Prepare Thy Work is a unique offering, a book specifically designed to assist young men in readying themselves for one of the most important steps they will ever take, marriage. More than just a "how to prepare for marriage" book, it gives young men instruction in how to get ready for life, understanding that a man's life will almost surely include a wife.
Author Daniel Forster, a young man who spent three years working on this book while preparing himself for courtship and marriage, writes directly to your sons, but he recommends that fathers and sons study the book together or, perhaps even better, as part of a group of fathers and sons. Given the book's format and content, you could work through it in several months, but you might choose to allow for a year or more. It would be excellent for those last two years of high school.
Forster definitely has his priorities in order and begins at the very beginning, which is making sure your spiritual life is in order. The second chapter deals with some of the most important character qualities that make for a godly man. Then, in chapters three and four, he offers up lessons on vocation and finances. Truly, he is helping young men prepare for life before they ever consider stepping into a future that involves relating to and supporting a family. In chapter five, he brings up a surprising topic, dowry, before moving on to courtship and having a family vision in the final two chapters. Since I know it can be a controversial topic, let me stop here and say that, no matter what your views on courtship, this book will definitely prove profitable!
Each chapter breaks down topically. For instance, young men begin by learning about putting God first, embracing their Christian calling, being part of the Church body, and knowing what they believe. Topics then break down into sections. Every chapter ends with "Resources, Notes & Goals."
Sections organization is consistent. Each begins with a study of scriptures pertaining to the topic; in this section, your students will find themselves answering vital questions. "Hear Counsel" is a collection of topic-related advice given to the author by a variety of married men. "Take Action" offers the young man the chance to put what he is learning into practice. Suggestions in this section may include further reading, prayer, writing essays, and other types of "homework." "For Further Study" and "Resources" enable the young man to dig deeper before ending each section of study by recording his own notes and goals.
This is an excellent, well-balanced choice for the one who desires to prepare now for the best possible future. The presentation is clear and logical. Where there are questions for the reader, there is room for writing answers in the book, which means any young man can revisit his own thoughts and study results later. When Forster recommends an unusual resource for further study, he also tells you where to find it. He even provides an appendix full of study questions you can use with many of his recommended resources.
Prepare Thy Work comes to you in a coil-bound, softcover book containing 222 pages of life-impacting study. I wish it had come to my family years ago.