Created to Be His Helpmeet, pt. 2

created to be

In the first part of this review I indicated that I would review this in two parts because it was structured as 2 books. I wish it were 2 books, or better, that Mrs. Pearl would have ended at the close of part one. While I gave part one a ‘B-‘, part two deserves a solid ‘D’.

As I finished part one, I was satisfied because American women, including the Christians, have mostly discarded Biblical marriage by reinterpreting  commands that are clearly and repeatedly indicated in Scripture. That increasingly bothers me and was the reason I was willing to overlook some of the problems in part one. It tilted much more in favor of Biblical marriage than most Christian women would admit.

One thing I hate even more than the state of American womanhood however, is the misandry that is now common in our culture, the media, and many churches. Underneath all of Mrs. Pearl’s wisdom concerning loving our husbands was a strong undercurrent of misandry; painting of men as one-dimensional beings, only interested in sex or unable to handle being challenged.

My antennae first went up during part one when she described the angel Lucifer as a “male being” in an attempt to explain some facets of masculine behavior. I’m not sure why in retrospect, but I let that gross error go, giving her the benefit of the doubt. I can see now that it was a taste of things to come. Is she comparing men to devils? Since we know unequivocally that God our Father, and Jesus, His Son, our Messiah, are masculine, where then does that leave us?

I can think of literally one thing in part two I agreed with. On page 217 was the story of a Vicky, whose husband didn’t lift a finger to fix anything around the house. While his own home fell apart, he was quick to rise and ride to the rescue of elderly women in the neighborhood who needed things around their homes fixed.  Mrs. Pearl is right that a woman are perfectly capable of taking care of yard work, painting a room, or fixing a leaky faucet.

I hate the trend becoming prevalent Christians as we attempt to distance ourselves from an androgynous culture: that jobs around the house  requiring any sweat or strength are inherently “men’s work” or that the sphere of the wife is limited to the work that requires little sweat equity: cooking, sewing, cleaning, and caring for the children. A good wife does what needs to be done if she can do it. There is no logical reason why the grass in our yard should remain overgrown until my husband is available on the weekends to cut it when I am at home everyday, presumably to manage the home. Unfortunately,  there wasn’t anything more to embrace in part 2.

Mrs. Pearl’s asserted repeatedly that mothers could, by virtue of perfectly watchful eyes, keep all harm from befalling their children. She offered a scenario in which a young child might be molested if his or her mother turned her back for even a couple of minutes. And yes, she said a couple of minutes. I understand the point she was attempting to make, but I thought that her line of reasoning went too far, and furthermore, was wrought with inconsistency. No one can keep their eyes on their children every minute of every day. Are mothers allowed to sleep?

That inconsistency showed again when she advised, rightly, that women whose husbands insist that they get a job do so. Does the wife in this position still bear guilt if harm befalls her child while in submission to her husband?

Another blatant inconsistency was the beginning of the chapter titled, “‘To Obey or Not To Obey?”  The chapter began with the story of a woman who went to “extreme” measures to get the attention of her husband, who was addicted to pornography. Given the rest of the exceptions to unquestioned obedience outlined throughout the rest of the section, the reader is left to assume that the Pearls agree with the actions of this wronged wife. However earlier in the book, there is the story of a woman whose husband frequented strip clubs and visited prostitutes. That wife is hailed as a hero for honoring her husband with love and sex even as he committed acts that were as bad, worse in fact, than the husband who was addicted to pornography.

Of all the objections I had to part two, however, none was so striking as Mrs. Pearl’s exploration of the Titus 2 command for wives “to love their husbands.” It was the only time throughout the book where I felt the need to double-check my understanding of a word by grabbing our great big Strong’s concordance. She limited her very long explanation of the command to love our men strictly to the bedroom, going so far as calling lovemaking a husband’s “most consuming passion”, putting it on the level of food as a desperate biological.

Whenever I hear sex held on par with food, it makes me shudder. This is the reasoning used by those forces who would encourage sexual activity by children at younger and younger ages. I certainly appreciate the importance of the physical relationship between a husband and wife in a marriage, and I’m no prude who believes in rationing intimacy based on my moods or whims.

Still, the word Paul used to describe what it means to love our husbands meant ‘to show affection, to be fond of, to admire’. It is the Greek word philos, often used to describe loving friendships. Mrs. Pearl implied that the only thing that matters is the sex. This is diminishing of men, implying that they don’t care whether or not their wives like them, so long as they get sex.

I was disappointed with part two of this book because part one held such promise. I cannot recommend this book in good conscience.

Part 2 Grade: D

 

7 thoughts on “Created to Be His Helpmeet, pt. 2

  1. Robyn says:

    “Underneath all of Mrs. Pearl’s wisdom concerning loving our husbands was a strong undercurrent of misandry; painting of men as one-dimensional beings, only interested in sex or unable to handle being challenged.”

    -YES!! That’s what I felt too!

    “There is no logical reason why the grass in our yard should remain overgrown until my husband is available on the weekends to cut it when I am at home everyday, presumably to manage the home.”

    -unless this is submission to your “own” husband. D doesn’t want me doing any of this type work — I submit to his wishes b/c he’s my “own” husband. And I think that’s what lacked in this book for me. A balance approach of submission is to be, to your *OWN husband* … it’s the key in the whole dialogue that most books omit.

    “I was disappointed with part two of this book because part one held such promise. I cannot recommend this book in good conscience.”

    -COMPLETELY agree. It’s actually the *worst* marriage book I’ve ever read. It lacks heart and grace.

    Like

  2. Robyn says:

    (forgot to add my ending part)

    “Whenever I hear sex held on par with food, it makes me shudder.”

    -Deb Pearl is the *perfect* example of getting it completely right and completely wrong, simultaneously. I found she had almost zero substance (little to no personal experience in the sharing of her views) so it reads more as religious pontifications that she’s filtered the experiences of others through.

    -I use food metaphors for sex and relationships all the time … but not like she does. I’m currently writing post that talks about the desire for hunger and thirst being located in the same area of the brain (the hypothalamus) as the desire for sex. I understand that metaphors, analogies and similes don’t suit every situation, but for some they work great.

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  3. Elspeth says:

    unless this is submission to your “own” husband. D doesn’t want me doing any of this type work — I submit to his wishes b/c he’s my “own” husband.

    Yes, that would be an excellent reason NOT to cut the grass. LOL. There are occasions when my husband would have me refrain from doing it as well, but unless he says “Leave that. I’ll do it later”, then I try to bless him by relieving him of having that one more thing to do.

    I find that the vast majority of older women who offer marriage advice run rough shod over the command for a wife to submit to “hew OWN husband” and instead substitute their preferences and interpretations of Scripture as concrete Biblical commands.

    Then they tell women, “Well submit to your husband even if he is leading you astray by not having you do what I think The Bible says you should do.”

    Never mind that it becomes nigh impossible for a woman to have affection and admiration for a man she believes is leading her away from God.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Robyn says:

    to Els:

    This.

    “…and instead substitute their preferences and interpretations of Scripture as concrete Biblical commands.”

    Yep. Then use the verse of “older women teaching the younger women” as license to do so.

    WOW … just wow.

    *facepalm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. seriouslyserving says:

    “or that the sphere of the wife is limited to the work that requires little sweat equity: cooking, sewing, cleaning, and caring for the children.”
    Lol, you clearly haven’t cared for my kids before 😉 But I do take your greater point about doing what needs to be done. Frequently I will put the bins up on the road, even though that is heavy and dirty work, if I know my husband will be home late so he doesn’t have to do it in the dark. He greatly appreciates it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Elspeth says:

    Oh, I’ve had a bunch a little kids underfoot. I know that there is a lot of sweat equity involved with that, too.

    Your closing remark about the trash cans gets at the heart of what I was trying to say.

    Liked by 2 people

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