Read an Excerpt
• Have you ever lain in bed at night after watching too much late-night TV and found yourself wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling with every fiber of your body and aching for the comfort and companionship of a serious soul mate?
• Have you ever lain in bed with a partner and, in spite of the sensational sex, you feel unexplainedly empty and strongly unfulfilled?
• Perhaps you are currently in a perfect "4.0" relationship with the man or woman of your dreams but you are wondering if your love has enough stamina to last through the major league marathon of a lifelong marriage.
So many questions and seemingly so few answers -- until now. This book was written from the crucial vantage point of an African-American male who was single until he was thirty-eight years old. It is my privilege to serve you this meal fresh from the kitchen of my experiences combined with the recipes of my research on the subject. It is drenched in the joys and simmered in the solitude that uniquely comes from a life of living single. To use a different metaphor, sometimes the single life can seem like a high-tech roller coaster with a series of thrilling highs, depressing lows, and a variety of unexpected twists and turns along the way. Singleness, like most other conditions in life, has its advantages and disadvantages. And like a passenger on a roller coaster, you can complain about the wind in your face, or you can sit back and enjoy the ride.
I hope that this book upsets you in places. I also hope it makes you laugh, cry, and nod your head affirmatively. Usually significant alterations are made in the fabric of our lives only when we feel strongly about something. Emotions tend to move us to action. Regardless of the many emotions encountered as you read, my greatest desire is that this book would cause you to think and to grow.
You may not agree with each viewpoint, but hopefully each point will at least provoke individual thought and stimulate group discussion. Too often we adopt the easy route of accepting the opinions of the majority rather than taking the time and energy necessary to forge our own personal perspective. Finally, may you personally grow in many areas of your life through reading this book as much as I have grown through the process of researching and writing it.
Appreciation is expressed to the following people and groups who have directly and indirectly contributed in small and great ways to the successful development of this book:
To God Almighty: Thank you for your love, guidance, power, and inspiration, which all enable me to fulfill my purpose in life
To my parents, Andrew and Christine Jackson, and my extended family: I honor you for providing an example, an education, and encouragement and for instilling in me a sense of entrepreneurship
To my wife, Coreen, and sons Joshua, Juleon, and Jemiah: Thank you for your love, support, and book suggestions and for believing in me
To my office administrator, Chandra Allen: Thanks for your patience, persistence, and professionalism demonstrated in producing the initial printed manuscript
To my students--the Baptist Student Union groups from Tennessee State University and Fisk University: You have my heart and have been a great inspiration for this book
To my pastor and first lady, Michael Lee Graves and Eleanor Graves: Thanks for your positive example and for encouraging me to pursue excellence in life and ministry
To the Temple Singles Ministry: Thanks for your input to the questions in this book and for allowing me to test some of this material on you first
To the Missouri Black Christian Singles Conference: Thanks for my foundation in singles ministry and for demonstrating excellence in this very important field of work
To the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Nashville Baptist Association: Thanks for allowing me to develop my gifts and to explore ministry areas beyond the immediate focus
To the national B.S.U. Retreat: It is always a joy and never a chore to work with such a hungry and exciting group as you
To Dr. John H. Corbitt and the National Baptist Congress Workshop: I have always said you are the cream of the crop. So keep on climbing and don't ever stop
To my editor, Jim Ruark: Thanks for your careful work with me and for looking below the surface of sensitive subject matter in order to grasp my true intentions. You understood my heart's motive of enlightening the minds, encouraging the lives, and empowering the spirits of singles
To my publisher, Zondervan: Thanks for trusting me with this book and for making it available to so many people for the glory of God