Monday, September 9, 2013

Created to Be His Help Meet!

This past week, I devoured Debi Pearl's "Created to Be His Help Meet." It immediately became my absolute favorite marriage book, and I want to highly recommend it to you all!

I read this book simply on the recommendation of a friend, who told me that it was her favorite and that she had benefited immensely from it. I read it to find out what was so awesome, and was amazed to find that I, too, benefited immensely. I didn't know I had so much to improve! Wow! Having read many, many Christian marriage books, I thought I'd seen it all (been there, done that), but this book took it to a whole new level. I found so many things that I need to improve in my behavior and attitude toward my husband, and I am so thankful that my friend loaned me this book. Now that I've read it at lightning-speed, I'm going to go back through it again with a fine-tooth comb, making notes.

"Created to Be His Help Meet" is not for the faint of heart. It is full of biblical truth, but it is biblical truth in a blunt, straight-forward manner that many will find offensive. There is a reason that this book is controversial, and disliked intensely in many circles! It is necessary to discard every shred of culturally-ingrained feminism from one's mind before one will be able to find the blessing in this book. Otherwise, the reader will spend her time being offended and insulted by Debi's manner of writing. She does not candy-coat the truth, or dress it up with ribbons and flowers in the typical "Christian women's book" style. She is hardcore. Very hardcore. Be ready for the challenge of your life when you read this book.

When I read this book, a certain movie scene kept replaying over and over again in my mind. Please note that I do not recommend this movie, and have not seen it since I was a child - but this book really reminded me of this scene, and thinking of it kept me giggling the whole way through. In "Created to Be," Debi Pearl does not pander to our egos or our desire to keep biblical submission quasi-feminist. She tells Truth with a capital T, and she does not gloss over the harder parts. Every page is a new "Get ahold of yourself, woman!" 

And frankly, that's just what I needed.


(Please note that I am offering the above illustration humorously. Please don't email me about how I'm either (1) smearing the book and saying that Debi Pearl is an abusive writer, or (2) that the illustration is inappropriate. It's supposed to be funny!)

And that's another thing you will need when you read this book - a good, hardy sense of humor. Or again, you will spend even more time being insulted and offended.

One of the criticisms levied at this book is that "Mrs. Pearl blames every marital problem on the wife!" While I understand the basis for this criticism, I believe that this is missing the point of the book. Instead of seeing it as a blame game, we need to realize the great truth that Debi Pearl is trying to get across - the fact that women have incredible power over their husbands and their marriages. Men do not have the same power over their wives or the same ability to make a bad marriage good. It is women, and women alone, who have an amazing power to change their men and their marriages for the better. This is an amazing privilege, and one that we should take advantage of - rather than whining that "it's his fault too, so why should I have to change?" Women are incredibly powerful in their marriages - much more so than men - and this is Mrs. Pearl's point. 

Do I agree with everything in this book? Nope. Of course not! There are things here and there that I questioned or disagreed with. But there is so much good, solid, challenging truth in this book - and I think that Christian women, and the church as a whole, can benefit greatly from it - especially in an age that really tends to soft-peddle (or ignore, or even contradict and belittle) what the Bible says about women and marriage.

I should note that there are times and seasons in every woman's life when different books (or ministries, or whatever) will hit her in an effective manner. This was the right time for me to read this book. It may not be the right time for another woman to be so powerfully impacted by the same book.

I remember well the first Christian women's book I read. It was when I was a new Christian, in college, and it happened to be the first Christian living book that I had ever read. And it blew me away. I had never encountered the Christian worldview in that way, and I was just riveted to that book.

Now, however, I find that same book tame and insipid, and the material to be ridiculously obvious. The time for that book in my life has passed. At the time, however, it rocked my world.

I remember also another book that I encountered in a women's study several years ago. At the time, I found it to be a bit extreme and unreasonable. Upon rereading it recently, however, I found it to be quite sensible and helpful! Again, there are times and seasons.

If I had read "Created to Be" ten years ago, I do not think that (1) I would have been ready for it, or (2) it would have had the same positive effect that it was able to have now. Now that I've had ten years of seeing that certain things do not work with marriage and husbands, regardless of how hard much they should work, or how hard I try to make them work, I was more than ready to hear the truths that Debi Pearl imparts about what really does work (regardless of how non-politically-correct it is).

Seasons, seasons, seasons.

Regardless, I believe that "Created to Be His Help Meet" is a treasure, and it has taken the place of my favorite and top-recommended Christian marriage book. If you haven't yet read it, I would encourage you to check it out! 

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