- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Moody Publishers; New edition (May 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802407145
- ISBN-13: 978-0802407146
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 113 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended Paperback – May 1, 2013
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Lina is kind of like the feminine version of the Apostle Paul - she's a straight-shooting, no-holds-barred, truth-slinging Gospel warrior! I admire her passion for God, her knowledge of His Word, and her heart for His people and all three of those characteristics are present from cover to cover of Thrive. This is one of the most practical, hopeful, Jesus-focused books I've ever read on the subject of singleness! - Lisa Harper, author, Bible teacher and Women of Faith speaker
Thrive is rivetingly raw and gloriously victorious . . . a goldmine for singles and marrieds alike! - Lynne Tellschow, Director of Women's Ministry, Harvest Bible Chapel, Elgin, Illinois
In a world full of families, singleness can be a major challenge. There have been lots of books and seminars aimed at helping singles cope and conquer, but often not backed up with the power and principles of God’s Word. Thankfully, Lina has done just that in a book that is bound to live up to its title for those called to a life of singleness. – Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thrive is, in a word, BOLD. Her fresh perspectives on singleness as a gift, temptations that most don’t mention, the real tensions living in a world where matching means another person, set this book apart as not only a must read for singles, but a must study, dialogue, and debate book. Attitudes and obstacles are examined in the bright light of Scripture with the precision and focus of this emergency room doctor perspective that is uniquely Lina. Read and prepare for bold, biblical impact. ~ Miriam Neff, President of Widow Connection
From the Back Cover
Life as a single Christian is good. Despite what many people think, singleness is not a disease. It’s not the lesser option. Singleness is God’s gift to you today.
In Thrive, Lina AbuJamra will show you how to make a difference in life right now instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. If you’re tired of answering the same old questions about why you still haven’t found the perfect match, this book is for you. Thrive will help you figure out what the Bible has to say about singleness instead of basing your opinion on what a celebrity tweets.
Isn’t it time you get excited about your life in Christ and quit falling back into the same old pattern of thinking? Freedom. Joy. Abundance. Hope. All these are yours the moment you embrace all that God has for you right here, right now. Go ahead—It’s ok to smile!
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I didn't expect a raw, honest look at a (STILL) single womans life, that is not laced with tips to escape the "dreaded state". Thrive is a good title.
Yes, I read through the entire book and finished it in (almost) one sitting. No, I would not recommend it to someone who was young, wide eyed and unready to deal head-on with some pervasive and serious sins involving sexuality - there is some tough stuff in there. And yet, the book is not one that wallows in lusts and exagerates sins of that nature above other equally "sinful" sins such as pride, self-centredness etc. In all, one chapter covers those things.
I found the book to be straight talking, biblically based and very forthright in dealing with situations and failures in the authors own life. In fact, I can't think of a book that I've read in which an author has been so honest. Not the usual "Woe is me, I used to be such a sinner....." type of drivel either. It feels like a close friend sitting down and confessing / discussing struggles, temptations, triumphs and strategies for overcoming sin, and getting to root causes of it. And *not* pretending like they have it allllll sorted out now.
This is not a book which is going to meet us in our single state, and offer fluffy pink hugs and hot chocolate. In fact, it gives several well placed (if metaphorical) boots in the behind. ;) The thing is, THIS IS NOT WRITTEN BY A MARRIED PERSON. Or even an engaged person. There is no trumped up "there, there..." sympathy. The author is 40, has had 2 broken engagements, and instead of milking that, talks openly about those experiences and how she learned and grew through / from them.
There are no magical formulas to follow in order to get more dates. No lists of "10 top qualities to look for in a husband". No opening lines you can use at singles meeting, to discover "that hot guy's" spiritual gifting. The author is fairly intent on uncovering our idolatry of marriage, and calling us to thrive, grow, prosper, flourish in our relationship with the Lord, and in our lives RIGHT NOW. And she does it splendidly.
In summary, this book is about living a life of dedication and worship towards our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. About glorifying Him in every area, that others might know our lives are full, because HE has filled us. It's a must read.
1) The book does a great job of diagnosing the difficulties with singleness: loneliness, self-pity, self-control, contentment, etc. It hit the nail on several areas that I have wrestled with and didn't pull any punches in revealing them. Commendable.
2) Lina was able to adequately diagnose singleness because she knows it well herself (40 and single, with two broken engagements). I appreciated her sharing her story and being honest about her struggles.
3) Throughout the book and especially in the last chapter, Lina shares stories of singles who lived fully for God and great insights from other authors. I really enjoyed these types of encouragement, although reading full biographies gives better context to their struggles and difficulties.
1) However, while I appreciate the apt diagnosis of the problems in singleness, I felt the book's solution to each problem was grounded in a list of tips and suggestions (more to-do's than anything) of what has worked for the author. This was disappointing, because while it gave me practical helps to deal with the diagnosis - it did not give me the motivation to do so. It felt like another laundry list of things I needed to work on in order to thrive, which only added weight. There were times when Lina seemed like she was going to point to the gospel as motivation, but they were too quick and far in between. In fact, it wasn't until chapter 11 (about 4/5 of the way through the book) that this was explicitly stated as the solution - and even then it felt muted. Why didn't she put that chapter at the beginning if it really changes everything written before?
Doesn't Jesus know about loneliness when his friends abandoned him in the garden of Gethsemane at his time of need (Mk 14:32-42)? Doesn't Jesus know what it's like to have to wait for his wedding day with his bride, the church (Rev 19:6-10)? These things motivate me to love and focus on Jesus rather than focusing on myself and working on a laundry list of to-do's so that I can thrive as a single. I felt like Lina wanted me to get my eyes of myself, but rather than showing me the beauty of Christ - she gave me a list of things to do.
2) While I appreciated Lina's honesty in sharing her story, I will say that I felt the tone throughout the book was along the lines of: "here's something I used struggle with, but now it's not an issue any more." I don't know Lina, and I want to give her the benefit of a doubt as a sister in Christ, because I value her courage and transparency - but I couldn't shake the feeling that she wrote as someone who had arrived rather than a fellow traveler. I felt patronized at times, which added to the weight and burden.
3) I wish there was more time spent in actually digging into the text. It all felt very surface level, and often just a smattering of texts and examples thrown at me quickly. Even when the majority of the book looked at 1 Corinthians 7, there was nothing said about the context: why are these commands about singleness given in light of "this present distress" (7:26), and why does Paul mention "the appointed time has grown very short" (7:29)? I wish that there could have been deeper study shown at least to back her exposition of passages, rather than just citing Wikipedia and Dictionary.com.
So although the book was helpful for it's diagnosis, it is not a book I will re-read. I kept wanting her to take me to the proper motivation instead of to more lists of to-do's, but never got what I wanted substantially.
[As a side note: the best thing I have read on singleness is Tim Keller's seventh chapter in his excellent book The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. I would recommend Keller's book as a book worth reading and re-reading (as I plan to do again).]
The book is very biblically grounded, but also practical and really down to earth! Loved that she talked about the challenges singles face and that she shared her own experiences, to many of which I could relate. Really amazing book, powerful testimony, encouraging message. Read it or give it to your friends to read it. You'll not regret it! I've never enjoyed my single life more, or felt more empowered to live it out fully for God! Thankful I "stumbled" upon it!!!