Of all relationship books I’ve read, and I’ve read quite a few, this is the one that has most shaped my views on marriage. It is written by Debi Pearl, whom I first grew to respect through the series that she and her husband wrote on child training (that series was so well written that as a child I read it for fun!).
This book is written in the spirit of Tutus 2, by an older woman to encourage younger women to godliness. Some of the topics covered are: keeping a merry heart in hard times, practicing thankful spirit toward your husband, being content with what you have, developing a ‘playful’ spirit toward your man, developing wisdom (4 chapters), the nature of man and woman, earning the trust of your man, and reverence. And that is just the first half of the book! The second half Mrs. Pearl works through the Titus 2 passage phrase by phrase; To Be Sober, To Love their Husbands, To love their Children, etc.
Mrs. Pearl is a mountain woman, and she doesn’t mince words. She calls sins by their real name, not by the glossed over terms that we use today to soften them up. She paints a hard picture of the kind of marriage a woman who doesn’t follow scriptural principles can expect, and backs these pictures up with letters she has received.
This is a book written to women, so she focuses intently on the responsibilities that woman have to their husbands and doesn’t mention responsibilities men have to their wives. Considering the author and the intended audience this is very appropriate, but it is important to keep in mind as the book is read.
One thing that bears mentioning, this book does deal with some sexual themes. Mrs. Pearl takes a hard look at some very common misconceptions that woman have about sexuality and what the Bible says on the topic. This is done in a manner appropriate both for a mature single young woman and a young lady who is courting and preparing herself for marriage. I would submit that the topics covered are necessary for anyone who is going to be married soon.
Really, the only chapter I would strongly caution about is the second to last one, “To Obey or Not To Obey.” This chapter treats with difficult situations of abuse and husbands involved in sin. Most of what Mrs. Pearl (and her husband, who writes much of this section) has to say is fairly sound biblically, but I don’t believe it is necessary to read unless the situation is one you are actually dealing with.
All in all I highly recommend this book. Should the Lord give me daughters it will be required reading for them when they turn 18—and I imagine I’ll work through it with them just for the chance to read it again!