The Love Chapter

Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - The Love Chapter

You roll out of bed on a Sunday morning at the last possible minute and arrive 15 minutes late to your local church small group meeting. Today’s topic is on 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter.” Great. You settle in for a morning talking about couples and love and how they can love one another. You’re not annoyed by the comment the teacher makes that one day this will apply to everyone, even singles.

But, you are just tired of feeling like you are left waiting for one more day.

Then after a time of worship the pastor comes to the pulpit and also preaches on the same passage. Already filling in the blanks in the bulletin, you hear the words, “The love in 1 Corinthians 13 is not about a wedding poem, it is about how love should be in the lives of everyone.” You perk up! The pastor continues his sermon, getting into the meat of the passage, explaining how to define love regardless of one’s life stage.

This love is the love anyone can have in Christ, single or married.

Your pastor gets it and your group leader gets half of it.

This passage is not just about a marriage love relationship, or about making a wedding ceremony sound all fluffy. It’s actually a hard passage about what it take to love as Christ has loved us.

Singles, you may not always feel like the sermon is about you. Sometimes we even are biased if it is not. But, if you are open to God’s word, regardless of the speaker, you will see a Gospel that values your life stage just as much as everyone else in the room. You are Complete in Christ and His love is more than enough.

Fear the Table for One

Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Fear the Table for One

Fear is an interesting word. Its use invokes emotion from all who have known its grip. The sensation of helplessness is all too often the motivator behind fear. After a horror movie, fear comes from thinking about not being able to control things like you saw on the screen from happening to you as you drive home alone. In finances it comes from instability of knowing the future and wanting to control your financial future. In life fear often appears as worry of what is going to happen in the future.

As a single adult there is a lot to fear or worry about. There is sometimes pressure from friends and family to find someone and settle down, worry over finances with only one income, and how to balance a social life that honors God and does not break the bank. Then there is the dating scene if you choose to be in it! What clothes to wear or where to even look for a potential date play a small part. Then you feel pressure to have nice things to impress the other person to make a “good first impression.”

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25 NIV

God’s word tells us all of the worry is completely useless. It takes practice to ground this good habit into your life. But we must in order to show our trust in Him.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

God desires for us to rest in Him and for Him to be in control. There is no reason to fear or worry about a table for one scenario as a single adult. Go out and enjoy life and do not worry about eating a meal alone or thinking you need someone by your side to enjoy life. As a Christ follower you are complete in Him. You have nothing to fear or worry about when you completely trust in Him.

LGBTQ Adults are Single Adults

Table for One Ministries - Singles Ministry - Blog - LGBT Adults are Single Adults

It is Table for One Ministries’ intent to have an open dialog for the local church to discuss how to effectively and lovingly reach the homosexual/same-sex attraction community. The premise of this blog is the following: marriage is between one man and one woman, all homosexual activity is a sin, every person is worth reaching, and Christ died for all. With this base in place, this writing does not seek to argue the vast points that can sprout from within these statements, but to look beyond them to find an effective means to reach the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBTQ) community.

Single adult ministry is broken down into seven areas of singleness– never married, engaged, same-sex attraction, formerly married, widowed, single parents, and separated adults. Within these categories is a wide expanse of reasons for why adults find themselves categorized as single. Some adults are single because they never found the right person, their spouse left them by choice or by death, or those who choose to forgo a typical marriage relationship for co-habitation. However, there are those who feel an attraction to the same sex. By Biblical definition, homosexuals cannot be considered anything except a single adult. If a homosexual couple considers themselves married, even in a state where the government recognizes this action, the church with a Biblical definition of marriage cannot recognize this union, and therefore, within the church, they are considered single adults.

It is Table for One’s opinion that the church should be welcoming to all people of all backgrounds in order to reach the lost for Christ. That means that the church should and will have homosexuals coming to its building and it needs to find a group to connect them with others in their life stage. This is not just those who are openly homosexual, but those who struggle with the idea of same-sex attraction and fight to not act upon it.

A scenario such as this has played out in churches across America; a homosexual couple comes in the doors of a church and asks which Sunday School class they should attend. If the church directs them to a married adult class, that action validates the sin they are committing and actually enforces it with church resources. The church should not and cannot take this action unless it compromises its view of a Biblical relationship. However, by sending the same couple to a single adult class the church does not compromise its stance on a Biblical marriage while offering a place for them to attend. Will this action offend the couple in the scenario? Maybe, but for those that have chosen to come to a church with a Biblical stance on marriage, the church demonstrates a place for them to still attend.

This single adult class referred to above is not a group focused on the conversion of every homosexual that comes in the door, rather it should be a place where any sinner can enter to find fellowship, Biblical training and the Gospel presentation. For this model to work, the church must embrace the idea that the act of homosexuality is not grounds for church banishment. It is a plan of action to accept any person and give them the Biblical foundation for a life in Christ. Its discipleship plans and programs are the same regardless of the type of sinner in attendance.

Don’t Assume My Table for One

Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Don't Assume My Table for One

I love to eat out. In fact it’s one of my favorite things to do in my week. It’s not that I overeat, I just enjoy going out and tasting new things and meeting new people. I even include it in my monthly budget so I am responsible about my table for one dining experiences.

One particular night, I walked into a restaurant and ran into some church friends. They are not from my class but people whom I know fairly well. There was an extra seat at the table and then it hit me. I would really like to be invited and not have to be at a table for one this evening.

I usually embrace my table for one. I do it almost all the time and never think twice about it. But every once in awhile I don’t want to be at a table just by myself, and I want to enjoy the company of friends, family, and those in my life. It’s easy to assume a single adult is okay with their table for one, but the point is to not assume.

And that evening I felt alone more than I had in a long time because I wasn’t even given the chance to avoid my table for one.

Community is a huge part of our lives as single adults. Married adults, please hear me when I say we can be friends and there does not have to be a chasm between our lives. I know I’m at a different life stage, but let’s try and find some middle ground between isolation and the third wheel that is Biblical community.

Let’s love one another as Christ has loved us and never assume anything about one another. So, will you join me for dinner tonight?