Some time ago, there was a situation that made me extremely angry, to the point that I raised my voice and slammed my hands on the table. At that time, all sorts of emotions were raging in me: anger, disappointment, sadness, and disbelief at what this particular person had done.
We had given this person our utmost trust, but it turned out that behind that innocent face and a soft-spoken demeanor was a person who had lied to us and fooled us for years.
The door slammed. Right in my face. I have never had someone do that to me before; this was the stuff of Hollywood dramas, but this drama was only just beginning.
That was the response I encountered when my father asked me point-blank if I was seeing Pravin*. It marked the start of a downward spiral in my relationship with my father, two years of what my father called the “dark night of his soul”.
I did not have the best relationship with my father when I was growing up.
Like most Chinese fathers of his generation, my dad provided financially for the family and brought us on outings and holiday trips. However, I did not find him to be very emotionally present or expressive. In my head, I knew he must love me, but in my heart, I did not feel that he delighted over me or enjoyed my company.
Back when we were in secondary school, I had invited Ava, my best friend of nine years, to church. Ava accepted Christ into her life and began attending weekly cell group meetings and services on a regular basis. I was elated that my dear friend had come to experience God’s love, and thrilled at the prospect of spurring each other towards Christlikeness. However, things ended as quickly as it had begun.
After a few months, Ava told me that she no longer wished to attend church gatherings. My heart sank when she admitted that she had only done so because she did not want to disappoint me and my cell group with her constant refusals.
Perhaps you might feel like we’ve been dealt a bad hand in life—you’ve gone through job losses, financial struggles, abuse, physical ailments, or even the loss of a loved one.
Or maybe you’ve become too accustomed to the comforts of living in the 21st century, having every need met and every desire satisfied with just a click of a button.
In both extremes, the cry of the heart can be surprisingly similar—"Why bother with God?”
I could understand what the children’s pastor was saying: anything that distracts us from God, causing us to doubt and seek comfort elsewhere, is sinful.
But is the feeling of loneliness sinful or just what we do with our loneliness? And if it’s not good for man or woman to be alone, is it a sin if he or she is?
Relationships are precious and just like with your relationship with God, it requires time and effort to build strong, trusting, and healthy relationships in life. Relationships can come in many forms and can bud when you least expect—they can be beautiful, and relationships can be difficult. If you’re looking for Christian advice on how to maintain and grow healthy dating relationships, or if you’re looking to strengthen relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, read these articles to see how the Bible offers practical wisdom to help you.
YMI (which stands for Why Am I?), is a platform for Christian young people all over the world to ask questions about life and discover their true purpose. We are a community with different talents but the same desire to make sense of God’s life-changing word in our everyday lives.