Singles Struggling with a Desire for Intimacy

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As single adults, sometimes we can feel like we’re missing out on a big perk of a romantic relationship or intimacy.

  • Maybe you have been married or had a partner and dislike sleeping alone.
  • Maybe you noticed a very attractive person and fantasized about a romantic relationship.
  • Perhaps you are currently in an intimate relationship outside of marriage and know it’s not what God intended, but change is difficult.

 No matter your situation, if you are a single adult who desires intimacy, you are not alone. There is hope! We know there is hope through a relationship with God because he tells us so. Isaiah 43:1 mentions, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” No matter what situation you are in or facing, God loves you and claims you as his.

1 Corinthians 10:13 states the temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. Just having someone to relate to can make a difference!

Ephesians 5:3 says, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.” You are one of God’s people, and you are better than what the world calls normal and are called to a higher standard.

Picture it, Eve, in the Garden of Eden. God gave life, a garden, beautiful trees filled with delicious fruit, and rivers surrounding gold and incense. Animals that walked around the garden and flew above the trees. God gave purpose, freedom, empathy, peace, and, most of them all, an open relationship with him.

In Genesis 3, Eve conversed with the serpent, and he utilized her:

  • Serpent: “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
  • Eve: “Of course, we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. We are not allowed to eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'”
  • Serpent: “You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
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Genesis 3:6 states that Eve was convinced. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Eve forgot all at once about all she did have and all that God gave.

Singles, sometimes our struggling stems from what we feel is missing or lacking in our life, just like Eve in the garden.

So when you feel lonely, tempted, or just plain ole discouraged, remember your relationship with God and all he allowed you to have and do. I’ve adopted the attitude of Emily Heller (emilysquotes.com). She says,

“I’ve been single for a while, and I have to say it’s going very well.
Like… it’s working out. I think I’m the one.”

Why do I feel so lonely?

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Why do I feel so lonely? These words resonate in the hearts of not only singles but all Americans. 58% of all adults are considered lonely, and minorities are at an even higher risk, with 75% of Hispanics and 68% of African American adults responding as lonely.[1] Mental health is impacted by our feelings of loneliness, and we all process that differently. It can depend on our temperament and the cultural environment in which we were raised. Still, what we choose to medicate or address loneliness is even more concerning. Here are some ways to have different perspectives on loneliness.

People don’t fix loneliness

“No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. … But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength.”- 2 Timothy 4:16. We think people will fix our loneliness, but they won’t. No power on this earth will bring comfort beyond understanding (Philippians 4:6). When we seek people to fill our loneliness void, we are like the woman at the well whose thirst was never quenched until she encountered Jesus.

Loneliness is a reminder to draw near

That feeling of desperation, anxiety, emptiness and emotional exhaustion is not for nothing. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you restMatthew 11:28. If we never had loneliness, then we would never feel when we are closer to God and complete. What we learn along the way in life is that things don’t ever fill this void. Houses, cars, pretty spaces, toys, technology, money, and even people. Through these experiences of temporary feelings, we can only come to value the wholeness found in accepting Christ.

Be Complete in Christ

“you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:10. This is a phrase we at Table for One Ministries value profoundly and have seen resonate in the hearts of singles. As a single adult, it’s easier to feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually alone. It can even be a primary driver of reasons to be around people, places, and things to avoid being alone. But being alone is an asset, not a liability. When we see the light in our darkest moments is when we know what truly completes us.

Jesus embraced His loneliness

100% man and 100% God and sinless savior, Jesus often knew what it felt like to be lonely. He was isolated for 40 days, tempted in the desert with no human interaction. He did not sin in His loneliness. In Mark 1, Jesus often stayed outside towns in the “lonely” places, and it was there that He would often pray (Luke 5:16). In Matthew 15:34, Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” His loneliness on the cross made an atonement for the world’s sins. He sinlessly embraced loneliness for our ability to join Him in heaven for eternity.

You don’t have to be alone in your loneliness

Loneliness can have a purpose and a meaningful impact on your life and others if we allow it to. You were not made to be alone in the garden or in life, which doesn’t mean marriage “fixes” loneliness. We were made for community and to struggle alongside one another to be refined in the image of Jesus. You are never alone when you have Jesus in your life. Embrace aspects of your loneliness to draw near to the Lord, and seek wise counsel when your loneliness feelings are darker than moments and turn into a season. Maybe if we pray for purpose in our loneliness instead of praying it away, we will see God’s fullness in our lives to live on mission for Him.

See loneliness as a way to share God’s love

The statistics are clear, people are struggling with loneliness all around us. So how will we be the light that shines into the darkness to share the message of Jesus? 1 John 4 instructs us that for others to see God’s love, we have to be His love to others. That love is based on 1 Corinthians 13 and the product of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. As Christ’s followers, we must reach beyond our circle of friends, family, and neighbors to engage all the world with the love of Christ.


[1] https://newsroom.cigna.com/loneliness-epidemic-persists-post-pandemic-look

The “Friend Zone”

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No one is happy.

The ladies say the guys won’t ask them out.

The guys say the ladies stay in their social circles and won’t come out. No one is on anyone’s romantic radar.

Welcome to the Friend Zone. It’s a place that single adults find themselves at almost every church event. Sure, there are people that blast through the friend zone and find their mate through church, but more and more singles are frustrated by the “dating within the one place it’s best” to find a spouse.

So how does it happen? How can so many eligible people, with similar beliefs and values, AND the desire to date, be around each other for so long without ever developing relationships?

It’s simple and complex all at the same time.

First, let’s address it from the guy’s perspective. Guys want to pursue dating relationships with the girls. They want to find “her”. Despite what the ladies think, they are not scared of girls. That’s the simple part.

It gets complex from there. There is a dating shelf life in any singles group. Guys can only ask out a certain number of girls before they are branded a “player” in the singles group. And that’s the best thing they can be branded. The other brand is much more damaging. “Creepy”. Creepy guys are done…finished. They are the ones that girls warn other girls about before they even darken the door.

For the guys, they spend their entire time trying to figure out which girl they should pursue and how they will be branded by the group based on their actions. If a guy messes this up and is viewed poorly by the girls he is damaged. Sometimes irreparably.

From the ladies perspective, they aren’t going to pursue the guy. And they shouldn’t have to. Many of them are interested in dating, but unfortunately their pool of selection is small. Male leadership in the church is lacking at all ages and they aren’t going to waste their time with guys that won’t step up and show spiritual leadership within their group.

And why should the ladies waste their time? If these guys can’t step up in leadership in the church, how will they ever do it in the home? Showing boldness, in the minds of the ladies, begins with stepping up and asking them out.

So we find ourselves in the friend zone. We find ourselves in a place where guys won’t pull the trigger on asking a girl out because he’s afraid he’s going to get blackballed, or because another guy has called “dibs” on asking a girl out. And we find the ladies frustrated because of the lack of real mature men that want to not only ask them out, but more importantly the lack of men that are serious about their spiritual life. We end up having large singles groups of people that aren’t dating but hang out all the time as friends. They will then refuse to move into a dating relationship with someone in their group because “it’s just too weird” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” or “I think of him/her like a sibling”.

Breaking out of this is going to be tough, but here’s how we do it.

Guys, step it up. First, focus on your spiritual life. You don’t have to stop dating to do this. It’s a journey and you’ll never reach perfection. Don’t wait on perfection. Second, find the ONE girl that is special to you. Be a man and ask her out.

Ladies, give the guys a chance. Don’t gossip with your girlfriends about the guys and do everything in your power not to “brand” the ones that are genuinely trying.

It’s a two way street.

– Author Will King

It’s Just Me This Christmas

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Regardless whether a person is completely content with being single or not, the holidays for older single adults reveal a somber truth. It is logical then to see when time marches on, things change, and those who are dear to us pass on. For singles, this can create a situation they never saw coming.

 

It is just me this Christmas.

 

Small families have some amazing abilities to do more with everyone since there are less people to logistically connect with. This also means less siblings, if any, and for most singles, one Christmas day they find themselves the last of their family. We know this sounds extreme, but for one single adult this was exactly what happened.

 

Robert was an only child. He had dated a few times but never really found a person that shared reciprocal interest in marriage. Holidays were spent with mom and dad at his house. In the span of three years, both parents had passed to be with the Lord and then it happened.

 

Robert was alone for Christmas. Years of traditions with family are gone and his extended family were too far away to travel to see them.

 

Where was the Framily?

 

Robert was active in his church and had several friends. Many were close as family, they were framily (friends considered family). But they all forgot that he was a single child and both his parents had passed away. His close network of friends forgot to reach out. In all fairness, Robert also failed to reach out and seek a place to go to on Christmas Day. But, he also didn’t prepare to spend it alone.

 

We Have to Pay Attention.

 

Singles, leaders to singles, and anyone reading this blog: We have to be observant of singles in our lives and make sure we reach out often to keep them connected. In this case, Robert may had forgotten he was going to be alone for Christmas due to the busyness of the holiday season. Robert may have wanted to spend the day alone, which would be fine. But, the issue is that everyone lost sight of their single adult friend and where he was going to spend Christmas.

 

Churches Need to Connect Singles.

 

Church, however you connect singles you need to make it a priority. Singles like this one and others make up nearly half of all adults in America and as more and more adults age without a spouse, this number and scenario is going to increase. Churches need to have a focus on connecting singles in whatever discipleship strategy they have to minister to singles all year. Some will still fall through the net you build to catch singles, but your strategy to reach them will connect more than it misses.

 

Being alone for Christmas does not have to be the saddest thing ever. This blog was not out to say everyone needs to be with people on Christmas. This blog is an attempt to shine light into an area of need for the Church to connect singles at some of their most critical life moments and for the Church to reflect Christ in those times.

 

How does your church reach single adults? Do they do a good job trying to connect singles? Anything done to ensure the lone single is included during the holidays?

Get Out There

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So you are not the “outgoing type” or would rather curl up with a book on Friday night and not engage the world. Or maybe you are the “life of the party” kind of person and hate sitting in silence. Both people are created by God and uniquely wired to have a way to “charge up their batteries.” But when it comes to engaging those around us for Christ, our sole purpose for doing so should not be to only get something out of those relationships. We should also be looking for ways to give.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 a direct reason to introverts and extroverts to engage the culture and find new friends. You can see three versions of this text HERE, but the ESV says it this way:

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

As a single adult, you need to get out there and meet people for the sake of the Gospel! Not just to have someone to party with or call to watch a movie, but to meet lost people and show the love of God. These relationships are not for the purpose of dating, but for the Kingdom. But notice what Paul says, he does not do that because everyone is converting due to his efforts. He is doing this so that SOME MAY be saved. Just because you had lunch with a co-worker and there was not a baptism that followed, doesn’t mean you should give up on engaging those around you.

What is at stake is too great for you as a follower of Christ not to make all efforts to share the Gospel. If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord. Single adults have great opportunities to be flexible with their time and engage others. Single parents have connections as well through their family that otherwise some may never have to reach people. No matter where you are at as single adult, sharing the Gospel needs to be close to your heart daily in order that some may know Him.

Sunday Single Selection

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It is Saturday night and you know you should go to church tomorrow, yet you have reservations in your heart about where to go or if you should find somewhere new to go. You want to Worship and hear the Word preached, but the church you go to does not seem to get being single or you can not find a church with a singles group. Many singles have this Saturday night emotion, wanting to go to church for all the right reasons, but still desiring more in community with other singles like yourself.

Many churches don’t have a targeted group for singles, if they even seem to acknowledge they are present. Those that do have singles groups may not feel like they are targeted at people like yourself. While the emotions are valid, your response to these issues should have only one outcome and that is to go Worship with other believers. Worship is not a self serving activity where you get something for doing something. Worship is about praising God for who He is and learning more about Him through that experience. So here are a few encouragements for singles with regards to church selection.

  1. Base your selection on if the church Worships God and honors His Word.
  2. Connect with a congregation close as possible to enhance your ability to participate.
  3. Look for churches with existing singles ministries listed, if none are found it may be time to start a singles ministry in your area. Chances are there are several people like you looking for a place to connect.
  4. Bring or invite a friend to help you select a church, it helps to debrief with someone over lunch after Worship.

Finally, choose! Go to a church where God is calling you, make roots and serve. Don’t spend all your time looking when you could be connected to a church and start building a singles ministry for people like yourself. Your efforts to do so will not return void and God will honor your commitment to serve Him.

 

Is Sexting OK in My Relationship

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For those unaware, sexting is a form of provocative language between a couple using electronic communication. In a relationship, couples will often find creative ways to convey their love to one another. In years of old, this may have been letter writing or heaven forbid an actual conversation.

In any relationship communication is key, but what type of communication is profitable? For an unmarried couple sexting is crossing a line of respect for the boundaries of the relationship that honors God. If you have to ask ”Would God approve of this?” then you need to reconsider why you are doing it in the first place! At the core of these words you will find lust, and lust is sinful–not playful, and not loving.

Our response to dating singles is sexting crosses the line, it is lust and it is wrong. Even once you are engaged, it should be off-limits; you are not married and need to save something special to share after your big day. EVEN THEN, let us all not forget that the NSA is reading most anything we send and the high profile people caught sexting and the embarrassment it caused. So keep your text above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2) and have a happy, God honoring relationship.

Will Marriage Fix My Sexual Desires?

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“But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry,
for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
– 1 Corinthians 7:9

Marriage is more than a fix for sexual desires.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul addresses marriage to the married, single, widowed and divorced adults. In light of the above passage, how can any person choose to be single with such a burning sinful desire of passion? Are singles strong enough to control their sexual desires?

Prominent speakers have suggested that to be single is in effect an open sin as it is nearly impossible to abstain from impure thoughts while single. The fallacy in this opinion is that married persons do not have such thoughts, which is clearly not the case. Divorces are often caused by infidelity originating from sinful thoughts. Marriage does not fix sin, only being Complete in Christ can help fight against sin nature.

God’s Word instructs us to be strong and bold. Sexual desires are controlled–but only with God at the center of a relationship. As a relationship develops, it is not always easy. But God will reward the couple who chooses to wait. Self-control seems to be a major part of the conversation happening in 1 Corinthians 7 as Paul wishes people to be single like himself but realizes that many are too weak to do so.

This goes along with the same conversation for singles with “the gift of singleness” spoken of in verse 7 of the same chapter. The idea is that no person is strong enough to control their sexual desires and if there were such a person, they would truly have this “gift” of singleness. Yet, control is not what we, as sinners, as humans, have.

We, at Table for One, believe marriage is more than a way to fix a sexual urge. It’s a lifetime commitment. It’s a sacred relationship centered on Christ. It is not just a way to correct sin, Christ died for our sins on the cross and rose again defeating the grave and overcoming this world. Therefore we need to value marriage for what it is, a covenant between two people and God until eternity.

In this conversation, Paul is almost suggesting with a bit of sarcasm or frustration that as a last resort, the very weak should just get married if they can’t control themselves. Paul is writing with all seriousness that marriage is important and has its place, but above all, is serving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind.

Marriage should be a calling to bond with another person, not a tool to fix sin.

Single vs Married 3 Bucket List Differences

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A bucket list is a compiled list of ideas, experiences and achievements a person wants to do before “kicking the bucket” (dying). So how is that list different for a single adult versus a married adult? Here are three categories we see they are the same and three ways we see they are different.

 

How they list are the same:

 

  • Career Goals
    • Regardless of your life stage, many of us have career goals we would like to achieve in life. Be it a leadership role, working abroad, or finally finding that job that is not work because it is so much fun. Scripture is clear, we need to go and do what is the Lord’s will and seek to do good in James 4:13-17
      • Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
  • Spiritual Goals
    • Whether single or married, our status should not affect our mandates found in Scripture. Love God, Love others (Matthew 22:36-40), Go and Tell (Acts 1:8), and to hear the word’s “Well done my good and faithful servant” (Luke 19:17). As followers of Christ, our spiritual goals are the same. We want to be more like Christ every day on this earth to see people come into a relationship with Him.
  • Vacation Goals
    • Often when people make a bucket list, it is full of destinations, locations, and activities to do. This is no different for single or married adults. Singles, you should be traveling as you feel led anywhere you want to go. Go visit those places, do those things, and share them on social media while you are at it. Smile.

 

Now, here is how they differ:

 

 

  • Relationship Goals
    • Relationships take forms in many ways. For singles, the idea of being married may not be one they are led to have or it could be an opportunity never opens for marriage to occur. Others have been married and experienced the pain of a failed marriage by divorce. There are others who expected to be with their spouse till death do they part, only to outlive them and find themselves single again. Colossians 2:9-10:
      • For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete…

 

 

  • Undivided Life Goals
    • Singles have the clear advantage to live a life that is not divided as our married counterparts. Married adults have to think about their spouse and children when making decisions about, well, everything. As a single adult you have the opportunity to go where God leads anytime, anywhere. This is the advantage the apostle Paul is speaking of in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
      • I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

 

 

  • “Passing the Baton” Goals
    • Singles define family differently. Investing in the next generation may not be your direct family. Married adults see this in passing on family stories to children and having children to care on their “legacy.” For singles, defining family in the broader sense than blood-related relatives open doors and opportunities for them to share their story with others for generations to come. Just because you do not have children, does not mean you cannot pass on wisdom for the generations to come. Look to serve by sharing experiences and knowledge with others throughout all your life and let it be said of all of us in Psalm 71:18:
      • Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Marriage isn’t the Finish Line

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The big day is here! Here comes the bride all dressed in white. The groom dressed to the nines in his rented tux stands fidgeting at the front to begin a ceremony that moves even the hardest of hearts to tears. Then comes the reception including a toast from the father of bride of just how proud he is that his little girl found a man, almost implicating that a secret achievement has been unlocked allowing the happy couple to continue in the game of life, side-by-side.

Singles. Get. It.

At the same time you are happy for another couple. Everyone is celebrating a monumental achievement in the lives of your friends. But in fact, is marriage the finish line? Singles often are looking to the next milestone or marker in life. At some point, it starts to feel like the only milestone left is marriage.

But the reality? It is not the finish line of achievement.

For married couples the next bombardment of expectation is kids. And while having a pet or three helped for a while, the next finish line of life is having a baby. Once that is crossed and no less than a day after the first child, there are questions of when the next baby will arrive. After baby two, the next quiz is will there be three. Have four, and comments of birth control fill the air. Then there is college for the kids, jobs for the young adults, and future weddings! The cycle starts all over again.

Here is the point.

The finish line is defined by a relationship, just not the one you may have thought or felt from your surrounding friends and family.

Being Complete in Christ is the only relationship that will leave you complete. All other relationships build off of that relationship and running a good race is defined by it. Keeping the faith and living for God is grounded in a relationship with Christ.

Singles, always keep in mind your life not measured by this world, but by following the One who paid our sins in full–Jesus–so we can live life more abundantly.