UNSUITABLE

How a Single Christian Woman Claimed Her Place in the Church

I am unsuitable. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. Unsuitable as a partner, a woman in the church, a sister, and a friend. Triggered by various types of relationships defined by trauma, manipulation, fear, obligation, and guilt, this belief shaped everything I understood about life, relationships and faith. Jesus was an amalgam of all the negative voices in my life, and I thought grace was for everyone except me. I thought that the whole world was against me, and I was on my own; my fear and shame drove me into isolation.

Having only been in one dating relationship, singleness has defined much of my life. Unsuitable weaves together stories and experiences, analysis and raw emotion, neither linear nor chronological, to create a picture of grace and redemption. In trying to write on the topic of singleness and relationships, I have found myself elated, frustrated, angry, confident, embarrassed, vulnerable, and empowered.

Many of the base assumptions behind how we talk to each other about marriage and singleness are harmful for both marrieds and singles. From where I stand, marriage seems to have become a catch-all solution, an ultimate goal, essentially, the latest iteration of the golden calf. This puts unreasonable pressure on marriage, creating a culture of shame, and making marrieds and singles alike feel unsuitable. Our question shouldn’t be “Why are there so many single women with unanswered prayers for husbands?” but rather “How do we cultivate a culture of transparency that will be life-giving for both singles and marrieds?”

With unflinching vulnerability, Unsuitable is Donald Miller meets Anne Lamott and Sarah Bessey. It is an honest and empowering discussion of singleness and authentic community. Unsuitable throws down the gauntlet, daring the single women of the church to rise up and claim their suitability as necessary members of the body of Christ.

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