Created to be his helpmeet - have you read the book?

Cyndel - posted on 05/17/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Last time I read it I agreed with a lot of it, I just started to read it, and though I agree with some of it, I find that a lot if it is not as biblically sound as I first thought.

Have you read it? What is your oppinion of it?

Disclaimer: I want to start an honest discussion. I know some are passionatly for this book and some are passionatly against, that's ok, but please keep it civil.
The only things we should ever be passionate enough about to split over are the key points of Christianity that we must believe to be Christian.
I just wanted to 'verbalize' the caution as I really do want a good, honest discussion on this book.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Angela - posted on 05/21/2012

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QUOTE: In her post, Cyndel says (of Debi Pearl's book):



"A woman in an abusive relationship should only leave (possibly) if her life is definitely in danger, if her children's lives (though not their emotional or spiritual health) are in danger, or if her children have been sexually abused by her husband, but even then she is to call the cops and not divorce him only keep him away from the children until they are grown while still working to secure his salvation through her being a good, forgiving, grin and bear it wife."



In "Created to Be A Help Meet" Debi Pearl describes a dangerous scenario where a husband is regularly violent with his wife - including when she is pregnant. She tells the true story of this wife who prayed about the situation and her husband changed his ways and decided he wanted to get saved and became a Christian and now he is never violent to his wife. Now, although this is TRUE it's only an anecdote and by no means indicative of every abusive relationship. It's "anecdotal evidence" (that phrase is actually a contradiction in terms). Anecdotal evidence is NOT proof or empirical evidence. Only one anecdote is given for this scenario but even if there were several, it should be remembered (especially by the Pearls who use anecdotes in their books) that the plural of anecdote is NOT data!



One or even several anecdotes given to support a statement or an idea is NEVER empirical evidence. At best it is rationalising.



Michael Pearl, when asked about his knowledge and credentials in child-rearing simply points to his 5 adult children who are healthy, intelligent, law-abiding and happily married individuals. He is not violent or abusive with his wife, they are not struggling with poverty, poor health, isolation or difficult circumstances. Obviously they are entitled to SOME credit for this themselves but not every couple or every family is so fortunate.



You can't give marital or family advice with a one size fits all approach.

Carla - posted on 05/20/2012

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Debbie Pearl must have a different translation of the Bible than what I have. If we read Paul's (and the Holy Spirit's) writings, we know that the man is the head of the household--which means the wife and children are his spiritual responsibility, not the other way around. The husband is to be on constant guard that the Enemy is trying to get his spouse or children, and to cover them with prayer, to speak the Word to them, to encourage and strengthen them. If he does not, HIS prayers will be hindered (I Peter 3:7) This verse says we are heirs together. This is the real why I do not waste time reading books written by Man (or Woman). An idea pops into our collective heads, and it may start out sound, but if the Holy Spirit is not in it, the theory will fall. I don't like to bad-mouth anyone, but I think this Pearl couple needs to be avoided.

The Bible says to spank your children in some places, other times it talks of reasoning with them, and yet others it says train and teach. And please, don't start on the spanking theory, I am simply bringing this up as an illustration! As you all know, we use the Supernanny Naughty Spot method, which works fantastic! Now, as reasonably intelligent adults, why on EARTH would you use spanking exclusively, if there are other methods out there that works just as well if not better? The point here is that some person has gotten a brilliant idea and taken it to the extreme (the Pearls discipline book). Now, they've gotten another collectively brilliant idea and are running with this one. AND, as I said above, they must be reading the newest version of the Bible, because KJV says exactly the opposite!

God put the Man as head of the household. Period. This rubs a lot of women the wrong way, I understand that. But we have to understand the reasoning behind this. God is the Head of the Trinity, but they rule together. Man is the head of the house, but we are to rule together, as one unit. Men bring certain things to the table that women don't have, and women likewise. Together we function as a complete unit. But men are responsible for the final outcome. God will ask each father/husband, what did you do to show your children Jesus? How was your fathering showing your children the Love of the Father? Why didn't you encourage your wife (on June 15, 2009, and God will have ALL this written down in the Book), instead of belittling her? Trust me, I am certainly glad I am a woman ;)

I remember a time when my husband and I went to buy a car. We had discussed it at length before we got into the car dealership, and we signed papers on a good used car. This was what we could afford, and I felt comfortable with the decision. He went behind my back and ordered a NEW car, and when we went to pick up what I thought was our car, he was grinning ear-to-ear, as they brought out this shiny, royal blue with white vinyl roof vehicle. I was NOT happy! But, I let him have his moment. Two weeks after we got the car home, it started acting up. We had that stupid car in the repair shop so many times that we had to go buy another car because we couldn't depend on the new, shiny one. He learned his lesson. Now, if I would have made a big fuss, made him look hen-pecked in front of the salesman, we would have had a huge fight when we got home, we both would have been furious. Instead, God took care of the 'discipline'.

I obey my husband. He knows me, inside and out. He knows if I start mouthing off about something that it will escalate and turn ugly. When he tells me to stop! I know he is watching out for me so that I don't look the fool, or say something I will regret--or both. He knows my health, and if he tells me to sit down, or I'm going to overdo, I obey. It isn't some horribly demeaning thing he does to me, he does it out of love. I know there are a lot of men who abuse this, and to those women I say pray. God will work this out, one way or the other. It's all a matter of faith. Do we trust God enough that, if we obey His Word, He will back it up?

I hope I didn't offend you with my critique of the Pearl's, Cyndel. It's just that we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. I see neither wisdom or harmless-ness in their words. What I see is a potential for a destroying of the family unit as God has set it forth.

God bless, all

Carla - posted on 05/19/2012

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I didn't read the book, Cyndel, but going with what you have said, her statements negate the Proverbs 31 woman. Can you imagine the men sitting at the city gates (as it speaks of in this chapter) and saying 'yeah, my little woman smiles sweetly at me when I tell her that I gambled away the rent money'?

This book sounds like what most Christians are taught nowadays: Make a good outward show, don't worry about what your insides look like. Sin is sin, and is not to be tolerated, period. Yes, our conduct is supposed to be able to save our husbands (chaste conversation coupled with fear), through them seeing we have something they want, but this is putting an undue burden on a woman that already HAS too much on her.

I know we, as Christians, are always looking for some new book or new preacher that has 'THE word', a new way of dealing with problems or a new revelation, but, and this is my opinion only, all our needs rest between the covers of our Bible. I RARELY read what Man has written (The Shack being an exception). The Holy Spirit lives inside my Bible, and that's where I want to be.

God bless, all

Cyndel - posted on 05/18/2012

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I did some research after posting the above and found this blog that has detailed a lot of problems with not just the book but the biblical theology behind the premise of the book. http://createdtobehelpmeet.blogspot.com/



A few that really struck me were:

Debi says we as women should not be spiritual (i.e. personal prayer and bible study time) but our entire spirituality and beliefs come from our husband, he is teach us. Nor should she in any way teach her children doctrine, only basic bible stories if necessary.



Debi NEVER says to pray for your husband's heart change, everything she says indicates your husbands change of heart is placed solidly on the wife's shoulders. Only God can change our hearts or our husbands.



According to Debi a christian woman's identity is found in her husband or lack there of, not from Christ as the bible says it does.



A mans faithfulness is solely dependent on her ability to be cheerful and a good sex partner. A woman is being defiant and rebellious if she refuses to have sex even if it is for a good reason like painful intercourse.



A wife is to NEVER confront her husbands sin (save in very specific circumstances), that is to usurp his leadership and putting herself above him. Instead we are to lovingly grin and bear it without showing any hurt or brokenness of spirit, despite the fact that you may very well be broken in spirit. Letting a brother or sister live in sin is the exact opposite of loving them. We are to live together, growing together, helping each other to see and overcome our sin, striving side by side to become more Christlike. The bible says to confront our brethren in their sin, that would include our husbands.



The last I'll mention right now is, in my opinion, the most dangerous. A woman in an abusive relationship should only leave (possibly) if her life is definitely in danger, if her children's lives (though not their emotional or spiritual health) are in danger, or if her children have been sexually abused by her husband, but even then she is to call the cops and not divorce him only keep him away from the children until they are grown while still working to secure his salvation through her being a good, forgiving, grin and bear it wife.



Now I agree a LOT of what she says is good and biblical, but she has the tendency to take what the bible says to do and stretch it completely out of shape. This is what I have issue with.

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Carla - posted on 05/21/2012

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I understand what you're saying, Angela. But every false prophet has a tinge of truth to their preachings, otherwise people wouldn't follow them. The advice, as I read it in Cyndel's quotes, is pie-in-the-sky, in-a-perfect-world scenario. Very few of us have had these. Yes, I gave the story of my grama who went against her husband, took the children to church, grampa came down the aisle to drag her out, and the Power of God hit him, and he came up saved and sober. This is a wonderful story, and meant to show God's miracles. However, there are just as many stories where something like this has turned out horribly wrong. Telling a woman to stay where she and her children are being abused, or staying married to the man is just wrong, to me.

I guess, bottom line, everyone has to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. If you have prayed, feel absolutely certain you have heard from God, and He tells you to stay, then you'd better. However, if your children are in danger, if you go to sleep wondering if you're going to wake up in the morning, to me, is tempting God. There's no easy answer here.

God bless, all

Angela - posted on 05/20/2012

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OK, I've read the opening chapters of both "Created To Be A Help Meet" and "Preparing To Be A Help Meet". And I have to admit that I quite liked them! I read these introductory parts on Amazon where prospective buyers are often able to read some of the book on sale.

This doesn't endorse the rest of either book - the parts I've not read but have studied the critique in the blog in the site Cyndel gave us the link to.

The advice in "Created To Be A Help Meet" of a wife being cheerful and smiling for her man does have validity. And the advice in "Preparing To Be A Help Meet" for the young (unmarried) woman to pray constantly for the man she would eventually marry (even before she knows who he is!) is a great idea too!

In general though, I'm opposed to these books. But it would be dishonest of me not to give due recognition to the bits I read that I liked.

Angela - posted on 05/20/2012

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Right, I’ve not read the book but I did read the blog link quoted in Cyndel Jones’ post. It was enlightened and written with reference to good and relevant scriptures. Debi Pearl has written a book with her own homespun philosophies, some of which have no scriptural basis, some with reasonable scriptural basis and yet others with apparent scriptural basis that’s been stretched out of context!

As Carla so rightly points out with her comment about gambling away the rent money, the recommendations of this book are a tall order for most women – whether they’re Christian or not. And I can testify that they don’t work. I was advised by my Church friends to soften the heart of my unsaved, abusive husband by always obeying him and being “sweet and submissive” etc …. It didn’t work, it was merely “licence” for him to abuse and exploit me MORE. I could have hung around and suffered in silence for a few more years. I didn’t!

The husband I have now (my second husband) is a Christian man who loves me and SHOWS IT! He neither wishes nor expects to be “obeyed” – he wants me to be my own person and recognises that in the cherishing of each other before God (who is our perfect example) and the valuing of our marriage, we’ll be happy. We’ll still face our trials and difficulties – just like unmarried people do - but if we approach our problems and challenges as a team and with God’s guidance, we’ll battle through and make it!

Debi Pearl’s book attempts to religiously sanction the concept of a woman being a total doormat and martyr to her husband! A less-experienced (or less mature) Christian wife might regard her advice as 100% correct and failsafe. And this is dangerous.

Overall, the book (as reviewed on the blog Cyndel gave us) makes my blood run cold, as a Christian, as a feminist and simply as an ordinary married female!


I’ll admit my first overwhelming relevation was that this book was written by Debi PEARL – one of the Pearls of the No Greater Joy ministry. This indeed made it “suspect” in my reckoning as their “To Train Up A Child” book is controversial. Here’s a critical weblink on the Pearls and their book on child-rearing:

http://www.salon.com/2006/05/25/the_pear...


Now Mike Pearl has written his own book to be consulted by husbands – called “Created To Need A Help Meet”. The notes on the back of the book are actually quite good – he says

“After my wife wrote ‘Created To Be His Help Meet’ and we received so many wonderful testimonies of marriages restored, men would approach me and ask when I was going to write a book for them. Tongue in cheek, I have said, ‘If you are having trouble in your marriage, have your wife read Created To Be His Help Meet and everything will work out fine!’

THAT’S ALL THE WORLD NEEDS, RIGHT? That would fix everything. No more failed marriages. Men would all be content if their wives just cheerfully obeyed and stopped judging them.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if you, Sir, are tired of being of being a jerk and would like to contribute something to the marriage, this book is for you. It is written by a man who can whip your butt and has half-a-mind to so, don’t expect any Kumbaya stuff.”

I only read the opening chapter to Mike Pearl’s book and so far it seems to be better than his wife’s book or the one they wrote together about raising kids.


Finally I’d like to include this quote. OK – it ISN’T scriptural, but I think there’s a message in it:


Woman was created from the rib of man
She was not made from his head to top him
Nor from his feet, to be trampled on.
She was made from his side, to be equal to him
From under his arm to be protected by him
From near his heart to be loved by him.

~author unknown~

Victoria - posted on 05/18/2012

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Not a biblically correct piece of fiction.

Pastor Victoria MacPherson

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