Thursday, January 26

Book Review: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley[1], reviewed for The Diet of Bookworms.

Carolyn McCulley has written Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? for Christian single women, particularly for women who remain single beyond the time when most women are married. It's a book full of encouragement--encouraging the single woman to trust God with his plan for her life and to live her life fully for His glory.

I married quite young, so the situation of a woman who's never been married is not one I've experienced. I had to try to imagine what that would have been like, so I'm probably not the very best person to evaluate experientially whether this book is useful for someone living the single life. However, I can tell you that the wisdom found here is grounded in scripture, which tells you the most important thing you need to know in order to evaluate its usefulness.

After establishing in the first three chapters that singleness is a valuable gift from God, and that God is sovereignly working in all things to bring about his good his plan for our lives, Carolyn McCulley gets to what I consider to be the meat of this book: the nitty-gritty of living the life of a single woman for God's glory. And she bases it all in that famous passage of scripture from Proverbs 31--you know, the Excellent Wife passage.

Here's how she defends her use of this passage as the guide for the single woman:
The role described in this passage is that of a wife, but her godly, noble character is what all women should desire. It will serve us in every season of our lives.[2]
And she's right, of course. The passage may be about a noble wife, but what's noble in a wife is what's noble in any woman. The Proverbs 31 qualities are qualities of excellence, desirable for every woman in every situation. For example, the noble woman Proverb 31 is a hospitable woman. In the same way, a single woman can use her home to serve others. The excellent wife of Proverbs is generous with the needy, so the single women, too, can learn to look beyond herself and her own needs to consider how she can help meet the needs of others.

Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? is peppered throughout with interesting stories and anecdotes, many from the author's own life; and thankfully, she's not afraid to tell the stories that make her look less than perfect. All this makes for a lively and engaging read, but one that's challenging and thought-provoking as well. If you're a single Christian woman who's trying to sort through the challenges of "a hope deferred", you'll want to read this book. Or if you know a single Christian woman who needs encouragement, recommend this book to her.

[1]Carolyn McCulley blogs at Solo Femininity.

[2]Page 50.

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