Monthly Archives: September 2005

Just another example of the potential danger

Beth posted her sister’s story. This is just another reason why I cannot recommend Created To Be His Help Meet.

  
Posted in Book Reviews, Created To Be His Help Meet | 2 Comments

A Look at the Pearls’ Basic Doctrine

Catez Stevens has done an excellent job of outlining the basic doctrine that the Pearls teach. Although Created To Be His Help Meet isn’t a book “about doctrine,” their doctrine permeates the book nonetheless.

Also we must ask ourselves if we should be learning how to have a godly marriage from someone who doesn’t even teach Biblical essential doctrines (vs. secondary ones such as paedobaptism vs. credobaptism, instruments in worship, etc.). If this were simply a “how-to” or self-help book, it would be different (such as Dr. Laura’s The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands). But CTBHHM is supposedly God’s plan for marriage, so we must make sure that the author teaches correct essential doctrine. (Wouldn’t Phil be proud? LOL!)

  
Posted in Book Reviews, Christianity, Created To Be His Help Meet | 22 Comments

Dh’s response to my feminism

I told dh how I had changed my blog to pink and Sparrow’s comment about dispelling any accusations about my feminist leanings. Dh looked at me with wide eyes and said, “YOU????? A FEMINIST???????” And then started just BUSTING up, laughing. Then he said something along the lines of, “If feminists heard you talk their hair would curl,” or SOMETHING. (I can’t remember his exact words.)

So. Anyone who thinks I’m a feminist should ask my husband, and he will set you straight. :-D

  
Posted in Mish Mash | 3 Comments

What Classic Movie Am I?

  
Posted in Fun Stuff | 4 Comments

About Me

Daddypundit tagged me! I’ve already done a variation of this meme, but some of the questions are a little different, and I’ve thought of some other answers, so I’ll do it again. :-)

Things I want to do before I die:
1. GO ON THE PRICE IS RIGHT (HOW in the WORLD did I forget this one the first time around???)
2. Get LASIK done (since it won’t matter after I die – I’ll have perfect eyesight then :-) )
3. Update my will (oh LOL I listed that on my other one, but IT’S TRUE!!!)
4. Have long fingernails
5. Life a life worth of the calling I have received

Things I can do:
1. A pretty darn good Kermit the Frog impression
2. Twirl a flag (or “tall flag” to some ;-) )
3. Balance my checkbook
4. Drive a standard transmission
5. cut hair (sort of – I’m getting better at it LOL)

Things I cannot do:
1. Overlook a blatant typographical/grammatical error in a published work
2. remember what in the world a carburetor and all those other car parts do
3. Play softball (whenever I’d be up to bat the other team’s coach would holler to the outfield to “come on in” – gee thanks LOL)
4. OK I can’t play soccer either.
5. Or basketball.

Things that attract me to my husband:
1. He is built. :-D
2. He loves Jesus.
3. He changes diapers, deals with puke, gives baths, cooks, does laundry, washes dishes, you name it.
4. He is AWESOME at his job.
5. He gives great back rubs.

Celebrity crushes I’ve had in the past:
1. Kirk Cameron
2. Ricky Schroeder
3. Tom Cruise
Can’t really remember any others. (LOL have I dated myself? ;-) )

Thanks Tom, this was fun! :-)

  
Posted in Fun Stuff | 6 Comments

Those of you who have read Created To Be His Help Meet

In another reply from Angela, she stated,

and I think that the main reason that you and I disagree on the book is our perspective on the examples that Debi gives. I see them as examples of what submission looked like to that particular woman in that particular situation, focusing on the attitude of the wife behind the response or action she gives; and you see the inclusion of the examples as more of a directive to the reader, with the action & the attitude/motivation as being more inseparable.

Part of me thinks that may be it, but part of me thinks that’s not quite it, yet I can’t put my finger on why.

Thoughts, anyone?

  
Posted in Book Reviews, Created To Be His Help Meet | 46 Comments

What Famous Leader Am I?

Now THIS is funny. I cannot wait to tell my dh about it – he’ll crack up.

  
Posted in Fun Stuff | 9 Comments

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth :-)

Just a quick post to let you know I’m still around. Just haven’t been able to reply to all the comments on the last few posts since that takes time to actually sit down and think. :-) It was a busy weekend – garage sale on Saturday (made a whopping $50 LOL); church, clothes shopping for G and L, and Bible study on Sunday; and now we’re back into the weekdays again. This week will be spent working on our schedule, inputting lesson plans into Homeschool Tracker, and gearing up for my parents’ visit (they arrive Sunday). At least we aren’t doing school this week (or next)!

Oh yeah, and today is S’s 1st birthday. We’re not celebrating till Mom and Stepdad get here, so WHEW – at least I’m not having to get a cake and all that ready this week too!

So! I will try to reply to all the fantastic and thought-provoking comments as I can, but it may take a few days. Have a good week everyone!

  
Posted in Mish Mash | 3 Comments

Feast Sixty-Three

Today’s Friday’s Feast:

Appetizer
Name something someone has done lately that impressed you.
It just occurred. Dh turned on the TV, and one of the kids’ math classes was recording. (We use BJU HomeSat for some classes.) S jumped out of my lap, ran closer to the TV, and started clapping. That is what she does during the opening music for the classes, and evidently she recognized that it was school stuff on TV. This impressed me because her 1st birthday is Tuesday.

Soup
Do you have any relaxing rituals? If so, what are they?
Not really.

Salad
If you could spend the winter season somewhere other than your current location, where would you choose to stay?
Hawaii

Main Course
When was the last time you had dinner out, and what was the name of the restaurant?
The last time we went out to eat we went to Pizza Hut for lunch after church.

Dessert
If you had a boat, what would you name it?
The Samwise Gamgee

  
Posted in Fun Stuff | 7 Comments

My response to Angela

(This is a reply to Angela’s message to me, which you can find here.)

Your extreme attention to detail in your review is driving people away from even reading CTBHHM, rather than taking heed and “being good Bereans”.

Honestly? I’m OK with that since I can’t recommend the book at all now that I’ve finished it. It had great potential, but there is just too much “other” in it for me to be able to recommend it.

Kirstin criticizes Debi’s sentence about “to obey your husband is to obey God” – as not specific enough. But in the next paragraph, Debi makes it clear that, while there are exceptions, they will be discussed later. Kirstin slants her review by omitting that information.

I omitted her statements about exceptions because she only referred to the “twisted” and “perverse” exceptions, and I had not yet read chapter 24 to know what sort of exceptions she was referring to.

The letter from the wife whose husband is in the emotional affair makes it clear that the husband is aware of his sin. He has confessed to his wife, and they are trying to move on in their marriage. Debi is urging the wife not to continue to bring his sin before him, but to become a student of her husband’s needs (“get down on your husband’s emotional level,” p. 31). The full quote from Debi is “The tool of your warfare is your loving, kind, delightful, radiant self.” IT’s a tool, not a guarantee.

Page 29 says, “if you really, honestly want to win your husband back to yourself, you must change your game plan.” (The game plan basically being to beat the other woman at her own game.) Page 30 says, “If you want to keep your man…Your husband is going to love what is lovely to him.” Can this work? Yes. Does it always? No. We have no idea if the husband was repentant, etc. All the letter says is that, “He says it is over now.” I hope it truly was, but no, the letter does not “make it clear.”

The chapter ends exhorting the wife to be willing to forgive, to fight for his affection. Kirstin, how many wives do you know that have been too forgiving, loving, kind, delightful and radiant?

Based on what the writer of the letter wrote, I have known lots of women in this sort of situation. Their husbands said it was over. They forgave, were loving, etc. One dear friend of mine in particular (and I adore her husband as well – he was in our wedding, but boy I want to shake some sense into him LOL!) did EVERYTHING Mrs. Pearl says here to do. I even remember me telling her how submissive she was being by obeying her husband when he told her to sign the divorce papers.

My problem is NOT with the advice to be forgiving, loving, etc. My problem is that Mrs. Pearl didn’t account for the women who would do exactly what she recommends here (being “more”) and STILL end up in a failed marriage. She left no room for this advice to not work in some marriages. So if it doesn’t…then is it because the woman just didn’t do a good enough job fighting for her man? That’s just it though – Mrs. Pearl doesn’t address this sort of thing at all, so we don’t know.

I guess I have known so many divorced, bitter women in their 40’s or older – clinging to their rights, and the “sinful” husband is long gone, tired of the bitterness, his mistakes being continually flung in his face, until he has suffered enough for his sins – it becomes a habit for the wife, and even after he’s gone, she doesn’t realize how it really came to pass.

Me too. I’m not sure if you have read all the comments, but if not you might want to, since I talked even more about what I meant when I said, “I can see what she is saying…our husbands are worth fighting for, and we do need to try to be MORE to our husbands.” And “In some marriages the answer is to be more, to not “stand on our rights” (as Mrs. Pearl puts it), etc.”

Chapter 3 – Kirstin, you keep saying that you are trying to be unbiased in your review, but even a chapter whose premise you agree with, you end up criticizing because you don’t think it applies to you.

I stated outright that that paragraph wasn’t part of the “official” review. I was expressing why (possibly) I wasn’t quite “getting” what all the hoop-la was about. At that point I hadn’t even read half of the book yet, and I kept waiting for it to get “WOW“, and it hadn’t yet, so I was exploring why it might not be. And then I went on and started discussing the chapter in particular.

What exactly are the roots of your discontent? Your home? Your finances? Your neighbourhood? Your…? If you are a SAHM, most of this will reflect back on your husband – the provider for your family.

Angela, it is quite bold of you to assume what I’m discontent about. Discontentment doesn’t always stem from material things. I said it on my blog, and I’ll say it again here – my discontentment has nothing to do with my husband, even if I am a SAHM.

Debi’s “method”, as it was presented in this chapter, is pretty clear on page 43:
“to please and forgive each other no matter how hurtful the actions or words that were spoken”
and
“This, then, is the rule of life for wives: Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness and joy, and enjoy all your moments as if they were your last.”

Those are the PRINCIPLES, and I said I agree with them.

We have this idea as women about “being genuine” and our need to make him aware of our pain – however we need to be extremely cautious about this tactic – it can very easily become anger masquerading as hurt feelings, broken spirit, or vulnerability, which is dishonest and manipulative.

This is very true! And nowhere did I say that it’s OK to do these things in the name of “being genuine.”

I have a husband who cares deeply about me – most husbands do care deeply about their wives. However, they also unknowingly hurt us with their words or actions at times.

Key words there: at times. I specified in my post that “if this is an ongoing pattern, perhaps the best way to be a good help meet is to let it go and let the chips fall where they may, rather than fixing it.” (emphasis added) There is a difference between the occasional hurt and an ongoing pattern of behavior.

“help meet all my husband’s desires and dreams….God made you to fill this eternal vision.” and, further on, “Ask God for wisdom to become the very best help meet.” Does that sound like we should be out buying porn to stay in line with our husband’s desires?

No, and nowhere did I say anything even close to that.

page 50, Debi is saying the exact same thing as you – your review makes it sound like it was omitted in her book. She even quotes James 1:5, and exhorts women to ask God for wisdom. That is the first point she is trying to make in this chapter!!

Yes, but what happens if we arrive at a different conclusion than she has after we study the Word for ourselves? In this chapter she told us to ask for wisdom and then told us what “wisdom” looks like.

Her applications (so far) have been to be loving, forgiving and giving even when it is not deserved; to practice thankfulness; to smile; to choose joy. What is the issue?

Those are the PRINCIPLES. The examples that she shares are the applications. “This is what this principle looks like” type of thing. THAT is what I take issue with. The principles (being loving, forgiving, etc.) can look so many different ways, and she (typically) only shares super extreme examples that aren’t so cut and dry.

However, if Debi Pearl had qualified every statement in her book by “and this doesn’t apply to every situation”, you would be criticizing the book as wishy-washy. Or if she hadn’t included any examples or reader letters, you would be complaining that there was no practical application.

Not at all, but honestly I’m not even going to take the time to defend myself.

But I just don’t see how you can read the book and not catch on to the Biblical principles here – and YES they are Biblical. What is unBiblical about Joy, Thanksgiving, Forgiveness, etc.?

I pointed those out. What you call “backhanded praise” was where I was pointing out the Biblical principles that she shared.

Is her book leading the reader away from seeking God’s will, asking God for wisdom, or studying the Scriptures to see what our role & responsiblities are?

It is not Mrs. Pearl’s fault, but yes, women are failing to do that.

You have said earlier that you agree with the principles of the book – so where is the YIKES!?

The “yikes” is for the bad things (iffy application, Scripture twisting, etc.), not the good things that I have pointed out.

The book being written for wives, Debi doesn’t address the singleness issue. This shouldn’t be a problem.

You are correct, and I will change that. I do know that single women are reading this book, even though they are not engaged, so perhaps they shouldn’t since they have no marriage “on the horizon” and it’s not necessarily a given that they WILL marry? (I dunno, just thinking “out loud.”)

This is exactly how I’ve approached every marriage book I’ve ever read – I am so thankful that this was a book written just for women, so that I didn’t do the comparison game. My husband doesn’t read, so I was continually frustrated by all the knowledge (in marriage books) that he would never learn.

Very true! However there is a difference between acknowledging that a husband “ain’t doing right” and having a bad marriage.

“And consequently Mrs. Pearl?” This is a letter from someone else, not Debi, wishing she had acted in a certain way in a certain circumstance.

Mrs. Pearl posted it without commentary and without a reply, and at the end of the chapter she recommended that we use this woman’s “when” list as a little study of sorts. So she is endorsing this woman’s viewpoint.

“This is the last paragraph of the chapter & easy to miss” – Easy to miss? Most books of this type end a chapter with a summary of the chapter – why would the summary be easy to miss – especially when there is an exercise involved?

Women have flat out told me they skimmed through this book. The fault does lie on them, not Mrs. Pearl for this.

If she is warning women from ever questioning their husbands PERIOD, then I disagree.
Debi explains in the story exactly what her attitude behind her thoughts was, and that THAT was why her questioning Michael was wrong.

She left no room for other thought patterns. What about them? We simply don’t know.

I wonder if Mrs. Pearl ever talks about bringing up these concerns to our husbands (in a Biblical manner of course).
Why are you wondering this? In the index, on page 252, there is a section titled “How to Make an Appeal”, Debi also refers to that upcoming section throughout the book, especially in chapter 8.

You’re correct. When I wrote this I was somewhat “thinking out loud.” I hadn’t gotten to that part of the book yet, and I SAID THAT in my post.

It is a PARTIALLY true statement in that a woman IS partially responsible for the success of her marriage.
No, it is a true statement. You would be more accurate in your complaint if you were to say it was an incomplete statement,

That is a better word – thank you!

If this book were written for men, it would tell them to love their wives regardless of how they act. But this is a book for women.

That is true! But what happens when the wife does everything right, and the husband still leaves? At what point is the fault no longer on the woman for not being a good enough help meet?

It just concerns me that you are so adept at defending your review as being accurate,

I’m sure it’s not entirely “accurate”, and I don’t remember “defending myself,” saying it was.

honest & unbiased

I’m TRYING to be honest and unbiased.

When one is so quick to jump on an illustration of a Godly principle as “not working in all situations” it does carry the flavour of rebellion; excuse-hunting rather than digging deeper, and trying to find where the PRINCIPLE needs to be applied in one’s own life. So you’re not like the women Debi is describing? Are you sure? Maybe you’re manifesting those attitudes in a different way – doesn’t make it less sinful because you’re better at disguising it.

WOW. 8-O

  
Posted in Book Reviews, Created To Be His Help Meet | 38 Comments

Angela comments on my review

Angela has commented on my CTBHHM reviews, and she has allowed me to post her thoughts here. I will be posting the subsequent replies in separate posts, so as to not be confusing. Her message to me follows:
Hi Kirstin, I can’t say no to a challenge, so I started writing a review of your review. I wanted you to read it, though I don’t think I’ll post the entire thing publicly. I don’t think that you should call what you are doing a review – reviews generally deal in summarizing a book, not dissecting it. Your extreme attention to detail in your review is driving people away from even reading CTBHHM, rather than taking heed and “being good Bereans”. We’ve talked earlier about the undiscerning reader, and your review is actually abetting this tendency to the other extreme.Kirstin, I hope this doesn’t come across as a personal attack, you have asked for people to respond to your review beyond “it worked for me” so that is what I’m trying to do. I read your review (up to chapter 17) a couple of weeks ago, and after letting it “simmer” for a while, I was quite troubled by the manner in which you review the book, the way you defend your position, as well as by the review itself.Kirstin’s review:

Chapter 1 – When you honor your husband, you honor God. When you obey your husband, you obey God. The degree to which you reverence your husband is the degree to which you reverence your Creator. As we serve our husbands, we serve God. But in the same way, when you dishonor your husband, you dishonor God.

Kirstin criticizes Debi’s sentence about “to obey your husband is to obey God” – as not specific enough. But in the next paragraph, Debi makes it clear that, while there are exceptions, they will be discussed later. Kirstin slants her review by omitting that information.

Chapter 2 – Kirstin’s comments: I had a difficult time with the advice she gave this woman. I can see what she is saying…our husbands are worth fighting for, and we do need to try to be MORE to our husbands. But I got the impression (not sure if it is just me???) that if we just are “more” to our husbands, then we’ll be able to win them back. I have seen marriages fail, even though the wife is being submissive and is being all her husband wants (or seems to want). Also there is a fine line, and it probably varies depending on the situation and the people involved, between “being more” to our husbands and enabling their sin. It is essential that we remain at the foot of the Cross and implore the Holy Spirit to guide us as we deal with our husbands in distressing situations. In some marriages the answer is to be more, to not “stand on our rights” (as Mrs. Pearl puts it), etc. But in others, the Lord may want the wife to remain steadfast and to not enable her husband’s sin. There isn’t any one “right way,” and Mrs. Pearl’s example in this chapter troubled me since it appeared that she was saying that “being more” to your husband is the only right way.

I believe that it is entirely possible to show an abundance of love to your husband and be more to him while at the same time holding him accountable for his sin, if necessary. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

The letter from the wife whose husband is in the emotional affair makes it clear that the husband is aware of his sin. He has confessed to his wife, and they are trying to move on in their marriage. Debi is urging the wife not to continue to bring his sin before him, but to become a student of her husband’s needs (“get down on your husband’s emotional level,” p. 31). The full quote from Debi is “The tool of your warfare is your loving, kind, delightful, radiant self.” IT’s a tool, not a guarantee.

The chapter ends exhorting the wife to be willing to forgive, to fight for his affection. Kirstin, how many wives do you know that have been too forgiving, loving, kind, delightful and radiant? I’m not talking about being blind to their husband’s sin – the letter made it clear that the issue was not something he was hiding from his wife – he was already repentant.

I guess I have known so many divorced, bitter women in their 40′s or older – clinging to their rights, and the “sinful” husband is long gone, tired of the bitterness, his mistakes being continually flung in his face, until he has suffered enough for his sins – it becomes a habit for the wife, and even after he’s gone, she doesn’t realize how it really came to pass.

Chapter 3 – Kirstin, you keep saying that you are trying to be unbiased in your review, but even a chapter whose premise you agree with, you end up criticizing because you don’t think it applies to you. Debi is writing a book for wives – OF COURSE the examples she uses are going to involve husbands. What exactly are the roots of your discontent? Your home? Your finances? Your neighbourhood? Your…? If you are a SAHM, most of this will reflect back on your husband – the provider for your family.

Chapter 3 is 3 pages long – at least one entire page doesn’t mention discontent with husbands, (p. 37) but the fact that we need to practice thankfullness.

Chapter 4 – Kirstin said: My fear is that a woman might read this section and think that it’s OK for a husband to do something hurtful and for the wife to suppress any sort of hurt feelings and never let her husband into her heart, for fear of being “unsubmissive.” You can be submissive AND HONEST.

Debi doesn’t for a minute say that what Mike did was hurtful – she made it clear that she knows what he is like, this WAS in character for him, though it was something that could easily have made her angry.

Kirstin again: My concern is that women will take Mrs. Pearl’s METHOD and turn it into a universal truth, since that is how it is presented.
Debi’s “method”, as it was presented in this chapter, is pretty clear on page 43:
“to please and forgive each other no matter how hurtful the actions or words that were spoken”
and
“This, then, is the rule of life for wives: Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness and joy, and enjoy all your moments as if they were your last.”

You are so fearful that people will copy Debi step-for-step, but your concern is misguided in this chapter – the “trash incident” is simply a situation of the man being insensitive, and later seeking to redeem himself, and the woman accepting and forgiving him even before he has opportunity to do so, and turning the situation into a joyful, intimate time. I only hope I have opportunity, and wisdom to do the same the next time I feel slighted by my man.

Additionally, you talk about how hurt you would be if your husband did something like that, and how you would approach him about it to make him aware of how it affected you. We have this idea as women about “being genuine” and our need to make him aware of our pain – however we need to be extremely cautious about this tactic – it can very easily become anger masquerading as hurt feelings, broken spirit, or vulnerability, which is dishonest and manipulative. I have a husband who cares deeply about me – most husbands do care deeply about their wives. However, they also unknowingly hurt us with their words or actions at times. Debi is saying that we can feel hurt or angry, and let him know it, or we can forgive and move on without ever having to raise the issue. Why do we feel that hurt or anger, after all? It is because we consider ourselves to have certain rights, and when those rights are disregarded, we take offense. Anger is sin, so we put on a sad face and righteously inform him of his trespass. Kirstin, I know this scenario very well, because it is me. Just a few weeks ago, this very thing happened. I told myself that I would not get angry, though I thought the incident was deserving of anger, but instead I would gently and calmly make him aware of his misdeed. What resulted was the biggest fight we’d had in years. I wish I could go back and forgive without him ever knowing he’d done something that I THOUGHT he needed forgiveness for.

Chapter 5 – Kirstin: The main thing that hit me was that, NO, God’s Word does NOT teach me to be a woman who is there to help meet all my husband’s desires and dreams.

This statement of Debi’s reminds me of that verse “Commit thy way to the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Does this mean we get everything we want, all the time? We know rather, that the verse is talking about the desires that are in line with God & His will for us.

Now, I agree that maybe Debi’s statement here could have been worded differently, but I think the sentence following clarifies things enough so that your criticism could have been avoided.
“help meet all my husband’s desires and dreams….God made you to fill this eternal vision.” and, further on, “Ask God for wisdom to become the very best help meet.” Does that sound like we should be out buying porn to stay in line with our husband’s desires?

Kirstin: MY encouragement is for people to just read what the Word says PERIOD! And to ask God for wisdom. He does not intend for His Word to be some mystery that only “Bible scholars” can understand. His Holy Spirit will reveal to the average Josephine what He wants her to know. “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

page 50, Debi is saying the exact same thing as you – your review makes it sound like it was omitted in her book. She even quotes James 1:5, and exhorts women to ask God for wisdom. That is the first point she is trying to make in this chapter!!

Kirstin: the principles Mrs. Pearl is sharing are ones that I agree with (for the most part). I take issue with her black and white applications of these principles.

Her applications (so far) have been to be loving, forgiving and giving even when it is not deserved; to practice thankfulness; to smile; to choose joy. What is the issue?

Your review is only on chapter 5 and already you have been dishonest in your presentation of the book – quoting Debi in part to “reveal” a weakness in the book. This is the problem I have with your review – you justify yourself by saying that you give credit for the good that you find, and that your issue with is how Debi says that a help meet should act. However, if Debi Pearl had qualified every statement in her book by “and this doesn’t apply to every situation”, you would be criticizing the book as wishy-washy. Or if she hadn’t included any examples or reader letters, you would be complaining that there was no practical application. Kudos to you, Kirstin, if you aren’t the kind of wife that has problems with the issues Debi is addressing. I do think that the book would have benefited by a “kinds of women” profile, to help us be more aware of our particular weaknesses. But I just don’t see how you can read the book and not catch on to the Biblical principles here – and YES they are Biblical. What is unBiblical about Joy, Thanksgiving, Forgiveness, etc.? Each of the wives in the examples Debi gives need to examine their actions, reactions and attitudes, as do we, to see if they line up with the principles of Scripture, like the Fruit of the Spirit, Titus 2, Proverbs 31. That there’s nothing new in what Debi is saying is very true – the Bible is timeless. And yes, we should treat EVERYONE the way she is explaining, but as the old saying goes, “Charity begins at home.” If we can’t treat our spouse with the Godly Fruit we are showing to others, we are hypocrites and deceivers.

But when you come right down to it, The Bible trumps Created To Be His Help Meet every time.

Yes, of course – and Debi would be the first to agree with that. Is her book leading the reader away from seeking God’s will, asking God for wisdom, or studying the Scriptures to see what our role & responsiblities are? Anyone reading an entire chapter in CTBHHM will find Debi encouraging, no, demanding that they seek out God’s words on the principles she is sharing. However, anyone reading your review will not get that impression.

Chapter 6 – Kirstin: To me this is saying that this book will show us how to obey God as a wife. If we do not follow what she is putting forth in this book, then we will be “sowing to the flesh.” YIKES!!!
You have said earlier that you agree with the principles of the book – so where is the YIKES!?

Kirstin’s review: Page 58 again:
When a woman gets old and realizes that there is no man to love and cherish her, it is sad indeed, for she has failed in the very purpose for which she was created – to be a suitable helper to a man.
I wonder what some of the godly single women who are in the very center of God’s Will for them in their singleness would say to that. Since I’m not single and really never experienced “single life” since I married at 19, I can’t speak for them. But while I agree that women were created to be helpers suitable for men (of course – that is what God says!) – to say that if a woman doesn’t have a man to love and cherish her, she has failed (!!!) is a bit of a stretch.
The book being written for wives, Debi doesn’t address the singleness issue. This shouldn’t be a problem.

And what about those married women whose husbands simply do not love and cherish them? The impression I’m getting from Mrs. Pearl’s book is that the wife is to blame for that, and that is just WRONG. There are some godly wives out there married to ungodly men, and they should not be blamed for their husband’s wrongdoing. I know that there are marriages that have been turned around because of the wife finally obeying the Lord with regard to her role in the marriage, but the blanket assumption that IF you have a bad marriage it’s BECAUSE you aren’t fulfilling your role as a wife properly – that is just incorrect and not Biblical

Debi has talked repeatedly in the book about the man having responsibility in the relationship – this is not a book written for men, so she has not elaborated. Deborah Wuehler said it well in her blog:
If this were a book about men and women and their separate roles in the marriage, the man-s responsibilities would certainly be explored and explained. As women are easily deceived, most would read the husband’s part and try to hold him to it, or worse, sulk over what an inferior man he is based on his unmet responsibilities.

This is exactly how I’ve approached every marriage book I’ve ever read – I am so thankful that this was a book written just for women, so that I didn’t do the comparison game. My husband doesn’t read, so I was continually frustrated by all the knowledge (in marriage books) that he would never learn.

But based on the context of this book, I fear that she implies that her explanations of what “God says in His Word” are what we need to follow so carefully. If we do not do what she says to, then we will be in sin. Does she really mean this? I can’t say for sure since it’s not very clear just WHAT she means. Obviously to her they are one in the same – what she states in the book equals what God says in His Word. I disagree. I think some of her teachings go BEYOND what God says in His Word. So I cannot call sin what God doesn’t call sin.
Debi’s explanation here is: “when you dishonor his marriage plan, clearly recorded in his Word,”
I have already covered the examples (thus far in the book) that you take issue with – no where does Debi say, “Do these actions in this situation,” she is instead focusing on our hearts, thoughts and attitudes that prompt our responses. Which you have agreed are based on Godly principles. So far, you have taken issue with only 2 examples of submission (though you take exception to additional examples later) and yet your entire review so far continually stresses how flawed Debi’s book is based on what she says Biblical submission looks like. And your issue is not with the examples themselves, but what women might do in application of those examples. 6 chapters, 6 principles from God’s Word, 2 examples you disagree with – yet your review is saturated with your “fear” that women might ruin their lives by taking this book to heart. Your phrasing of the good in the book is often weakened by “almost,” “should have,” “what if,” “Not that I agree that Mrs. Pearl’s advice in this book is 100% Biblical, but this part is good.” Which is a passive-aggressive form of criticism, and very ungracious.

Kirstin: She sets forth rules for and characteristics of a “good help meet” that the Bible doesn’t.
Where? Could you list them – in context? You refer to this in almost every chapter of your review, even when the chapter itself doesn’t do what you’re accusing Debi of – this would be fine in a summary type review, in a chapter review, it doesn’t fit.

Now, I am not saying that God doesn’t allow consquences to happen to people who disobey His Word. I do agree that this woman was disobeying God. I also agree that there are other couples out there who function in this manner. But the inference that IF you disobey God in such a manner THEN you will go crazy is beyond far-fetched!

This I agree with – I think most often our consequences are the NATURAL result of our choices – rebellious children, depression, marital problems. This example to me was extreme and assumptive – Debi doesn’t know the mind of God where this woman is concerned. I have also seen God’s faithfulness to us despite our rebellion. I wish that she had used love, not fear, to motivate wives to a higher standard. The New Testament is full of the hope of heaven, not the fear of judgment, in spurring believers on to a life of faith – I want the hope of a heavenly marriage to be my goal in my relationship with my husband. Additionally, when I fail (and we all do, even knowing what we ought to do), I suffer under such a burden of guilt and fear that I have caused irreparable damage to my marriage that it is hard to move forward. We need to remember God’s forgiveness and his ability to create beauty from our ashes.

Chapter 7: Okay, this chapter you are pretty positive on, Kirstin. But this gets my goat: So it seems that perhaps Mrs. Pearl IS giving room to other acceptable responses to these situations??? It’s hard to tell, especially since this is the last paragraph of the chapter and easy to miss. But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. ;-) )

How is it giving Debi Pearl the benefit of the doubt when you are reading into the chapter what isn’t there?
My ONE concern with this section is that it appears that this woman (and consequently Mrs. Pearl) is saying that the way she wishes she would have acted in certain situations is THE WAY in which all women should act in similar situations.
“And consequently Mrs. Pearl?” This is a letter from someone else, not Debi, wishing she had acted in a certain way in a certain circumstance.

“This is the last paragraph of the chapter & easy to miss” – Easy to miss? Most books of this type end a chapter with a summary of the chapter – why would the summary be easy to miss – especially when there is an exercise involved?

If she is warning women from ever questioning their husbands PERIOD, then I disagree.
Debi explains in the story exactly what her attitude behind her thoughts was, and that THAT was why her questioning Michael was wrong.

I wonder if Mrs. Pearl ever talks about bringing up these concerns to our husbands (in a Biblical manner of course).
Why are you wondering this? In the index, on page 252, there is a section titled “How to Make an Appeal”, Debi also refers to that upcoming section throughout the book, especially in chapter 8.

It is a PARTIALLY true statement in that a woman IS partially responsible for the success of her marriage.
No, it is a true statement. You would be more accurate in your complaint if you were to say it was an incomplete statement, though Debi has explained why she is not focusing 0n the husband’s responsibility.

p.22 there are exceptions that will be addressed later
p.29 – your husband is wrong…I am not suggesting that this is your fault
p. 54 – each man & woman has a directive from God with a model or pattern to attain to.
p. 117 – he must answer to God for how he leads
p. 121 – this book is not written to men
p. 129 – all marriages are made up of 2 sinners with lots of faults
p. 132 – it is a man’s Christian duty to remain faithful
- in almost all marriage conflicts both husband and wife share the blame almost equally
p. 139 A husband is told to love his wife.
If this book were written for men, it would tell them to love their wives regardless of how they act. But this is a book for women.

I won’t go further, I don’t have that kind of time. But you can see that Debi repeatedly explains that a husband has responsibility, but her book is aimed at women.

Kirstin, I had every intention of commenting on every chapter of your review, but this has eaten up my free time for two days, and I’m starting to feel like I’m repeating myself. I also have to be careful not to get into “attack mode” because that is not my aim. It just concerns me that you are so adept at defending your review as being accurate, honest & unbiased because no one has challenged it “Biblically.” Examined more closely, though, you have done a great injustice in your backhanded “praise” of the good you see in the book and gone way overboard in your criticism of the negative. And you have also misrepresented Debi’s book in many ways. You complain because other people’s defense of Created to Be His Help Meet is “What Mrs. Pearl meant…” and yet your review is full of “If this is what she meant by this statement,” or “To me this is saying…” or “If she doesn’t mean anything beyond what is said here,” or “it appears that Mrs. Pearl is saying…” Your criticisms are just as assumptive (if not more so) as the defenses you are receiving for the good in the book.

Finally I would repeat Debi’s statement from Chapter 1:
“Women who do not want to do the will of God in regard to their husbands remind me of atheists always ready with a few reasons not to believe, but never considering the many reasons to believe.”

When one is so quick to jump on an illustration of a Godly principle as “not working in all situations” it does carry the flavour of rebellion; excuse-hunting rather than digging deeper, and trying to find where the PRINCIPLE needs to be applied in one’s own life. So you’re not like the women Debi is describing? Are you sure? Maybe you’re manifesting those attitudes in a different way – doesn’t make it less sinful because you’re better at disguising it. I don’t know you, Kirstin, and I know for a fact our personalities are different, because I did see myself in a lot of the book. But we are all sinful, and we all struggle with most (if not all) of those Godly principles at some time in our lives & our marriages.

And finally, this book helped me. And not the day I read it, or the week after, but after the Holy Spirit was faithful to convict my heart of the changes that were needed. Are there errors in the book? Of course – it’s not the inspired Word of God – no one ever claimed it was.

Blessings,

Angela

  
Posted in Book Reviews, Created To Be His Help Meet | 7 Comments

Sprite’s Silly Tag Questions

What is your favorite kind of gum?
I’m not too particular unless it’s wintergreen – BLECH! I prefer minty gum in general. But it does depend on my mood.What is your favorite kind of jewelry? (bracelet, necklace, ring, etc.)
Well, I only wear my wedding ring right now.
What is your favorite girls name?
That’s a toughie. I have a lot of girl names that I like: Susanna, Elizabeth, Bethany, Kelley are a fewWhat is your favorite boys name?
Nathan and Matthew are 2 favorites.
Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
Oh my. I think Kermit.Do you like to paint your fingernails?
No because I don’t have any. :-(
If you could go to one place in the whole entire world, for 1 year, where would you go?
Northeast OklahomaWould you rather have curly hair or straight hair?
Straight, as long as it would take curls now and then LOL!Would you rather have long hair or short hair? .
LongIf you had to have a big picture painted on your bedroom door, would you rather have a picture of a smiley face, or a flower?
FlowerIf you shared a bunk bed with someone, would you rather have the top bunk, or the bottom bunk?
Top – don’t want to bump my head! :-)
  
Posted in Fun Stuff | 3 Comments