“No one cares for my soul.” Ps 142:4 NKJV
Women who feel isolated and lonely often look to their husbands to satisfy what has been called their “soul hunger.” It’s a role many men have never handled very well. And modern life hasn’t helped. A century ago, great fellowship and camaraderie existed between wives and mothers. They cooked together, went to church together, and grew old together. And when a baby was born, aunts, grandmothers, and neighbors were there to show the new mother how to diaper, feed, and discipline. But today the extended family has virtually disappeared, depriving women of that traditional source of support. Furthermore, modern families move every three or four years, preventing long-term friendships from developing. It’s also important for women to understand that some of their needs simply can’t be met by men. In Anne of Green Gables, there’s a wonderful moment when teenage Anne says, “A bosom friend—an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I’ve dreamed of meeting her all my life.” She expresses a longing that’s common to women, but not so typical in men. It’s the need for intimate friendship. And it’s a key to understanding the depression that’s common among many women. The psalmist David captures it in these words: “There is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul.” To combat this sense of isolation, it’s important for women to maintain a network of friends through such things as exercise classes, group hobbies, and church activities. The interchange between them may sound like casual talk, but the bonding that occurs makes life a lot more satisfying.