I just read this book by Michael Pearl, and wanted to know if any of you other ladies have ever read it, what did you think of it?
I just read this book by Michael Pearl, and wanted to know if any of you other ladies have ever read it, what did you think of it?
I just can't recommend this book or any other book by Debi Pearl or her husband Michael. Citing the words of a very conservative and gentle friend of mine who is a wonderful wife and mother, “Debi and Michael Pearl are very dangerous teachers and I would not only NOT recommend their materials, but I also would highly caution against using them.”
Created to Be His Helpmeet can be summarized this way: “It’s all the wife’s fault – all the time.”
Honestly, when you compare her assertions about men and women with what the Bible says about men and women, her opinions are sorely unBiblical.
Anyway, I've discussed this book before with women elsewhere. I’ll tell you what I told them.
I don't care for her name-calling. Here are some things that she calls women in her book: “cheap office wench”, “cheap office hussy”, “lazy, complaining wife,” “cranky, demanding leech”, "dumb cluck", “skinny swine”, “rebellious”, or “hillbilly ugly, which is worse than everyday ugly”
I don't care for the fact that she says that if a wife is being abused by her husband that it is the wife's fault for not being submissive enough.
Page 79: “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 towards him. When a Command Man (lost or saved) is treated with honor and reverence, a good help meet will find that her man will be wonderfully protective and supportive. In most marriages, the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects respect, and is not getting it. When a wife plays her part as a help meet, the Command Man will respond differently."
Her answer to a "Mr. Command Man" who is abusive to his wife is to BLAME the wife for not being submissive enough. According to Pearl, if the wife treats this type of man (and according to her, it doesn't matter if he is saved or not) who abuses her with reverence and honor - he will stop the abuse. This is just not true and I'm being kind here.
Page 263: “Lady, you were created to give glory to God. When God puts you in subjection to a man whom he knows is going to cause you to suffer, it is with the understanding that you are obeying God by enduring the wrongful suffering. And when you suffer wrongfully, as unto the Lord, you bring great glory to God in heaven.”
I am giving you a link to a husband/wife team who read the book from cover to cover with their Bible next to it and discovered profound inadequacies from unBiblical viewpoints in her teachings to wives.
Her definition of submission is one of bending over and taking whatever he chooses to dish out. (I didn't make that up - see the quote below).
According to Debi and Michael Pearl - it doesn't matter what the husbands gives the wife - a fist in the face, a knife in a pregnant belly (read THAT chapter and her advice to the abused woman and how she blamed her for the attack!!), love, indifference, adultery (read THAT chapter again and see her advice on what to do when you husband is addicted to porn and/or has sex with other women), kindness, gentleness, or scorn ....... you are to "take it" in silence.
Page 262" "The servant is not given the option of deciding that the master is not acting within the will of God and therefore should not be obeyed. It is acceptable with God (God's will) for the underling to suffer wrongfully and take it patiently.
You will surely wonder, "why is it the will of God for the underling to suffer at the hands of an unjust, and perverse authority?" Two reasons are obvious, one of which we have already stated. First, the chain of command must remain intact, even to the point of allowing some abuse. The other reason is introduced in verse 20 - glory. We were created by God and placed upon this earth to express his glory (Ps. 8:5, Is 43:7, Rom 2:7, Heb. 2:7). Jesus did not live his life in ease for his own pleasure. He lived and suffered for the glory that was to follow (1Pet. 1:11)."
Because she asserts that it DOESN'T take a Godly husband to create a "heavenly marriage", but it does take a wife who will submit "Mr. Command Man" (as she calls him).
Page 30: "It doesn't take a good man, or even a saved man to have a heavenly marriage. But it does take a woman who is willing to honor God and by being the kind of wife God intended."
Wow, where's THAT in the Bible? The husband bears NO responsibility in making a marriage work or making it Godly? That's kind of creepy, don't you think? Completely lets husbands off the hook.
Her book is FULL of such teachings. And none of it is Biblical.
And it doesn't matter if she said a handful of things that are true.
I'm not going to take a cookie where someone put a couple of chocolate chips and about 100 tiny piece of dog poop in the recipe and pick the cookie apart looking for the chocolate chips. The dog poop has PERMEATED the entire batch.
The twisting and abuse of scripture makes me sick and it’s not just in the realm of husband and wife relationships. She and her husband, in their other book about “training up children” advocate spanking. Well, so do I. But they advocate using a 1/4-inch “plumber’s rod” (someone correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that a PVC pipe?) And here is their advice.
"Select your instrument according to the child's size. For the under one year old, a little, ten to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (stripped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective." Additional advice from their Web site: “Switching with a length of quarter-inch plumbing supply line is a "real attention-getter."
"The parent holds in his hand (in the form of a little switch) the power to absolve the child of guilt, cleanse his soul, instruct his spirit, strengthen his resolve, and give him a fresh start through a confidence that all indebtedness is paid. After a short explanation about bad attitudes and the need to love, patiently and calmly apply the rod to his back-side. Somehow, after eight or ten licks, the poison is transformed into gushing love and contentment. The world becomes a beautiful place. A brand new child emerges. It makes an adult stare at the rod in wonder, trying to see what magic is contained therein."Here is there advice on “training” an infant not to reach out and grab things."These truths are not new, deep insights from the professional world of research, [but] rather, the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules, the same technique God uses to train his children."
I believe that the damage the Pearls are doing are irreparable."Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, 'No.' Remember, you are not disciplining, you are training. One spat with a little switch is enough. They will again pull back their hand and consider the relationship between the object, their desire, the command and the little reinforcing pain. It may take several times, but if you are consistent, they will learn to consistently obey, even in your absence."
Just ask the two families in the United States who have used the Pearls advice on "training" their children - carried it too far - and now have dead children.
".....it's your nickel"
And just one more thing, Sunflower. The title of the book. There is such no word, in the form of a noun, in the Bible as "helpmeet". Not even in the King James. The Bible says that God said that He would make Adam a "help" "meet" (or suitable or like) him. "Help" and "meet" are two different words and two different parts of speech.
A wife's role is "help" not "help meet".
The word "help" and "meet" are the Hebrew words "ezer" and "kenegdo". Two separate words. Not one independent word.
The word "ezer" (pronounced ay-zer) literally means one who "relieves, protects the one in need of help". It comes, according to all the studies that I have done, from a more primitive root word which has a idea of "defending, surrounding, relieving".
The word "help" is in the Bible over 125 times. But, the EXACT Hebrew word that is used for Eve, "help" or "protective relief" is found 21 times in the Bible. Twice for Eve. And 16 of those times for God, Himself.
Here are some of my particular favorites.
• Psalm 121:1 - "I will life up mine eye unto the hills from when cometh my help."
• Psalm 33:20 - "Our soul waits for the LORD; for He is our help and our shield"
Does this mean that Eve was superior to Adam because God describes Himself with the same word that He described her with? Of course not, that's silly. But it does show how powerful the need for her was in Adam.
"Kenegdo" or "meet" is only found once in the Bible and it used for Eve. It literally means "against" as in "opposite" as in "counterpart". Adam and Eve were different - but in a good way - a counterpart way. She was the ONLY creature that could be his "good" counterpart. Just look at their sex organs. Completely opposite - yet completely made one for the other - to complete the other. The same could be said about the personality, the make-up of the brain, and more.
When God said, "It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a help meet for him", He was not implying that the "help" was inferior. He was not deeming Eve to be an assistant, a household appliance, a "gofer", or a person who just created as an afterthought to be at Adam's beck and call. Adam and Eve BOTH had the same directive from God in Genesis 1:28.
He was not pointing out the deficiency of the woman. He was pointing out the deficiency of the man. Adam was created by God. And Adam was "good". God made him perfectly. From the way God made his broad shoulders, his brain, the reproductive organs, and his taller height - it was ALL VERY good. Then where was the man's deficiency? It WASN'T in his nature. That was good. It was in his state of being. He was alone. And God, Himself, said that was NOT good.
When Adam saw Eve for the first time, he saw her as EXACTLY what God intended. "A relief; a protective help that is a perfect counterpart". He said, "At last, at last, bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh". He did not say, "Good, I need some help around here. Pick up the banana peels, lady!"
Debi Pearl equates the word, "help" and "meet" as the definition of submission. That isn't what "help" and "meet" mean.
".....it's your nickel"
I have not read it but thanks jayne, at least I know not to waste money on it. I have never heard of it but this women sounds nuts!
Thank you so much! This book definitely did get me thinking, and there were some truth's in it, yet I didn't realize how misleading it really was. I did the same thing (read it from cover to cover alongside my Bible) last night. I must say while I agree with a few things she says, some of it concerned me.
I am a conservative, but there's a fine line. Again, thank you so incredibly much for opening my eyes.
I want to someday, be a wife and mother, so I read this book, the title enticed me. My neighbor, and older Christian mentor (Titus 2) did warn me against the Pearl's teaching. Her exact words were "Take everything you read, apart from the Bible, with a grain of salt." So I am extremely disappinted and discouraged that I can't find any true, Bible based (for a lack of a better term) books (or maybe I'm not looking hard enough). I have read many books published by Vision Forum, and they seem to be speaking truth. But that's only one publishing company.
That sounds absolutely insane! There is never any excuse for a man (or a woman) to be abusive to a woman (or a man). That book sounds crazy!
More seriously, if a wife or husband give reason for the other to rather be at work, then there is a problem. But if they support, and encourage one another, no one HAVING to be the BOSS. I just don't think being submissive means being the idiot, but at the same time, there is nothing that turns me off more than a loud mouth, babbling, control freak, bad attitude, bossy.......woman, yep I said it, woman.
I mean, after a few years you begin to understand the whole "two become one" and if your spouse is unhappy, then you can expect to be so also. Or whatever one is going through, both are going through Seems logic would dictate that treating each other respectfully and thus promoting not only happiness but strength would be the route to take.
Thank you for posting this. I haven't read this book, but I was given their other book on Childrearing, and while I agreed with much of what they said, and found it well supported by Scripture, I also found a lot of disturbing things. There was a certain attitude and possibly motive that really bothered me. When I reread the book, I was even more disturbed. So it sits on our shelf, but I've never wanted to read anything else they have written. I read through the entire blog that you posted, jayne, and it articulated many of the types of objections I had to the other book of theirs. I know a lot of women who have probably read and follow this book, but I will pass. This was the nail in the lid of the coffin for me when it comes to the Pearls.
sunflower, some books I have read that I have gotten a lot out of:
Nancy Leigh DeMoss's Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free
Emerson Eggerichs' Love and Respect bible study
Biblical Womanhood in the Home a collection of essays edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
I am so happy to finally find a set a like minded women who are concerned and appalled by the advice given in Mrs. Pearl's book. I did read this book, and was horrified. My husband read part of it and into the trash it went! I'm glad to know I'm not the only woman who is somewhat freaked out by the supposedly Christian advice given to women today. And I cannot believe she had the audacity to write a book to prepare young women. Just so you know, my husband renamed this book "Preparing to be his victim."
Jayne: I read the site you gave a while back. It is so good! I was searching for answers because it seemed to me that I was the ONLY woman out there bothered by the Pearls' books!
The only place a believer is called to suffer wilingly is because of the Gospel. Not because of a marriage.
A truly heavenly marriage takes two people wholly submitted to one God.
I think in that book you mentioned, the word "submission" is actually being used in the place of a more fitting word: Manipulation. If I just submit enough ... he will change. If I submit enough ... God will give me what I want.
Awesome. Now you're not only manipulating your spouse, but trying to manipulate God too. And, being willing to die for it! Can we say "deception?"
Whoever wrote this garbage has a deep-seated hatred for women and men both, and understands neither men, women, nor marriage, never mind our true heart condition before God. Toss that book in the trash bin where it belongs.
If you want to read a biblically balanced and truthful book on marriage, I highly recommend "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs. Spend your money on something that's written by someone who actually understands marriage.
My summary of this book: "All men are jerks--across the board, no exceptions. Pick your jerk. Hang on for dear life, because he'll work to get away. Good luck"
If nothing else this book is a man bash, nicely wrapped in "good advice" and twisted scripture.
Last edited by Lilly81; Aug 3rd 2011 at 07:16 PM. Reason: didn't spell "are" correctly
Sunflower, I am so glad you started this thread! I think many wives and moms are looking for answers and sometimes we can get BAD answers!
And thank you too, Jayne, for the summary of that book. I have never read any of Michael and/or Debi Pearl's books. I HAVE seen far too many details of things from the books, so I have just steered clear and told others to do the same. But I appreciate you so much Jayne, because you laid out some very good reasons that I'm sure I will use in the future to SHOW them some things wrong in the books.
Everyone who has replied is in agreement, it looks like. Including me! Lets all keep this thread copied somewhere. We may need it later to advise other ladies.
My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16
"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)
I made it a sticky......... maybe we can come up with a better title like watch out for the books of Debi and Michael Perl or so.........
Love you lots,
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
Its time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
Well said! Thanks for your great post Dani H! <for some reason the copy quote button is not working for me. >
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