"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin."1
Over the past couple of decades I have had the opportunity to teach numerous adults—including many singles. One of the points I continually emphasize is that, while it may not be most desirable for many, we can live without romantic relationships, but we cannot live healthy lives without healthy relationships or connections. We need to be connected in spirit to at least one loving and accepting friend such as a trusted soul-mate, without which we limp along in the shadows of life. This teaching applies to married adults as much as it does to single adults. If, in marriage, you are not truly connected to your partner in an in-depth way, you can live together alone apart, and die a little every day. I know. I was there once. I had to learn the hard way.
And how do we become connected in spirit? We do this by walking in the light, which means bringing our "dark side" into the open and being honest with at least one trusted friend or soul mate. Only then do we have true fellowship and connection—with God and others. Only then do we open ourselves for "purification from every sin."
As we confess our failures, sins, weaknesses, and our true emotions and motives, to safe people—or at least to one safe friend—and are not judged, condemned, or put down, but loved and accepted as we are, little by little we learn to love and accept ourselves. This in turn heals us from the pain of our loneliness, emptiness, and self-rejection—one of the major causes of adding to our acting out in sinful, addictive, and/or self-destructive behaviors.
The point to remember is that when we are acting out in self-destructive ways, we are disconnected. To overcome and live victoriously we need to stay connected—to our inner-self, to our dark side, to safe people, and to God.
None of us can make it alone. God never meant us to. All the spiritual exercises in the world, no matter how good, will not help us to live victoriously without this connection. It is imperative that we stay connected in wholesome, healthy relationships to safe people as well as to God.
Without personal, courageous honesty there is no connection, there is no recovery, there is no healing, there is no walking in the light—and there is no intimacy either with God or people. Anything less is but a poor shadow of the real.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be and to find a trusted soul mate with whom I can be totally open and honest. And help me to stay connected to my inner-self, my dark side, to safe people, and, above all, to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name."
1. 1 John 1:7 (NIV).