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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"One is the Loneliest Number"

Many years ago, a hit song’s lyrics were all about the numbers one and two:

"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It's the loneliest number since the number one

One is the loneliest number . . .
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do"*

It was a hopeless song, a bit mournful, and not exactly the most imaginative lyrics ever written. (There’s more to it, all about loneliness.)

I couldn’t help but think of it when I read a news item in World Magazine. Women who are tired of waiting for Mr. Right and want to have a beautiful wedding without a man, can now marry themselves! They can do the whole wedding thing—without a groom: flowers, dress, photos, venue, etc. ** and marry themselves!

I thought, “One is the Loneliest Number.” Then, I thought of all the expense in order to do something entirely for one’s own self.

It’s a whole lot different when the ceremony celebrates a marriage—God joining two into one for life. That has meaning. That is the beginning of a family. That’s something God can bless.

But, to “marry” one’s self almost makes a mockery of marriage. The single woman is still a single woman at the end of it all. Yes, she’ll have some pretty pictures in a pretty dress. Maybe she would invite guests and have a nice dinner and a pretty cake she cuts all by herself. But, to me, instead of a celebration, a lot like that song, it only accentuates the loneliness and hopelessness. I mean, what’s a “wedding” without a groom?

On the other hand, if a single woman wants to dress up and get professional photos made, why not? (Just don’t wear a wedding dress.)

If she wants to host a lavish dinner for guests, go for it! But, do it as a friend for friends—not wearing a wedding dress and inviting them to a non-starter.

The 1969 hit record says one is lonely. And, anyone who lives alone can say amen to that. It also says, “two . . . it’s the loneliest number since the number one.” Frankly, that can be true as well. Anyone who’s married goes through lonely times—times when their spouse doesn’t meet their heart needs, times when they feel very much alone.

I believe this is why it’s so important not to look for people for completion. A single woman doesn’t need to have a manless wedding for happiness, either. There is only one person in the whole world who can fill the hole in our heart, and that’s Jesus.

There will still be times when we feel alone, but the Bible says:
  • Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:20b).
  • Asaph is talking to the Lord and says, Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand (Psalm 73:23).
  • Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:10).
  • For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5b).
Perhaps my favorite Bible passage about God caring about me, knowing about me, and always being  near is this one:

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting
 and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me;
even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day:
the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
when I awake, I am still with thee (Psalm 139:1-18).

Single or married, the most important relationship in a woman’s life is her relationship with Jesus. First, she needs to know Him. She needs to let Him save her from her sins. The Apostle Paul said, This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief (1 Timothy 1:15). When a woman sees herself as a sinner in need of a Savior, she can cry out to Jesus for salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). And, that’s how the most satisfying relationship of her life begins.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
(Revelation 3:20)

One without Christ is the loneliest number.

With Him, you have an eternal Companion.


* “One is the Loneliest Number,” by Harry Nilsson, sung by Three Dog Night

** World Magazine, August 6, 2016, “Weddings for One”

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