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.]