Per Shonya's request, and just because I love this book so much, I'd like to tell you a bit about it.
Preparing to Be A Help Meet is about exactly what it's title says, but it is about so much more. It is about getting a life, learning to not be a helpless fragile wisp of a woman(But still be feminine), about investing yourself in ministry, about acquiring skills and making the most of your time. And it's about prayer. Prayer is how the book started, and it was one of the things that stuck with me the most. Debi talked strongly about how prayer changes things (She told a fascinating story about Daniel that I had never heard before!) and challenged girls to be praying for their future husband and for the people around them.
Several chapters are spent on the traits of God that are reflected in men and women. Debi outlines the Kingly(Command), Prophet(Visionary), and Priestly(Steady) types of men as well as the three different types of women--Dreamers, Servants, and Go-to-Gals. This helped me to understand that some characteristics that I had previously thought of as undesirable or even wrong (Such as the commanding way of a King), are simply a different reflection of God's image that I had previously overlooked. Debi speaks strongly to the gals on submission, respect, and honor. I realized that it doesn't matter what kind of guy I marry(If I marry=) if I honor and submit to him as God designed then I don't need to worry about his faults--our marriage will be as blessed as I allow it to be. This section also helped me to understand my Dad and the guys in my life just a bit more.
I was challenged and inspired by the many chapters on gaining knowledge and character NOW. Girls are encouraged to learn, learn, learn all they can! You never know what skills you may need or that may be helpful to your husband! So, I've been learning. I'm starting in on herbs and nutrition, moving on to reflexology, after that, who know's what? I jumped at some chances to try my hand at some plumbing--what a sense of satisfaction! I found this section to be the most helpful because it is great for enriching my life now and for the rest of my life, even if my love story only includes God and me. That's one thing I really loved about this book--it's for any stage of life. I thought it was great because it was very relevant even though I'm not dating, but a friend at work laughed when I said that. She thought it was perfect for her own situation, and she was dating! Debi really encourages young women to be get a life(not focused on yourself, mind you) before you get married so that after you are married you don't sit around an empty house pining away for your man to come home and you don't expect him to focus his every moment around you. She isn't preaching an 'I-can-do-anything-a-man-can-and-by-myself!' gospel, but she does remind girls that we're supposed to be the helper! If that means taking on some things not normally designated to wives so that he can be free to work, or minister, or relax, or whatever, then we should go for it!
And a whole lot more things than everything I've said!(Yes, I know that was completely ungrammatically correct.=P) All I can say is, get it. Get it, get it, read it, apply it!
The book is easiest summarized by Debi herself on the last page.
"If I had to boil this whole book down to one sentence it would be this: Walk in truth and joy, become a servant, study and learn all manner of different skills, practice honoring those in authority over you, and pray for every man you know who seeks the Lord; pray that these men have the heart to labor for the harvest. In all this you will become a Miss Right."
If you get a chance, search the book on youtube and watch the videos that they have. Debi and her daughter Shalom are both funny and very challenging! =)