on February 23, 2010
Debi Pearl states that if your husband molests your children, you should call the authorities and "have him do" time in prison. Then, when he gets out, you should welcome him home with loving arms. Because "God hates divorce without exception."
Let me get this straight. If I'm married to a man who HAS SEX with his own children, not only am I NOT to divorce him, I'm supposed to welcome him back as my husband?? Have sex with him as my husband?? That is sick. What kind of woman in her right mind could have sex with a man who screws children?
Not to mention such a woman would deserve to be disowned by her own children. Can you imagine being a child molested by your father and then have your mother welcome him home? That is a slap in the face to all abused children.
Do we really have to go on about all the other wrong points in this book? That's enough for me!
on June 4, 2013
Once upon a time, there was a young girl, let's call her HC, who grew up in an abusive household. HC's home was different from the sterotypical abusive home, because the abuser was her mother. HC witnessed her mother punch, kick, slap, and scream at her father over and over again, for almost twenty years.
The greatest desire of HC's heart was to be a good, godly wife, and love a godly husband, but she had no idea how to do it. HC was terrified when she realized she didn't know how to do basic home-making tasks, or deal with regular, non-abusive human conflict and anger. She felt odd and out-of-place in social gatherings, and tried to make up for it by being the life of the party, by being constantly encouraging, and by loving others unconditionally.
However, HC was a fantastic writer and musician. She didn't know it at the time, because her parents pushed her towards law or medicine, and insisted that her writing and music was a waste of her time--or even selfish. HC married a fellow musician and teacher, had a couple of kids, and HC's creative skills were constantly put to good use at her church.
Then one day, after completing a long, intense, emotionally draining creative project, one of HC's friends gave her this book. HC's friend said that it saved her marriage, and that without this book, she probably wouldn't be married today. Since HC was emotionally vulnerable, trusted her friend, and was always looking to improve her own marriage, she agreed.
The introduction had her hooked. Ms. Pearl's nurturing voice called to HC's most tender desires: she understood that some of us didn't have mothers to teach us how to be good wives and mothers ourselves. She wanted to wrap her motherly arms around us, guide us into godly womanhood, and help us fulfill our biblical calling.
If HC had only spoken to her husband or her pastor about what she was reading, she could have avoided the pain that later came. She didn't. The truth is that HC was ashamed that she didn't know enough about femininity and womanhood, and that she was reading book after book to help her "figure it all out." She absorbed the pages of the book without guidance or input from outside sources.
At first, things seemed to be fine. Since HC wasn't spending any more time writing or making music, her household was cleaner, her kids and husband got all of her attention, and all of the decisions were made by only one person--HC's husband. Since HC no longer was supposed to be devoting time to female friendships outside of her bible study and church time, there was no one to ask what on earth had come over her. Since HC didn't have any contact with her abusive mother, and limited contact with her addicted and self-absorbed father, there were no family members to see that a radical change had come over their daughter.
HC's husband, over time, began to lose respect for his wife. Obviously, she wasn't very intelligent, because she let him make all the decisions, and constantly spoke highly of his brain-power. She slept with him whenever he wanted, dressed however he wanted, and raised the children however he wanted. He also got to spend money however he wanted, because HC was convinced by Mrs. Pearl that questioning his spending habits was of the devil. HC's husband began to naturally take his wife for granted.
HC's husband also developed a spending and compulsive debting problem. HC noticed money disappearing, with her husband having no idea where it went. HC's husband refused to work at times, asking his wife to work night-shift jobs for low pay, while she continued to do most of the cooking and cleaning and housekeeping and child rearing. However, he clearly didn't like or appreciate the person that his once-strong wife was turning into. "Make a decision!!!" he shouted once. He'd never even raised his voice to her before.
HC watched as her family's debt piled higher and higher. Since she had no income, and no hope of developing good income through her creative gifts, it wasn't long before HC spiraled down into depression, internet addiction, and despaired of life itself.
Then one day, a group of musicians came to HC's church. She saw twenty-something men and women who were, according to her pastor, glorifying God with their gifts. HC was 31 at the time, and knew that she was a more skilled musician than any two of them put together. She started questioning her husband's wisdom. She started challenging his decisions. She started calling his handling of money into account. She finally, fearfully, showed him the book she'd been reading, and read key passages aloud to him.
Though her husband was an otherwise quiet man, his anger erupted in the living room. He threw the book down and insisted HC burn it so that no other woman would be corrupted by its words. Both of them agreed that they needed to go to marriage counseling with a Christian counselor that they trusted.
HC started reading the Bible on her own time, and seeing God's word about women without the filter of the Pearls' teachings. She saw that the Proverbs 31 woman was a strong-willed, hard-worker whose gifts made her husband and family successful. She saw that women like Deborah, Ruth, and Priscilla advanced the Kingdom of God and used their talents to His glory. She saw that the Pearls' teaching arrived *just* at the right time to keep her from advancing her creative gifts into actual income for her family. HC saw on no uncertain terms that she'd been deceived by none other than the devil himself.
Of course, HC is me. It's not been an easy recovery, but I'm writing songs again, playing music again, and learning how to have a relationship with my husband that isn't based on fear. Please, avoid this book. It will speak to the deepest woundings in your heart, but it won't heal them--it will make them worse.
God bless you.
on March 12, 2006
I am a Christian wife and mother. I have enjoyed some of the Pearls' writings in the past and I was actually perplexed when I read this book. The overall tone of the book is that nearly all the problems in marriage are caused by some fault in the woman, and if she would just get her act together and do x, y, and z then the marriage would be glorious. Wow - unfortunately, there are no cookie cutter marriages whose problems can all be solved by Debi's book.
Many readers claim this book is great because it is based on the bible, but Mrs. Pearl offers no exegesis on the subject of marriage. For her to claim that her book reveals "God's plan for a heavenly marriage" (p. 15) is misleading. Just because she sprinkled in multiple bible verses and bible stories does not mean Debi has clearly described God's plan for wives.
There are times where the author's biblical illustration completely goes against what the scripture is teaching. One example is in chapter 19 (which deals with the topic of being chaste) where Debi blames Bathsheba for the adulterous affair with David. She claims if Bathsheba had just been more discreet, she could have prevented the calamity that followed. This is not what the bible teaches about that story. Scripture says David was the one who sought her out and initiated the affair. In Second Samuel, God sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke David for his lust and the adultery. It is quite clear in that passage that God put the responsibility on David. I have never heard any pastor implicate Bathsheba when teaching about that story.
This book is supposed to be based in biblical principles but much of the advice comes from Debi's personal opinion. Here are just a few examples. She writes in chapter 17 that women should not have close friendships with other women and should only share their feelings with their husbands. She goes on to say that the time we spend at church and prayer meeting is all the time we need to spend with other women. Debi then claims that female friendships are in danger of turning into something 'abnormal' and 'sick'. I assume she's talking about lesbianism? That's taking quite a leap. In Chapter 21 she discourages women from taking their children to the doctor or getting vaccinations. Again, not scriptural and based on her personal beliefs in herbal remedies.
It is also outrageous that in chapter 16 Debi advises women whose husbands have sexually handled their children to take the kids to visit him while he is in prison. She claims the children will heal better to see their dad in prison for the crime. I think many people would question the wisdom behind that advice.
In chapter 7, she tells a story about how she didn't know how much money Michael made when they got married, she didn't even know how much they had to spend on the honeymoon and that it wasn't her place to question him about how money was spent. It wasn't clear to me whether or not she was trying to say that women should have no part in financial matters - she never comes right out and says that. But, it seems to be implied.
There are a few helpful, practical ideas in this book and a few morsels of truth (the reminder to honor and respect our husbands is good), but there's not much beyond that. The harsh language the author uses is not encouraging to Christian women. Instead, it will leave many of them with a weight of unwarranted guilt and shame.
There is a reason we are told in the book of Proverbs that those seeking counsel should look to a 'multitude' of counselors. If you read this book, do not let it be your sole source for counsel on marriage and being a wife. Also read other reputable Christian authors on the subject. One I suggest is by Gary Chapman:'On the Marriage You Always Wanted.'
on April 9, 2006
I would have given this book -100 stars (that's negative 100 stars) if that were possible.
I threw my book out, rather than have some other seeking person harm herself or her family by reading it.
1. I am a Christian.
2. I believe the Bible is divinely inspired.
3. I believe the Bible ordains wives to love, submit to and respect their husbands, and likewise husbands to love their wives, take care of them, and yes, sometimes submit to them in the healthy give-and-take of caring and considerate human relationships, especially Christian relationships (Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21).
That said, while this book tries to address how wives are to biblically submit to their husbands, yet the book is seriously and dangerously flawed in manner, approach, and teachings.
"Can a corrupt throne be allied with you -- one that brings on misery by its decrees?" Psalm 94:20
To sum up my objections briefly, I thought fiery darts and fear were supposed to come from the Enemy, not from within the Church of God, as in this book!
I cried at Mrs. Pearl's response to one lady -- Mrs. Pearl was full of put-downs and nasty accusations (while merely assuming the lady's motivation and attitudes) when a lady asked for wisdom for a very real problem with her husband. How mean and rude, and not at all like the Lord: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
"Dumb-cluck", "leech", and I think "couch-potato" were some of the things Mrs. Pearl called the lady, when it was not obvious from the lady's letter that she was any of those things. From all we can tell from that letter, the lady had just asked a legitimate question.
Also, Mrs. Pearl preaches disaster and doom for a wife and her children if the wife confronts (however politely) her husband about his sin or suspected sin. "You'll be out in the streets," "You'll be homeless," "You'll always regret what you did when you see what happens to your children," etc. are the kinds of pictures Mrs. Pearl paints. Even for gross and terrible sins and even for gross and terrible sins done against the children.
However, the Bible says:
"You are [Sarah's] daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear,"
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted,"
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."
If you look on just about any of the Christian spiritual, emotional, physical, and domestic abuse sites online, I think you will find listed as abusive Mrs. Pearl's teaching of "it's all the wife's fault." Unfortunately, people in abusive situations lose their ability to reason, to think clearly, to resist false accusations, and to discern abusiveness due to being worn down by what's regularly being done to them, and an abused wife comes to quickly believe: "It's all my fault. If I had only done.... If I was only like...."
Jesus came to seek and save what was lost! Let's not make bad situations worse by grinding the downtrodden and hurting into the mud more than they already are. Let's imitate Christ and HELP lost and hurting sheep into safety, not keep up the status quo because of bad doctrine! Let's balance the scriptural injunction of wives submitting to husbands with Jesus' blasting leaders for hurting those in their care, and telling husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Those commands are different facets of the Lord's truth in relationships, and when one or more facets is missing or faulty, we need to take care of of the whole situation carefully and wisely.
While it is true that the Lord carefully and lovingly brings suffering into the lives of his people in order to make us like Himself, it is also true that He leads His sheep into SAFE pastures.... Sometimes, coming alongside and helping the husband or coming alongside and helping the husband and wife are enough to create healing and safety. Unfortunately, sometimes not.
We would do well to avoid disturbing unnecessary descriptions in intimate areas.
I foresee REAL danger and LASTING family trauma and damage if wives follow her teachings. I foresee lives and families being destroyed. The teachings in the book are ONLY her opinions, that tend to match some other extremist Christian or "Christian" groups that the Pearls hang with, and I don't think the opinions are scripturally derived, or even nice.
Please check out sites, including Christian sites, listing common signs of abusive relationships and spiritual abuse, and commonly used tactics, dynamics, and teachings of such. Once a person or a group goes down the path of relationship abuse and spiritual abuse, even if independently from others who have done the same, it's surprising how similar they all end up looking and acting. It's especially frightening to see how people who hang together often end up going the same path and believing and teaching and doing the same things, for good or for bad.
Please find a book with wisdom and peaceful, gentle fruit instead.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
God's blessings on your pursuit of biblical living.
on September 7, 2007
It is with some pain that we point out the serious concerns we see in Debi Pearl's book, Created to Be His Help Meet (CTBHHM). Her book has points of wisdom, sometimes deep wisdom, and several sections full of endearing energy and joy. We think a well-versed Christian might well enjoy winnowing the wheat from the chaff, finding things useful and challenging. Unfortunately, we think that taking this book at face value could cause a great deal of lasting harm (or prevent a great deal of good development) in a woman's relationship to God, herself, and to her husband.
First, we want to affirm and make clear where we agree. We believe that Scripture is the ultimate authority for life, and that everything written in the Bible is true, and a solid basis for all of our beliefs and actions. We believe that the Bible teaches women to submit to their husbands, and that men are to be the heads of their homes (and that it also teaches a lot of other things about marriage relationships). We believe everything the Bible says about men and women.
My wife did find some challenging truths in this book. In her own words: Only God can change hearts, and my responsibility is not to change my husband, but to focus on my own heart, attitudes, and actions. My respect towards him and my submission should not hinge on whether or not my husband "earns" it, but should be an act of the will and of obedience to God. When I entered into the vows of marriage, I committed to love, honor, and respect my husband no matter what, and that often means choosing to die to my own desires and feelings. I can choose to make the right choice, remain joyful, and honor my husband no matter what our circumstances. I also recognize that this book was written for the purpose of teaching women how to act towards their husbands, not the other way around. I liked the way the book challenged women to choose joy and choose thankfulness, no matter what their circumstances. I thought the poem Debi wrote at the end of the book was beautiful and contained depth.
[Writing together again] Indeed, Debi's book drove us into the Scripture--unfortunately, many times, only to find she was wrong. This book is troubling to us, especially in the ways it seems to be twisting and misusing Scripture. Please understand the following reflections not as a personal attack, but as a sincere attempt to voice our misgivings towards using this book to teach any women, but especially new Christians. Listed below are our main concerns with this book; space does not permit our full discussion which is posted on Blogger "createdtobehelpmeet".
Point 1: CTBHHM takes away the very heart of a woman's identity as a child of God, created in His image, by Him and for Him. It takes a wife's God given role - being a help meet to her husband - and asserts that for every woman, being a help meet (as defined by Debi Pearl) encompasses her sole purpose for existing and her only true identity. It goes so far as to state that Eve was created in the image of Adam rather than in the image of God.
Point 2: It presents a woman's husband as a mediator, a kind of high priest, between herself and God.
Point 3: It consistently asserts that a woman/wife bears responsibility for a man's/ husband's sins, going so far as to say a husband's complete sanctification and deliverance from temptation is provided to him through his wife and her actions. It seems to teach that women are deceived by Satan but men are not, and that men's primary weakness is their desire for (or to please) women. Therefore, women cause men to sin (or not) by their actions and submission.
Point 4: Its use of Scripture often seems wrong or out-of-context--so often that we frequently feel as though the author is stretching to find scriptural support for her own pre-determined conclusions. We feel it is more appropriate to first study the scripture and let it guide the conclusions.
Point 5: It discourages women from spending time in prayer, Scripture study, or meditation on Scripture, hinting that a woman's spiritual connection to God is primarily determined and built through her actions towards her husband. It asserts that that there is no woman in Scripture who is commended for doing "spiritual" things (i.e. praying, reading Scripture, etc.)
Point 6: The book itself is full of inconsistencies and can be very confusing.
Point 7: CTBHHM advice to women involved in an abusive situation (it advocates enduring in silence for the glory of God) is not only Scripturally suspect, but is also potentially lethal. The book also suggests that when a woman is abused by her husband, it is usually her fault.
Point 8: The writing often lacks grace and compassion towards those struggling, calling women names that should never be used to describe human beings made in God's image.
on July 15, 2010
There is a cultish following of this book, and it is truly frightening. There are a many Biblical verses thrown about, incorrectly, and twisted to make the author's very dangerous points. This is NOT about marriage, it is about enslavement and degradation of wives. The author contradicts herself too many times to count, but the overall message is consistent. EVERYTHING that goes wrong in a marriage can somehow be traced back to the failure of a wife; husbands may sin, but only because their wives are not submissive enough.
The author totally (and I suspect, willingly) misses the point that husbands have the greater task of submission, for they are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Jesus laid down his life for the Church, so, too, must husbands give their wives their lives.
At one point, the author's husband writes that once a woman is married, her husband has absolute authority to tell her how to dress, what friends she may have, IF she may have friends, etc.
Created... is touted as a biblical book on godly marriage. I do wish people would remember that it is an EXTRA-biblical tome and it is not inspired by God. Books like this are fuel for the Left's fire against anything Christian. Furthermore, Pearl's advice is just plainly dangerous physically and mentally for both wives and children!
on December 6, 2012
This is essentially a handbook for being a battered wife. Pearl has no compassion for women in abusive situations and encourages brain washing behavior and is uncomfortable close to being okay with marital rape. Stay away.
on November 25, 2015
A friend of mine loaned me the book, so I read it. My husband is "a command man". For years, I lived my life trying to submit to him and letting him be king of our household. I learned to pretend to like the things he liked, praised him in public, and be happy with his choices for our family. My husband chose what I wore, what I ate, and what I did. After twenty-five years of marriage like this, I'm pretty much done. I won't divorce my husband because God hates a divorcing, but I'm done pretending to be happy. What I've learned is that allowing a "command man" to command his household will result in the children being unable to function on their own once they reach adulthood; they search for someone to direct them. It paralyses them. They can't think for their own. Also, I've lost myself and my self worth from submitting all my married life; I hardly recognize myself, and it's not a good change. I've become weak and depressed. In my opinion, this book promotes emotional abuse.
on November 11, 2014
My wife and I got this as a wedding present years ago but we never read it. We recently moved and while unpacking all our books came across it. The obvious double entendre in the title caught my eye and I started thumbing through. Let me just tell you this book is hilarious. It is perhaps the best work of satire since a modest proposal. The author's voice is so believable. It's that painful realism that cuts to the core of modern misogyny. However, I give warning. This book is not for the feint of heart. I will admit that i think the author went a bit too far when she talked about how if your husband molests your children that you should get him sent to jail but "comfort" him while he's in prison and make the children visit him at least 3 or 4 times a month. The part about how if you divorce your husband you'll get breast cancer and have kids that don't even care is hilarious though. And the story about bad bob. Here's a character who frequently refers to women as pigs and cattle and even goes so far as to have impure thoughts about the high school girls at his church all because his youth pastor's wife wore a skirt that made him, shall we say, come to gratification in the middle of a sermon. I mean he's practically a Shakespearean villain. We had to read a couple pages to some friends of ours and we could not stop laughing all night long. This book is a hoot... "what's that honey... it's not satire... Debi Pearl isn't a well known comedian... She has lots of other books with the same horrible things in them... and all of them are serious... are you sure I don't think anyone could actually spew this kind of vile, putrid, gut turning poison... wow that's quite disturbing."
on November 18, 2013
I read this when it first came out and pulled a few tidbits from it--mostly about the "types of men" (visionary, command, steady, etc.) but I had a good marriage and I didn't really need to pay attention to the advice aimed at women in hard marriages. Remembering how helpful it was, a couple years ago I loaned it to my sister. Good grief. What a mistake. My sister was in a horrible, physically and emotionally abusive marriage to an alcoholic who was continually unfaithful to her the entire 7 years they were together. When she read this book, the truly evil tone of reprimand and the "every problem can be solved by the wife sucking it up and being better" mentality was really highlighted. My sister called me feeling horribly guilty over being such a bad wife, and continued to try and make her awful marriage to an evil man work because of those terrible pieces of misguided advice. I feel terrible for giving her that book…my sister's marriage finally ended when he attempted to kill her after she refused to let him openly date his mistress, having already given my sister an STD. She had him put in jail and hired a divorce lawyer. When I was helping clean out their apartment I ran across the copy of CTBHH I had loaned her and threw it away! This is a book written by someone who picks and chooses her scripture verses, and encourages women to stay with abusive spouses. It's very easy to give that advice to someone when you have never had the life choked out of you even after years of trying your best to be a good, submissive wife.