Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review of “Fine China is for Single Women Too”

While I’m living the singleness lifestyle, God has given me great friends to keep me company. Occasionally, one of us will find a really good article on singleness and we’ll forward it on to each other. Every once in a while, we’ll actually come across a book that deals with the subject in a manner that’s not only encouraging and challenging but forgoes the patronizing tone that often accompanies this subject. 

A lot of the books/articles on the subject tend to be written by single women in their forties whose main message is “Hang in there! I’m doing it, too!” I don’t need to explain how this can often have the wrong affect that can cause single women to find out what that forty-year-old single is doing and try to do the opposite.

Let’s face it, when we spend our time reading a book, we all want to be told more than “hang in there.”

That’s why I’m happy to recommend a book to singles that was as close to perfection as it could come. My friend Hayden gave me the book Fine China is for Single Women Too, by Lydia Brownback. It’s a genius title, by the way. It sends the message: “this chick actually knows what it’s like to be a single woman and wonder at the practicality of investing in nice furniture or table settings when she doesn’t have a family.”

On top of that, it’s a tiny book that’s short and sweet and to the point. Nobody wants to belabor the issue, especially if there is no need to. I found myself reading it very slowly so I could savor every word. Trust me, it’s rare when I do that with a book. It also performs the very difficult feat of slowly removing your mind from your singleness and focusing your gaze on Christ. Instead of screaming, “You’re single!” it says, “Look at Jesus.”

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers here. It’s so short it’s definitely worth purchasing and reading.

I will share one passage however. The following excerpt had me jumping up and down for happiness.

Some years ago I overheard a single young woman expressing to an elder in her church that she desired to pursue a doctoral degree. I was astonished at his reply. He said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. If you want to get married some day, you are hurting your chances. No man wants a wife with that much education.” This is precisely the thinking among some people, outside of and within the evangelical community, that can lead a woman to fear treading any path of prudent independence. But since God has allowed our culture to be shaped as it is today, it is an acknowledgement of his sovereign authority over the way things are to live to the fullest within its structure. The way God has structured our society includes many later-in-life marriages, smaller families, and more women of necessarily independent means. You can honor Him accordingly by being your best, pursuing your opportunities, and being fruitful in the culture in which he has placed you. 1

Hallelujah. Somebody give me an Amen. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

1 Brownback, Lydia. Fine China is for Single Women Too. 2003.

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