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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:22 PM   #1
mamma2allen
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Default Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl *graphic content*

Have any of you read or heard anything about Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl?
I have read To Train Up a Child and totally disagree with the child-rearing approach of the Pearls. One of the ladies in our church wants to use this book as the basis for a Bible study and I don't know what to think about it. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Stephanie
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

I read the chapter of Debi's book that is on their website (it profiled the 3 different types of husbands) and i did not like it at all!

I was very troubled by her expectations of marriage and description of what was acceptable behavior for a husband. I felt parts of it excused abusive and unloving/un-Christlike behavior on the part of the husband by saying ("this is how God made him--deal with it and accept it b/c it's not going to change. If it's hard for you that's b/c you're not submissive enough."). It was as if she was describing different types of dictatorships to live under, rather than a marriage relationship.

Now it could be that my DH's and my personalities don't fit the type of people she is writing to as her concept of 'submission' has never been a part of our relationship (and that's never been a problem). We both respect the other, we make decisions together, etc... so when people talk about wifely submission it's confusing to us--what would that even look like since things work great now? It would feel fake if i suddenly decided that DH was the 'king' of the family. He likes making decisions with me, not telling me how things will be. We submit to each other depending on who it is most important to. (so that puts us firmly in the 'mutual submission camp')
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

from what I understand her position on this issue is extreme even for a wife-only position. I would suggest that even if your church embraces wife-only submission there would be several better sources for study that would be more balanced and offer better counsel.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

I strongly believe in wife-only submission, different but equal roles with in the family, etc. and I didn't like the sample chapter at all, for the reasons listed. There are much better, more correct materials out there then hers. I know many people have found it encouraging, but their theology is so off to me that I just didn't want to buy it. Plus, DH didn't fall into any of her three catagories either (and where the heck did she come up with them?)

"The Excellent Wife" might be a good suggestion. I don't agree with all of it (is there any book anyone agrees with all of) but it draws a clear line between abusive behavior verses "I wish my husband didn't act this way" stuff. If you're in the "mutual submission" camp though, you won't like it at all.

I do have to say though, that most books to women are going to be written for the woman and for her to change, because after all, she's the one reading the book, and as we've discussed with our children, we can only change ourselves. But if the sample chapter of the Pearls' book is any indication, it goes way too far into the doormat realm.
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Old 08-08-2005, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Well I will say that I definately had theological issues with The Excellent Wife (especially her saying that the Proverbs 31 passage said something it didn't ) BUT I did find it encouraging and convicting in my role as a submissive wife so if one does not embrace mutual submission I'd say this is a better choice than Pearl's book
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

More definate theological issues with DP lumping men into three categories all three of which are less than virtious and *then* saying these flawed charactures of husbands represent the character qualities of G-d.

:/

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Old 08-08-2005, 03:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Ditto on what Crystal said. I got the book based on some strong recommendations of wonderful Christian women whom I respect, and I don't regret reading it -- simply from the standpoint that I can have my own opinion of it. I also would not use it for group study, IMHO, as I think it would offend (who is the more submissive and obedient wife? ) and end up causing rifts in friendships.

On the positive side, she does bring up good points about finding joy in your marriage and respecting and revering your husband. She surprisingly is not pro-dresses only or only long hair, pointing out there are women who do it for appearances, but are very un-Christian in actions. Also to her credit, she also stresses that if there is abuse (physical, s3xual, abuse of a child), or if the husband is asking the wife to do something illegal in the name of submission, to call the authorities and get out of the situation.

However, with that said, there are several issues I have with the book.

* There is a prevailing attitude of somehow the wife is always to blame. There is always something that the wife could have done better to keep her husband from straying (even if that is his nature), viewing p*rn, substance abuse, laziness, whatever. At times she seems to absolve the man of any responsibility whatsoever.

* She uses some pretty sweepeing generalities without citing any sources or studies. Several times in the book she either mentions or alludes to how women are increasingly turning to each other for intimacy. I guess it's the eternal student in me that makes me picky about these things.

* She contradicts herself in order to make her point. In some parts of the book, she says that the wife needs to take charge and not depend on the husband to get things done (using the example of being a VP or a COO in a company); however, in other parts, she advocates letting the husband make all the decisions and essentially allowing herself to be micromanaged. I have a business background, and I know of no VP or COO that got to that position by needing to be micromanaged.

* The book is about being a "help meet," but the husband is to come up with all the ideas himself (male ego stuff, I guess ). An example I remember is a woman whose husband is a CPA, but whose dream it is to become a dairy farmer. He is doing both (CPA by day, farm by night), and the wife is frustrated with the situation (husband gone a lot, working too much). Mrs. Pearl's advice? Basically suck it up and deal with it.

To me a better answer would be along the following lines: Your dh's dream is to be a dairy farmer -- don't squelch that dream! I know you're concerned about the long hours he is working and the potential effect on his health. Why not sit down with him and help him brainstorm some ideas on how he can either do the dairy farm full time or be able to do the CPA work from home? List several ideas, and let him choose the one that he feels will work best.

This leads me to the question of, How can I be a help meet if I'm not allowed to help?!?!?!?!

Basically, if you have a talent for something and your dh doesn't (i.e., business matters, balancing the checkbook), just suppress them and let **him** figure it out. To me, this directly contradicts the parable of the talents.

* If you don't marry a man, you are not fulfilling the purpose God created you for, and are therefore a failure. To which I argue back, what about nuns? What about women who dedicate their lives by going into the mission field? They are most definitely carrying out the work of Christ!!! Dh and I know several wonderful sisters, and I certainly do not consider any of them "failures." What about Mother Teresa? Would Mrs. Pearl consider her a "failure" because she became a nun and spent her life helping the poor and sick in Calcutta? This is a woman who is on the path to sainthood!!!! Certainly not a failure.

* Her advice to simplify went right out the window for me. Meals? The same 7 meals per week, on the same days of the week. In my house, the menu would be chucked on day 8 by dh.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to post my thoughts on the book. Some good stuff, but a lot that I just did not agree with.

ETA: Oh yes, how could I have forgotten? Mr. Pearl's whole "spiritual masturbation" thing! (It's basically where you are so inward looking and focused on doing studies and so on.)
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Quote:
Also to her credit, she also stresses that if there is abuse (physical, s3xual, abuse of a child), or if the husband is asking the wife to do something illegal in the name of submission, to call the authorities and get out of the situation.
I'm wondering how this lines up with his counsel to a woman who's dh is in prison for child sexual abuse to not divorce him and to continue investing in the marriage. Maybe you're to turn him in and then keep investing in the marriage--how does one reconcile that???
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

For better or worse? But you are correct, she does advocate visiting him in prison and bringing the children to see him once a month. But I guess my point was that she didn't say to put up with the abuse, because, after all, with her reasoning, the wife somehow caused it to happen.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

I would not participate in a Bible study if that was the book. I've read the sample chapter online and it was absurd. I kept shaking my head while reading it. It made no sense. My DH did not fit any of the categories at all. I know some women online who are huge fans of this book and the Pearl philosophy. In almost all areas I completely disagree with them and can't imagine myself ever being like them or thinking like them unless I had some kind of brain damage. I know that's harsh, but that's truly how alienating the Pearl material is for me.

I would imagine that this book would be very divisive in a Bible study unless you already know that the members were very submissive & meek.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

WOW! Did I read the same book? Yes, I did, but I definately didn't take it the way that it seems most did. Yes, there are things in the book that I didn't 100% agree with, but overall, I agreed with the book. It is addressed to women which is why it sounds like everything is the wife's fault. Because we can only change OUR attitudes, OUR behavior. I mean if you put a sentence in there that makes a woman feel sorry for herself, the message of how to fix the situation with OUR behavior will be lost because many women will look at that one sentence and say, "see, I knew it wasn't MY fault". Also, the description of men, she states clearly that most men will be a little of all three. Some will be more Commando and very little dreamer etc. Personally, I have had this same discussion about Dr. Laura's book and what I am finding is that we don't like to hear where we need to change in clear cut terms. We want the sugar coated version. Anyway, I guess I am the dissenting voice in the group as I found the book to be truly inciteful.
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:08 PM   #12
ArmsOfLove
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Okay . . . here are some quotes from her online chapter of the book and she is describing the Command Man who she believes her dh to be. I am really surprised people consider this a description of a healthy dynamic:

Quote:
are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. Most of them do not want their wives involved in any project that prevents them from serving him.
Quote:
It is awful being shut out. A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient.
Quote:
She is on call every minute of her day. Her man wants to know where she is, what she is doing, and why she is doing it. He corrects her without thought. For better or for worse, it is his nature to control.
Quote:
The Command Man feels it is his duty and responsibility to lead people, and so he does, whether they think they want him to lead or not.
Quote:
A Command Man who has gone bad is likely to be abusive. It is important to remember that much of how a Command man reacts depends on his wife’s reverence toward him.
Quote:
In most marriages, the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects obedience, honor, and reverence, and is not getting it, and thus he reacts badly.
And this lovely gem is followed by this one
Quote:
Of course, there are a few men who are so cruel and violent that even when the wife is a proper help meet, he will still physically abuse her or the children. In such cases, it would be the duty of the wife to alert the authorities so that they might become the arm of the Lord to do justice.
IOW abuse is to be expected if you aren't being a proper help meet but if you are then it's not okay

This wife is then warned that her command man dh will not take out the trash, have mercy on the sick and dying, or have any interest in hearing about her thoughts and ideas.

Regardless of your opinion about who should or shouldn't submit, this is a description of an abusive and controlling man :/

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Old 08-08-2005, 06:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Well, where was she 7 years ago? If only I'd known Booger's father's treatment of me was due to my not being "reverent" enough, I could have changed everything! NOTE THE SARCASM!!
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl

Here are some chapter-by-chapter reviews of the books:

http://razorbackmama.blogspot.com/

http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com...et-part-1.html



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Old 08-08-2005, 07:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl



Is she open to suggestions? I loved Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and I think that would be an excellent book if the purpose of the Bible study is to understand your dh's.
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