The Book On Singleness That Everyone Should Read
As the title suggests, the book tackles seven myths about singleness which are common among Christians today. There are lots of reasons why I’m grateful for 7 Myths about Singleness. Sam writes in a way which is engaging and easy to understand. His use of illustrations and humour is brilliant. He is thoroughly biblical, while also speaking from his own experience, with real honesty and vulnerability. But above all of these, there are three reasons why I’m especially grateful for this book and why I think every Christian should read it.
The call to find satisfaction in Jesus
The best thing any book can do for us is to cause us to love Jesus more and to increase our determination to find true satisfaction in him. 7 Myths about Singleness is about singleness, but it’s almost more about Jesus because Sam helps us to see that finding satisfaction in Jesus should be our ultimate goal whether we are married or single. At the same time, he doesn’t ignore our need for intimacy and family, but recognises that these are ultimately all subsidiary. If we don’t find fullness of life in Jesus, we will never find fullness of life. As I read the book, I found Jesus more attractive and my desire to find satisfaction in him grew. That alone would be reason to read it.
The positive portrayal of singleness
Christian books and talks about singleness are often presented as advice on how to cope with an unideal – or worse, terrible – situation which, it is assumed, you will obviously be wishing you were not in. This is a radically different starting point to that of the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul presents singleness as a good gift, which is actually even preferable to marriage. As Sam observes, we tend to define singleness as the absence of something (a spouse), a negative perspective, but Paul describes it as the presence of something (the opportunity for undivided devotion to the Lord), a positive perspective. 7 Myths about Singleness presents singleness as a good gift to be enjoyed and celebrated. It starts where the New Testament starts.
The acknowledgment of the challenges of singleness
And yet this positive perspective doesn’t mean that the very real challenges of singleness are overlooked. The book presents the blessings and the challenges of singleness, without letting the balance be tipped in the wrong direction. The final myth Sam tackles is the myth that singleness is easy. Many singles will find that what Sam shares here will resonate deeply with their experience, and many who have long been married will find that this chapter helps them to better understand some of the challenges facing their single friends. Here too though, Sam helps us see that the ultimate answer is always to find our satisfaction in Jesus.
I’d say that 7 Myths about Singleness is now the book on singleness that every church leader ought to read. (And every church leader who’s ever read a book on marriage ought to read a book on singleness!). It’s a book that every Christian single should read to be encouraged and spurred on as they seek to enjoy the gift that God has given them. And it’s a book that anyone who knows a Christian single should read. So I guess maybe it’s just a book that everyone should read!