Can I Ask God for a Spouse?

This question is one we get from time-to-time at Table for One Ministries. Usually backed up  by Matthew 7:7.  Ask, seek, and knock, and it will be given to you. So, is it okay to pray for a spouse?

One summer’s day the sun was beating down on the Texas earth and a single adult was out playing ultimate frisbee with some friends. Hot as it was, it was nice to be outside with friends and meeting new people. In the middle of the game at the height of a tied game, he said, “I wish I was married.” Not even knowing where the emotion came from, it was tossed aside and focus went back on the game.

In the evening as these friends gathered for prayer time, the verbal statement overwhelmed the discussion and the prayer list. When it happened, the group prayed for spouses.

It is not a problem to pray for a spouse, in fact there are verses like Matthew 7:7, James 1:1-9, and Psalm 21:2 that encourage this. Here is the defining emotion in this type of prayer request:

Are you praying for a spouse to be complete, or for the “icing on the top” in life?

What we mean is, a spouse is nothing you need to be complete. The Apostle Paul and Jesus were very good examples of that! It is merely the little extra something that life has to offer in one aspect of your life.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,  and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.     Colossians 2:9-10

For this group, the response was clear. Although they found completeness in Christ they wanted to be married. And, although marriage would not define them, they still voiced the desire to be married.

This one spoken desire grew into a well-defined group prayer until the day God divinely placed potential spouses in the lives of this group of friends.

This was years in the making, not just one simple prayer. So yes, pray for a spouse if the Lord has led you to be married, but live a life that is Complete in Christ so that He will receive the glory in all things you do.

So, do you pray for a spouse?

WANTED: Tall, blond, skinny, blue eyes, from the south with a college degree…

Singles, we all have “types” when it comes to dating. From even a young age, everyone has an ideal person they think they should date. At a young age, the toy market pushes the “ideal” image of the opposite gender to children. By the time we reach a dating age, we gravitate towards someone without even realizing we have developed a vision of the person we want to date.

But where is God in all of this?

Yes, attraction is important but that attribute alone should not limit what God has in store for our lives. It’s okay to be attracted to a person and experience the desire to be with them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but if we are guilty of focusing on the first in this list and never consider if the other two attractions align with God’s will, we will miss God’s plan.

The issue we have with online dating, besides the profits companies make from singles looking to date, is the focus on physical attraction more than anything else. In the early 2000’s, a website called Hot or Not existed with only photos of people and everyone voted on whether the individuals were hot or not. For readers a bit younger, this was the precursor to the app Tender that did the same thing using a Facebook profile picture. Physical attraction is what society makes a priority on whether to date someone or not.

But God does not.

Yes, God wants us to be attracted to one another, but more importantly He wants us to be “equally yoked” with one another.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?What accord has Christ with Evil? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

Our type needs to be God’s type–who He wants for us.

As Believers that means dating other Believers. This is one reason singles groups are a good thing in a healthy church. They give singles a place to connect with other Believers. Although it is not why they exist, it is one benefit.

Singles, look for attraction in others when dating that goes beyond physical attraction. Dig into the emotional and spiritual connection you have. Dating allows a Believer to learn if someone is equally yoked with you in all ways and not just one.

Let your “type” be honoring to God and deeper than a list of physical features, accomplishments, or achievements in one’s life.

A Biblical View of Masturbation

Recently on Table for One Ministries was asked, “Is their a Biblical view on masturbation? Is it ever, okay?” Well, that’s a question that could have a volume of responses. So we are going to do our best to respond to the main theme of this question: Does the Bible have a stance about masturbation?

No. The Bible does not reference masturbation. Matthew 5:28 does talk about lusting in ones heart and often masterbation acompanies these thoughts.  It does reference “seed” but never in the context of the question presented. However, it is assumed that many times in the Bible where prostitutes are mentioned that masturbation was happening, and since the fall of man, living in a sinful world, it is an issue. The Bible does however speak about sin, addiction, and turning to the Lord in your area of weakness.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Hebrews 12:4

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Romans 7:7-25

As awkward as the topic is, masturbation is a big issue singles face. Is it okay? Can I really stop? What if I never get married? All of these questions and more arise as singles fight against that which Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7:9 when speaking of “burning with passion.” Having a sexual drive is not a 100% reason to get married. In fact, if you read all of Chapter 7, Paul is almost sarcastic in words about getting married to fix your “passion” problem. Reading further in Chapter 10, Paul says:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

You will not be tempted beyond what you can bear as a Christ-follower. There is always a way out. Masturbation is not a necessity, it is a means to an end. The final judgment of whether it is a sin or not lies between you and God. If it is an addiction or something that stands between you and God, it is a sin.

So to our anonymous question-asker, we hope this gives some Biblical grounds related to the issues of masturbation. Always remember the greatest commandment: Love God, Love Others. Make sure everything you do aligns with that core commandment.

Politics and Dating

Do you date outside your political views?

The current hostile political environment in America can affect dating relationships. We’ve heard stories of first dates asking what political party their potential mate is affiliated with. Christians in America are guilty of making a person’s political allegiances dictate their relationship interactions. For that matter, so are non-Believers.

When politics is added to dating, it becomes an even more high stakes game of selecting a life partner.

If you choose to date, politics can matter.

However, that does not mean you cannot date outside of your political party. Political camps have their own values and core issues they tend to address. These are something a person agrees with when they align with a party. However, their political affiliation does not entirely define who they are as an individual. Very rarely do people agree 100% with a political party. Political parties are simply too large an organization with an ever-changing agenda. And, it may be that a person selects a party based off one issue dear to them and that important value drives their political selection.

So which party is the correct one?

We are a 501c3, meaning we do not and never will endorse a political party. Regardless of this legal restriction, we would not favor one political party, because we select something even more important.

We select God’s Word as our allegiance.

The correct choice has always been and will always be to follow God’s Word. Both major parties in America have Biblical stances. Yet, both have views that are not found in Scripture or even mentioned in God’s Word. Instead of having a political conversation in a dating relationship, the better conversation is how each of you align with God’s Word.

God’s Word is the Final Word.

We know happy couples that vote opposite parties in every election, some married for decades. Some choose to make it an issue of debate, while others eliminate political talk altogether to avoid confrontation. The happy medium in political issues is to seek God’s Word first and have the common ground that God’s Word is the final authority on all issues. The Bible may not directly speak to every political situation, but its values certainly gives guidance to all situations.

Politics and dating can be an issue in some relationships. The importance should be placed on being equally yoked with one another.

“ Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness

have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

– 2 Corinthians 6:14

It boils down to the common factor of having fellowship with one another in Christ as the foundation for all other relationships. Being joined in spiritual community is vital to select a person to date and perhaps even marry.

There are several factors to consider when dating, but one thing is certain–do not date based on political allegiance.

Date based on spiritual allegiance to Christ.

An Eternal Perspective on Worry

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - An Eternal Perspective on Worry

I Love Jesus.

Jesus Loves Me.

I’m Going to Heaven.


Simple right? But how many hours do we worry over paying bills, our retirement accounts, and having nice cars? All for what? As born-again Christians, Matthew 6:25-34 is clear how we are to feel about this life. If you want to know more about being a “born again” check out our Am I Alone page on our website.

“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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)

I Love Jesus

Christ died on a cross and rose again as an atonement or payment for our sins. “We love because Christ first loved us.” 1 John 4:9 (ESV)

Jesus Loves Me

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have life everlasting.” John 3:16 (NIV). God loves you. Jesus loves you. When you have accepted Christ you receive life everlasting.

I’m Going to Heaven

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28 (NIV). Christ followers have assurance they will spend eternity in heaven despite our sin, despite our worry.

Life is hard. Things happen. Worry creeps in every way we turn, and we struggle over and over until we worry about worrying! John 10:10 is a simple and powerful reminder to live with less stress and as God wants us to live–abundantly!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10


Let The Games Begin!

Perhaps you have heard about this. The Game Show Network (GSN), buoyed by the success of “The American Bible Challenge,” has decided to develop another new game show with believers in mind. And so, they are developing “It Takes a Church,” a dating show where church members compete against each other to find the perfect mate for their single co-congregant. For the show, “a church will go on a mission to find love for one lucky, single parishioner…without them knowing! Each week, we’ll visit another church from across the country and surprise a single girl (or guy) with the news that she is about to be saved from the dating world. The congregation, Pastor, friends, and family will all contribute, but in the end our single will decide which suitor she is putting her faith in.”

There are so many things troubling about that description, I don’t know where to begin.

“A church will go on a mission…” Since when is it the MISSION of the church to marry me off?  Did I just really misunderstand Matthew 28?

“Lucky, single parishioner…” Not sure “lucky” is the word I would use.

“Without them knowing!” Really? That makes the person even MORE unlucky in my opinion. Granted, the person must at some point sign off on the whole deal, but that is NOT a surprise I would welcome… “Hey Susie-Q!  The church voted and decided you need our help and the assistance of a nationally televised game show if you are ever going to find love.”

“Our single will decide which suitor she is putting her faith in.”  Okay, I’m trying to remind myself that although the target audience is Christian, the show developers are not necessarily Christian themselves.  But still, this comment seems to perpetuate the idea that a single person can or should place their entire faith ANYWHERE but Jesus. I think single women, especially, hear (and sometimes buy into) the lie that if they will find a Godly husband, they can just follow him, while he follows God. Certainly, you put faith in anyone you are going to marry (if you can’t do that, don’t get married), but blindly following anyone besides God will not go well, and ultimately we are to place our faith in Christ.

I am hopeful about one thing with this game show, however. Won’t it be wonderful if it provides a platform for godly men and women to state their beliefs about God’s plan for marriage, or perhaps discuss the uncommon belief that sex was created for marriage only? God can be glorified in more venues and ways than I could ever imagine, so I pray he’ll be glorified in this, and maybe the prayers of some “lucky, single parishioner” will be answered.

UPDATE: “It takes a Church” is scheduled to premiere on June 5, 2014:

Is Me Being Single the Problem?

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Is Me Being Single the Problem-

I am a single woman in her late thirties. I have become accustomed to family and friends questioning my singleness. Am I seeing anyone? Do I want to be seeing anyone? Do I not desire marriage and family? Do I not fear an approaching loneliness as I grow older?

Not until recently, however had I been confronted with this notion that my singleness (and the many other single Christians in the church today) is a major contributing factor to the downfall of our churches, and even our nation. Nor had I been accused of committing the sin of sloth by not finding a spouse already.

When I stumbled across the website for “UnMarried: the Rise of Singleness,” a faith-based documentary currently in production, I honestly thought I had discovered a tiny fragment of dogmatic men who looked in disdain upon anyone who did not follow in their same path of early marriage and a “quiver full” of children. I was shocked, however, that as I began to research this ideology that they are far from a tiny fragment. As the traditional family unit is continually being torn apart in society and politics, fingers are beginning to point towards Christian singles as a major cause in the downfall of the family.

God created marriage and ordained it for his glory. He created us with a desire for fellowship and relationship. If marriage is a desire God has given you, don’t wait for God to miraculously drop your future spouse in front of you. Seek the wisdom of godly friends (single and married), pray for guidance and wisdom and with his leading, actively seek the spouse God has for you. But beware of becoming so focused on the search that you forget wherein your ultimate fulfillment lies. Jesus is enough. If you are not content without a spouse, you will not be content with a spouse.

On the other hand, perhaps marriage is NOT what God has for you, or perhaps not now. While we don’t know every move God has for us, he does not leave us scrambling in the dark searching for our next step. We have the promise of Isaiah 42:16 (among many others), which states “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” I want to be on the path God has laid out for me. If I am in His Word, in constant communication with Him, and walking according to His leading, I will end up where He wants me to be (which may include seeking and finding a spouse, or may not). Until God has prompted me in that direction, however, I will continue to be single and continue to believe I am in His will to be so.

Is Singleness Causing a Downfall of our Churches? Our Nation?

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Is Singleness Causing a Downfall of our Churches- Our Nation-

Singles are sometimes confronted with a litany of (inappropriate?) questions, such as “why hasn’t anyone married you yet?” As uncomfortable and potentially insulting as those questions are, there is now the theory that singleness contributes to our nation’s downfall.

That is among the points of Family Vision Films new faith-based documentary now in production called “UnMarried: the Rise of Singleness.” The film includes interviews with theologians, families, married adults and single adults to understand why people choose “delayed marriage,” or “prolonged singleness.” The film seems to take a firm stand against singleness, operating under the belief that Christians should marry young, with the decision to marry being perhaps more important than the decision of who to marry. One article recently linked on their Facebook page lists ten reasons to marry and have children at a young age. UnMarried specifically approves of reason #3: “Because you will never really find the right person and if you do, you’re probably not the right person for them.”

In the “pre-trailer,” one interviewee states that singleness “is the fundamental problem of our social systems. It is a fundamental problem with our churches and education systems, and it will yield severe, severe, socio-economic problems in years to come…If we don’t address this issue, we’re done. There is no future for the family. There’s no future for the church. There is no future for our Nation.”

The filmmakers are using their Facebook page to conduct research for their film. They ask questions for their followers to respond to, post links to articles that address singleness and/or early marriage, and allow followers to voice their own queries. Their followers are on a spectrum from believing God will provide you with a spouse in his timing to believing it is a parents responsibility to find a spouse for their eighteen year-old (or younger) child.

Follow Table For One Ministries on our Facebook page as we repost some of the questions and links UnMarried is using for research and respond with your comments. We would like to have a healthy, Biblical discussion on the issues, myths, and outright insulting fallacies being stated today about the Christian single. Furthermore, we want to highlight some of the invalid and unbiblical arguments facing singles, particularly Christian singles, today.


TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Freedom

Fourth of July, Independence Day; the day when Americans celebrate the very heart of our national identity—our freedom. While we celebrate that freedom with hot dogs and fireworks, and acknowledge the great sacrifices individual citizens have made to secure it, we also need to remember that our national liberty is ultimately of this world.

The only true freedom is found in Jesus Christ. Part of his mission was to “proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isaiah 61:1). When we give Christ control and make Him Lord in our lives, we are granted an eternal freedom that can never be taken away from us. Each time we lean towards the world and away from God, we waste the freedom for which Christ died. Our pride and stubbornness can lead us to think we have the “right” to do as we please (1 Corinthians 10:23). But Paul warned against such behaviors. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13)..

For more than two centuries, American soldiers have fought and sacrificed for our freedom. They have striven to ensure our “unalienable rights [of] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—our very freedom. Not just to dream of what we want in life, but to chase those dreams. What a waste, therefore, to sit by idly, letting our days go by without pursuing our happiness.

Likewise, and much more importantly, Christ died that we might have abundant life (John 10:10), or as The Message puts it: “more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” Jesus came to release us from the slavery of sin.There are some sins in my life that I seem to repeat over and over. I get tired of fighting my sin. I find myself praying that God would not get tired of me asking forgiveness for the same sin I needed forgiveness for yesterday. Many of us struggle in this way, but if I give up struggling, if i give up the pursuit, I am squandering my freedom.

I would not want to explain to a soldier, someone who sacrificed for my freedom, that I treated that sacrifice as anything less than a precious gift—that I did not pursue my happiness with everything I had. In the same way, I have no desire to explain to Jesus that I gave into my flesh and abused the freedom He gave me—that I chose not to pursue the abundant life he has for me.

This Fourth of July I pray that I will serve others “humbly in love,” pursue the dreams God has given me and thereby honor the One who made me truly free indeed.


Looking for the perfect date?

TFO - Table for One Ministries- Ministry for Singles and Leaders to Singles - Blog - Looking for the perfect date-

As kids growing up we have a simple view of the way things should be in life. Money should be easy to come by, we will have big houses like we see on TV, and people get married to Mr. or Miss Perfect. There is only one problem with this, no one is perfect but Christ, Isaiah 6:3. Life is also full of sin, trials, tribulations, and hardships. We are all sinners and make mistakes and seem to make more of them the older we get, Romans 3:23.

You find yourself as a single adult, unmarried and looking for someone out there like you, “a good Christian.” So you set your bar high, you don’t look for anyone with kids already or a divorcee. You want someone to be a virgin and preferably a college degree with no financial burdens. You even have some physical preferences that only a small percentage of people will fall into, but it’s ok to want these things because you are Mr. or Miss Perfect. Wrong.

When you truly turn the mirror on yourself, you will find a person full of sin and unable to pass most of the tests you hold as a standard for others. You have sin in your past that not many people know and you try to forget about, but it is there. The reason you don’t think about it is because Christ died once for all sinners and sins, 1 Peter 3:18. So you are covered by grace and forgiveness of your sins. If you have been forgiven of those sins and yet you still judge others for their mistakes, you have created a double standard when looking for the perfect date.

Single adults, you need to pray to God for guidance of who to marry and follow His path to a person He chooses for you. Follow God’s choice for you if and when you choose to date. Set aside all your presuppositions of what you are looking for in a mate, and ask God who you should date.