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Book Review: Preparing to Be a Help Meet by Debi Pearl

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I am often asked of good Christian dating books to recommend to younger girls. Recently I finished reading a very interesting book by called Preparing to be a Help-Meet. If you have a dating-interested teen who doesn’t necessarily like reading — and has no older girl showing her what a godly relationship looks like — I would definitely recommend this book. For older girls, however, I would suggest something else.

Debi Pearl’s Preparing to be a Help-Meet is a 227 page book written to single women who await the writing of their love story. Pearl uses eighteen chapters to tell nine real-life love stories. Some are godly examples of what to do and others are examples of what not to do. Throughout the book are insights from the three different types of men (explained in chapter three) which show the male point of view of Pearl’s advice. I would say the overall theme of the book is practical advice for young women waiting to marry.

The book also includes an in-depth Bible study with step by step instructions for teachers in the back. This would be extremely helpful for anyone leading a group Bible study for the first time. Pearl gives specific details from setting the scene to applying practical homework.

The author Debi Pearl, is also the writer of a monthly magazine entitled No Greater Joy. Her and her husband started No Greater Joy Ministries in which they published their first book, To Train up a Child, in August of 1994. Her husband Michael has been a pastor, missionary, and evangelist for over 40 years.

The book is wonderful in that it gives very practical advice, such as learning to manage time and money, learning cooking, cleaning, and mechanical skills, and respecting and obeying authorities presently in your life as training for marriage. Young minds can be expanded as the reader travels through nine stories from all sorts of women, relationships, and outcomes. Finally, the layout of the book provides an easy and fun way to learn about Christian relationships.

One of the most disappointing features of the book is the poorly written content. Although the author’s ideas are valuable, they don’t come across as clearly as intended due to poor organization, editing, and grammar. As a fellow studier of relationships myself, I was also disappointed that the book did not emphasize the importance of guarding a young woman’s heart, something I consider to be vital for any future relationship. I also thought that while Pearl gave advice on serving, ministering, and learning, she should have also briefly mentioned the importance of making disciples in this stage of life.

Overall the book is a wonderful read for young women waiting on marriage. While Preparing to be a Help-Meet offers great practical advice for preparation and understanding your future man, I do not recommend reading it unless you have given God all control of your heart. The fantasy-filled pages leave room for young women to waver in the desires of marriage, thus losing focus on God.

For more information on this book check out www.nogreaterjoy.org

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