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Published Date: December 5, 2013

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Getting Naked Later

Are you still looking for a way to use those two-for-one coupons you long to share with a spouse? Or, are you constantly giving your single friends advice on how to snag a mate? There’s something for you in Getting Naked Later, by Kate Hurley. Don’t be put off by the title—she never gets into specifics.

I may have been asked to review this book because I’ve been single for eighty years, which puts me way past Hurley’s intended audience. But my memories help me identify somewhat with her plaintive descriptions, and my life experience helps me identify with the path she proposes should a spouse never show up; I’m still a member of the UBs (Unclaimed Blessings), who got together whenever we didn’t have a date for a big (or little) occasion.

Hurley is a good writer who combines her sense of humor with wisdom to produce an enjoyable and helpful book. I especially liked her analogies, which add personality and depth to her writing. While other authors may discuss seeking guidance with signs from God, she looks for “signs like a nearsighted truck driver” (you’ll enjoy reading what resulted from that activity). And, if you’re ever tempted to throw a pity party, she has a plan for you, complete with proper clothing (rabbit slippers), menu (lots of Ben & Jerry’s, with a garnish of marshmallows and Tootsie Rolls), mood music, games, and party favors (Pity Party T-shirts nice enough to wear to church).

As good as Hurley’s writing is, the book’s editing leaves something to be desired. I wish her Scripture quotations had come from an inclusive language version, such as the NIV 2011 and I was disappointed to discover dozens of errors—grammatical, typographical, and factual. Though she expressed pleasure at being steered away from a “big box publisher,” perhaps such a publisher would have caught many of these mistakes, which can be distracting to the reader. Hurley deserves better for her excellent content.

Still, Getting Naked Later is worth your time. Hurley has avoided John Stott’s warning from his own life of singleness, that “The greatest danger [singles] face is self-centeredness. We may live alone and have total freedom to plan our own schedule, with nobody else to modify it or even give us advice. If we are not careful, we may find the whole world revolving around ourselves” (quoted on p. 207).

She moves beyond pity or self-centeredness and arrives at a place of understanding. She has excellent advice for those “shipwrecked on the Isle of Singleness,” and uses positive possibilities to draw us back to the God who loves us. Hurley has found a way “not to spend her life waiting,” but to spend herself. You will be rewarded to find out how she did it.