that God has given me all the strength and love life requires. I think there has to be a balance. A middle ground that allows me to accept the love and care of others while still valuing myself and who God made me to be. I can’t believe that desiring love and acceptance from other people makes me a weaker person. At least I hope not.

Is there a line though? When is it healthy to need others and when is it not? Is it okay as long as my self-worth isn’t at stake? I know that by God’s grace I am His child and loved unconditionally. I also believe that no one will love me as fully as Christ. Yet I have to believe relationships with other people also have purpose and one far greater than simply alleviating boredom in this life. I think God puts the people that are in my life for a special reason. Though I don’t make any claims of having it right, I do deeply desire to love and be loved. And yes, I think that is good.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

1 comment:

Binx said...

I sort of think this one of those areas where we live in the tension. I think you're right, there is a balance between having relationships with each other that are valuable and meaningful, and also letting God be our 'all'. Our relationships can't be everything to us; we weren't designed that way. But they are still a very important part of us. And I don't think acknowledging the need for others is weak or co-dependent. On the contrary, it takes incredible courage and a strong sense of self to admit things that make us more vulnerable. But I truly believe that's a God-like response. As always, I love reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing :)