Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? [ePub]

by Carolyn McCulley

It's hard for me to be objective about this book.

In summary, I found it fuzzy and unsatisfying.

The author acknowledges briefly that there is legitimate pain in being single and wanting marriage, but quickly moves on to the idea that much of that pain is actually that of pride, the feeling of unacknowledged worthiness.

Surely none of us are free from pride. Is that a good reason to sweep our questions under the rug?

Here's the question: "What do I do with my pain?"

It's not right to reply to that by sermonizing, "You shouldn't be jealous when other people are happy."

I'm not saying that was the intent of the book, but that is how I came away feeling. My real questions had not been answered. Maybe we shouldn't care when we are plagued for serving God while openly wicked people overflow with children and other blessings, but then why is Psalm 73 in the Bible?

The book then moves on to a broad range of general topics that apply to anyone in any stage of life — charitable giving, investing in other people's children, volunteering, wise financial decisions, etc. These are all covered in more depth in other books.

And what is one of the motivations for doing these things well? "Your future husband might like it."

Okay, that's not fair. If I am to face life as a single with integrity, my motivation can NOT be "the husband I MIGHT someday have MIGHT like it." "Might" never got me out of bed in the morning. It is useless for fighting lust and discontentment. (So is telling me that I'm single so the lucky breeders can have free daycare.)

There's a similar line of reasoning on a later bit about children. The author discusses how she consoled herself over still not having had children although her biological clock is about to shut down. "Christianity is founded on miraculous births!"

Yes, that's true. It's also true that for many of us, the answer will remain No until the day we die. Same song, next verse: "Maybe" later is not good enough for facing the absolutely certain pain of today.

"If I never have sex in this life, will I miss out forever?"

"If I never have babies in this life, will I miss out forever?"

"If a man does not love me in this life, will I never be special to anyone?"

These are my real questions, and this book does not answer them. If romance and intimacy are not eternal, there is no point in seeking them at all, for even if I were to obtain them, they would only be taken away from me in the next life.

I believe that better guidance on these issues is offered in "Moving Beyond the Myths" by Jan Silvious, "The Great Divorce" and other works by C. S. Lewis, and perhaps Randy Alcorn's "Heaven."

EDIT: Since posting my review, I've had a particularly bad experience directly due to "investing in other people's children," and as a result have realized that many married (and unmarried!) churchgoing couples actually despise singles who are NOT sexually active; apparently, obeying God with your body sends these people the signal that you are not fully adult — and, therefore, especially suited to the role of Disposable Babysitter.

Singles, please don't throw your precious time in front of theseswine. Be kind to all, but discerning about who you allow into your vulnerable areas; "churchgoing" and "professing Christian" does NOT automatically mean "emotionally safe" or "good investment of a single's free time." Shame on those who pressure singles to barge into "giving, giving, giving" without checking carefully for pitfalls. Unfortunately, that seems to include the majority of the (pseudo-) Christian community.

God can still work through you if you *think* and are discerning and on occasion say No, people. Really. He can.

EDIT 28 Jan 2014: dropped the rating to one star and added a couple lines at the end. I am even more aggravated with this mindset than I used to be.



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