Everyone comes into the world unable to do even simple tasks.
The moment you were born, you were totally dependent on others. As you grow and mature, a major part of your development is learning how to meet your own needs and do things for yourself.
No matter how much you grow, there is one basic need that you and I will never be able to meet on our own: the need for relationship.
I consider myself pretty independent, so needing to rely on someone else is exceptionally hard. Being vulnerable enough to allow another person to meet my relational needs can be challenging, but building a wall to protect myself from relationships is worse in the long term.
As J. Ronald Lally and Peter Mangione explain in their article, “Caring Relationships: The Heart of Early Brain Development,” published in Young Children, the need for attachment to others is necessary not only to a person’s future social and relational success but also to vital brain development.
The need for a relationship seems to be hard-wired into us.
As adults, we no longer need to be as close to our mother or primary caregiver to feel safe and secure, but we all still have a deep need for connection with others. We all desire to be fully known and fully loved by others just as we are.
If relationships are such an important part of our health, then why can they be so hard? Why do so many headlines declare that loneliness has become an epidemic in this generation?
People can spend their lives looking for love from one person that they think will fulfill them. That love will meet their needs, satisfy their desires and give them a reason for living.
The problem is that it can’t be found in another imperfect, broken person who also has needs to be met.
The reason so many people never find the kind of love they’re looking for is because they are looking for it in the wrong places. Your relational needs were never meant to be fully met by other people.
While you are designed to thrive through relationships with others, the deepest need anyone has is a relationship with God. He made you to be loved by Him — in the perfect way that only He can love you.
God knows everything about you — the depths of your shame, pain and wrongdoing — and He still fully and perfectly loves you. He loves you so much that He would sacrifice everything just to have a relationship with you.
Experiencing this kind of love has changed my life. The security of knowing God loves you, no matter what, allows you to be more open to relationships. You may not be able to see God or hear Him in a physical way, but you can “hear” Him on a spiritual and emotional level that gives you confidence and peace.
Have you been let down by relationships with others? Do you long to be fully known, accepted and loved by someone? If God is real and could love you like this, would you want a relationship with Him?
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