This edition of Jackie Kendall’s books about becoming a lady in waiting is the 20th anniversary edition of her classic material. I have already reviewed The Parent’s Guide to Raising a Lady in Waiting. You can read that review here. What differs in this book from the others in her series is the way the book is presented; the author talks directly to her target audience–young ladies in waiting (for boyfriends, for dates, for mates). To quote the author, “What we did with [this book] was update and enhance: update some of the material to enhance the principles that are time-tested. So you will see lots of new illustrations and added examples woven right in with the original text. There are a number of issues that have become HUGE in our culture among singles since twenty years ago: Internet dating, social media temptations, same-sex attraction, pornography and other sexual taboos (like dating married men), to name a few. Absolutely every principle to guard and guide the heart that applied to single gals twenty years ago applies now. The particulars do not altar the principles.”
In essence, this is not just another guide for singles. The focus is not on a woman’s status but on the state of her heart. There are ten basic precepts that the author has derived from the study of the book of Ruth, an Old Testament book of the Bible. She explains how Ruth demonstrates all these tenets throughout her books and presentations. The ten principles are the foundation of Jackie Kendall’s ministry for the past twenty years. The books are heavy on application with plenty of real life scenarios the author has gleaned over the years.
One of the most striking statements the author says in this 20th edition bears repeating often. “Whenever I hear about a woman’s struggle–single, married, or divorced–most of the time I can trace the issue back to one of the precepts in this book that was not applied. Whether you’re thirteen or thirty, in these pages you will find so many transferable concepts that impact whatever situation you are facing now.” I’ve personally come to realize that these principles are also valid within marriage, as the glue which strengthens an already sound foundation.
This book is designed in such a way that the quotes and headings grab your interest visually. You can either read this book from cover to cover because it flows well and keeps interest high, or you can use it as a reference, returning to sections by topic. Segments are short and easily digested for today’s shorter attention span. There are quotes, tables and charts, lists, study questions, large headings, and stories that make a topical search easy to perform. There are plenty of white spaces in the 235-page-book. It does not look like a textbook. For group leaders there is a study guide available for your small group or large study group.
One segment in the chapter, “Becoming a Lady of Purity” approaches two related topics: what the author calls the law of diminishing returns, and sexual brinkmanship. Both topics are ones I don’t see being addressed for pre-teens and teens enough. Yet it is crucial information for the awareness of the psychology of relationships between boys and girls, and men and women. This is a subject I remember hearing for the first time when I was in college, attending a Christian youth gathering. I remember my astonishment at the revelations when I was 18, and can only imagine how much greater the need is today for those younger than that and are dating. This book has so much to say to today’s young people.
Another aspect about this book I love is its conversational tone. It is easy to read, and readily relate-able to the girls and women who read it. It is also flexible in that there is a wide range of ages and stages of singlehood among women today. The pertinent message is applicable to the entire range, to all situations women find themselves in regarding desiring, attaining or recovering from relationships with a Bozo or a potential Boaz.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) on behalf of Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”