Splitting Up

When a person you love is phased out of your life, for whatever reason, when a friendship is amputated, for whatever reason, the experience can plunge you into terrifying darkness, the nearly-drowning terror the Psalmist describes, 'All your waves and breakers have swept over me' (Psalm 42:7).

   For one thing, there's the apparently interminable inner pain. Like a constant whiplash which no hand restraints, it cuts into your flesh until you are beside yourself with the horror of the pain. At the same time you might be consumed with anger: 'I've done all this for him and he just abandons me.' And there's the stunned disbelief: 'How could she just ditch me like that after all we've shared in the past?' Then there's the dread: the lasting anguish of being alone again. As one young man expressed it to me: 'The worst thing is not having anyone to belong to. That feels strange after all those months of being together.' Or as a widow once put it, 'The worst thing is having no-one to nudge. You know. I'm looking in a shop window or riding in the bus or watching television. I point to something, even start to say, "Look!" And he's not there. Then I realized he's gone. He's not going to be there.'

   'He's gone. She's gone.' Such realization, such absence, such emptiness, has to be taken seriously. It can carry untold pain. It is accompanied, very often, by incessant weeping. It may even come with heart-dulling fear: 'Supposing it will always be like this? Supposing I'm unlovable?'

   Is this sorrow inevitable, profitable, or is it wallowing in

Page 125

self-pity? How are you supposed to react to an unwanted ending to a relationship you're appreciating? Is there a way to soften the blow when the decision is not mutual but one way? When should we call it a day? Is it possible to revert to a platonic relationship afterwards?

   In this chapter, we must centre our thoughts on such questions. How we react to such severance of friendships is of great importance. It tips the balance between an experience of utter desolation or one of prolific spiritual growth and an increase in freedom.

Is sorrow wrong?

'When my girlfriend and I split up, we both went through a terrible low patch. Is there a right and righteous and profitable side to sadness or is anything like that just wallowing in self-pity?'

   Someone asked me that question at a Christian Union meeting on one occasion. I was grateful the subject of post-relationship blues had been raised. It is an important one which is not often aired.

   What happens when a really close relationship breaks up, is exactly the same process people suffer when a loved one dies. At first you feel stunned. You can't take it in. You look at life as though you were seeing it through double-glazed windows or from an airplane. You are aware that it is happening but, although life goes on as normal, it seems to bear little relevance to you. This is the stage when your feelings are deep-frozen; when you can stare at a beautiful view yet not see it, when a blackbird can be singing in the trees outside your window, but you are incapable of hearing it. It is the phase when any form of beauty passes you by.

   These feelings eventually thaw out. The tears might then flow fast and freely. It is important that you allow them to do so. They are a language. They are expressing feeling so deep that they cannot be summed up in words. Even if you are a man, weep. To cry is not unmanly or un-Christlike. 'Jesus wept' (John 11:35). It may be un-English but that is unimportant.

   'Grief-work', as this process is called by psychologists,

Page 126

almost always includes not only tears, but anger. The person whose loved one has died will find someone to blame: 'If only I hadn't asked him to pop down to the shops, it wouldn't have happened.' 'If only the doctor had come five minutes earlier he might have got her to the hospital in time.'

   The same principle applies when friends let us down. We find someone to blame. It might be ourselves. 'I must have been blind. Why didn't I realize before that he was like this? Why haven't I taken note of the trail of hurt he's caused — always making excuses, not keeping his promises.' Or it might be the other person. 'He's so selfish. He doesn't deserve a girlfriend. He only thinks about himself. He wants me when it suits him and that's all. 'It might even be a third person. 'She's been trying to get him for weeks. Now he's hooked.'

   Then there's the pining and the searching. When a loved one dies, this can be agonizing because, however hard you search, the loved one cannot be found. But when the loved one is only a telephone call away, the temptation is to pick up the 'phone and to make contact. That is why a couple whose relationship is dying will often drive their friends crazy. One day the relationship is off, the following weekend it is on again. This yo-yo relationship might continue, up and down, up and down for weeks, even months, before it finally fizzles out.

   These painful grief procedures must be worked through; the pain must not be repressed. Repress it and it will pop up again in a disguised form a few months later. Work through it, like a tug-boat plodding its way upstream, and you will find a miracle taking place however slowly and gradually. You will nose your way into unexplored and exhilarating freedoms; you can have a new and deep relationship with Christ.

   Therefore, to feel stunned for a while, a part of the world yet strangely distant from it, is not wallowing in self-pity, it is normal. Weeping is not necessarily wallowing in self-pity. This soggy stage, too, is normal, therapeutic. To pine and search is not wallowing is self-pity. It is normal. Even being angry is not necessarily wallowing in self-pity. It is also

Page 127

normal, although, as Christians, we have to learn that difficult art of being angry but not falling into sin (Ephesians 4:26).

   You cross the fingernail-think border between grief and self-pity when you allow this all-consuming sadness to fill your horizon to the exclusion of everything else. You cross over from grief to self-pity when you refuse to pass on from these initial stages of loss to the next, essential stages: where you deliberately detach yourself from the loved one, where you forgive yourself and the loved one for any mistakes which have been made or any hurts inflicted, and where, last of all you wave goodbye to the loved one, to the relationship as it was and the relationship as it might have been, and you uncurl your hands, a sign, as it were, that you are ready to receive from God whatever he chooses to give you in place of this partner.

   These later stages, of course, do not happen all at once. They come gradually. They may take months rather than weeks. They come through prayer. They come through trust. But as they come, they can bring a priceless gift with them: a deeper relationship with Christ.

A new love-relationship

This, at least, was my experience on one occasion. When I was an undergraduate, I fell in love with a fellow member of the committee of the Christian Union. He was the president, I was the secretary. For months I loved from afar. Then I plucked up courage to allow my feelings to be known. Our relationship deepened as the months passed. But when, one cold November day, he told me that 'it was not God's will' for us to go out together, I was devastated.

   My room-mate's listening ear brought one form of comfort. But the disappointment and humiliation and sense of loss ran so deep that human words and human hands could find no access to the root of the pain. It was then that I discovered for the first time that aloneness need not spell loneliness; it can mature into that lovely thing called solitude.

   I remember studying the Song of Solomon at that time and

Page 128

being stirred by God's bridegroom-love. I remember his gentle in-breathing, his tender touching of those grazed and bruised places deep within. Although that crisis erupted nearly thirty years ago, I look back on it as one of the lasting landmarks of my spiritual growth. In my lostness, God found me. And to be found by him is special.

   He has not changed. I am watching similar growth take place in a very attractive young friend of mine at the moment. Her relationship with her boyfriend broke up recently. She was stunned. She cried, she was angry, she was tempted to pick up the 'phone just to hear his voice once more. But every week, it seems, she gives me a fresh bulletin. 'Joyce! The Lord is being so good. First he showed me how selfish I am — then he seemed to go out of his way to show me, just in little ways, how much he loves me. Now he's giving me such a close relationship with himself. Prayer is terrific.'

How can we soften the blow?

Even so, when the decision to end a relationship is a one-way decision, the blow could cause deep and lasting pain: the horrendous pain of abandonment, the crippling pain of rejection, and the dull, persistent ache I described at the beginning of this chapter. If we are to fulfil the law of Christ and love our partner as we love ourselves we must cushion them as much as possible.

   Part of this cushioning will be done apart from the partner by praying for them, before, throughout and after the break-up. Part of it will be done, not by what you say, but by the way you say it. Communication experts assure us that the words we use make up a mere 7%  of the message we convey while the tone of voice contributes 38 % of the message. The other 55 % consists on non-verbal communication: the expression on our face, the look in our eyes, the appropriateness of our touch, the genuineness of our concern. And part of the cushioning will come through the reasons you give for pulling out of the friendship at this moment in time.

   If you want to pull out because you are attracted to someone else, you must say so. If you want to pull out because the partnership no longer provides a springboard for

Page 129

serving God, you must say so. If you want to pull out because you are no longer able to give your partner the kind of love which is essential where both partners are to grow, you must say so. But in saying so, if you are to soften the blow, it is important that you accept full responsibility for your feelings. As Selwyn Hughes rightly observes, 'Speaking the truth in love means using the truth as observation and not as accusation.'1 In other words, in this situation you would refrain form over-spiritualizing in a woolly way, 'I don't believe God wants us to go out together any more.' You would refrain from accusing, 'You're pulling me down spiritually,' Instead, you might say something like, 'I know it's going to be hard for you to hear this. I know it could feel as though I'm rejecting you. I'm not fed up with you, nor do I want to reject you, but I'm finding myself unable to give to you and our relationship in the way I used to. It's probably me, but I find I'm further away from God than I used to be and the relationship doesn't seem to be helping...'

   Of course it would not come out exactly like that. You can't rehearse such a speech and make it genuine. But you can get the point: don't blame, don't accuse, don't compound the problem by lashing out or bringing up past mistakes. Accept your uncertainties as yours, express them as yours and be gentle, loving, yet decisive.

When?

And, of course, the timing is often crucial. 'I sometimes wonder what God thinks about our relationship. I sometimes ask him but he doesn't seem to say anything. So I don't know whether I should stop going out with my boyfriend or not. If I do, when? And what reason should I give?'

   The girl who made that observation to me was going out with an unbeliever and God had clearly been convicting her for several months already that certain changes in the relationship were long overdue.

   When, like this sincere young Christian, we ask God a direct question like: 'What do you want me to do about this friendship?', three things are necessary. First, we must be honest enough to ask ourselves the question, 'Do I really

Page 130

trust God?' Second, we must be brave enough to face the question, 'Am I really willing to hear what he says, to be guided by him?' Third, we must be self-aware enough to confront the challenge, 'Am I prepared to hear his answer?' If we can say 'Yes' to each of these questions, then we must search or wait for God's answer.

   I say 'search' first because one of the antennae God has given us is the mind and we must use our minds to discover what God's revealed Word, the Bible, has to say in reply to our question. We might find the question does not require a writing-on-the-wall or God-speaking-in-a-dream reply because the reply is there in front of us in black and white in the pages of the Bible.

   For example, the girl I have already mentioned had been going out with an unbeliever for nearly two years. They had indulged in sexual intercourse on several occasions. She admitted that if they continued to go out together, she would be unable to resist the temptation to repeat the sexual sin; she was not even certain that she wanted to resist.

   What does God's word say about such relationships? Psalm 1:1 puts the situation in a nutshell. 'Happy is the man who never follows the advice of the wicked, or loiters on the way that sinners take' (JB). Paul puts it even more succinctly: 'Do not harness yourselves... with unbelievers' (2 Corinthians 6:14 JB) The pen-picture Paul paints is powerful. Harness yourself with an unbeliever and you create an uneven team. The picture is of a mature ox yoked to an immature one. Both partners of the pair suffer chafing to the shoulders because of the unequalness of the pairing. Just as oxen need to be carefully and evenly matched, so do we.

   If you are going out with an unbeliever and you also want to live biblically, you have to apply the following questions to the Bible passages we looked at earlier: Are you prepared to listen to God? Are you prepared to be guided by God? Are you prepared to trust God with your entire future?

   'I don't think I could give my boyfriend up even if God asked me to. We'd split for a couple of days, then we'd be back together again. I like him that much.'

   The speaker was the same girl I mentioned earlier, the one

Page 131

with the non-Christian boyfriend. Although her lip-prayers asked God the question: 'What do you think of this relationship?', her heart-prayer dictated the answer: 'Please don't ask me to give him up. At least, not yet.'

The cost of commitment

Why? Why are we so reluctant to hold any relationship on the open palm of our hand? Why do we tighten our fists around relationships so that God himself cannot pry the person from our tightly clenched knuckles? The reason is that we are less committed to Christ than we think we are.

   In his powerful little book, The Cost of Commitment, John White reproduces a challenging letter written by an unknown American communist to his fianceé. The letter was an attempt to explain why he was breaking off their engagement.

We communists suffer many casualties. We are those whom they shoot, hang, lynch, tar and feather, imprison, slander, fire from our jobs and whose lives people make miserable in every way possible. Some of us are killed and imprisoned. We live in poverty. From what we earn we turn over to the Party every cent which we do not absolutely need to live ....

   There is one thing about which I am completely in earnest — the communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, my mistress, my meat and drink. I work at it by day and dream of it by night. Its control over me grows greater with the passage of time. Therefore I cannot have a friend, a lover or even a conversation without relating them to this power that animates and controls my life. I measure people, books, ideas and deeds according to the way they affect they communist cause and by their attitude to it. I have already been in jail for my ideas, and if need be I am ready to face death.2

For this American, communism was his treasure — the pearl for which it was worth abandoning everything.

Page 132

   Jesus said, 'The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field' (Matthew 13:44, italics mine). The implication here is clear: commitment to Jesus should so grab us that we long to offer him the kind of total devotion which motivated this communist's life and choices.

   The seemingly reckless man in the parable, like the communist, stood still, took stock and acted accordingly. They both re-evaluated their priorities. In the light of their number one priority, they reshaped their lives. And, as Christians, we are called to make that same degree of commitment: love for Jesus (which means obeying Jesus) is our life-goal. Everything else either falls into place under the King's shadow or must be shed if it is incompatible with the life of the kingdom. We cannot cling to treasures of the old life and, at the same time, hold up eager, cup-open hands to receive the treasures of the kingdom. There is not room for both.

When two Christians part

But maybe you have been going out not with a non-Christian but with a fellow believer? Maybe your relationship used to be good for both of you? Maybe it had grown stale? Or you have become inward looking? Maybe you feel uneasy for other reasons?

   If you accept my thesis, that such relationships exist for the support of both partners and to further the emotional and spiritual, the sexual and relational growth of the fellow and the girl, it follows that when the relationship seems to have outgrown this function, this will be the autumn of the friendship. Autumn inevitably leads to winter.

   That is not to say that either partner should be tossed into the toy cupboard like a discarded, once-loved teddy-bear. It is to say that the time has come for the couple to recognize that the need for change exists, at least for one partner; that this change is inevitable and must be effected as gently, as lovingly, as painlessly and as quickly as possible. Long-drawn-out partings are the most agonizing: they do nothing

Page 133

to diminish or eliminate the inevitable anguish. They increase the desolation of the partner who continues to cling.

   If you know the curtain fall is coming, therefore, be decisive. Finality is, in fact, kinder than dilly-dallying. 'When Jonathan came around and told me it was all over, that he was, in fact, attracted to someone else, I knew that was it. It was senseless to hope any more. He meant it. I could tell. I wept buckets and I'm afraid I was very angry but in a funny way, it helped me. I knew I had to get over it. I knew I had to get over him.'

Getting over it

How do you get over it? How do you ensure this becomes a rich period of your life? How do you re-establish a platonic relationship with your partner? We must move on to look at these pertinent questions.

   I sometimes wish that Christian fellowships would become more acutely aware of the needs of those in the painful transition period under scrutiny. Their role in the life of the Christian at this stage is vital. Their contribution could even tip the make-or-break balance.

   There is absolutely no point in telling someone who has just 'lost' their boyfriend or girlfriend to snap out of it. This they cannot do. Neither will they necessarily find themselves consoled by or helped by Bible reading, fellowship meetings or prayer at first. During the initial shocked phase I described, nothing penetrates. The role of the fellowship, then, is not to nag, not to condemn, not to criticize, not even to advise, but simply to be sensitive and to pray the person through the tunnel; to go on praying until they have struggled to the sunlit mouth at the tunnel's furthest end.

   If you are in the position of loss yourself, although it may be hard to admit you need help, ask a few trusted friends to pray for you. Knowing that they are doing so will release you from pressure and may well result in a much faster, more effective recovery.

Making it a spiritually rich time

At the same time, there are things you can do to help yourself

Page 134

avoid the snare of self-pity and to ensure that this becomes, for you, a spiritual landmark.

   First, make a clean break from any mistakes you made in the relationship which leave you with a stain on your conscience or with pangs of regret. Second, forgive yourself and your partner. (For suggestions of ways to do this, see the last chapter of this book.) Third, recognize that there are three things you can do with the anger which flares inside you: fight the flames, run away from them, or switch off the gas. In this situation the healthiest way to cope with the anger is to recognize that there is little, if anything, that can be done about it now. Therefore, switch off the gas by handing the anger to God, let him sift it, extract what is sinful and receive back from him only what is righteous anger. Relax. And fourth, trust. In other words, acknowledge that your life and the whole of your future lie, in C.S. Lewis's memorable phrase, 'between the paws of Aslan', in other words safely in the hands of the Lord who rules the universe. Fifth, make a list of the good things which the relationship gave you and thank God for them. Sixth, drop your anchor back into the haven of God's presence. And rest.

   You might find a version of the following prayer will help you over the hump.

'Lord Jesus Christ, you see me just as I am. Thank you that I do not have to hide my brokenness from you. You see the bruises and the scars. Thank you that your hands will touch and soothe me with gentleness and love.

   'Lord, you know how I failed you in this friendship. The memory of ___________________ burdens me. Please forgive me for ____________________ and forgive my partner for ___________________ . I give to you my pain and my anger. Sift the anger, Lord. Take away what is stained with sin and hand back to me only the anger which is righteous indignation. May I gradually turn my back on what might have been. Would you illuminate this present darkness with yourself. Relight the flame of trust in me. I want to trust you for my future. I want to discover you in the middle of the present turmoil. Even more, in my lostness, I want to be found by you. Thank you for all that

Page 135

you gave me through this relationship; for ___________________  and ___________________  and ___________________ . May I, strengthened by these gifts of love, enrich the lives of others, even meet them in their need even if I am only one of your wounded healers. The little craft of my life seems very storm-tossed at the moment. The sea of life seems so big. May I drop anchor in the harbour-calm of your love. May I be filled with your peace. For the glory of Jesus. Amen.'

A prayer like that could be the beginning of many new beginnings, particularly the beginning of an ever-deepening friendship with God, a subject we shall return to in the next chapter.

   As well as reaching out for help from others and consolation in God, I have two other self-help suggestions to make. First, do not neglect Christian fellowship. Second, rediscover the delights of being unattached to one particular person.

Christian fellowship

When two people in love allow the roots of their lives to intertwine, the relationship can consume huge slices of time. It often happens that such couples cut themselves off from the fellowship. We realize how unwise we have been only when the relationship ends and we find ourselves like a dislocated arm hanging loose from its socket.

   The wise thing to do is to slot ourselves back into our rightful place so that we can function normally again. Although this is wise, we often resist it. Pride is one reason. Fear is another. Spiritual apathy is a third. We fear to return after weeks, maybe months, of absence. Even if we do return, we may find ourselves critical of the set-up because it does not seem to meet our immediate need. The problem here, which we must come to terms with, is that nothing and no-one will meet our apparent need. What we think we need is so often confused with what we want. We probably want one thing only: the return of the relationship. In the absence of this we feel empty. The fellowship will never be a substitute. But it can offer a supportive ministry, and that is what we really do need at this  moment in time.

Page 136

Enjoy your freedom

As we discover this for ourselves, so, too, we can rediscover the perks of being unattached to a particular person. There are some. Indeed, there are plenty! As one young man put it, 'It's strange. I miss her. But I'm quite enjoying being free again. It's quite good to be unattached.'

   The unattached person enjoys complete freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom of friends. Enjoy all these to the full. Use the opportunity to make new friends. In particular, enjoy the stimulus of group friendships, going to concerts with several people, relaxing with a mixed party of people, using your flat or bed-sit or college room as a base for entertaining a vast variety of acquaintances, or for drawing alongside others in need.

   Margaret Evening, in her classic book on singleness, tells of an occasion when she did just this:

One extremely cold winter's afternoon, I lit a roaring fire in my lovely Cornish-stone fireplace, drew up a settee, plumped up the cushions, put my feet up and settle back for a cosy afternoon with a box of chocolates and a novel, with Polycarp (my cat) wrapped round my feet. The novel was The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge. I read of Mary Montague who was crippled by a fall as a child. In her dreams she planned a life full of adventures, but gradually as she grew she realised that never would she embark on those adventures, and her chances of marriage were almost non-existent.

   With no prospects of a career or marriage it seemed that she was doomed to life-long boredom, but then in a moment of awakening, it dawned upon her that loving could be a vocation in itself, a life work. It could be a career, like marriage or nursing, or going on stage. Loving could be an adventure. Firstly, she accepted the vocation and took a vow to love.

   God spoke to me through Mary Montague that afternoon... I suddenly saw how my loving had been lacking in energy because I had been harbouring resentment (against God, I suppose) that I hadn't a husband and

Page 137

children ... Staring at the fire, I prayed to be delivered from the bondage of my own yearnings and longings and to be gloriously freed from the feverish desires that could block the path of such a vocation .... I put the novel on our side ... and went to fetch a young colleague who lived in a dingy bed-sit. I found her huddled over the one bar of a totally inadequate electric fire, still wearing the anorak that she had put on that morning whilst the room 'warmed up'. She came home with me and together we toasted our toes in front of the fire and talked into the night. For both of us there was far more warmth in that weekend than came from the fire blazing in the hearth.3

That kind of friendship requires, not skill, but courage and overflowing love.

   If you are musical, make music. Music is not only a ministry to those who listen, its unique ministry percolates deep down to touch the unexpressed, often unacknowledged needs of those to whom the gift has been entrusted. If you stop to think about it, this makes a great deal of sense. Music is about harmonization. When we make harmony, when we replace fragmentation with integration, we make peace, 'shalom', peace as Jesus gives it.

   Even if you cannot make music, you can create beauty. God is a God who delights to garnish his world with loveliness, to bring order out of chaos, a well-watered garden from the howling wilderness. In small, but significant ways, we can become imitators of him. In our home, for example, even where this is one room in someone else's house or in a nurses' home or hall of residence, by using our imagination we can introduce simple, but striking, breath-catching splendour: a perfect pine cone collected from the woods, a single flower in a vase, a particular poster which points Godward. Embellishing your 'pad' in this way does something to the 'inner you'. It motivates you to live for today, to live fully and creatively in the present, to refuse to fritter away God's precious gift of the here-and-now by indulging in useless daydreams.

  Was this why Betsie Ten Boom transformed the condemned

Page 138

cell where she lived with a number of other women? Corrie Ten Boom, Betsie's famous sister, records:

This cell was charming ... The straw pallets were rolled instead of  piled in a heap, standing like pillars along the walls, each with a lady's hat atop it. A headscarf had somehow been hung along the wall. The contents of several food packages were arranged on a small shelf... Even the coats hanging on their hooks were part of the welcome of that room, each sleeve draped over the shoulder of the coat next to it like a row of dancing children.4

If you find yourself unattached after many months of being attached, make friends, make music, make beauty. And determine, with an act of the will, to make the most of this no-man's-land, if such it proves to be.

   There are things you can accomplish without a partner which you cannot do so easily with a partner in tow. I was amused to read Barbara Cartland's recognition of this fact recently. At 83, she still writes twenty-five lucrative, best-selling novels a year. She is supposed to have admitted to one newspaper reporter, 'Of course, I couldn't do all this with a husband.'

   There are things we can do for Christ while we remain single and unattached which the married person cannot do. Adventure into these projects. Enjoy them to the full. Live fully in the 'here and now'. Apart from the personal legacy this will leave to you, it will bring glory to Christ. As Irenaeus put it, 'The glory of God is a man fully alive.'

Renegotiating the friendship

And what of the friendship? Can that be renegotiated on a new set of terms? Can it revert to a brother-sister relationship in Christ once the romantic has evaporated or hopes of marriage been slashed? I believe it can. But it takes time, resilience and a great deal of grace.

   Let me quote from Corrie Ten Boom's book The Hiding Place again. In that book Corrie recalls the occasion when the

Page 139

young man she loved and who, she believed, loved her, arrived on her doorstep with his new wife. It had not occurred to him to warn her so the shock and bewilderment left Corrie reeling. It was in the quietness of her own room that she tried to come to terms with the pain, the anguish, the confusion and the grief. How should she react? What was to happen to her love for him? How could she prevent herself from becoming angry, resentful or bitter? Questions like these plagued her.

   Eventually — and it took time — she struggled to the big-heartedness where she could pray for them both, love them both, and ask God to enrich their marriage with his love.

   Not many of us will be entrusted with that degree of pain. What might puzzle us is how to react when we meet our ex-boyfriend in the lift; how to react when we see our ex-girlfriend going out with someone else.

   When you have let go of the friendship as it might have been, if both agree that friendship within a low-key framework is beneficial to you both, it is possible to meet in a group situation to laugh, to learn, and even to have fun again. But it takes time, as I said, and the determination to break through the embarrassment, to allow the past to be past and to enjoy all that the present friendship offers.

   'It takes time.' the no-man's-land between the relationship as it was and the friendship which might emerge from the ashes can be a lonely time. Loneliness must therefore move to the foreground of our minds in the next chapter.

Notes for chapter eight

1. Selwyn Hughes, Marriage as God Intended (Kingsway, 1983), p. 56.

2. John White, The Cost of Commitment (IVP, 1976), pp. 52-53.

3. Margaret Evening, Who Walk Alone (Hodder and Stoughton, 1974), pp. 200-201.

4. Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place, quoted in Who Walk Alone by Margaret Evening, pp. 184-185.

Chapter Nine  ||  Table of Contents