Open your morning newspaper and you'll find columns of personal ads expressing sentiments such as these: Lose loneliness with lavish Latin lover. DPF, 30ish, petite, brunette, seeks SPM, 30s-40s, for laughter and a lifetime of love. No smokers, no drugs. Everything else is OK.
Others placing ads seek everything from a bowling partner to a sex partner, but they all risk rejection and pain in pursuit of the same goal: eliminating loneliness. The prospect of going through life alone is so unappealing that the search for companionship becomes a driving force. Ask anyone why they got married and, once they get past "because we were in love" (which I'm not knocking), they will talk about marriage as the antidote to loneliness.
Even if they didn't read that in the Bible first, they're onto something. God proclaimed that it was "not good" for Adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and it's not good for us either. Most of us expect marriage to banish loneliness by providing lifelong companionship. But look around and you'll find large numbers of couples who are married and still lonely. How does the one stated goal of marriage, God's desire to alleviate a person's aloneness, fail to come true for so many husbands and wives?
the loneliness lie
Couples feel lonely for various reasons, but the primary cause is our belief that marriage by itself will put an end to loneliness. It's a little like the man whose greatest desire in life was to enjoy barbecue hot off the backyard grill. His longing for barbecue was so intense that he felt incomplete without it.1