Single on Purpose

Single on Purpose

I wish I had owned Beth Knobbe’s new book 30 years ago when I was single and wondering why. If I had read Party of One: Living Single With Faith, Purpose and Passion, I think I would have lived a happier and more fulfilling life as a single woman in a couple’s world. I probably wouldn’t have driven up Kirby Road every day on my way home from work with my fist raised in anger to God for not sending a man deserving of me into my life!

The entire time I worked with Beth Knobbe during the development and writing of Party of One, her second book, I could see clearly that her insights and wisdom and practical tips for living single would help many men and women who are trying to make sense of their lives. Her grounding in Scripture and Church teaching, plus her own life experience—and that of a great group of friends who contributed essays to Party of One—make this a must-read for anyone single, whether by choice or circumstance.

Myths of being single

Beth divides Party of One into three sections:

  • “Living Single With Faith,” which explores purpose, humility, wisdom, gratitude, forgiveness and discernment;  “Living Single With Purpose,” which looks at solitude, stewardship, simplicity, friendship and community; and “Living Single With Passion,” which examines freedom, love, intimacy, generativity and hope.

In individual chapters she addresses the myths of singlehood, with plenty of her own and others’ stories:

  • Life begins at marriage.
  • Marriage equals wholeness.
  • You’re not an adult until you are married.
  • Singles want to be set up.
  • Single people have “issues.”
  • All singles should consider religious life.
  • Being single means being alone.
  • Being single is a selfish way to live.
  • Singles tend to define themselves by their work.
  • Men and women can’t be just friends.
  • The Church cares only about couples and families.
  • Singles live a carefree life.
  • The more singles date, the more they increase their chances.
  • Sex—everyone is doing it.
  • If I don’t get married soon, I will never have children.
  • If we break up, there will never be another.

Invitation to self-discovery

Party of One makes the road to self-discovery a bit easier to navigate, and Beth thankfully ends each chapter with relevant Scripture passages and questions for reflection that are suitable for individual or group use. The “Try This” suggestions that conclude each of the three sections are wonderful and doable ways to integrate what you’ve just read into your own life.

Beth M. Knobbe

As Beth so wisely writes, “Whether we are single for a brief time or forever, singleness is an invitation to discover who we are, to live our lives in the present, to not be trapped by our past or so consumed with the future that we fail to recognize the many gifts and opportunities that await us right now.”

Even though I am married now and shaking my fist at God for new reasons, I found Party of One inspirational. It is a book that invites you to look closely at why you live the way you do and how your life can be one of abundance and joy.

Party of One has already become my favorite gift for singles—as a thank you for helping me and as college graduation or birthday gifts. All the singles in my family circle will get a copy this year for Christmas!

Featured photo by Andrzej


About the Author

Lisa Biedenbach, director of product development for St. Anthony Messenger Press books, works to identify great writers whose insights and experiences can inspire and inform us about the Catholic faith and help connect people to God and each other. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, she is married, and loves to cook, garden, read books, and entertain family and friends.
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  • Ray J


    I served proudly with Father Jerome Taddy in the Army and had the opportunity to visit and shake hands with Pope John Paul I in Vatican City. I know his spirit of Christ still dwells with in. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. I am also proud of my Catholic friends from the military who now live in Lousiana as of 1988…

  • Deacon Denny

    I have a good friend of many years who is a single woman, not really by choice either.  Over the years in our conversations we’ve talked about some of those chapter headings.  As a deacon working in a parish, I think I should read this one.

    • Lisab

      Deacon Denny, thank you for your comment. I guarantee that you will find PARTY OF ONE helpful in your parish ministry! Happy reading!