Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Pearl's and No Greater Joy - Introduction

I have found the information to be too much to put into one post, so I will be doing what I think will probably be a bi-weekly to monthly posts. I have found several resource both for and against. I have taken the Bible and compared with what I have found and have come to my conclusion. My information will come from personal opinion, websites and friends who have either had contact with the Pearl's or who have read their books.

My first topic will be on their book...

"Created To Be His Help Meet"

I have read this book from cover to cover and have discussed it in detail with my husband. We both find parts that we STRONGLY disagree with, along with some parts that we agree are good advice (that was few and far between).

  • It's ALWAYS the woman's fault.
In one letter a woman is writing asking for help because her husband is having an emotional affair with his secretary. Debi Pearl writes her back and basically tells her that it's her fault that he is showing his secretary the attention. The advice she gives is this...

"God has provided for your husband's complete sanctification and deliverance from temptation through you, his wife." (pg 29)

In my personal opinion, a man is a man...he has a flesh that will get tempted...it's up to HIM what he does with it. Yes there are times when it is the wife's who almost pushes him into having an affair, but a man has a mind of his own and ultimately- the decision is his.

"If you want to keep your man and the father of your children, you are going to have to forget about your rights as a wife and forget his Christian obligation to his vows." (pg 30)

That husband made those vows to his wife, "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer"...it's his responsibility to hold to those vows as it is for the wife as well.

There are TOO many examples of it always being the woman's fault to give all of them. Debi Pearl implies in this book that no matter what happens in a marriage - it's ALWAYS the woman's fault. As if the man has no responsibility for his own actions at all.

  • ALWAYS give your husband sex whenever ever he wants it.
In her book, Debi tells wives that no matter if you are in the mood, if you are still recovering from your previous intimate evening, or whether you aren't feeling well (i.e. headache) that it it your responsibility that absolutely no matter what if your husband wants you, then he gets you. End of story. She calls reason listed above "excuses" for why they would "rather not" or why they "cannot respond" sexually. (pg 163)

She says - "Her husband knows in his spirit that her excuses are just that: excuses for not wanting him. (pg 163)

"When a woman just "allows, cooperates, and tolerates," it leaves a man feeling sick at heart." (pg 163)

"A woman is a fool to believe her own excuses or to think she can convince him that what she says is the truth." (pg 164)

"By not obeying God in this area of sex and love, a woman is putting a terrible curse on her husband. When a woman forces a man into that position, it is the equivalent of a man saying to his wife, "You are a stupid, ugly, lousy wife, but I will still be a good husband and kiss you today." (pg 164)

Debi says that to not give your husband sex is to blaspheme God. Now, don't get me wrong...God created sex and intended it to be something between a man and his wife. But I don't believe that God has a problem with a wife that doesn't feel good physically, or that just can't at that time. And I personally believe that if your husband demands it and takes it regardless, it's rape!

To keep this post from being too long, I will sum it up with a quote from a friend of mine, Mrs. W that read it and this is what she had to say about it -

"Honestly, I read Created To Be His Help Meet twice, once before I got saved, and once right after. I thought I might be more receptive to it after I was saved. I tried living exactly as the book described, and it was the worst thing ever for our marriage. My husband hated it and said that he didn't want a woman who did this. He married me because I was a somewhat sassy, passionate woman with a brain of my own. Don't get me wrong, I believe in submission, I just think that Debi has the wrong idea."

All in all, if you think you can read this book and get some good advice without adhering to the bad, go for it...but be VERY careful!!! I personally would never recommend this book for any young lady that is not married due to the sexual content that is in the book.

There will be more info to follow on "Created To Be His Help Meet" at a later time. I thought this was plenty for right now.


27 comments:

Mrs W said...

Kristina, this is a very good post. Thanks for taking an honest look at it.

amulbunny said...

Bravo. I am so glad you are rational about this.

I hope you are feeling better and doing okay!

Cove Girl said...

I think I have to agree. A couple years ago a friend of mine at church was expounding upon the book's virtues and some of my other friends decided to buy it. Needless to say the ones that bought it were less than impressed. Much of what you said was also the sentiments of my Pastor, who I asked about it as well. The Bible, so far as I've read, definitely doesn't teach that submission is subservience. To often the terms are blurred together and people end up feeling more defeated then encouraged when that happens, and a lot of times it can lead to abuse. I know that's how I felt before I understood the difference. Ironically, after finally understanding the difference for myself, I had to say no to someone that wanted to court me because he didn't understand the difference. But in the end it turns out that he just wasn't comfortable being a leader in life and would have been fine if I "ran the show" so to speak. How's that for twisting something good that God made and turning it into "evil"? In any case I definitely dodged a bullet and God is still at work with me too. I look forward to reading you other posts on this subject.

deb said...

Hooray. How wonderful that your husband was troubled by the book also. It shows that he must be a good guy.

Sunny said...

Kristina, thank you for using your brain when reading this book. I couldn't agree more with your assessment. Wait, I don't think that there is ANYTHING of redeeming value in this book as it's all tainted with Mrs. Pearl's apparent hatred of women.

Her daughter and son in law, the Anast's, have a website known as 7XSunday. There are a lot of very unhappy, misguided women on their message board, and Created to Be His Helpmeet is making them more miserable.

-Sunny

Jessie-Bessie said...

Wow, that was a great post, God bless!

dcB said...

Kristina,

As a FJ reader, the thing that makes me the happiest about this post is that it seems like not only do you have a good head on your shoulders but so does your husband. The problem most of us have with the "submission" doctrine is that bad men can use it to their advantage to abuse their wife. I'm happy that your husband isn't one of those men and you are a strong enough woman to have your faith and protect yourself too.

Hermana Linda said...

Very interesting. I'll be following with interest.

ERICA said...

WOw! How crazy is that?! I believe that woman has too MUCH submission going on! Yes it is right to submit to your husband, but not to where you're treating yourself like dirt! And if this woman's husband really loves her, why on earth would he LET her act that way and treat herself that way! I don't understand how somebody could take something so SIMPLE and blow it way out of porportion!
Once again, thank you for being bold enough to stand for what you believe and for clearing that up for all who were wondering :)
Hope all is well!

In Christ,
ERICA

Amy said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I read this book for the first time when I was single, and, I actually thought it was the way marriage was supposed to be! Now that I am married, I am appalled that there are so many wives out there who believe this. My marriage would be a disaster if my husband and I followed all the Pearls beliefs and teachings. Thank you for posting this!

Lori said...

AMEN!

I heard about this book from several ladies. I looked over the Pearl's website and was not too impressed. My husband told me not to buy the book but to get it at the library.We were both shocked! A wise decision on not spending our money on this book!

This kind of "brain washing" is what has hurt so many families.

I can't wait for your next post.

Nicole said...

Add me to the list of FJ readers who love this blog post from you! I have read this particular book, and it makes me happy that you and your husband are not living the lifestyle that Debi Pearl advocates. Double bravo! I hope that you will also take the Pearl's child training books with a big shaker of salt!

Eight said...

Kristina:

I agree with you, submission and love for your husband doesn't mean that a woman is a doormat and this gives her husband the right to mistreat her, as this book encourages.
On the 'sex whenever he wants it' front, it's not only wrong for a man to force himself on his wife in God's eyes, it's also criminal in the eyes of the law of the land and is criminal. Wedding vows and/or a marriage license aren't a 'free pass' ticket to a woman's body.
For instance, I have a good friend who went into premature labor when she was pregnant with her son. Her doctor ordered complete bedrest--this included no sex. If she couldn't have sex for the safety of THEIR child, does that give her husband the go ahead to look around and see what else is out there? Of course not!
I think it's wonderful that you and your husband are discussing your opinions honestly and openly--communication isn't just a 'marriage therapy' word!
Patricia
P.S. My friend and her husband have a beautiful little boy who just celebrated his third birthday and are waiting for God to give them their next blessing.

√Člena said...

Hi Kristina,

I've been following your blog for a while, your totally different lifestyle is interesting to me.

This last post of yours was very surprising for me and I have a question to ask you. How does your viewpoint that a wife should not have to be available sexually for her husband all the time (which I strongly agree with, by the way!) go with your viewpoint that one needs to be an obidient wife?

Greetings from Europe :)

Carey said...

Kristina,
You wrote a very interesting and important post! I think the Pearls are totally misleading other Christians. Good for you for standing up for what is right!

Nikki said...

Great post! I can't wait to hear what you have to say about "To Train Up a Child". I also have read the book and I agree with you.

Stephanie said...

Kristina,

Thank you so much writing a post on this. I had only heard of the Pearl's a few times and had looked them up a few times on the internet; but was not really sure what they were all about. A few months ago I borrowed "To Train Up a Child" from the library and was pretty upset about what I read. I am really looking forward to reading what you think. I have not read any of their other books so it is nice to get an idea about what else they have written about. I look forward to the next post!

Kristi said...

I'm like you, Kristina, be VERY careful!!! I don't even pick their books up anymore. Their opinions are sometimes way off the mark. I can't even THINK about their child rearing without cringing.

~Kristi

Liz said...

I love you for writing what you, coming from the perspective you do, wrote about the Pearls. Thank you for critiquing it so beautifully :)

J.H said...

That's a great post Kristina, I enjoy reading it. I must admit not many people are critical when it comes to reading books. I feel that a lot of times christian writer can impose "opinion" backed with scripture to covert it into a "command". Now, reader had to be very careful on this. I am glad that you are one of them that use your head and reason the scripture before beliving every claim.
God bless.

Your reader in UK
Jess,
KJVChristianWallpapers.blogspot.com

Covey Family said...

Hi!!
I was doing a compilation of sorts of couples that had courted or are courting. And I was wondering if it would be okay if I put your blog on there?
You can check out my blog and leave a comment at
http://prov31allmydays.blogspot.com

Thanks
~sarah

Mrs W said...

So when are we going to see the next installment? :D

Rhonda in Chile said...

Hi Kristina!
Hope all is going well with the baby.
I was surprised to see your post, I love CTBHH. However, I can understand your reaction, since you are newly married to a wonderful Christian man who know how to treat his wife.
As a pastor's wife, I have had to counsel many women in many
different stages of their marriage. My husband has had to do the same for the men.
I can honestly say that two marriages here were miraculously spared from divorce when the wife decided to bear the brunt of the work in saving her marriage, forgoing her rights. Neither of them regret suffering for righteousness sake. One fo the husbands has been saved, and now recognizes the jewel he has for a wife.

My own marriage has been greatly strengthened. My husband is thankful for the book.
thank God for Debi Pearl.

Of course, I am not writing this to be argumentative, just to show another opinion. I love you dearly, and I pray for you and your family all the time.

Susan said...

I am glad to see the discernment here-so many women love this book and treat it as if it were "gospel". My husband and I were apalled when we read it. We are conservative Christians who love the Lord. We got saved in our 30's so we know both sides of life-living without the Lord and the wonder of living with Him and for Him! Saw your blog as I was looking at the ones our daughter, Anna Joy, reads. May God be lifted up and glorified and not man.

~Rebecca~ said...

I have read this book- and I agree with your take on it!

Thankyou for speaking up, I told myself... "this isn't the Bible... therefore this is not a solid philosophy on life or marriage!!"

Congrats on you little one!

~Rebecca

Caroline said...

To tell the truth, I was expecting you to agree a little with this book. I was SO thrilled to see that you have your own opinions and believe in being submissive to your husband... but still have limits on that submission. Thank you!!

Kristi said...

And one more thing on this subject....something I heard at a ladies meeting one time:

Submission is 99% ATTITUDE and 1% action.

:)

~Kristi