Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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Created To Be His Helpmeet: Discovering the Dangers

Disclaimer: We believe in marriage as described in the Bible. We believe in a marriage built on Jesus, mutual love, mutual respect, submission (both mutual and the reverence a woman is to sweetly offer), the leadership of the husband in the home, the mutuality of sex, and that we are heirs together of the grace of God. We neither identify with the modern feminist movement nor the patriarchy movement. 

We are open to discussion. However, we reserve the right to delete comments that promote abuse, misquote Scripture, or promote falsehoods that have been promoted throughout the centuries.

Before Samuel and I were ever officially dating, we were given a copy of the dangerously popular Created To Be His Help Meet. I had been warned that it was a less than Biblical book and didn't read it. However, after our marriage, we heard more and more about the bad fruit of this book and decided to read it for ourselves. 

We both read and reviewed it. Samuel and I talked for weeks about this book. But we were hesitant to publicly review it at first. After all, so many other people have come out against this book. There are many excellent articles on the subject. Who are we to think that anyone will care what we have to say? But we were reminded that there are some people who will only hear the truth if it comes from someone they actually know and love. We have much to learn and are far from perfect, but we believe that a person is never too young to recognize truth and error. Our goal is to express the truth in love.

So here we are to share why we think Created To Be His Help Meet is not only erroneous Biblically, but dangerous to the Christian woman and marriage. Please consider our thoughts with an open heart and closely evaluating what Christ and the Word have to say.

The false teachings of the book are as follows:

  • hermeneutic errors in which stories of the Old Testament are allegorized and misused, as well as a return to patriarchy and the law.
  • women are created solely to fulfill a man through marriage.
  • all man's sin, sexually or other, is a result of women. 
  • wives must submit to abuse and reverence their husband even in the midst of his foolishness and a lifestyle of sin.
  • women are responsible to help their husbands without actually having a say and must maintain the order and attitude of the home without ever assuming any kind of authority. They are responsible for everything that goes wrong without having the authority to actually fix it.
  • women are not capable of discerning the Scriptures for themselves and must agree with their husband at all times.

There is neither time, nor space to address all of the issues of the book, but we wanted to hit on some of the deepest issues. 


Created to be His Help Meet, written by Debi Pearl, has been a popular marriage book targeting women in conservative Christian circles since its publication about 12 years ago. Pearl and her husband Michael oversee No Greater Joy Ministries. They publish material on marriage, child rearing, and other aspects of the Christian family.

Pearl says that her motive in writing Created to Be His Help Meet is to teach young women as described in Titus 2:3-5.

“The aged women likewise...That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

It is true that older wives should be sharing wisdom and insight with younger women. This is commanded by scripture and something that seems to be lacking in modern churches. 

However, a person attempting to influence others in this area has a great deal of responsibility to lead people properly according to the mandates and principles of the Word of God. While Pearl does have some good advice (though not enough to make the book redeemable), there are some underlying assumptions  in the mind of the author that did not come either in command or implication from God. 

Also, there are some hermeneutic errors as far as some of the truths presented. Are these just slight errors, or serious problems? Does the book promote healthy husband and wife relationships? I read this book and spent a great deal of time in trying to understand what is being taught. And I found many unbiblical errors.


As a young married woman, I am pretty passionate about learning all I can about being a godly wife. I've had some great role models in my life and continue to seek for new mentors to pass on what they've learned. 

But, when I picked up a copy of this book, I was startled by the overwhelming bondage Debi Pearl attempts to thrust upon women. Her every point was made by the underlying assumption that women are to obey man rather than God, that woman are created solely for the pleasure of man, and that we are still living in some kind of Old Testament, patriarchal system. Not only is this unbiblical, but it really is dangerous and brings women back under the yoke of bondage Christ died to set us free from.


The title and synopsis of this book contain several assumptions which are neither presented nor defended in the book itself. 

“Somewhere over the passing years and changing culture, women have lost their way. This book is written to bring 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 by a miracle.” 

Here is a glaring first problem. 

According to the Pearls, all women are intended by God's will to marry. God evidently created each women for the sole purpose of being a “help meet” for a man. On page 38 she states: “When a woman gets old and realizes that there is no man to 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 for a man.” And again on page 73: “What is God's purpose for your life? - To be a good help meet.” This thinking comes in part from a poorly researched, allegorical application of Adam and Eve to married couples today. Nowhere in the Bible does God claim to have created all women for the sole purpose of being a help meet for a man. 

Additionally, the underlying theme is that being a wife is the only acceptable life and calling of a woman. In the synopsis, women are assumed to be married. This narrows the will of God for a woman, allowing her to only be a wife. This is in direct opposition to the words of the New Testament by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:8,34: 

“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I (single)... There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” 

A wife can be pleasing to the Lord, but a single woman or even a married woman acting outside of her role in marriage, can also be pleasing to the Lord. 

Women in scripture were sometimes recognized for leadership roles outside of their homes. Deborah is one of these (Judges 4-5), also Rahab (Joshua 2, 6:17,23,25), the woman who washed the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:37-50), and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:4-30) This is just to name a few! 


For me, this was just really sad. I love being married. I am definitely one of those people who is called to the ministry of marriage and can really serve the Lord better by being married. I love being a wife and wouldn't trade it for anything. 

But I know that God did not create me solely to fulfill a man. God did not create me primarily for marriage. He created me for a love relationship with Himself first, to honor and glorify Him, and to serve Him. True, I do fulfill part of that calling to honor Him by being a wife, but only partially. My role as a Christian woman is much bigger than just being married. I have a walk with God to follow, a Great Commission to fulfill, a life of ministry outside of the ministry of marriage. 

Imagine telling a woman who never married that she missed her only purpose in life. Can you imagine how devastating?! But that is exactly what Debi Pearl does. She literally preaches a message of hopelessness to every girl who is yet unmarried and to every woman who is a widow or never married. 

The following quotes are just a few that filled me personally with extreme sadness for any woman who listens to Debi Pearl.
  • “If you are a wife, you were created to fill a need, and in that capacity you are a ‘good thing,’ a helper suited to the needs of a man. This is how God created you and it is your purpose for existing.”
  • “The only position where you will find real fulfillment as a woman is as a help meet to your husband.” 
  • “God’s ultimate goal for you is to meet your man’s needs.”
  • “God has provided for your husband’s complete sanctification and deliverance from temptation through you, his wife.”
  • “No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God.”
  • "God's original intention was that a woman would spend her life helping her husband fulfill his dreams and ambitions."

I'm sorry, but that is NOT what the Bible says. Isaiah makes it crystal clear that we were ALL formed for God's glory. We don't exist suit the needs of men. "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."

Women do not exist solely to be wives. Our lives are to honor and serve God, not fulfill our husband's dreams, and, although it is special and wonderful when we can, it is not our purpose for existing. We do not exist to be sexual slaves, nor is that God's ultimate goal for us, nor do men alone have sexual needs. And upright single men are not less of "men" because the Lord has not brought them their wife yet. That statement alone causes serious issues for Paul...and JESUS.


According to Debi Pearl, a woman is always at fault when she is the object of a man's lust. This is one of the most alarming points of the book. 

The first paragraph on page 202 begins: “Jesus said that a lusting man commits adultery WITH a woman, not against her, meaning that the woman is included in the lusting adultery.” 

There is no indication from the English translation or the underlying Greek text that this is the case. This would tend to lead a woman to unhealthy extremes concerning her dress. If her sole purpose is to keep poor men from stumbling, she would avoid wearing anything attractive. She would dress in burlap sacks to keep men from lusting after her, and if she was exceptionally beautiful, she would just wear a burka. But, alas, some poor fellow would be captured by her beautiful eyes and she would be responsible for another round of mental adultery! If a man could pervert his mind to the point that he imagines cleavage when he sees a woman's bare toes, a woman cannot be held responsible for making him stumble by wearing open-toed shoes! 

Pearl uses the story of David and Bathsheba on page 207: “Because Bathsheba was indiscreet, she caused great calamity, resulting in the bloodshed and suffering of many. Her lack of discretion cost her husband his life, his comrades-in-arms their lives, her baby son his life, and the integrity of one whom God upheld as a man after his own heart.” 

Nowhere in scripture does God correct Bathsheba for being careless or indiscreet. God places all the blame squarely on David. The Bible clearly says: “the thing that David had done displeased the LORD”. If Bathsheba was responsible in part or whole for David's actions, God could have told us of her correction. 

A woman is responsible for the way that she dresses. She will surely answer to God for any evil motives. But, as men, we cannot blame a woman for our sinful thoughts. If her motives are pure and she seeks God's direction for the right way to dress, then what more does God expect? He does not expect a woman to change something right and wholesome based on whether or not a man can still manage to lust after her. A man saying “I am a normal male with a normal need, and the problem lies with females dressing so godless”(page 200), is a man that refuses to take responsibility for his own actions and seeks to blame his shortcomings on anyone but himself.


I was blown away by some of Debi Pearl's quotes. Honestly, her view of men's sexuality is crude and low. Her entire book writes about men as if they are naturally some kind of beastly, fleshly sex addicts who cannot see a woman's natural, God-given shape without lusting or worse. 

She gives a very disgusting example of a man who was once exposed to porn and, therefore, the poor fellow simply could not control his thoughts when he saw a Christian woman dressed in a short skirt (page 204.) It is a section of the book I could not in any good conscience describe due to the pornographic nature of her descriptions of a lusting male. Additionally, while her description of what presumably could happen to a man who sees a woman in a short skirt is not only disgusting, it's also physically impossible. However, a young, unmarried woman reading this book would know no better and would be trapped into the lie that she is responsible for any sick and lewd thoughts of a man. 

The above lie (in which a woman is somehow responsible for every thought of a man) has provoked real-life rules I personally know of. These rules include no wet hair in the presence of a man, no open-toed shoes, no lettering of any kind of a shirt, and so forth--all designed because a man somewhere, in some place, had sick thoughts. Many extreme rules are imposed upon women because churches have bought into the lie that women are 100% responsible. However, as my husband pointed out, this teaching would really require a woman to dress in a burka and wear sunglasses, lest any man should ever "stumble" by catching a glimpse of something that he might lust after. Both men and women are responsible to be modest, but it is for a far purer, higher reason than the lie that men are sick, animalistic lusters who continually see woman as sex objects.

Forgive me if I refuse to approve of a book that both gives a sick, low, and false impression of our wonderful brothers in Christ and binds women in guilt, legalism, and fear.

Not only does she take the stance that men somehow have a greater sexual need than women (a lie introduced to the church throughout various generations), but she claims that we exist for the purpose of fulfilling them. Therefore, if your man lusts after another woman, you are at fault for somehow not fulfilling him. And the other woman who was lusted after is also at fault. Never the man.

She even goes so far as to claim that women are solely responsible for all the sin of man. I quote: “Adam, the first man, Samson, the strongest man, Solomon, the wisest man, and even David, the man listed as being after God’s own heart, were all brought down by the women they loved.” This is wrong. These men were not brought down by the women they loved. They were brought down by a lust and disobedience that was brought about by their own bad decisions, not women in general.

Debi Pearl claims that a lack of sexual desire is actually a sin in her quote, "Hopefully, you didn't realize that your lack of sexual interest in your husband was sin, but you know now." 

Um, hello, where does it say that in the Bible?! Any simple study of both men and women's hormones and the different phases of life reveals that sexual desire is not 100% controlled in the mind. It simply isn't. Stress, sickness, change, hormones, and much, much more contribute to a lack of sexual desire. Yet, she ungraciously and unbiblically terms it "sin" for a woman to say no. Not a man. Apparently, it's his right to do whatever he wants. But a woman can never say no. Not only is this nothing short of abusive, but the Bible talks much about the mutuality of sex and never claims that one spouse has more say than the other. This goes against everything the Bible teaches on marriage as a representation of Christ and His church, true charity, and what it means to mutually submit to each other.

She additionally teaches in page 170 that women have no right to their own comfort. Their husband should total access to them even if they are in extreme pain. That's abuse, folks. 

Another quote that blew me away was as follows: "Wife, it is your God-orgained ministry to your husband to be his totally enthusiastic sex partner, ready to enjoy him at all times. To do less is a grave error. If you love your husband as God commands, you will always seek to give him pleasure. In so doing, you will fulfill your role as his suitable helper."

I sincerely though that marriage was more than just being sexually enthusiastic for him at all times. I really thought it was about mutual love, mutual respect, friendship, strengthening each other for the ministry, and serving together in the ministry. Yes, sex plays a huge part of the marital relationship. It's great. It's beautiful. It's awesome. But it's also mutual. Women have as real of needs as men. The mere idea that we exist to fulfill sexual needs is low and blasphemous to the God who created us for His pleasure--not man's.

Serving one's husband is a beautiful thing and, of course, is to be encouraged. However, it is never to be encouraged in the abusive level this book takes it. Marriage is meant for both man and woman to love, edify, honor, serve, and respect each other, not just women.


One of the scariest issues of this book is Debi Pearl's take on abuse. I quote:

“Mr. Command Man: They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. A Command Man does not want his wife involved in any project that prevents her from serving him... Command Men have less tolerance, so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage... She is on call every minute of her day. Her man wants to know where she is, what she is doing, and why she is doing it. He corrects her without thought. For better or for worse, it is his nature to control.”

“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 and when not to, even if he is unreasonable and insensitive."

"Dominance and control are always masculine characteristics."

In other words, she categorizes away a selfish and narcissistic husband, titling him a Mr. Command Man. However, Jesus did not categorize away sin by giving men different titles and thus making allowances for bullying or abuse. Nowhere in Scripture are men given the right to demand submission or obedience. There is no place in Scripture that gives men the right to break their wife's spirit and curtail all liberty. Instead, we are to be heirs together of the grace of life and give honor to each other. 

Girls, if you meet a man who wants to control every aspect of your life, run. And run fast. He is not a Mr. Command Man. He is exhibiting sinful dominance, control, and the attitude of a tyrant--not a godly husband. Dominance and control are not attributes of a godly man in Scripture. There is a world of difference between a confident, God-fearing leader and a dynasty-minded tyrant.

But it gets worse. 

"To those of you who are enduring verbal and physical abuse, we realize that statistically, you are likely to remain with your husband. It is therefore important that you understand how to speak and conduct yourself in a way that will maintain your physical and emotional safety and ultimately win your husband."

In other words, you are responsible for your own safety by treading on tiptoe around your hostile man, saying what he wants to hear and anticipating his every want to ease his anger. 

Michael Pearl weighs in on this issue and actually says the following:

"Has your husband reviled you and threatened you? You are exhorted to respond as Jesus did. When he was reviled and threatened, he suffered by committing himself to a higher judge who is righteous. You must commit yourself to the one who placed you under your husband’s command. Your husband will answer to God, and you must answer to God for how you respond to your husband, even when he causes you to suffer. Just as we are to obey government in every ordinance, and servants are to obey their masters, even the ones who are abusive and surly, ‘likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands’…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 husband’s hands just as our Lord suffered at the hands of unjust authorities…When you endure evil and railing without returning it, you receive a blessing, not just as a martyr, but as one who worships God.” 

Yes, ladies. If your husband is beating and raping you, you must respond by continued obedience as a martyr. Unbelievable.

Please, ladies, never believe the lie that God demands you suffer as some kind of martyr enduring abuse. That is not the heart of the God of the Bible. There is no command in Scripture that imposes this upon women. God never commands women to remain in danger. 

There are many, many quotes commanding women to love, reverence, and stand by their man through his "troubles" of lust, adultery, and fornication. I'm sorry, but marriage is not a licence to enable sin. Women were never meant to be enablers of sin, turning a blind eye to sins Jesus strictly forbids. We as Christians are instructed to edify, exhort, disciple, and even discipline each other (church discipline.) We were instructed to obey God rather than man. Ladies, you are never called to be an enabler of sin.


So, a wife who sticks it out through abuse from her husband is more spiritual than the one who leaves because of abuse?!

On pages 126-127 in “Queen for the Day”, Pearl uses a letter from “Judy”. Judy's husband committed adultery against her many times, yet she did not leave her husband. Judy is held up as a wonderful example of a faithful, submissive wife. However, according to Scripture, fornication is grounds for divorce. There is nothing wrong if a woman chooses to stay with her husband, but there is no obligation for her to stay according to Scripture. 

Also, there is a story about “Sunny” (pages 132-134.) Sunny suffered various physical abuses including attempted murder before winning the heart of her husband. She chose to submit and love instead of leave, and her husband eventually came around. 

In both of these examples, Pearl fails to give a balanced view. The wife who stays is seen as good and spiritual, but her rightful grounds for leaving are not given the same attention. A woman reading this book would be inclined to believe that she is a better woman for staying. However, a wife is permitted to leave her husband according to 1 Corinthians 7:11, “But and if she depart [the wife from her husband], let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband...” She is allowed to depart in all cases. There are times when a wife should leave her husband. There are times when she can remarry. Sometimes, a woman just needs to get out to protect herself or her children. One is not necessarily a better wife for staying, nor less of a woman for leaving. 

(Nor does the woman who stays have the promise that her husband will repent. Abusers are not rational people who just need extra respect in order to turn their hearts toward their victims.)


What if your husband molests your children?

Debi Pearl admits you may call the police, but instructs women to take their children to see him in jail 3-4 times a year (page 174.) Apparently, the child will heal from sexual abuse by having the satisfaction of seeing his father in jail and will be able to forgive him. 

Wow. Absolutely not. If a man molests a child, he loses all rights to ever see them again. (As far as I am concerned, he loses right to his own life, too.) A child will NOT heal by visiting the man who molested them. A child deserves the safety and healing of only being with those who love and honor them. It breaks my heart to think that a woman who calls herself a Christian would dare teach that children be exposed on a personal level to their molesters.


On the issue of spirituality, Debi Pearl states that women are unqualified to seek spiritual knowledge for themselves. On page 107, she states: “[Eve] was meant to be Adam's helper, but she helped herself to spiritual knowledge and acted independently, becoming his downfall instead of his help meet.” 

On page 231, Pearl holds up a conversation between her daughter and husband as a good example of submission: “When our first daughter was just two months away from being married, she asked her daddy a theological question. Remember now, she was a graduate of Bible college and had spent three years on the foreign field as a missionary. But, rather than answer her, as he had been doing for the previous 26 years, he told her, “I cannot answer your Bible questions, for you now believe what your husband believes. He will be your head, and you will follow him...”

Not only is a wife forbidden to have an opinion slightly different than that of her husband concerning some apparently minor theological point, but also she is assumed to be incompetent in discerning spiritual things on her own. If she is not allowed to get theological insight from her own father, it is assumed that she should not get insight from any other sources apart from her husband. Is she permitted to reference a Bible commentary in her personal Bible study? Is she even capable of understanding the Bible when she reads it for herself? 

A theological view that attempts to prevent a woman from thinking for herself in spiritual matters is strangely reminiscent of a time in church history when only a certain elite group was allowed to interpret the scriptures. God wants every man and woman to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. Every believer has access to the throne of God and the rich promises found in the scriptures.


I was once told by someone that God did not create me in His image and that women cannot have as deep a relationship with Him as men. I was also told that all women are silly and continually prone to deception, unable to function spiritually without a man to teach them.

The above teachings are the heart of Created To Be His Help Meet. Laying aside the dangers of the physical abuse, misogyny, narcissism, and dominance this book teaches women to embrace, the teaching that women are incapable of interpreting the Bible for themselves is dangerous enough to throw the book away over.

Ladies, the Holy Spirit is your teacher. You have the Word of God and a brain. Yes, ask your husband your questions. Study them out together. Enjoy the beauty of having your husband point you to Jesus when you need it. After all, as your head, your husband is supposed to gently point you to Jesus and be a spiritual example. But you are ultimately responsible for your own spiritual growth. Your husband cannot force your relationship with God. You have a conscience. And Jesus is as real and open to you as He is to your husband.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Oh, by the way. It's okay to have different opinions. It really is. I'm not talking about one spouse being a heretic. I'm simply saying love and respect are built on honoring each other and understanding that God created each of us to have our own likes, dislikes, opinions, consciences, and brains.


This is a small point, but it bothered me. According to Pearl, wives are to submit to their husbands at all times, yet they are still somehow responsible to take the lead in “fixing” broken/dysfunctional marriages. Why write a book about taking the lead to solve marriage problems and address it to the one in the relationship who has neither right nor responsibility to resolve issues? Pearl would tend to make the average wife in a rocky marriage feel responsible for the condition of her home.


There were a LOT of underlying themes of female manipulation that really bothered me. Since wives are taught to stand by their husbands when he is committing adultery, Pearl instructs women to win them back with seduction. When husbands are blatantly sinning, wives are taught to woo them from sin with charm--instead of confront sin. Apparently, their goal is to simply get their husband back, not point him to Jesus and repentance.

Additionally, wives are not to give an opinion or have healthy conversations with their husbands. They are never to give a different opinion or even raise concerns if their husband is watching porn in front of the children. Pearl literally calls women who question the righteousness of exposing children to wickedness Jezebels.

Scary. It's as if she forgets that we as a Church are to be sharpening and encouraging each other in the Lord--especially in our homes.


Lastly, I think all Christians would agree that mentorship and teaching others must always be in the spirit of love. It is never God's intention for us to beat someone over the head with our conclusion (the only correct one, of course!) and call him foolish, dumb, or ignorant when he does not agree.

Pearl shows a distinct lack of love in many areas covered in the book. She includes a “Dumb-cluck test”(P. 218) for one woman to communicate that she needs to learn to fix things around the house, she calls “Sunny” dumb (132-134), kids dumb (184), and others. She refers to a lady on page 27: “[T]here was an overweight hillbilly woman who worked in the local store in our hometown...this woman was ugly, I mean, hillbilly ugly, which is worse than regular ugly.”

Talking down to people and rude perceptions of their actions seem to be a recurring theme. I understand that it is necessary at times to communicate tough truths, but leaving off common courtesy is not the way to go! The proper attitude is shown in Ephesians 4:1-2:

“I...beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”

Also, 2 Timothy 2:24-25:

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”

A leader that takes his role seriously according to scripture will be firm, but still meek, gentle, humble, and patient.

I do not feel that Mrs. Pearl is competent to be a leader for women or families. What do you think, men? Should she mentor your wives and daughters? Why or why not?

Lest you think that we are the first to delve into the dangers of Created To Be His Help Meet, we've added additional links for you to read. We may not agree 100% with every word from these fellow bloggers, but they've all done great jobs on presenting similar/more errors than we had the time and mental energy to expose.

We do not believe that Created To Be His Help Meet is redeemable. There are far too many excellent marriage books and blogs out there to compromise the safety and discernment of young women and couples by in any way endorsing anything about this book. This is not a book in which people can simply pick out the good parts. The entire foundation is built upon error, poor hermeneuticsabuse, shame, and legalism. We hope and pray that more churches see the light of God's liberty and stop promoting abuse and dominance in the name of Jesus.


  1. Great article, Alicia and Samuel! You really do get the feeling reading the book that Debi actually hates women. Never does she bring up the fact that a man may be responsible for something going wrong. All the blame is always laid at the woman's feet. It's funny, but Adam tried to do that in the garden--and God didn't take it well. And yet the lie still lives. I hope that the more people hear about how destructive this book is, the more it will fizzle out!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Sheila, and for all the encouraging articles you have written in the past! We love your book and were blessed to read it together before marriage. We are blessed by your ministry and heart for the truth.

  2. WOW! Thank you so much for writing this. It has concerned me lately how much this thinking has made its way into homes. It's painful to see the effect it has on families (I've seen first hand). So sad! I appreciate that you both back up what the Bible says on the home, and that you're not afraid to speak the truth.

    1. You're so welcome! God is good. It has been painful for me to see the very, very bad effects it's had. So many abuse survivors are coming forward. I just pray more eyes will be opened. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I am hesitant even to post a comment here, but I feel that it is necessary. I know the Pearls personally and have read their material for many years including the above mentioned book. There is a lot of chicken, and quite a few bones. Please understand that there are many flaws in the Pearls teachings, and I don't discount that for a minute. I would come to some of the same conclusions as y'all have concerning abuse, molestation, etc. However, I sincerely believe the purpose of the book is to help women change the things that they can. After all, I can't change my husband or family, but I can change myself. The book is written to married women. Many parts of the book are dealing with women who have unsaved husbands, and the book is only meant to address the wife's role. If you read their teachings on husbands, you will find a lot of the balance that you find lacking in this book. That being said, there are many issues. However, the review accuses the Pearls of taking things out of context, and yet the review freely takes parts of the book out of context. Just my honest opinion after having read both the book and the review.

    1. But why hold onto resources that you have to sift through SO MUCH false/harmful teaching just to latch onto a few good, when there are plenty of balanced, healthy, truthful books out there that encouraged marriages in a Biblical way, without placing women and children in harm's way? It's ok for some things to just not be beneficial and to thus be spoken against and discarded. There were false teachers in the Bible. There were people spreading false Gospels. And Paul told people not to listen to them. Find GOOD, godly, Biblical sources....and don't partake in the ones that aren't, even if they're written by nice people. Off-base nice people are still off base and can do much harm....

    2. But that is just the thing, Hannah. People who don't know how to sift out truth from error pick up this book hoping it will fix the pain in their life and embrace it's teachings...only to be led to more pain and further from truth. The reviewers here are thoughtful, mature Christians who can spot false teaching, most readers are not. I can tell you from first hand experience that this book has done much damage to people's lives and confused truth with lies. It is not a small thing. I can also tell you that the things the reviewers pulled out (and as you said out of context) is the way other innocent readers understand those things...apparantly context isn't enough to change the message.

    3. Already in a abuse marriage for 7 years when I became a Christian and this book was given to me to read in how to be a good Christian wife to win my husband. All it did was help me "submit" to more and more abuse. And while I thought I was protecting my children from it they were really learning how to act like their father. Fast forward 22 years later and I had to leave the home for my safety. Don't even think that this book is to help Chistian women learn to live with their unsaved husbands and win them to Christ. "Suck it up for Jesus" mentality will get you hurt in an abusive marriage. No woman reading this book is reading the counterpart books for the husband to "balance" the advice in this book. I burned the book once I realized that the teaching didn't apply in my destructive marriage. Didn't even want to pass it on in case it fell into the hands of someone like me that was newly saved and would do whatever told so their husband would come to know Jesus too. Taking the Bible out of context should never be defended ... scripture warns against making own interpretation of the Word and you give license that it's okay because you know the Pearls? Thank you Chavvah for speaking out for the victims who continue to suffer because they thought they needed to put themselves in harm's way for the sake of the gospel. I am a survivor because of God's grace and mercy, soon to be a thriver! Praise God. Thank you Anne and Samuel for getting this message out!

  4. This is a very insightful and excellent review of this book. I've read this book, tried to embrace it, handed it down to my daughter, but always felt deep down that it did not reflect the heart of God, though well intentioned. Thank you for having the courage to take a stand against this book, and bringing much needed balance to this topic.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Keeping praying that eyes are opened. So many abuse victims are coming forward with horrific tales of what this book did to their marriage. I know some personally. I pray more will discard these teachings.

  5. I've actually not heard of this book. Wow! It's so hard for me to even wrap my mind around some of the things being taught in this book! I hope that the girls who do read it are able to discern between truth and error! You're right, it goes against so many Biblical principles!

  6. Thank you for writing this! I own this book myself, but always had a check in my spirit when I tried to read it. In the last few years, I've learned so much and now understand why I could not embrace the book. I wasn't being rebellious to God's Word, rather, the Holy Spirit was warning me away from dangerous mindset! I'm glad that men and women of my generation are finally speaking out against the erroneous teachings that have infiltrated our Conservative circles.

    1. I own the book too and also would get a prick any time I would go go read it

  7. I admire you both for placing your views "out there". I have read the entire review (and the book). I've seen errors in the Pearls' teachings, and I don't discount those, but I've also heard their straight talk about things that was really helpful. They have a context and a culture that they write from (not that that excuses what may be wrong, but not understanding it can skew the point of view). I've met some members of their family in person and never sensed I was in "danger"--I didn't automatically buy into all they said or try to be just like them. Michael has written a book entitled,"Holy Sex"--I haven't read it--maybe someone here would comment on how they feel it lines up with CTBHHM. I am not knowledgeable enough to defend all the points, but I think on some level Debi is speaking to women who go their own way on everything and assume they know more than their husbands do--life-wise, doctrine-wise, child-rearing-wise; so many of the "movements" are led by women (not that they are not capable!) and there is very little to no male viewpoint. That seems "dangerous" to me! These are just some things I sense when I read her book. I will consider what you've written and think it over carefully!

  8. Thank you Alicia and Samuel for this thorough analysis of the book. It is so right on, I have read the book a couple of times and written out a list of all that is unbiblical, (with my husbands help) so that (especially as an elder's wife) I am prepared to speak to other women from a Biblically sound place, as to why it is so harmful. I have personally been close to someone who stayed in a very abusive situation far too long because she was following the advice in this book, desiring to be a woman of God. It is dangerous. Yes, all advice books have some meat and some bones but this book is so boney that it's basically just a skeleton! Why waste our precious time reading it when there are so many much better, Biblically sound books out there. I would not spend my time on a book from a cultic church even there was a few good pieces of meat in it or an Islamic book. So why is it different to subject ourselves to lots of bones just because the author claims Christ? For those that say the Debi was writing to women with unsaved husbands and Michael's books are meant to balance hers...well that makes it all the more dangerous as the saved woman will seek to find what she thinks is Biblical advice while the unsaved man is very unlikely to read Mr. Pearl's books. The most disturbing part to me is the assertion in the beginning of the book that we are RESPONSIBLE for our husband's sanctification! How wrong that is! Every man and women stands alone before Christ. No woman will stand before Christ and hear that her husband went to hell and it is all her fault because her bedroom was too "cold" and her meals too untasty! Yes, all our relationships can have a sanctifying effect on us but we are each responsible for ourselves before our Lord and Savior. Good job young ones! :-)

  9. I read the book several times and while Debi pointed out some good tips i.e. meal planning and learning how to do basic household repairs, I feel that Debi doesn't take into consideration that all marriages are different and she should allowed different women to give their prospectives about their marriages like she did in Preparing to be a Help Meet, especially from her daughters prospective. To them, they first expected their husbands to act like Dad because that is what they are used to, slowly they understand that their husbands don't have the same personality as Dad, so parental influence should be looked into also.

  10. Having followed and poured over the book for many years I can assure you that the article here is taking things in context. The only minor difference is that the book offers lip service to abused wives "if" the abuse is something they can call the police about then they should but even then divorce is spoken against and only a "separation" is suggested. All in all they think that a woman is more holy and godly for staying with an abusive man who sins against her. They also strongly teach the delusion that by staying with the sinning abuser and being the perfect helpmeet that God will step in and change him into a wonderful person. The change all depends of course upon the amazingness of her submission and sweetness.

  11. Hi Alicia, have you read this review of the book? It's about how the book is PARTICULARLY harmful to women who a married to abusive husbands.


    Replace the word DOT with a real dot, to make that a live link.

  12. I read this book several years ago, before I was married. I had forgotten some of the particular ideas, but reading the article has shown me just how much wrong thinking has permeated my ideas of marriage. It seems as if my family went from bad teaching (Bill Gothard's IBLP) to more bad teaching (M & D Pearl). I have been hearing this stuff for nearly 25 years. I hope it doesn't take another 25 to fully cleanse myself. I am married to a wonderful man who told me that if he ever strayed from Biblical things, it was my responsibility to tell him, and if needed, to tell our children not to do any wrong thing he might tell them to do. I plan to read this article with him tonight. I think he will understand some of the baggage I have. As soon as I get home, this book is going in the trash, or burn pile!

  13. I could not agree more. I cannot describe the abuse in our home because of this book ... enough to put my ex pastor husband in prison.

    1. I am so sorry you went through that and am so glad you were able to get out.

    2. I am SO sorry. I am so sorry you went through that and pray Christ continues to free you. We are spiritual abuse survivors (ones that came through it without leaving the church, even after horrific narcissism and manipulation.) Your journey is not easy, but we're praying and are so thankful women like you are seeing the light. So many others are coming forward with their abuse stories, too. It just makes me sick that this has happened to you and so many others.

  14. I totally understand your concerns, but both Debbie and Michael are beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord...I'd preface everything often with some tender words and also say that there is a lot of good in the books, but to watch for this (what you mention). I think the strong one-sided approach only makes for
    shunning and a lot of meanness that hurts. There are people stuck in the negatives you mention and I think a balanced approach would help them become more discerning and help them to extract the precious from the worthless (Jeremiah 15:19), because there is a whole lot of precious in the book and in all they do...and due to Michael's extremeness there is a bit "out there" as well.

    I believe that if God's people can be helped to see the good in the not so good, it helps immensely for different opinions believers to work together in love from the Baptists to the Pentecostals and from the Calvinists to the non-Calvinists. It've seen a whole lot of people come to really love each other and grow with each other and work very effectively together when they are helped to see the mountains of God's good in each other.

    So do what you're doing but season it with lots of love and grace and I think your help will be 10 fold greater and you'll help people to be more gentle and understanding each other which, I believe, will yield 100 the amount of fruit for eternity.

    1. But why hold onto resources that you have to sift through SO MUCH false/harmful teaching just to latch onto a few good, when there are plenty of balanced, healthy, truthful books out there that encouraged marriages in a Biblical way, without placing women and children in harm's way? It's ok for some things to just not be beneficial and to thus be spoken against and discarded. There were false teachers in the Bible. There were people spreading false Gospels. And Paul told people not to listen to them. Find GOOD, godly, Biblical sources....and don't partake in the ones that aren't, even if they're written by nice people. Off-base nice people are still off base and can do much harm....

    2. Love and understanding cannot hide truth, Don. Actually, we do have lots of friends with different views than us. Everything in and in-between from Calvinist to Lutheran to Southern Baptist to Baptist to Pentecostal. There are a lot of books we read where we take the good and leave the bad. But a book whose foundation is error cannot be viewed in the same light as friends or books we disagree with on smaller, less substantial issues. We totally believe in embracing the good and discarding the bad, but you can't pick the good meat from a skeleton. Or, in this case, zoom in on the very few truths presented when the underlying foundation is abuse and Scripture-twisting. So the time has come to speak out, point Christians to good material, and stop promoting bad in order to somehow glean a tiny bit of truth they could have just found in Scripture itself. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  15. Dear Samuel and Alicia~ You are making some very serious claims about a professing brother and sister in Christ: are you positive of the facts you state? Did you ask the Pearls if this was their view before publishing your article? Did you read their instruction to husbands to see if they always blame the wife? Did you read the article in their latest newsletter counseling a woman to "name his sin" to her angry husband and teach her children from the Bible how their father is a hypocrite when he lives differently at church than at home?(Yes, they counseled her to use Scripture to teach her children not only without her husband but in direct reference to his sin.) Have you read their articles exposing the dangers of the patriarchal movement? There is much I disagree with the Pearls about. Some of their views need to be challenged by Scripture and yes, when a teaching is leading others astray, we have a responsibility to "rightly divide the word of truth". But to make the personal and reputational claims against another believer as strongly as you have without a chance for them to defend themselves should not be done lightly. When we must warn the flock it should be done with a spirit of sad humility that we must speak against another Christian's ministry and only after we have given due diligence what we speak is indeed true.

    1. Yes, we read the book very thoroughly many times. Nothing they said was misquoted. Our claims are based solely on what they themselves printed in black and white. If they did not hold these views, they would not have written and published them. When one publishes a book, the content goes from personal to public and publicly it must be addressed. We can only go by what is found in this particular book, not every single word they ever write on their blog. One should not have to read every word they have ever posted throughout all of time in order to define whether or not their views are dangerous. In fact, we do not challenge all of their views. We never claimed to. We claimed to challenge their book. We have reviewed Created To Be His Help Meet, found it very much lacking in Scriptural truth, and teaching false truths. We are not alone in our findings, as countless others have testified.

      It is a not a personal review, since we do not know them personally. It actually lends credence to the review that we do not know them, since we can address the errors clearly, unbiased, and coming at the book as any other ordinary person would.

      It is indeed with a spirit of sad humility that one must expose false teaching. Please let us assure you that due diligence, prayer, and counsel was given/taken before publishing our review. Thank you for stopping by.

    2. Alicia, your response to Kenzi is excellent. :)

  16. I love this! You did an amazing job at comparing their views with Biblical truths! Thank you for taking the time to do this. I was born and raised in an Amish home with a dad who believed everything the Pearls wrote including their book on raising kids... I never read any of their books...guess I didn't need to--I lived it. Just reading your review has helped me understand why my dad believes the way he does though...maybe I should read their stuff just to understand... �� Or maybe you'll do a review on their child reading book/s?? ��
    My dad is a sad, lonely, miserable man because of his beliefs, unforgiveness, bitterness, and always being able to put the blame on his wife for any of his problems... Makes me sad for him...

    1. I am so sorry. Their child rearing books, if possible, are even more dangerous. I have read To Train Up a Child and was horrified by the abuse they teach. We have not considered doing a review yet (since we're not parents) but perhaps we may at some point. I'm sorry for all you went through and pray your dad will see the light. Thanks for stopping by! :) Blessings!

  17. Is it just me or does anyone else see that Deb Pearl and other women who advocate these unbiblical extremes gain power for themselves over other women and gain "respect" from the men in certain religious circles? She is really saying "most women are stupid but not me." She's learned to work the system in her orb.

    1. I agree, Lydia. It's a great way to feel spiritually superior.

    2. We noticed this too. It is interesting that she speaks so much on how women are spiritually inferior and are continually deceived, yet presumes to write a book on such a deep subject. Why are all women spiritually inferior except for her? Scripture-twisting and holding it over others is indeed a way to feel spiritually superior and, as we have personally seen, is a form of control that can be very dangerous within the Church.

  18. I read this book years before I was married, and started (but didn't finish) reading the book Preparing to be a Help Meet (the one for single girls). I was married last fall and we are expecting our first baby.

    I have been going to counseling the last few months and at the last session I brought to my counselor a lot of the guilt I feel for not living up to what I thought a godly wife was supposed to be.

    Before getting married I was told to not deny my husband sex. Well, if anyone is pregnant and works full time, they'll know that it doesn't just work like that. I struggled with that guilt even though my husband told me not to worry, he's fine and understands that I feel sick a lot of the time. Since that session when my counselor spoke the truth about a godly wife and marriage, I began to wonder if a lot of my high expectations for myself were a result of these books and others like them that I have read. I believe the answer is, yes.

    I don't have the time or space to explain the horrible misconceptions I have had concerning marriage as a result. I am so thankful that I am seeing my errors now before I destroy something that is so beautiful in my life by holding myself up to false and erroneous standards.

    I was blessed with a husband that I never imagined I would ever have because I thought that men were either like what the book discribes men are like, or others whom I have seen first hand.

    I am truly thankful that God is a redeeming God. Also, thank you for writing this. Maybe it will help someone else like me.

    1. I am so sorry for what you went through. I'm so glad you were blessed with a godly man. I have often seen that young men don't actually expect all of these ridiculous standards--at first. It is women who were taught that they must live up to them and actually, over time, train their husbands to expect perfection. It's so sad and brings so much bondage. Instead of focusing on glorifying Christ in every walk of our life, the whole focus is entirely on how to be the perfect wife--by someone else's definition, of course.

      If it is any comfort for you to know you are not alone, I also have experienced guilt and have struggled to determine what the perfect wife should be. Religious leaders influenced by this book and similar teachings have hurled many accusations at me, accusing me of being a bad wife. My husband has been such a rock of strength and comfort for me, reminding me that our relationship is between us and Christ and that he loves me as I am. It's amazing to me that he considers me the perfect wife when I know I fall so short--not of man's standards, but Christ's.

      Thank you for stopping by! Blessings on you and your marriage!!! Enjoy every minute!!! And congrats on your little baby!

  19. Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough review.

    As a woman who has been married for twenty years, and learned a great deal about having a healthy marriage, and what godly submission is (and IS NOT) this is important.

    As you said, there are actually quite a few Scripturally sound books on marriage out there, wasting time trying to pick the bones out of this rotting carcass would not be a wise use of time.

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and for weighing in. It means a lot to me when older wives stop by. :) It's so encouraging.

  20. I own this book and since my husband and I were married I read it through several times. I had grown up with a very warped view of marriage and everything that goes on in marriage. I had no idea how to be a good wife so I was grasping at anything I thought would "help" me. When my marriage was all but gone i blamed myself bwcause of tgis boom. I was convinved i wasnt doing anything right or that i was not doing it good enough. When my hisband was having an affair i was 100% convinced it was because i wasnt good enough and if i tried harder it would bring him back home to me. God opened my eyes and used some very wonderful people to help me understand that I wasn't my husband's door mat. After me standing up for myself and my children my husband finally opened his eyes. We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and things are a lot better. We both have frown a lot in the past year but I would not encourage any wife to start their marriage out reading this book. It's extremely misleading almost to the point of brain washing.

    1. I am so sorry about his affair and the misconceptions you had about marriage. I am so glad that you took a stand and your husband's eyes were opened. Blessings on your journey of reclaiming your marriage and also your walk toward freedom in Christ. There is now no more condemnation and we are free in Him!

  21. I am so thankful for this article! When I married 21 years ago, I was given a copy of this book. I stared reading the first part and realized something wasn't right. Unfortunately, I felt terrible for not liking the book because the Christian ladies I knew thought it was wonderful. I was repulsed. I am so glad I got this book out of my house.

  22. Very well written article. I had read this book as a young teenager, but a lot of it [thankfully] went over my head. I remember feeling like something was off, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Fortunately, I got too distracted with life to really think about putting the book into practice. Reading this article now five or so years later I am so surprised that I had read such a book and allowed those teachings to enter me! I'm just thankful that I didn't let them shape me too much.

    On that note, I'd love to know which books on marriage/relationships/womanhood you guys DO recommend!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! :)

      We have found Love and Respect, the books by Kevin Leman, Marriage in Light of Eternity by the Chans, The Love Dare, and both the Resolution For Men and Women to be wonderful! :)

  23. I (just Alicia, not Samuel) am leaving a comment to say one thing. :) We're just human. We strongly felt the Lord impressing it upon us to write this article and we took months doing it. It was not a flippant thing. Nor are we here to claim that we're better or more spiritually mature than anyone else. Our hearts have been broken for all of the dozens, perhaps hundreds of stories we have personally been told--stories of abuse, manipulation, and broken marriages that came about because of this book. Our hearts are for marriage as God intended and simply desire to reveal the truth about how beautiful marriage is--and how destructive it can be when built upon man's ideas of legalism and bondage.

    A lot of you could have probably been a better job at writing this article. We're new to this. But please remember this quote by Teddy Roosevelt before you pass judgment too harshly:

    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

    Hugs, grace, and peace to y'all!

  24. Hi Alicia, you said that neither you nor Samuel are very expert on the topic of domestic abuse, and that you found "Love and Respect" and "The Love Dare" to be wonderful.

    Those books may be helpful for people in non-abusive marriages. But they are DANGEROUS for abusive marriages.

    Here are links on A Cry For Justice which explain why we think this:

    1. Thank you for sharing that! Perhaps we need to re-read it? We read it before marriage and were, obviously, naive. We're becoming a lot more aware of domestic abuse and are survivors of spiritual abuse/manipulation. Thank you for sharing, and I am sure my readers will peruse your links. I will say this: our marriage is built on mutual love and respect, so I totally agree that BOTH men and women need love, respect, etc.

  25. Incredible that in this day and age, along with our knowledge of abuse, that the women would be expected to act/perform in the way the Pearls depict. Marriage is a wonderful institution and I am thankful for a sweet, godly husband who treats me like a queen and makes it easy for me to be submissive. Marriage is to be a 100% endeavor on the part of both the man and the woman. We are to love each other as Christ loves us--and with that we can be patient and kind as Christ was. It isn't always easy and we can fail each other in the patience department but we know we have each other's backs! The one piece of advice my mother gave me when I got married was "Always be kind to one another". Kindness goes a LONG way in ANY relationship. When people become unkind, the ones around them become defensive, hurt and unwilling to work with the ones being unkind. Thanks for the great review. I got the Pearl's book prior to marriage and I never did finish can imagine why!!

    1. Same here! Submission is beautiful when it's biblical submission, and I, too, am grateful for a sweet, godly, amazing, hot man that makes me feel cherished and protected. Thank you for stopping by. Your words have so much wisdom! <3

  26. So, I'm not 100% sure but I may be the first husband to comment here. First, thanks for the article, it's an extremely objective view on this topic.

    I don't necessarily live in a community that believes this, but I do see how it's permeated through Christianity today and how many churches have over corrected and it led to wives being overly entitled, but my angle on this is as a husband.

    I absolutely adore my wife, and she is a perfect "help meet" (it's so cheesy). But as a husband, I'm angry with Mr. Pearl for letting his wife teach and believe this stuff. I'm angry at every husband who allows his wife to think she's less than just because she's a woman. I personally tell my wife that I am her biggest fan and I want her to be more successful than me in life. I tell her that I want her to challenge my decisions. I tell her that her walk with the Lord is hers and she's responsible for it. I tell her that the only expectation I have for her is that she has to love me, everything else we'll work out.

    If my wife ever came home and told me about wanting to be a "help meet", I would tell her that she's out her dang mind and she doesn't owe me nothing but a kiss before work and bed.

    I get really upset at people who preach, "wives respect and submit to your husbands." but don't preach, "Husbands be respectable, kind men."

    I said one time that there are two types of men,
    1. Those who demand respect with their words
    2. Those who demand respect with their actions.

    Those who demand respect with their words, are the beat their breast men who need validation because they're generally garbage people. But the men who demand respect with their actions earn every bit of respect they're given. They're praised because their actions prove their worth.

    I pray that my wife respects me and submits when required but I want to make that easy by being a respectable man. And to any man who may read this article, please, don't let your wife believe she's less than. She deserves to be treated like a queen and if you treat her any less than that you do not deserve any royal treatment yourself.

    Thanks Alicia and Samuel. I hope this gets to alot of people

    1. Thanks so much!!! This means so much! A lot of guys commented on Facebook, but you are indeed the first here on the blog. You voiced so many thoughts that I SO wish more married men understood and more young men took to heart while considering marriage. We are so grateful and blessed that you stopped by. :)

    2. You should read the story about michaels behavior on their honeymoon. He seems to have been selfish from the start! Horrible.

  27. Thanks for writing this! Can you recommend any good, balanced books about Biblical submission?

  28. Thank you for articulating the errors in the book and the truths of God's Word. While many feel somewhat uncomfortable with their teachings, it is not so easy to recognize why, if this is what you've been taught. Ex: they are teaching we are to oney man rather than God. Once it is said that way, it seems so obvious. This review is excellent and desperately needed.

  29. I stopped reading when Mrs Pearl talked about your husband should complete you... because it should be Christ that completes you, even if you are married.

  30. Alicia and Samuel, first I want to commend you two for working together on this review. I think that is very wise for a number of reasons.

    I, like you, found many of her ideas and teachings absolutely shocking. One problem with this couple is that as far as I know Michael Pearl has his own small house(?)church and since they are the leaders in it they apparently have no outside counsel or wisdom but their own thinking, and no one they trust to help them when they get off track.

    I too am troubled by their pride and arrogance. The same demeaning attitudes toward other people was also in their daughter's book about her experience as a short-term missionary. They really do believe that they are a cut above others.

    It seems like Mrs. Pearl and others in the quiverfull/patriarchy type ministries are reacting against the feminist ideas of our society. But sadly all too often they go too far. The world is on one side of an issue? Well, then let's go to the very opposite extreme. Much of their teaching seems to be a reaction against the world rather than going to the scriptures. The thing is that the true Creator God of scripture is wonderfully balanced. When we go too far to the extremes in these things is where we get off track.

    On the other hand, some of what she writes seems extreme simply because the balancing truths of the husband's role are left out or minimized. I do believe that a married woman's role is primarily in the home caring for husband, home, and children if they have any. She is to respect her husband and do all she can to help her husband succeed (presuming he works or ministers full time outside the home). Yet this expectation of the wife is balanced by scripture's teaching of the godly husband's self-giving, sacrificial love for his wife. The husband is to give himself to her unreservedly, cherish her, desire her sanctification and help her to grow in Christ-likeness. See Ephesians 5:25-33

    Much of the tone behind her writings and teachings seems like mere human reasoning to me rather than gracious, wise, biblical Christianity. I hope and pray that many will read this post and be warned away from the teachings of the Pearls.

  31. All I can say is - I don't know where most of this came from.

    I was single until I was 37. I work full time and help my husband in his business. I never felt that this book was putting down or minimalizing the many, many years I was single - only giving me a needed and Biblical view on how being married was different.

    I did not find it legalistic at all - rather I found it freeing, that I did not have to control my husband to match my views, because he answers directly to God. I have a precious friend, a friend with 3 college degrees, 4 children (1 in college, 3 still in public school), and a full-time job, who read it. She said she found it to be the book that had freed her the most from trying to serve the popular views of culture which pull against the roles of a godly wife. She, like me, was so thankful to gain from the book the view that we are NOT responsible for everything that goes wrong in the home - that we trust God to deal with our husbands and we answer to Him only for our submission.

    I did not find that it made men into sexual animals, but rather acknowledged the importance of that part of the relationship, a reality apparent to anyone who walks out into the world today. It never said never say no. It said don't be selfish.

    Is it wrong to encourage women to save their marriages even despite sin on the part of the man? What of my precious friend who forgave her husband's affair and so brought him to the Lord? What of the other, who (with her children) endured 7 years of emotional abuse and psychological issues - and is now married to the pillar of the community and church, a husband and father much beloved. And why did they stay? Because of the God who encouraged Hosea to love the whore, the God Who said marriage is a picture of His relationship with the church, a church He does not forsake. What of the godly wives I know who have read the book and are now not only godly, but happy - when before they felt they could not be happy until they "had their husbands in line?"

    Who are we to judge that a child of a molester should not see his father? Have you ever researched reactive-attachment disorder or dealt with adopted children? Many troubled children desperately need to maintain relationships and work toward forgiveness for emotional stability. Is that a sin too big for God to forgive? And if it is not, how can we say it is too big for us to forgive?

    No, I don't agree with every word. But I find very few points worth creating an argument over. I have seen the fruit of the book. And it is good.

  32. I might have written the above comment a bit hastily, because ever since, a couple of phrases that might be misread have laid heavy on my heart.

    First, I realize that not all of the fruit will be good. I would not give this book to my nonChristian friends, because without Jesus, having the wisdom and humility called for is impossible. Nor would I give it to those who are not ready for the meat of the Word (I Cor. 3:1-3). I think Mrs. Pearl emphasizes the importance of allowing the Word of God to drive application of her words in the book as she provides a "Time to Consider" at the end of each chapter: always either a Bible study or a lesson in considering another better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

    Which leads to my comment of "I don't know where this came from." That isn't true, really. I do know. It comes from our human hearts, and particularly our American hearts, which want quick fixes and magic solutions. We want someone's words or advice to be our gospel and solve our problems - and we are disillusioned when that does not happen. I believe that if we, as the Bereans, were to search the Scriptures when we are taught (Acts 17:10-11), we would see that Mrs. Pearl's practical examples, the source of most of the controversy above, are not to be equated with her Scriptural principles.

    The example the comes to mind is your criticism of her husband's advice to her daughter to consult her husband a doctrinal issue. While I agree that that seems a bit extreme, I happen to know that the very daughter spoken of lived with a native tribe in Papua New Guinea as a missionary, alone and single for many years. That circumstance doesn't support the idea that her spiritual discernment or value was being discounted - and my husband and I can personally cite two incidences where a woman's failure to transfer her allegiance from her father to her husband ruined her relationship. I Cor. 13:45 certainly seems to encourage women to consult their husbands and the principle of "leave and cleave" seems to drive Mrs. Pearl's statements.

    Throughout the vast majority of the comments above, my own included, I find a tremendous lack of Scripture - I wonder how many of the disillusioned and disappointed readers did the Bible studies suggested in the book?

    Last but not least. Go into a room. Look around at everyone wearing blue. Leave the room. Ask yourself, "How many people are wearing red?" You won't know. So it is reading a book - if we look to be critics of the author, we will find fault. If ask the Holy Spirit to pierce our hearts, we will find fault (Hebrews 4: 12). I am reminded almost daily of the humility God worked in my heart as I read, and I ask myself, "Do I want my way or do I want my marriage?"

    1. I think people may not have had a problem with the story of the Pearl's daughter's if it had been framed more in the way your explanation seems to view it: a father's concern that a newly married woman may rely too much on the advice of her father. And I can see that concern compounded if the father is a well-known author and speaker.

      However, based on the section quoted, failure to rely on husband before dad doesn't seem to be the Pearl's concern and their daughter is not being counseled to "consult" her soon-to-be husband.

      She is told " now believe what your husband believes. He will be your head, and you will follow him...”

      That sounds very much like her spiritual discernment and years of Bible training no longer matter...what her husband believes on any doctrinal or theological question is now what she is obliged to believe.

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  34. Thank you guys for writing this. I've wondered about it before. I'm thankful for Samuel being apart of this to. It makes it seem more balanced.

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  36. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and review of this book in light of scripture. I picked their book up off the shelf the other day, and was horrified as I skimmed through it. As a young, single woman who is serving the Lord where he has planted me for the time being, it was heartbreaking to read that they believe a woman's only purpose is to be a wife and mother. Don't get me wrong, those are VERY high and important callings- to raise your children to know and serve the Lord. But, what about for us that God's plan for our life is to serve him through our singleness? I personally know several women who never married, not of their own choice, who God has used mightily to bring many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through their obedience to him. Their reward in heaven will be great. As humans, both women and men, our chief goal in life is to know God through a relationship with him and glorify him now and forever. NOT to be married.

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