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Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How…

Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage…

by Debi Pearl

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While I completely agree that there are things that women do that they are not even aware of that can tear a man apart, and that changing such actions can honor God, Debi Pearl’s suggestions go too far and are presented in a manner that often lacks grace and compassion toward those struggling (she often refers to women who have written to her by using degrading names such as “Dumb-cluck” and “leech.”)

The book strips away a woman's identity as a child of God, created in His image, by Him and for Him. It asserts that being a help meet is a woman’s sole purpose for existing and is 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. This is highlighted in Debi Pearl’s encouragement to wives to give up their ‘quiet time’ with God in order to ensure time to serve their husbands. Instead of placing God as a wife’s first priority, Debi suggests that the wife’s husband should have highest priority!

You are created to be “a helper suited to the needs of a man. This is how God created you and it is your purpose for existing….You are created to make him complete, not to seek personal fulfillment parallel to him.”

Created to be his helpmeet challenges wives to focus on changing their own heart, attitudes, and actions rather than trying to change their husbands. It suggests that in doing so, the husband will change as a result, and if he doesn't then the wife will be praised for her efforts. The common theme throughout this book is that no matter how bad your marriage is, if your husband cheats, beats, or even comes after you with a butcher knife, you the wife can save it. The marriage can be saved and your man can be changed, if only you try hard enough and do all the right things. While I agree that we wives need to focus on changing our hearts and attitudes before reprimanding others, including our husbands (Matthew 7:3 comes to mind), there are times when a wife can respectfully acknowledge that her husband is wrong (particularly in the case of abuse).

Debi shares a story about a woman who married a man who would frequently get drunk and abuse his wife. At one point, he comes after her with a butcher knife. When the woman seeks help from her mother and other women, crying and asking for help, Debi prays with her and suggests that she either leave her husband or repair the marriage. Debi writes: "I fully expected her to leave him that night, but I discovered something amazing about her, Sunny really wanted God's will in her life. She had grasped an eternal vision about life, and she now believed God could save her man. I explained to Sunny that in order to win her husband's heart she needed to reverence him...She was not to speak ill of him again. Her conversation with others as well as with him, would be only praise and appreciation." This advice that Debi provides is extremely harmful and has dire consequences for women living in abusive relationships. The woman was not gossiping about her husband’s sins to her mother and the other women, she was reaching out and crying for help! Instead of calling the police, Debi tells the woman to only praise her husband from now on, never speaking ill of him!

The Bible never says to enable a sinful husband's behavior; it says to love such a husband, but that doesn't mean supporting bad habits. Debi 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. This further solidifies Debi’s view that a woman is nothing without her husband; she will not be able to make a living and will not be able to adequately provide for her children.

“The chain of authority must never be broken, even if it means allowing some abuse (of the husband's role)."

“You can freely call your husband “lord” when you know that you are addressing the one who put him in charge and asked you to suffer at your husbands hands just as the Lord suffered at the hands of unjust authorities.”

“…first know that a husband has authority to tell his wife what to wear, where to go, whom to talk to, how to spend her time, when to speak or not to, even if he is unreasonable and insensitive.”

The advice for those of you who have either read this book and are struggling with its assertions or are considering reading this book, is to love your husband, respect him, and honor him, but know your limits. With a willing heart, there is no limit to what God can do. However, remember that your heart is not the only one that must be willing. ( )
  KayseMaass | May 1, 2014 |
1 vote SKWilson | Jun 17, 2013 |
Hard to rate. About 50% of the book is very helpful, and the other 50% is the author thinking because something worked for her it can only be done that way. Worth the read but know when to recognize there isn't only one way to do something. We are not all created from the same cookie cutter.
  autumnesf | May 3, 2013 |
This is a book for women who are fairly clueless about how to experience a happy marriage. Debi Pearl has some nuggets of good advice, but goes about things in a Judge Judy type of way , i.e. rather harshly. I am looking forward to reading Fascinating Womanhood, some of which I have paged through, and have found to portray women and marriage in general in a much more positive light. ( )
  silva_44 | Feb 7, 2011 |
I was quite surprised to find that I really rather enjoyed Debi Pearl's message on marriage. From the easy-to-read format of this book (including a mini study guide) to the fact that she took the time to explain concepts which had previously been foreign to me, I found that Created to be His Help Meet was a blessing to me.

I have been with my husband for six years (we've only been married a portion of that) and have been a Christian for two years as of the time of writing. For years my husband has been putting books about a woman's role in Christian marriage into my hands, and for many years I rejected these books because they made ME feel rejected. At the time I was still entirely of the world as a pagan.

When I first became a Christian I was introduced to a book called The Politically Incorrect Wife (by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby). These two authors wrote so kindly about their own journeys as wives that it finally began to sink in that many of the areas in my relationship that were failing were failing because of things that were in my power and control to change. For two years it has been the first book that I put forward when I want to share a book about marriage with female friends of mine.

The first book that has always been put forward to me has been EITHER The Excellent Wife OR Created to be His Help Meet.

Created to be His Help Meet is a book that people talk about, because they either firmly agree with the stance that Mrs. Pearl takes in her book (to the point of adopting her point of view and stern demeanor themselves) or they feel as though she goes completely off the deep end.

Debi Pearl is an interesting person, and she presents her case in a way that isn't always palatable. She's very hard in her writing, and appears to take the position that every problem in a marriage is the responsibility of the woman.

What I love about Mrs. Pearl's book is that she makes Scripture practical. Instead of simply throwing "respect your husband" at us, she tells us what it means to respect and reverence your husband. Instead of making vague references to Titus 2, she outlines what it means to follow (and to represent) Titus 2 as a woman.

This is a book for women, and is written in a way that is meant to speak to a woman and not to a man. There are plenty of books on the shelves that tell husbands how to treat their wives, and which put the same amount of responsibility on the husband that Debi Pearl puts on the wife.

While many reviewers of this book look negatively on Debi Pearl because she places so much emphasis on a woman and her behavior, this is not the area where I find fault with the writing.

For me, the problems arise with the unrealistic "anecdotes" which are peppered throughout the book. At first I accepted them rather blindly, reading them and enjoying them as personal experiences that another woman has had with Yah in her marriage. The problem is that these stories are entirely unrealistic, such as the story of the woman who's husband came after her with a butcher knife. Afterward she came to Debi to tell her that she was plotting her husband's murder, and instead of encouraging this young woman to go to the police, Debi advised her to be sweet to her husband.

Within an unrealistic period of time, the husband had become a Christian and was going to church with his wife. This simply isn't realistic and it is discouraging to me to read such obviously fictional stories in the midst of what might otherwise be a very helpful book.

I also feel very strongly that Mr. and Mrs. Pearl need to leave talk of abusive husbands to those who have a more balanced view of this situation. Too many reviewers have gone into detail about how wrong the Pearls are on this subject, and I don't feel that I need to repeat what has been said time and time again except to say that the reviewers who have touched on this subject are very much correct in their assertions.

On one final note, as a head covering Christian, I find the portion of the book where Debi touches on this subject to be sadly misleading. While she tells women that they should only cover their heads if their husbands mandate it (her point about head covering being cultural is common and understandable), I find it disturbing that she tells women that they should not cover if their husbands prefer them not to do so.

This is especially true because in the same chapter (I believe), Mr. Pearl goes on to say that a woman should disobey her husband if he tells her to disobey scripture. Therefore, if my husband tells me to remove my veil, he is instructing me to disobey the scriptures and I should refuse to remove the veil.

The book is full of such contradictions, but this one hit me the hardest because it has been an area of serious discussion between my husband and me.

In short, this book can be a major blessing to women who are looking to improve their marriages, but it is important to read the book with a clear head and an eye toward Scripture. Back up everything that you read in this book and don't take Debi and Michael's word for it! If a passage is quoted, look it up in the KJV Bible to confirm.

And, as with anything, handle with prayer. ( )
  EverydayMiracles | Apr 19, 2010 |
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Somewhere over the passing years and changing culture, women have lost their way. This book is written to lead them back home. Regardless of how you began your marriage or how dark and lonely the path that has brought you to where you are now, I want you to know that it is possible today to have a marriage so good and so fulfilling that it can only be explained as a miracle. It took four years, thousands of hours, many tears, revisions and distractions, but I finally finished my book. I had no idea God had so much to say to us ladies until I began going through God's Word verse by verse, writing the different sections of Created to be His Help Meet. Many times as I read a passage, I would say to my husband, "I'm not going to include those verses in my book because if I do the ladies (of any religious group you can think of including my own) will not like my book or promote it." My dear husband would say to me, "If God thought it was important enough to inspire it as part of his Word to us, then you should include it." And so I would cringe and add one more controversial subject after another. So in obedience with Titus 2, where God commands the aged women to teach the younger women, I have obeyed and given you the very best I can do, 27 chapters, 304 pages, including letters from my readers, recounting couseling sessions, wisdom gleaned from my daughters, my own very personal stories, and, of course, the Word of God. It includes subjects as varied as planning meals to answering extremely intimate questions.… (more)

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