DTS Magazine

Wide Her World, Narrow Her Bed

Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite people in the whole world. A former corporate executive with Mobil Oil, she spent thirty years as a cartographer—yes, drawing maps.

She’s also been a professional singer with the Dallas Opera, having cut her vocal chops in early childhood. Back then, when she, her two brothers, and her parents were all tucked in for the night, one of them would start to sing. The others would soon join in, and from the three bedrooms, in four-part harmony, hymns would fill the house. 

This amazing woman has also been a public relations VP for Insight for Living Ministries and the author of numerous books. Her name is Luci. And she’s the kind of person who will ride around in a 4X4 looking for lions and conclude, “Safari is the greatest adventure—whether it’s in Africa or in the deepest part of your heart.”  

In recent years Luci has been a speaker with Women of Faith. She has encouraged hundreds of thousands of women to lead truly adventurous lives for the sake of Christ.

Some of Luci’s spunk comes from our grandmother, whom she often quotes as saying, “A day is wasted if you don’t fall over in a heap laughing.” Our grandmother?

Yes. Luci is my sister. Something unique about Luci is that the photos of children in her art-filled home are those of my own kids and our older brother’s—not hers. She has been quite public about the fact that she has never married and has no children. I think it’s fitting that her mission statement comes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: 

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Luci has turned her “current” of living single into an adventurous voyage. Back in 1982, she wrote Wide My World; Narrow My Bed. Ten years ago, she wrote I Married Adventure. About her singleness Luci writes, “From Christians I got pressure for not marrying, especially when I was younger. . . . But a seemingly unbreakable fiber grew inside me that assured me it was okay to be me. . . . What mattered was that I was happy in my own skin.”

Luci has now passed the eighty-year mark. As she reflects on her life as a single woman, she says, “When I’m with the Lord face to face, it is my own life that I lay down and not the prefabrication of one who always tried to be somebody else.”

The apostle Paul has a message for the unmarried—whether never married, widowed, or currently unmarried. He tells them he wishes all could be like him, not bound to a spouse, in order to devote themselves fully to Christ (1 Cor. 7:8–9). Many who take a high view of Scripture debate whether his instruction applied only to his time (v. 26) or serves a general principle for all time. Regardless of which he meant, today the family-focused church can benefit from the reminder that God’s best does not always include being married.

Are you a Luci? Or is there a Luci in your life whom the great Cartographer is directing on a seemingly uncharted voyage of singleness? Or perhaps both? Whatever your lot, devote yourself wholeheartedly to Christ, and encourage others to do the same. In the words of Katharina von Schlegel, “The waves and winds still know his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.”

Charles R. Swindoll
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, TX. His leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
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