Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bus Stops and Bicycles: A Handbook for Single Ladies by Taryn Rose

I’ve read a few singleness books - all of them Christian, and most of them after I was married. By the end of the first page of this one I’d already decided it was by far and away the best of them all, and the rest of the book didn’t let me down.

There are some books on singleness which speak in an offensively patronising tone, giving the impression of the author making you a cup of tea, patting your shoulder and saying, “There there, you poor thing.” This book, on the contrary, is a loving kick up the bum by someone who feels like a wise older Christian sister. Taryn tackles a stack of lies that our culture and Satan want single women to believe, such as “if I was married I wouldn’t be lonely” or “a man will complete me,” and also offers tips along the way for handling some of the dodgy aspects of life as a single woman (how to handle insensitive comments, for example). Taryn’s writing is easy to read and drips with biblical truth and warmth and humour.

There are a lot of metaphors in this book, many of which sound cringe-worthy when your husband picks it up and reads them out at random, but I think they’re used incredibly well to deepen the impact of the profound truth of Taryn’s arguments. There were many metaphor moments that made me want to punch the air and cry, “Right on, sister!” My favourite is this one (from page 60, the emphasis is hers):

No one will deny that married grass can be undoubtedly green. But here’s the thing, although it may be green, it’s not necessarily greener – just a different shade of green. Because the reality is, the grass is only greener where you water it.

It makes me so sad knowing that there are single women who really believe that they need a husband to get some green in their life (aaargh, the metaphors are contagious!). It makes me sadder that sometimes these women are fed this lie by other Christians. I love Taryn’s “different shades of green” line - it was the moment I simultaneously punched the air, cried “Right on!” and burst into tears.

Although this book has been written for single women, the premise of Taryn’s argument applies to all Christians, whether married or single: God doesn’t want us sitting around waiting at bus stops; He wants us to focus on our destination, jump on our bikes and start riding there. It’s possible you’ll have to read the book for that metaphor to inspire you, but I will say this: marriage is not the destination. It’s not like walking down the aisle entitles anyone to say, “Okay, I‘m done now.” Married people need to be reminded to hop on their bikes just much as their single friends.

This book makes me want to break my commitment to use the word ‘awesome’ only when talking about God, because I can’t think of another adjective strong enough to describe how much I love it. I won’t, though. That would be cheating. I thank God for blessing Taryn with the insight and gifts and time to write this gem of a book, and I pray that He’ll use it to stir many to jump on their bikes and pedal their hearts out for His glory.

I score this book 12 out of 5.

1 comment:

  1. Great book review. I might just want to read it now.
    And, BTW, you did cheat! :)