Thursday, 22 March 2018

God Doesn't Owe You a Husband & Other Confronting Truths I Learnt from Party of One by Joy Beth Smith

*I kindly received a copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions on the book.*


Did you enter adulthood thinking marriage would naturally find you, only to end up at a second-cousin’s wedding, dodging yet another bouquet the night before you turned thirty? Maybe you’ve started wondering, is this the best the single life has to offer? Joy Beth Smith says it’s not. The single life doesn’t have to be the runner-up version of God’s best. It doesn’t have to leave you constantly waiting for “real life” to begin. ... Understand that, you don’t have to be married to be wise. You don’t have to be a mother to have supernatural love. You don’t have to own a home to be hospitable. Singleness is not meant to be pitied, shamed, fixed, or even ignored. It is to be celebrated. God doesn’t promise you a husband, but he does promise comfort, intimacy, and satisfaction. With humour, self-awareness, and been-there perspective, Party of One delves into the insecurities and struggles of singleness and encourages you to find the good, the true, and the beautiful, to dive headfirst into community, and to stop pressing pause on a life you never expected.

Getting married isn't something that has really occupied my mental space ... until recently because all of a sudden you see people you don't know get engaged on Instagram, people you grew up with getting engaged and posting it on Facebook and friends entering long term relationships and talking about it all the time ! And while I still don't have a burning desire to get married, it's still something I've always imagined would probably happen ... for most people actually.

So imagine my surprise when I read the title of the first chapter: God doesn't owe you a husband. He doesn't? But I don't want to die alone?! It's not good for man to be alone ... right?! Is this clickbait?!

Which is why I think I really needed this book. This is the singleness manual that isn't about what you do whilst you wait to get into a relationship. Or about "preparing" to be in a relationship. God actually has full on life plans for singlehood ! It's not necessarily a season which ... was a surprisingly hard pill to swallow. But that's why it was so great because it really challenged me to get to a place in life where God is just enough on his own! There's a beautiful chapter about the importance of community and how you can build really fruitful and God filled relationships with people around you and thrive through those relationships ! Because God hasn't reserved that solely for marriage.

Party of One uses the bible debunks myths I'm sure many Christians may have adopted, and not even necessarily to do with relationships. For instance, the idea that God gives us everything our heart desires because duh he gave me desires, right? Joy Beth shows us that might not be the case and God is still good even if we don't get everything we want.

Now, there were 2 chapters that rock the boat a little bit. Joy Beth gives a really interesting argument on what sexuality is which I can't say I fully understood and will likely have to go back to. And then there was another chapter on what constitutes sexual sin which again I don't know if I completely understood but it didn't seem biblically sound. It's a bit difficult to know where the author really stood on these arguments and she does encourage readers and the church, to have more open discussions about these topics which I think was good ! But at the end of the day I do enjoy reading things I won't agree with because I enjoy being challenged and I didn't feel she as trying to sway me one way or the other.

There are also a lot of practical advice about how to navigate dating, flirting etc etc but on a whole, the biggest take-away from it is that it might change the way you look at yourself and the whole "season" of singleness if you're in it right now. Would highly recommend and, think it'd make a great gift for a pal !


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