I haven't read the book - heard an interview with the author.

I like the principles of Maken's book (gift of celibacy applied too broadly today, e.g.). Some singles may need a fire under them to learn and take the steps they can toward marriage. But these things can come across too rigidly. At least in the interview I heard, there was an undue pressure on singles and sometimes outright maligning of them ("what's wrong with you that you aren't married yet?").

The biggest problem is for singles who want to be married but find it just not happening yet logistically, or no opportunities, etc. Young men do need to learn to "take a wife," but this doesn't mean it is like getting bread from the grocery store. What if no one wants to marry them? Fathers of potential mates find their maturity adequate but not up to their standards, they have personality quirks that obscure their maturity, etc. Singles aren't the only ones responsible to see themselves married. This takes a concerted effort by the family of God.


  1. "Singles aren't the only ones responsible to see themselves married. This takes a concerted effort by the family of God."

    Yes...but always submissively under the careful guidance of the elders lest we turn into a bunch of matchmaking busybodies...eh?

    Should, for example, elders w/in CREC be circulating information regarding potential mates for those in their congregation wishing to become wed? What about those reformed matching services out there? Thoughts?

  2. Conrad and I read that book and discussed it on our little vacation just a couple of weeks ago. I think that every church leader, and for that matter, anyone who has ever wanted to encourage a single person they know should read it.
    The book showed us how much we have absorbed the world's way of looking at marriage and singleness.
    Excellent book!

  3. Clurt, this area of reformation will likely be filled with awkwardness, mis-steps, etc for several generations! Elders ought to move cautiously here, but might act en loco parentis if needed, mediating expectations, and helping define the process for those interested. And perhaps ought to prompt interest, in line with the content of this book!

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, Margaret!