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Christianity TodayJune (Web-only) 2006

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30 and Single? It's Your Own Fault
There are more unmarried people in our congregations than ever, and some say that's just sinful.



Once upon a time, Debbie Maken found herself still single at 28 and growing in her discontent. She was "dating-wearied, lonely, depressed, frustrated, and, yes, terrified of the future." Finally giving herself permission to feel these tough emotions, she took the exit ramp from her church singles class, gave a fresh look at what the Bible says about singleness and marriage, and finally realized she had to get serious if she was ever going to get married.

Following the path afforded by her ethnicity (she's Indian), she signed up with an Indian Christian Web agency to find a suitable suitor and, aided by her parents' watchful care, started e-mailing a man in July 2001. By that October, they were engaged. Now happily married and the mother of two young girls, Maken drew a map—in the form of her book, Getting Serious About Getting Married—to the Land of Marital Bliss. She hopes to prevent her daughters and countless single women across the country from having to experience any more "unnecessary protracted singleness."

Maken starts with a relatable description of many single women's experience: Singleness is easier to see as a grand adventure in your 20s, an unfettered time to figure out who you are and what path God might like you to take through life. Without a spouse, there's more freedom to travel and take risks, minister and invest in a burgeoning career. But, as Maken describes quite well, this can start to lose its luster around the 30 milestone. In later chapters, she addresses the well-meaning advice handed to singles in Christian circles—such as "just wait on the Lord to bring a mate to you" or "Jesus is all you need"—and deftly explains some of the erroneous thinking and theology surrounding each. ...



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