I know February has been over for awhile now, but I haven’t been able to think about what I wanted to write about this book. It’s a small book, but it packs quite a bit of punch. Many people have claimed their lives were forever changed by reading it. I did find it both inspirational and challenging.
I plan to write a few posts on things I thought about while reading this book. It wasn’t the first book with these sorts of themes I’ve read and I read a lot of blogs that talk about some of these ideas. Therefore, I don’t think some of the basic ideas were as new to me or made as much of an impact as they would have if I was coming from a place of not caring about social justice or the Kingdom. But I would like to talk about both the positive and negative things I thought about as best as I can remember.
One little thing that stood out to me, more than perhaps than it would to others, is what he wrote about being single. I have long been troubled by what I see as family worship in our churches. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that God gave us our families, that we are meant to love them, and that it’s important to talk about families and family relationships in church. But, quite honestly, I also think the church is supposed to reach out to the lonely, the orphans, the widows, and the singles. In fact, some of those are supposed to be priorities. I think those priorities have been shoved aside, though not completely ignored, in favor of attracting young families to churches. Additionally, I’ve seen quite a few families who have thrown all their weight about to keep their kids from going to the mission field. Or even going to Bible college out of state. I consider that to be family worship…family has trumped God in this case.
So when he mentions in this book that he was taught in church that it’s sort of the ultimate goal to get married, I really identified with that. I mean honestly, it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a failure when you’re not married by 22. But more than that, what challenged me is that while I am pretty comfortable with being single, I don’t necessarily use it as the gift it’s meant to be. The gift of being single lies in the ability to have just one priority. Just one focus. God. His Kingdom. When you have a family, naturally your attentions are divided, but in being single you can devote yourself wholeheartedly. So I was challenged to figure out what that means for me. How am I using this gift?
Feel free to let me know if you read this book in comments. Please note I plan at least one more post on this book.