Home » Wide My World, Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life, Study Guide by Luci Swindoll
Wide My World, Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life, Study Guide Luci Swindoll

Wide My World, Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life, Study Guide

Luci Swindoll

Published December 1st 1983
ISBN : 9780880700313
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 About the Book 

Overall, this book lacked scriptural basis for the ideas and suggestions presented. There are many other books that would be more beneficial to read and more Bible-centered. For a more detailed look at each chapter, please continue reading.In the first chapter, the author starts out painting her parents in a less than ideal light. She is trying to present her journey of singleness and to do that, she explains that singleness was not looked upon favorably when she grew up in the 50s and that being a housewife was preferred by her mother. While she is simply stating facts and the 50s housewife is not a proper picture of biblical womanhood, she dishonors her parents and misses the mark for christian living and biblical womanhood entirely. (see sermon on ‘what it means to honor our parents’ here: https://westernconservatory.com/store/...)In the second chapter, she explains that marriage and singleness are choices that people need to make according to their temperament and whether it and their personality are best suited for which lifestyle. In other words, if you are independent, don’t need a man to squish the bugs you come across, and want adventure, don’t get married. I found this extremely sad because she did not outline what marriage is about. I do realize that this generation (she wrote this in 1981) felt marriage was necessary if a person would fall into sexual sin without being married….and that was all marriage was for, to prevent fornication. Marriage is a picture of Christ and his church and is an incredible presentation of the gospel to the entire world. Missing this makes marriage pointless and I can see how an entire book could be written on the benefits of the single life….since a lack of vision for the married life makes it seem boring, unadventurous and a form of bondage. This is far from what God means it to be.In chapter three adulthood is characterized by ‘being outside the restrictions of our parents’ instruction, and we must choose for ourselves what paths we want to follow,’ I also found this to be sad because the Bible talks so much about the benefit of godly mentors, wiser, older people and the benefit of many counselors. Again, there is little to no biblical basis for what is written in this book. It is just the opinions of the author. In this chapter, she continues to recommend singleness or marriage based on temperament. She does believe either should be entered into based on God’s will and only when he leads but that leading, she suggests, should be based on self examination for what will work best for us. This is so self centered! The single life is not about careers but serving the LORD until we marry. The Bible talks about marriage as the norm. A self centered single life, one where we only think about what suits us, is not going to change the culture. This life is about living for God’s glory and taking dominion to further the kingdom of God. Choices based on self centeredness are never going to sanctify us and make us more like Christ. Singleness is hard and so is marriage. If we are living both according to the Bible, we will be doing what the Lord wants of us and not what we want. Both will change culture and both will be extremely hard because they will be against our flesh. If we are comfortable in what we are doing, it is probably in line with our flesh and not the Holy Spirit. By God’s grace, as we become more like him, doing God’s will become more natural. But simply choosing careers and to remain single or to marry based on temperament is utter foolishness. (see sermon titled ‘what is a family’ here: https://westernconservatory.com/store/...)The chapter on hospitality is spot on until she implies that the single life is more suited to hospitality compared to the married life. She states this because of the carefree nature that singles have where married couples do not. This was also sad to me. I will not go into it very much here because I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Hospitality is a command for all people no matter what season we are in. It is hard work to make hospitality part of our lives whether married or single. I would like to point to The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch and Open Heart, Open Home by Mains for a biblical view.Her chapter on art sees are as something to improve life, which it is. But the important part is left out. We should appreciate art because we love God and see good art as a reflection of God’s perfect creation. To create good art, God’s art should be what we aim for. I recommend the Reclaiming Beauty project for more information about this: https://westernconservatory.com/produc...The chapter on friendship was good and had cute examples but, again, lacked scriptural basis.In the chapter on careers, she stated ‘In any event, the important criteria to consider in a career is whether or not we are suited for it and are able to accomplish our desired goals.” (pg. 146) Is this biblical? No. Our purpose in life is outlined in scripture and we are to do what the Lord wills. We should look at and consider the gifts God has given us but honestly, work is work and what we enjoy will become something misery if we do not work as unto the Lord. It is all about heart attitude. We cannot choose a career because it is what we want. Will it further the kingdom of God? Will it fulfill the dominion mandate? Can I put my family and friends and the gospel first in this work? These are the important questions we should be asking.The author ends on a good note with cute advice but there is no mention of God and living for his glory.Books I would recommend instead include So Much More and It’s Not That Complicated by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman, Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, She Shall Be Called Woman by Victoria Botkin, and Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Chancey and McDonald, plus the books on hospitality that I mentioned either. Basic books on growing into a more Christ-like person are many and would be a better read than this one.