Nearly every wife will confess that the first year or two of married life was…how shall I say it…a frustrating learning experience. Most girls spend plenty of time planning for their wedding, but make no preparation for the weeks and years to follow. Many wives are provoked to bitterness during the first year and never get over it. All this could so easily be avoided with simple instruction. It was with good reason God said let the aged women teach the younger. Trial and error is not the best teacher when it comes to marriage. It is much less painful to learn beforehand what God has to say about your role as a help meet to that special man God will bring into your life. It is the older women who have experienced the joys of a good marriage whom God has appointed to pass along his instructions. That is what I have done in this new book Preparing to Be a Help Meet.

Preparing to Be a Help Meet contains six sweet love stories written by wives sharing their experiences about how God taught them to be the help meets they are today. Three of the stories are from wives that have been married over 40 years. Three stories are by new brides who, before marriage, were trained to be the help meet God intended. All the love stories are beautiful, and will show you how wonderful it is to walk together in God’s light.

In addition to the six personal testimonies, this book is full of short stories from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Funny tales, ideas of how to gain a good man’s attention, and even a tragic testimony all teach important lessons. You will meet “Grabbers” and “Hidden Flowers”, and discover how to avoid being either. The chapter on “Antsy Babes” will remind you why patience is so important. You will be warned as you read stories of how texting, emailing and other forms of cyberspace have destroyed many budding relationships and even marriages.

An important part of this book is instruction on preparing for your future by saving money, developing skills, gathering information on cooking, health, and many other topics. Girls will see how one wise young woman planned her wedding God’s way. Along the way the reader will learn what to pack in her Heavenly Hope Chest.

A shy girl—Hidden Flower—who has never had a man interested in her, will learn how to become visible to godly men. Brassy girls—Grabbers—will be shown a mirror so they will see how good men view pushy females. Impatient girls—Antsy Babes—will learn patience.

Girls will be instructed on how young men seek out a wife and what they are looking for in a possible mate. They will discover what turns young men away and what causes a young man to consider a girl. In the last chapter, several men speak up to say what they really appreciate in their wives. And, of course, several single, wife-hunting males speak out here and there to give their opinion of what I have written.

On a more sober note, the age-old question, “How do I know if this man is the will of God for me?” will be answered through Scripture, wisdom, and example.

As I was finishing the manuscript, three young women read and evaluated Preparing to Be a Help Meet. They all said the book was captivating and that they would be better daughters and wives for having read it. Several married women who read the rough manuscript said of this new book that any lady that enjoyed Created to Be His Help Meet will LOVE Preparing to Be a Help Meet and they will learn as much from it as they did from Created.

As the author, I believe the girl or married woman who reads Preparing to Be a Help Meet will close the book knowing that God answers prayer, that He wants to bless her and that marriage God’s way is indeed glorious.

At the back of the book, my daughter Shalom Pearl Brand put together an extensive Teacher’s Guide. Shalom and Kristen Leonard taught a girls’ Preparing to Be a Help Meet class last winter using the book’s draft as it was being written. Through the teaching of the Word the girls grew into righteous young women. Some of the girls said they just didn’t understand that God meant for them to start being a Proverbs 31 female NOW, training to be a help meet before becoming one. Shalom used the notes from her class to put together the Teacher’s Guide. It has ice breakers to get the girls laughing and talking, questions from the chapter they are studying, verses to look up to see what God requires, and challenges to obey God. Anyone with a heart to do so could use these step by step directions to teach a Help Meet class for singles or married ladies.

Even a young man reading this book can come to better understand how girls think and how better to approach a girl for marriage. So if any of you young men are wondering how…read and see!

Move over, Created…here comes Preparing to Be a Help Meet.

Update

Preparing to Be a Help Meet is available for purchase from our web store as a book, or on audio as an MP3 CD or digital download. You can also order the book from NGJ by calling our toll-free order line 1-866-292-9936 (M–F, 8 am–5 pm CST).

In August 2010, we launched a new website where all of you married and unmarried women can discuss the book and ask questions. Visit the official Preparing to Be a Help Meet website and join in the conversation!