Almost anyone who gives parenting advice will tell you one of the most important gifts you can give your kids is to have a great marriage. There are probably hundreds or even thousands of books on the market about marriage. Many are helpful, some are even from a godly perspective. I know many of you will want or need to read a book to help your marriage at some point, so I’m always on the lookout for great new resources.
I was intrigued when offered the opportunity to review the new book Letters to My Daughter – The Art of Being a Wife by Barbara Rainey. Rainey has been married for decades and is the mother to six adult children. As her daughters were married, they began to ask her questions. In her ministry role, she was also asked questions about marriage by other young women.
She decided the best way to answer their questions was to come up with a book that framed her answers as if her daughters had asked all of questions and she replied in letter form. The resulting book is a beautiful volume filled with godly advice from a woman who has lived through several decades of marriage with all of its ups and downs.
Because it is a book of letters, it would be easy for the book to appear dated. Personally, I think that is what gives it charm and beauty. The format seems to encourage the reader to lower any barriers they may have to receiving advice on marriage from an older woman and read this collection of comforting letters.
Rainey’s advice is very encouraging and yet also very honest. She seems open about the learning process she has experienced and continues to experience in her own marriage. She helps the reader understand that many of the problems in marriage are merely the result of two often very different people living together.
As someone who has a couple of decades of marriage under my own belt now, I really appreciated the advice she gives to young wives. I especially thought the constant reminders that a marriage is a team effort and to assume your spouse is not out to purposely hurt you is really great for framing a lot of disagreements in marriage.
The author does a great job of convincing the reader her marriage is a work of art – whether it be cuisine, music, dance or several others. She ties the art form to the lessons learned while pursuing it and how they also can apply to marriage. It’s really just another way to gently lead the reader to some important understandings about marriage.
If you want a self-help, give me a list of to-do’s book on marriage, this one is probably not for you. If, however, you want to savor a book on marriage and learn to find and see the beauty of your own marriage (and make a few corrections in the process), I think you will really enjoy this book.
I think the book would be most helpful to new brides or maybe brides who have been married for awhile, but still haven’t figured out some of the basics of having a successful marriage. For women in basically good marriages, this is a gentle reminder of some minor tune-ups you may need or can be used to help you learn ways to counsel younger brides.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review.