It’s Just Me This Christmas


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?

Single Parent and Complete in Christ

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Complete in Christ not just a lifestyle. It is a mindset that no matter what happens or what worldly influences persist, wholeness is found in the Lord. Single families need to be reminded of Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…

Single parents need a Biblical foundation to affirm their family is not an accident. It is not less complete, or in any way a punishment for a lifestyle. Single parents need to acknowledge God knew their child before he or she was even formed in the womb.

For single mothers and fathers out-of-wedlock that means even though the parent did not follow God’s will regarding no sex before marriage, God knew that child’s life before they sinned, and that child’s life is consecrated or set apart by God. There are no mistakes or accidents when it comes to how single families are formed according to God, regardless of the circumstances that create a single family.

Likewise for single parents of adoption, God entrusted the single parent before the adopted child was even conceived. Their adoption is not a chance of fate, but a divine appointment. Their family was planned by a Holy God long before it came to fruition.

For single mothers/fathers that are widowed, there was no mistake about whether they could or could not handle the situation given to them. They are Complete in Christ, and God knew the widow or widower could raise a family alone and that the child would have a home that could be filled to the point each person in the home could be Complete in Christ.

Lastly, for single mothers/fathers of divorce and their children, God hates divorce. As Malachi 2:16 tell us, it is never His plan. But, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 7 that even Moses had to grant divorce due to the sinful nature of man. Children should not be a chess piece in divorce or a reminder of a failed past relationship. God knows each child in the womb, and He sets apart each one’s lives. Therefore, single parents of divorce need to be Complete in Christ, even if they were never complete in their prior marriage.

The single parent needs to be mindful of Romans 8 where we are told there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Only Christ can complete someone, not a relationship, and certainly, not a spouse.

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.

Shoes & God’s Other Wonders

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Whenever I ride the metro in Madrid, I look at people’s shoes. I know it seems weird, but I can’t help it. There are just so many varieties and colors, I can’t seem to take my eyes off them. Red shoes, big shoes, clean shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, shiny shoes, work shoes, high-heeled shoes, muddy shoes, expensive shoes, old shoes, and even high-top shoes. Shoes can be powerful things. Marilyn Monroe is quoted as saying, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can change the world.” We all know it worked for Cinderella.


In the Old Testament, after rescuing them from slavery in Egypt, God miraculously gave the children of Israel shoes that never wore out for their long desert journey.  Although this was a very practical provision for them at the time, God had another clear reason for doing it. Deuteronomy 29 says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feetI did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God. ” Would Adonai, the majestic Triune-God really use something as simple as shoes to reveal Himself to His people? It seems He would and did.


God also used shoes as an indication of His faithful provision and love for His covenant people. In Ezekiel 16, Israel is described as a parentless child who has been abandoned, naked and cold, in a field.  He protects her until she comes of age and then takes her as his bride. Shoes form part of His marriage gifts and symbolize His commitment to protect and care for her always. They are made from the finest of leather. In the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, shoes are an indication of the privilege of sonship along with a fine robe and a ring for his finger. His new shoes publicly redeem him. His past is forgotten, all is forgiven, and he is restored.


Finally, shoes form an essential part of the armor of God for the well-equipped Christian. Paul, in Ephesians 6, was most likely describing the shoes Roman soldiers wore to battle. They were made of one leather piece, including the laces. They were also equipped with hobnails on the soles to give grip for climbing in difficult terrain. They were built to last, built for battle, and built for walking. In the same way, God fitted us with His shoes of eternal peace for knowing and believing the gospel. Let’s use them to accomplish His will in the world.  


As you put your shoes on in the morning, don’t forget who you belong to or who provides everything you need. Shod your feet with the gospel of peace and run down every path God gives to you. Then…maybe a good pair of shoes really can change the world.

Silent Christmas Morning

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A single parent has to live with the reality of the first Christmas without the kids. The glow of the Christmas lights from the tree is the only warmth that fills the room. What started out years ago as a joyous holiday morning filled with traditions has disintegrated into court documents dictating where kids will spend the holidays. The fridge is empty as there is no need for a great feast and delivered pizza is left over from the night before.

A silent night is full of joy, a silent morning full of sorrow.

Single parents, we understand your holidays are not Norman Rockwell paintings and yuletide cheer from singing around the fireplace. Even if you are the one with the children at the holidays, there is still something missing around the tree. Divorce is approaching 50% for America couples. This statistic means that one out of two homes on your street have this type of Christmas. Even for singles who have not experienced divorce but adopted become a parent find that missing “something” in the air on Christmas morn.

Your Church Needs to Reach Single Parents

In churches everywhere, Christmas Eve will be a candlelight service and singing to a Savior’s birth to come. But, how often do leaders stop and realize just how many people in their audience are experiencing the above-mentioned scene just hours after they leave the church? Will your Christmas Eve service have childcare provided? After all, that single parent in the pew is doing their best just to get everyone gathered to arrive that evening. What a blessing it would be if the preschool hall were open for them to have a moment with the Lord. As the kids get older they can engage in that worshipful time, but how will you minister to the younger families?

You Need to Seek Out Single Parents

Your church needs to have a plan to connect single parents into the life of the church. Singles groups are a great way to do this. Singles without children can help fill the void of a missing parent for that single mother or father that joins their singles group. Another great way to support single parents is connecting the parent to married adult families. The point is to have a way to connect single parents in every ministry in the life of your church. It is worth it! Keep in mind nearly half of the families on your street are experiencing a silent Christmas.

God Needs to be the Focus

The key to every single family is to remain focused on God. When you gather for the holidays, be cordial to one another and reflect the love of God to your children no matter how bad the situation may be with the other parent. Single parents, you know personally what it’s like to share your kids with someone else.

Treat the situation with love by remembering God sent His only Son into the world to share Him with us so that He paid the price of sin on the cross for the world. He gave His only Son through a virgin Mary. You know those emotions and need to remember and apply the love this Christmas.

Single Parents Keep Traditions Alive

A final word of encouragement–keep family traditions alive at Christmas. Even if they have to be modified or the ex may not participate, keep traditions strong. If you have adopted children, pass down your traditions and start new ones.

Everyone remembers holidays traditions growing up. Establish pleasant memories for your child. Keep the Christmas spirit alive.

Parents, we don’t promise things will be easy. Life is hard. Surround yourself in the Love of God and find His strength in those around you.

The Single Parent Family Defined

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The contemporary family of today cannot be defined as a nuclear family consisting of a mother and father and children. Families come in different sizes, different ways, and many consist of one parent. Single parents are no longer defined in only one singular category. Single parents come from varied backgrounds, generations, and socioeconomic settings. Single parents can be categorized in four broad categories that define and more accurately refine the way in which they became single parents: widowed, divorced, through adoption, and child out-of-wedlock. Each of these categories will be defined below.

As single parents now make up nearly 40% of all parents in America, the local church needs to consider this statistic. A healthy and growing church that reaches families should reflect its local community’s demographics of its local community’s demographics. This should result in a church that incorporates single parents of all categories and whom have children in preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school.

Ministerial staff need to understand their local church should reflect the demographics around them to include single parents. The result of this reflection is building a discipleship platform of which a single-family home can participate in the same way as a nuclear-family home. This includes curriculum, finances, and time commitments that have often been geared towards a traditional family with two parents present.

The first category of single parents are single mothers/fathers by divorce. In the United States, the divorce rate fluctuates around 50% for all marriages. It is very hard to find a reliable statistic for this information as many surveys collect data differently. So Table for One Ministries will average those findings to 50%. Of those divorces, one statistic is for certain–the average age for a first divorce is 30 years old.

Secondly, single parents are defined as being a single mother/father by being widowed. The average age for the widowed is now 57 years old, meaning it is not just elderly who are widowed. Single parents are widowed as well.

Single parents are thirdly defined as single mother/father by child out-of-wedlock. With the average age for marriage rising to 29 for men and 27 for women, and the rise of socially-accepted sexual relationships, it is again easy to see just how many parents fall into this categorization. Furthermore, almost 14 million unmarried parents live alone with their children–10 million mothers, 1.7 million fathers, and 1.9 million couples.

Lastly, single parents are defined by single mother/father by adoption. Adoption can come in many forms and event countries. Single parents who adopt may do so from the foster system, a known relative in need, or by surrogate. On the rise in this category are same-sex attraction couples who are Biblically single and looking to have a family. Same-sex attraction couples amount to 3% of the general population, but are increasing their adoption rates. The key principle to apply in the local church is not all single parents became so by sinful actions. Some make a conscious choice by loving a child through adoption.

Single parents are not just mothers and fathers. In fact, over 820,000 grandparents are the primary caregivers in a child’s life in America, a statistic that is rising. People affected by single parents are everywhere. Single parents may include a broken family from a sixteen and pregnant female to the person in their forties whose spouse abandoned them and their children. Custody battles are often drawn out and expensive, with little positive results, leaving children who are hurting and looking for a place to be loved.

Every church community is affected by single parents, and churches need to create environments where the single parent and the children raised by single parents can be reached. So how does your church create welcoming environments for this wide variety of single families?

Same-Sex Attraction Singles are in YOUR Church

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In the Christian community we often find “super sins” that the majority of believers find to be so offensive that they are unwilling to reach out to anyone who has committed them. Homosexuals are often placed in this category of “super sin.” Many believe that the person with such an open sin against God cannot know God while struggling with or acting on that sin. Are these sins really so offensive that one cannot find God or even be a Christian and commit them or have committed them in their past? Is the same-sex attraction lifestyle one that it is not worth reaching unless a person has fully turned from that life to enter the church? Table for One Ministries asserts that church members are quick to welcome drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, even murderers before openly welcoming homosexuals. We at Table for One could not disagree more with this attitude of focusing on one sin differently than others.

Denominations have compromised Biblical integrity, for the sake of love, in order to welcome the LGBT community in its doors. The church should not bend its moral mandates in order to be open to all styles of life and preach the Gospel of love with no refinement of becoming like Christ. Christ came so that every person may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Christ died for whoever would believe in him would have eternal life and not die (John 3:16). So, when Christ commissions the church to go and make disciples and baptize them, the church must reach out to the LGBT community for the sake of making disciples and baptizing them (Matthew 28:19-20).

But how does the church interpret those in the LGBT community who claim to have a relationship with Christ and still continue to practice homosexuality? Several Scripture passages inform followers of Christ that they are not to judge another person’s faith commitment, yet their faith commitment can be measured by their actions and keeping the Lord’s commands (1 John 5:3). We protest that a commitment to Christ is only judged by God. Every person walking through the doors of a church should be treated the same, as a sinner separated from God and that separation can only be healed through acceptance of Christ. For a church to truly embrace the LGBT community, it must embrace the idea of bringing any type of sinner into its church. Only then can a church reach out to that community and others in aspirations of the Holy Spirit changing their sinful behavior.

Lastly, it is our belief that the only way a homosexual will change their sin is with the Holy Spirit working in their lives. For that to happen, the church needs to provide a place for homosexuals to learn about the truth of God’s Word and allow the Spirit to speak into their lives for change.

Some in the LGBT community who attend church will be those who professed Christ at a young age and still do. It is then the Church’s place to do what Christ has instructed–make disciples of each and every person within the church. It is the hope of any minister that those in their ministry will turn from sin and draw closer to Christ. Dealing with homosexuality is no different; the same prayer should be offered–that the person will turn from their sin and follow closer to Christ. The difference in this approach is to not isolate one specific sin which would only isolate the person. Giving the same grace to every sinner, no matter the sin, allows an environment for the Holy Spirit to work in all people’s lives to draw nearer to Christ.

So what do you think? How can the church be a place where those struggling with same-sex attraction can feel welcome to walk through the doors and hear the Word of God?

Assuming About Single Parents

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Too often we assume. When we see single parents there is an assumption that premarital sex probably occurred and that the other person is long gone abandoning their children. There is also an assumption that single parents almost always come as mothers, not as fathers. Finally there is an assumption they can not do it alone and the phrase “I don’t know how you do it” always seems to slip out.

We would like to interject into this conversation the idea that most single parents did not plan to be such. Things happen. One night stands, a moment of passion prior to marriage, a spouse cheats on the other and leaves, a spouse passes away, or a spouse just stops loving and walks away from their commitment. Once these and more things happen a person finds themselves a parent raising a child alone.

Enter Singles Ministry. Your singles ministry, as well as the rest of the church family, should become a part of their family network that may be missing from the lives of these kids and parents. Single parents may choose to remarry or date, but often that becomes secondary to their children and ensuring they get everything they need. A singles ministry can not fill the void entirely, but it can build relationships that support and encourage single parents. This is why single parents need to be around other singles and not just other single parents. They need the support of a group, which they can not get when they are isolated.

Singles: single parents are single, too. They need to be a part of your life and you need to be actively engaging them in your local church. If we believe as singles that we are complete in Christ, all the more reason to remind single parents they are complete and not an unfixable family unit.

Table For One’s Statement on Marriage

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Table for One Ministries’ mission is to build community for single adults through discipleship. Our ministry focus is helping singles to fully realize their completeness in Christ. Yet we also affirm the importance of marriage and believe that being Complete in Christ is not just for singles, but for married individuals as well. Additionally, while we desire to help churches reach and minister to the ever-growing single population, we want to acknowledge the importance of marriage in God’s redemptive plan for this world.

We affirm that biblical marriage is established by God as a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. Marriage is intended to be the perfect example of Christ’s relationship with His church and a living example of the gospel of forgiveness, grace and mercy. The marriage relationship provides the only acceptable channel for physical intimacy between a man and woman. Additionally, marriage is God’s plan for procreation and is vital to fulfilling His will for both mankind and His kingdom.

We believe in the institution of marriage, yet we recognize that there are many Christians who are single for numerous reasons. Our goal is to contribute to the wide-ranging singles community and guide each individual, no matter their marital or relational status, to desire and develop a deep and intimate relationship with Christ. We want to promote the active Christian single lifestyle that does not wait on marriage to fulfill a much needed Christ-like role in the world today.

Coping with Loneliness

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Loneliness can come into our lives in many different circumstances. You may be the only person in your home. Society can make a single person feel alone or you may be suffering without no one to turn to for comfort. You may be sad over the loss of a loved one.

Each single adult is faced with the decision to allow loneliness to pervade in your life or not. Being single is not easy. Budgets are tight, friends are sometimes harder to find, churches may not understand why you are still single, and family pressures are increased to find yourself someone to marry. You may have children, lost a spouse, or coming out of a divorce. Often these situations create a void that leaves you feeling alone.

As a single adult, motivate yourself daily to follow and honor God in all you do. Doing so will prioritize goals and values every day and help keep loneliness at bay during your journey. We believe as a single adult everyone has a few days a month they feel alone. If you are lonely in your journey less than few times a month, you’re doing pretty good! While we cannot fully control our emotions in this regard, we can choose to not dwell on them and instead, focus on Christ. For those singles with the desire to marry, it’s a hard task compared to those who are content with their singleness. Regardless, it is Table for One’s stance that if you can go the majority of the month without feeling alone, you are living life to its fullest as a single adult.

The is a loneliness in each of us that can only be filled by a Savior. Jesus understood this. He was 100% man and 100% God. Isaiah 53 says the Savior would be “rejected by all mankind” and He was “familiar with pain.” In his final hours, the men who He invested in His ministry left his side (Matthew 26:56). Mark 15:34 tell us that in His final moments, “…Jesus cried out in a loud voice, …My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” as He took the burden of our sins on the cross, alone.

Christ desires a relationship with each of us so we will never be alone. After Christ rose from the grave, He told us in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even until the end of the earth.” We are never alone.

He loves you so much and wants to have a relationship with you.  You are never alone as a single adult with Christ! Share this news with others around you and be a witness to them of the love of Christ.