Monthly Archives: June 2013

Book Review: Fine China Is For Single Women Too

Fine China Is For Single Women Too

This little book by Lydia Brownback is solidly grounded in good theology and is easy to read in one sitting. The idea behind the title is that married women get to create a bridal registry and collect fine china and other household items, while this never happens for the single woman. Married women do not necessarily cook more than single women, so single women should not do without the items for doing it well. This book aims to challenge the thinking that says the single woman’s fine china buying (and by extension, the rest of her life) should be put on hold until her marriage. Other than in the introduction and the epilogue, the fine china idea doesn’t enter much into the content of the book, which is more focused on Scriptural truth.

There are seven chapters in the book, and each one is sprinkled with stories and anecdotes that are interesting, easy to read, and applicable to the topics Brownback addresses. They are real life examples that are easy to relate to from people who sound like normal people.

Early on in the book, Brownback makes a very clear and compelling argument for the sovereignty of God in your relationship status. She states, “The marital status of each of God’s daughters is divinely decreed. And if God has called you to singleness, there is nothing you can do without stepping off the path of obedience to change that.” She explores the concept of boundary lines in Scripture and establishes the fact that our lives are destined to bring glory to God. “Therefore,” she says, “if you are single it is because, for the time being at least, God has determined that you will most glorify him and come to enjoy him most fully as a single woman. If the time comes when those two ends will be achieved through marriage, God will change your life so that you will be married.” Her goal in establishing this view of the sovereignty of God is to free women from the trap of thinking, for example, that if her hair isn’t perfect one day and Mr. Right just happens to come along, she will have missed her chance for him to notice her.

The tone of the book is very matter-of-fact and non-emotional. Brownback tells it like it is and doesn’t mince words or water down her message in an effort to make it more palatable. This is one of the strengths of the book, because she is offering something real, and her manner of communicating reinforces the reality of the truth she expresses. Nevertheless, I must admit that at times while I was reading it, I hungered for a little more “heart”–perhaps a bit more of an understanding, healing tone.

And of course, I was looking for Jesus. The question I always ask when I read is, “Where is Jesus?” It came a little late, in chapter 7, but it was there. She brings the focus in to fix it on Christ. “Paul did not achieve contentment of this depth by snuffing out his personal desires. On the contrary, he pursued what he wanted wholeheartedly and received what he was after. That’s because the thing Paul wanted most was Jesus Christ and his glory.” Brownback points the reader to Christ and holds Him up as the one who truly is “the love of your life.” She highlights the joy and contentment that comes only when He is our primary pursuit, and encourages the reader to make it her prayer that God will “help you even to desire a Christ-centered heart.”

[Note: I have no affiliate links to disclose. Clicking on the book will take you to Amazon through a plain old link. I did not receive a free book or any compensation or incentives in exchange for this review.]

I wish the church knew…

Single readers, weigh in on this:

What do you wish the church knew about your unique needs as a single? As an adult single, do you ever feel like a misfit in a congregation that is primarily composed of married people?

I’m writing about the interaction between the church and the Christian single, and I’m putting together a list of “Things the Single Person Wishes the Church Knew.”

For example:

  • Your number one role is not to get me married. It is to point me to Jesus. 
  • My church family may be all the family I have. Please treat me like a loving family.

Have you had any experiences that reflected that the church just didn’t understand you and your needs as a single? Any comments on how the church could serve its single members better?

This is not to vent or to be bitter, but just to promote understanding and help the church to “know its audience” when it comes to singles. Let’s say there is a wonderful, welcoming church out there that is just dying to minister to singles in an appropriate, effective, healing way. What would you say to them?

Leave a comment!

Loving the Real Christ with Real Love

Spurgeon can say it better than me:

“We need Christ—not an abstract, doctrinal, pictured Christ; but a real Christ!

“I may preach to you many a year, and try to infuse into your souls a love of Christ; but until you can feel that he is a real man and a real person, really present with you, and that you may speak to him, talk to him, and tell him of your needs, you will not readily attain to a love like that of the text, so that you can call him, ‘You whom my soul loves.’

“I want you to feel, Christian, that your love to Christ is not a mere pious affection; but that as you love your wife, as you love your child, as you love your parent, so you should love Christ; that though your love to him is of a finer cast, and a higher mold, yet it is just as real as the more earthly passion.”

— Charles H. Spurgeon; Week Eight: Beholding God: Restoring Worship in Our Lives

A Word About the Difficulty of Writing This Message

I got stuck after that last post.

Suddenly I discovered how hard it is to proclaim truth. And I had to get on my face before the Lord repeatedly and ask for His heart, His words, His message, and beg Him to remove anything of self, vainglory, and pride. I realized that unless the words I speak are birthed out of His very heart and delivered by the Holy Spirit to pierce ears and enter hearts, then I will just be speaking into the air.

He is doing a deep work in me, calling me to write, yet showing me my utter inadequacy to do so without Him. I am entirely dependent on Him to do the work.

I have gone back and revised the second half of my last post (Putting Jesus First), in order to complete it and say what it was supposed to say. I had to remove my little rant about how no one was listening and replace it with the truths that I believe I was supposed to communicate.

For the future, I commit to bathing my postings in prayer and guarding what I say, listening to the Lord and being sensitive to His direction. I am trusting Him to deliver the words to the readers so that they don’t fall on deaf ears.

(Also, I’m back from Haiti and now have consistent electricity and internet access, so it will be easier for me to post on a regular basis.)

Thank you for reading!