Yesterday, in one of my Theology classes, I brought up the idea that humans need one another. I must have hit a nerve because there was an uproar from my students. I explained that I need my husband. Quite a few of them were outraged to think that I needed someone else. They said, “You are an independent woman. You don’t need anyone!” I explained to them that I am strong enough and independent enough to accept that I do need others. I tried to convey to them that it is acceptable to be vulnerable and without opening ourselves up to others we will never truly love. One student stated that if you need others that can lead to an abusive relationship. My students fought this concept of need very loudly. A few agreed that they need God and their parents and that was O.K. Needing others was just unacceptable.
My students are ages 16-18 and are living within a tug of war. They are children to their parents, teens to their teachers, and adults in their own mirrors. They long for autonomy, they are living right on the precipice of adulthood, but they are not quite ready to jump yet. I remember that feeling, thinking I wanted children, but I didn’t need a husband to give me any. I wanted to be in control and to do it my way. I was ready to lead my own life instead of having others control me. I get where they are coming from right now.
God created us to be social beings. God wants us to love (willing the good of another, living selflessly for others) ourselves, others, nature, and God. God wants us in community. We believe in a triune God; The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God lives in community with himself. We were made in God’s image we need one another, we complete one another. There is no shame in needing others, the need was created by God for a reason. So, instead of fighting this natural instinct we should learn to understand and embrace it by truly loving others. We don’t have to live our entire lives protecting “self” we need to love by giving of our”self” to others. By our very nature God gives us the will to need others. I am not going to fight what God placed as good, pure, and in his image within me. Instead I am going to accept the need and love others.