A fictional “Pilgrim’s Progress for married couples,” Walk with Me by Annie Wald is an inspired allegory written to show the pitfalls of life with a partner. The walk of a Christian is a dangerous one, filled with challenges and difficulties. Many times, a person chooses a companion to travel with, but having a partner brings its own challenges.
Celeste began her life in Slouching City, a town poor in spirit and in money, whereas Peter was born in Upright Village, a self-righteous town. When the two meet on their journey toward the King’s City, they think each other the perfect travelling companion. After a while, they decide to bind themselves to one another with the Cords of Commitment. After their visit to the Moon of Honey, it becomes apparent that their life together won’t always be holding hands and walking through fields of wildflowers. Peter soon becomes disenchanted with Celeste, as she does with him. She longs for romance, while Peter wishes his wife was more attractive and a better homemaker.
Nearly every difficulty a couple could go through is covered in this book. The couple journeys through the “burr patch of unkind words,” the “sand dunes of folly,” the “orchard of earthly delights,” “the swamp of selfishness,” and the “crossroads of divorce.” The book deals with pornography, temptations to cheat, rearing children, and even times when couples are not of the same mindset spiritually. Wald also covers the often-overlooked problem of women lusting over romance and “the grass is always greener” syndrome.
The most interesting part of the book deals with Celeste and Peter’s partnership. While the couple journeys through an especially rough part of road, Celeste’s Cords of Commitment begin to chafe at her wrists as Peter walks on faster. They run into Respect, a guide along the trail who quotes to Celeste Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” However, Respect goes on to explain that whereas they are co-heirs and equals, this does not mean they are the same. He says that being one, they should complement each other’s weaknesses. “You are asked to defer to Peter’s leadership when the two of you come to an impasse,” Respect says.
The fictional allegory style makes this intensive “couples counseling” easy to follow and understand. The metaphors in the book make discussing problems like sexual relations outside of marriage, pornography, and lust over romance tactfully appropriate reading for its Christian audience. Due to the great amount of biblical references and research woven into the story, Wald has included 12 pages of her Scripture references and sources in the back.
The target audience for this book is obviously Christian married couples, although engaged or serious couples may enjoy reading and learning from Celeste and Peter’s relationship. I would recommend this book for anyone wishing to strengthen a relationship with God and with a spouse. – Katelyn S. Irons, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Peter and Celeste choose to travel as one on the lifelong journey to the King's City. They are blissfully in love and bound to each other by the Cords of Commitment. Shortly after visiting the Moon of Honey they discover that the journey proves much more difficult than they expected. When they find themselves laboring through the Swamp of Selfishness, crossing the dismal Plains of Distance, and nearly becoming separated by the River of Unfaithfulness, their love for each other and for the King is challenged. They must choose whether to continue on together, not knowing if they can be warmed again by the Kindling of Affection, or visit the Valley of Cut Cords to journey alone once more.