Sunday, December 10, 2006

I feel sorry for Debi and Michael Pearl!

Posted by Hannah at 10:12 PM

I was searching thru the Internet again looking for articles about abuse and faith. I came across an article that is rather old, but I found myself reeling as I read it. I guess I have now made the decision on occasion I feel the need to point out some of the maybe well intended but very dangerous advice of others. Does it mean that I am angry; they are not liked by me? Hardly! I want to show the ignorance of the issue, and maybe that will show people HOW the church or followers don't face this issue like it should!

The title above has a link to the article in question.

First quote:

The Scripture makes it very clear how God feels about divorce, He hates it. It is an Old Testament passage, but God has not changed his mind. He still hates divorce. It is not His will, it wasn't so from the beginning, and it is not so today. There have been occasions, both in Scripture and in our ministry, where a man was so vile that God has killed him. A woman can come to God asking Him to deliver her from a man if he will not repent, but a woman should be sure she has obeyed God in her relationship to her husband, before she asks such a thing.

I don’t think anyone doubts the hate God has for divorce. When you read that chapter in the bible that she is referring to it is a story of men that were horrible to their families. They would come to church, and offering prayers, offerings, etc to God and he rejected them. When the men asked why God did this God answered basically by saying: Do you seriously think I am a God that endorses your evil against your family? That I will just turn a blind eye to this as you come and praise me? Are you saying I am a God that ignores your behavior, or even endorses it so I can receive your offerings? I’m sure at the time the men were quite taken back by this! It seems it was a very acceptable thing to do in that day, and God was going against their way of life. God told them that their prayers would be rendered because of their behavior towards their families. There is a comma in the famous “GOD HATES DIVORCE” verse!

Mal 2:16 For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Yisra'el, "and him who covers his garment with violence!" says the LORD of Armies. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you don't deal treacherously.

I would think that God hates the violence these men had done towards their families! Do not deal treacherously! Sounds like he hates something else also doesn’t it? It’s strange to me that parties never truly tell the story behind that verse, or really even know there is a continuing thought following it with a comma!

For some reason I really have issue with this lady stating make sure you do what you should do as a Godly wife, and if he doesn’t turn around pray that God takes him from you! Why? If you went to the site above a letter was sent to her about concern she had of a friend of her’s that left an abusive situation out of desperation. It sounded to me that it was a VERY hard decision, and it took a lot for her to make it - even after numberous affairs (I notice the risk of STD wasn't covered either)! Like most relationships of this sort its getting ugly, and also because of the mindset of doubt these ladies have I’m sure she is wondering what is right! I can’t say that I blame her! She is placing more doubt in her mind about her decision, and then telling her if she is sure just pray that God takes him! I guess that would solve things huh? Somehow I doubt that would end the issues with this woman. I guess it would get the church off her back for leaving though!

What is strange to me is that this woman never mentioned separation, or that he should be held accountable for his actions! It was never mentioned that he needs help, and he also needs God’s love to be felt to his very core! The rage within this man that shows him to be broken is never addressed. Why were these things never addressed? I have no clue, but I would bet because this woman had already filed for separation/divorce.

Next Quote:

God has given us several promises concerning marriage to unbelievers. I Peter 3:1-6 tells us how to win our unbelieving husband, and in 1Cor. 7:14 God promises that our children will be holy if we stay with our unbelieving spouse and honor God in our relationship with him. That is a promise from God. These Scriptures give us the "how to" on our end and the expected results. I have seen God keep His word. I have also seen many who would expect God to keep His word when they did not obey their end of the "how to."
I am not taking her situation lightly. I know that although I am married to a righteous man, I have often wanted to demand my rights and set him straight. How much more difficult it must be for a young woman being subjected to the unreasonable demands of a lost, selfish man? But God is able, not only to save your man, but also to take you to a place of sweet loving kindness in the midst of turmoil. God is also able to save your children. There is no promise in Scripture to spare your children if you leave your lost husband.

I guess I take issue with the first part mostly because the author is assuming that the wife didn’t do her end otherwise he wouldn’t be like he is! She is basically shifting the responsibility for his behavior (and everyone's welfare) right back in her lap, and I’m sure her abuser would LOVE that! I’m NOT going to say what she is stating is impossible okay? I won’t even go near that! To tell a woman if you act like you should you are guaranteed the result you wish, while never addressing his behavior is a very simplistic answer to a very awful situation. I’m sure she believes this, and I admire her conviction but it also shows her lack of knowledge of what makes an abuser tick! You need to have knowledge of dynamics of the relationship, before you can tell her what behaviors would be beneficial to him. I believe if you call him lovingly on his behavior, and hold him accountable that is showing love for the husband. Does it always work that way? I can’t say that either. What I do see her message is, “maybe you didn’t show this man what a Godly wife is and that is why he is awful to you!” No responsibility again for him.

I do believe God can deliver us in many ways from turmoil in our lives, and yes he may not always release us from it. That doesn’t not automatically change the abusers mindset that is broken and full of rage. It doesn’t take away his hurt, and his anger that is so rooted within him that it will disappear by watching her good behavior.

As far as saving your children if you choose to leave…God does not guarantee your children are ‘saved’ as she puts just because you are. I believe she means sanctified. They are made holy by the fact one parent is a believer, and just because you leave doesn’t mean they aren’t sanctified anymore. I believe in that instance the sanctified position still holds. There is only one way I know of to get saved. Its irresponsible for this woman say the children's salvation is lost if she leaves her husband.

Next Quote:

God tells us here, if your husband is not obeying the word of God, then you can win him without trying to teach him the Word of God. God says that as a husband looks on and sees the way his wife responds to him, he will be won. He will hear and see her cheerful countenance. He will notice her willingness to help and forgive. He will see her giving up her rights and not taking offense when he knows he has wronged her. He will see she honors him, obeys him, treats him with respect, and serves him with a non-rebellious, non-resistant attitude. He will see her spirit is not raging outwardly in emotional fits or inwardly in silent brooding of hurt, but her spirit is quiet, restful, and peaceful. He will see she doesn't puff up and talk incessantly in criticism of him—or others. He trusts her. He knows she is not going to discuss him with her pastor or friend. He sees she is wise with what little money he gives her. She is a remarkable woman, not because she is classy in the way she dresses or looks, but in the way she controls her spirit. She rejoices for an opportunity to bless him, and he knows her heart is good. He tries her; he deliberately tempts her into hurt or anger; he judges her unfairly; he demands things of her that he knows embarrasses her, yet she is in subjection to him in all things. And in the end, she wins him by her chaste conversation. It is a promise from God to you. And God goes on to promise more to this obedient, believing lady.

It’s true that people can bring others to Christ with their behavior, and their way of life to make them wish to have a piece of that! I know alot of people wanting to know WHY these people have such inner peace, and their way of handling things does show what being a follower of God in the truth light can be like! Saying to a woman (or even a man) that you shouldn’t go to a pastor or a friend when you are in trouble is down right WRONG! You are to bring the truth into the light, and you don’t allow it to live in darkness. There are many passages of the light.

Luk 8:17 "Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought to light.

Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

If he is hurting you and your children you don’t just smile and take it! If he is endangering the welfare of your children you don’t place your joyous spirit on as a tool to ignore!

Ephesians 6:4 says:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 says:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

You are never to submit to sin. Shame on her for telling someone to! No one is saying that you can’t bring a spouse to the Lord by your chaste conversation, and meek and mild behavior. God would never ask a wife to sin for her husband. She is to submit to him, but not to SIN! This man needs help in the case of an abusive relationship, and allowing him to continue in silence is sin. The wife (or husband) is not always the best choice to help them in this path to righteousness.

(Ecc 8:11 ASV) Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

God says you encourage bad behavior by doing NOTHING!

Next Quote:

"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy (I Cor. 7:13)." When children have a believing parent that is walking in honor to God and her spouse, it will causes the child to honor that believing parent. The child will find refuge, companionship, joy, and respect in that parent. It is a natural law. If your child is failing, then you need to look at yourself and say, "Am I continuing in faith and sobriety? Am I walking in peace and joy? Am I willing to forgive and forget? Am I feeling sorry for myself and playing the sad face, or am I rejoicing and believing God? Is the expression on my face and the words coming from my mouth a reflection of the joy of the Lord?"

Again I agree with some of what she is saying. What she fails to understand is in abusive family relationships children tend to cling to the parent of dominance because its safer to! They may love the non-abusive parent to pieces! They may even be their favorite! Living in such an environment doesn’t allow the child to feel safe enough to show any loyalties other than to the abusive parent. Why? If they don’t they could be targeted as well! They know this and it scares the pants off them! “Mommy doesn’t SPANK you she BEATS you!” as the example goes in the letter to Mrs. Pearl. If you know your parent is dangerous, and you place your child cap on for a moment…. you think you want to disagree? You think you want to place any doubt in that father’s mind that you do? Mrs. Pearl may mean very well by what she is saying, but she is ignorant of the place in which children are in this environment! Their misbehavior could be caused by the inner turmoil of not knowing what is safe! If you have one parent that is abusive, and you have another parent acting all PEACEFUL and JOYFUL to everything instead of validating their fears and concerns – who are the going to talk about it? What are they going to do with those feelings? You can't blame the mother for misbehavior, unless of course she takes you advice and doesn't do anything! It is her job to protect those children, and you telling her she is in SIN if she does!

Next Quote:

It is an impossible task, yet with God all things are possible. God is able, and with him you can do the impossible. You can wake up in the morning with a song in your heart, kissing your child and laughing at the sunlight sprinkling your room. You can serve, give, forgive, and enjoy the victory you have in Jesus. And when you feel that hurt, angry spirit rise up, you can open your mouth in praise and thanksgiving to God that you are free from sin and bondage, and free to be glad. In that kind of atmosphere, a child grows stable and complete, a selfish man stops fighting and trying to defeat and subdue.

When you live in an abusive home you are NOT free from bondage within that home. You going to around acting as if nothing is wrong is NOT going to make the angry man – that has been that way all of his life from past hurts he has – instantly stop being angry. We are talking about an illness here! We are talking about a ROOT OF RAGE within this person, and just like any other addiction you need to HELP to conquer it! LOL not a happy go lucky wife that is in denial of the terror within her four walls! There are times in life when we all let things slide, and we just don’t go there! God would wish to have a zero tolerance rule for abuse, and just going on praising God and not acknowledging the pain within your spouse and your children isn’t going to help anyone. I believe she is taking these verses all wrong. If they worked the way she says – I bet we would have a lot more successful situations within abusive relationships. Spouses are normally living in denial for a long time before the anger starts. This author is encouraging the spouse to say in denial and have faith it will just go away. I’m sorry but that is against scripture.

Jer 21:12 O house of David, thus saith Jehovah, Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

If you ignore wrong doing, and not help those in trouble you will have God's wrath to answer to.

Next Quote:

Dear Mama, whether your husband is lost or saved, God has given you the opportunity to set the atmosphere in your home that will bring joy, peace, thanksgiving, and love. He has given you the tools to become the most loved woman and mother on all the earth. He has given you the plan to right a thousand wrongs and prove to the world that with God all things are possible. He has provided you with the way to show the devil that God can take the weakest, silliest wreck of a woman; a woman that has given-over to become broken, both physically and emotionally, and turn her into a strong, confident, God fearing, honoring, joyful, yes, even thankful woman. One day you will wake up, turn your head to smile good morning to your husband, and see the tears of thanksgiving glistening in his eyes as he tells you one more time how much he loves you and how proud he is to have you as his wife. Then someday as the years pass you will hear your teenage sons and daughters speak of how wonderful their mama is, and you will think that life could never be any sweeter.

Yep Ladies its all up to us! (Sarcasm okay?) I’m sorry! I wonder how many women there are on this planet that lived in their world of denial around them, and allowed all kinds of evil to happen in their house and whistled their praises through out the day and woke up with the husband’s crying in thankfulness. I guess she doesn’t realize that abuse unless addressed gets worse with time. I guess that would be the fault of the woman again because she didn’t whistle the praises enough, or loud enough, or taught the children the same tune! Maybe she wasn’t thankful enough that her shell of denial was hard as rock, because those tears of, “I love you Baby! I’m so proud of YOU!” never came! Evil takes over if you allow it.

The children could grow up to resent not only the abusive parent that scared them to death as a child, but also the faithful one that refused to see that they needed help! They could have done something that could have stopped the abuse! They really didn’t have the best role models in Mrs. Pearl’s world of “Can’t we all be friends!” as bombs are being dropped around them! I’m sorry but this lady is encouraging people to allow evil to continue by never addressing it!

I saw this commercial from Australia on You Tube last week about kid’s modeling the parent’s behavior. The normal things like – if you smoke your kids may smoke. If you drink – your kids could grow up to drink! If you show your road rage – you kids could follow in your behavior! If you’re Daddy abuses your Mommy Mrs. Pearl they learn that also! That is part of the cycle of abuse! Unless someone STOPS the cycle of abuse it will continue for generations until someone decides to whistle a different tune that sounds like a siren of the police! The sound of help and support of fellow followers of Christ! Those wtih nerve enough and love enough to struggle along with you even when they don’t even have the answers. When they stop long enough to realize their simplistic views of scripture don’t always work when you are talking about walking time bombs of terror! It’s okay to say I don’t know! I bet with prayer, study, and the Holy Spirit will send you down the right path – that is what scripture says!

Next Quote:

As surely as this article goes out to the many thousands, a score of angry women will write me a letter containing personal examples, proving this could not work with their daughter's husband, or with their friend's husband. They will tell me the vile, ugly things the husbands do and of the broken sweet lady in distress, and I will agree. But I would remind you that in the verse that records the sowing and reaping we are warned not to be deceived. It is easy to be deceived by our feelings and what we see. When a person is deceived, they are convinced they are doing right. It seems right, it feels right, everyone says there is nothing else to do. Eve felt that way once. We, as with Eve, think that the will of God stands in the way of our freedom and peace. We believe that due to our unusual circumstances, we are an exception. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."

When I read this paragraph you know what hit me first? When she talks about how people are easily deceived by their feelings of what is right, and they are convinced they are right. When they KNOW they are doing right. Its seems right, feels right, and NO ONE is telling them to do differently! That also could be the abuser! That man or that woman that feels entitled to abuse! They have all kinds of good excuses and views as to WHY they are entitled to do that! They also reap what they sow. Its call consequences for the actions, and I believe Mrs. Pearl talks about that a lot in her article. Funny how she never addresses the abuser in that scenario! Just the party that wants abuse to stop!

There are reasons Mrs. Pearl that you are getting ALL kinds of letters due to your article! It seems you are the one that is deceived by her ignorance of the dynamics of an abusive relationship. The spouses or children within the relationship don’t cause it, and change can only start when the spouse decides they want it to change and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen! Does the other spouses behavior, etc play into that? Of course it could and should, but just like people’s decision to be saved – an abuser has to make a choice to change his life also! Its choice to be this way! Denial helps them stay in this position of pain, and you Mrs. Pearl are encouraging them to stay in a position of pain/denial by telling the wife’s to hush, ignore and pray it away! If by some miracle that was good enough – Praise the LORD! Then I would ask you to sit back and wonder how many years was lived in hurt when others could have helped this husband and wife along with their journey. You don't ignore abuse - you address it!

Next Quote:

This is a hard saying. For many reading this, it is simply an impossible dream. For some it is more like a nightmare. I am here to tell you, the Christian life is a miracle. If it is not a miracle against all odds, then it is not Christian; it is only a religious life. God has given you the "how to," and he has given you his Spirit to make it possible. He will give you the heart to want it to happen—if you ask him. He is a good God.

Yes Mrs. Pearl God is an awesome GOD! He does give you ‘how to’, and I’m afraid your interruption is a bit off the mark. I think it would do you good to research your material, and KNOW what you are dealing with before writing on it. Your suggestions could get spouses and their children killed. You see Mrs. Pearl in most cases of just “emotional or verbal” abuse it does move to that next mark that people like you may even think ‘unacceptable’. She could be beat up, and as that gets worse she could get killed. Her children could be caught in the crossfire, and they could be hurt or killed also. Don’t tell her that she didn’t pray hard enough, or that she wasn’t faithful enough to make sure that didn’t happen. That is what you are telling women all over this world with your article so far! I challenge you to educate yourself on this subject, and maybe volunteer your time in shelters for a number of months. It may open your eyes to the mindset of the people they are dealing with. Is divorce the answer? I’m not going to say it is or isn’t because people’s life’s are custom. Your way of dealing with this is irresponsible, and if take my challenge you may understand why people think that! You are ignoring both parties that are hurting, and is of need of fellowship, help, and accountability as the scripture calls for! Your “how to” to completely lacking of it.

Next Quote from her Husband:

If you or your children have been hit (other than the children being spanked) so as to leave discernable marks two hours later, and you genuinely fear that he will repeat his battering, you can take legal steps without divorcing your husband. In a moment when he is not angry, calmly inform him that the next time he physically assaults you or the kids, you are going to call the law and have him arrested. You must first resolve in your heart that you are willing to prosecute him and see him go to jail. I visit prisons every week. It is a great place to mull over the consequences of one’s deeds. And I have never met a prisoner that turned down a visit from anyone. Think about it, lady; it is a great time for writing love letters and sharing a three-minute romantic phone call once a week. Guys who get out of prison run straight home to their ladies and treat them wonderfully—for a while anyway.

I wonder if in all that time with your prison visiting if you ever did some real listening to these people. Why not ask these men at prison if their mother could apply what your wife is talking about if that would have turned their father’s around! Ask them which was worse their father’s beatings, or the remarks that removed their sense of personhood that helped them on that path they are leading now! You might be surprised when they tell you, WHICH was worse if they are capable of placing their pride and ego’s aside for a moment! Funny how they stay with their ladies for a WHILE anyway! That behavior didn’t keep them there huh? Could be that root of rage within them wasn’t dealt with, and they are going to keep going down that path of destruction until someone shows them a different one! Not by keeping secrets, not by ignoring their behavior and playing happy face either! Two people in denial of the issues aren’t going to fix anything. It will continue.

I find it hard to believe it would take 2 hours to check to see if there is bruise or mark. If you spank children they way you seem to be suggesting with minutes the redish would be disappearing! If the redish isn't starting to disappear within that time you have gone overboard already!

The wife should never be hit PERIOD! There is no 2 hour waiting period! Its illegal to hit your wife or others! If a man is prone to hit at times the man needs help, and he needs it NOW not later! I'm sure you wouldn't have the same reaction if another man hit your wife Mr. Pearl. Why would it be unacceptable for them and not you?

Next Quote:

If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets. I am not suggesting you do this to be vindictive or to get even with him. It must be done in humility and love. If your husbands knows that you are the weaker vessel, desperately seeking your survival and that of the kids, and that you are not trying to punish him, but that you are going to stand by and continue to love him, that you are going to wait for him to get out of prison and then try to start over again, it may move his heart to fear if not to repentance. You say, he cannot help himself. Does he help himself when his peers—other men his own size—make him angry? Does he fly out of control and start hitting his boss or his employees? No? Then he has self-control when he must. The law can make it a must, which will allow you to continue with him and demonstrate your womanhood and win him to yourself and then to your God.

Do some research on violations of protection orders, and it’s not due to vindictive wives! Do some research as to WHY those protection orders are put in place! You also have no clue to the dynamics of abuse either! There are reasons they don’t show their behavior in certain places! They can get away with it in environments they can control – that they have power over. Do they have power in that same realm at work? What about with his boss? His employees? Hmmmm. Don’t think so either! Could be your first clue!

The violate the protection orders because of the sense of loss of control and power. Not in the normal fashion either - an entitled fashion. A warped entitlement mindset! Who is going to help them there? They need help sir! Have observed good behavior and Godly spirit with their wifes isn't always going to change that mindset! Asking wifes to be silence of these issues of abuse is going to make things worse, and not better! There are enough Christian examples out there to show you that! People that are ill need help, prayer and guidance. Not silence that you are trying to encourage!

Next Quote:

But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested.
I can’t believe you are actually suggesting someone doing something illegal! WOW! If they find that those children have been molested before, and she didn’t report it those children could be removed from her as well! They could also go after the wife with charges!

It seems to me both you and your wife think that women are the only ones that need to sacrifice their worlds for their spouse. Is that what the bible says? Not the only I have on my shelf! It seems that accountability only comes sometimes – and in the case of abuse never if it is not bad enough in your eyes. There is a role of the wife and mother I agree. Hiding her husband’s secrets and sins are NOT one of them! There is also a role of accountability for both partners, and your focus seems warped in one area only! Men are NOT that incapable to handle help from others! They are NOT that weak that they can't learn from other people besides their wifes!

Molestation is illegal, and if this wife ignores what has happened she also could find herself in alot of hot water within the legal realm. You deal with things the first time by seeking help from others, and you DO report it to save the wife and children from being possibly separated. That is called loving your wife and family enough not to hide behind your sins. If the child tells someone else, if someone else leaks this the police will come down HARD on both! What you are asking them to do is against the law.

I feel sorry for both of you! I will be praying for you both as well. You really need to see what the bible does say about people in bondage. Read James because it talks about the power and damage the tongue does. I dont remember reading how people should just ignore and pray it away.

Gal 6:1 My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too.

Not only is the wife but the church responsible to making this man see his sin.

Luk 12:2 Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.
Luk 12:3 So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.

Silence, secrecy and concealment are not God's way of dealing with problems. You state people will reap what they sow. I'm afraid of what you will be reaping in the future. I pray that you seek more knowledge on this subject, and find healthier ways that God asks for everyone involved. That includes the abusive husband.


What this couple doesn't seem to understand - minus all those horror stories that they will be getting and will be ignoring is that abuse is like any other addiction. Its an angry addiction of the worse kind! Read up on what an addiction is Mr. and Mrs. Pearl. With all due respect you missed the mark on this one!

When you have a spouse with lets say a booze or drug addiction would you apply I Peter 3? Most would confront the spouse and find ways of them acknowledging the addiction. Abusers use the same tools as any other addictive nature: Blame, Deny and project it in some other area as the cause. If you play the Joyous and Happy natured spouse, and never address the issue you won't have to pray for God to take the vile person - they will kill themselves! Prayer, Fellowship, Acknowlegement and treatment just like any other addiction is needed for the abusive personality. I Peter 3 is a verse we believe in, and does not apply to addiction cures as the only thing you look to. We are talking an illiness and you offer no doctor for! You are asking the spouse to ignore the medicine that could make a better life for the spouse, and that is irresponsible!

You may be honored for your other writings, and I will be honest I haven't read much of it! This subject I would suggest you research and educate yourself about before writing like other respectable authors. You see Mr. and Mrs. Pearl if you approach an abuser in the way you state in your article - she will turn into a battered wife on top of it! Addictive personalities don't think right! That is why people struggle to live with them! Its not a matter of not loving this person enough! Its a matter of how can I help them! Playing the Happy Christian Homemaker while your spouse is wallowing in pain, denial and rage isn't the right path, and could make matters worse.

Stick to your homeschooling until you do your homework! The lawsuit due to your advice would be the least of your worries! Death could be on your plate as well.

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Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this...
and this...

and this...

Anonymous said...

I can't access those links.

Anyway, thanks for the work you are doing here.

Hannah on 7:21 AM said...

I'm not sure what links you might be referring to. The links in the above comment I had to cut and paste in my browser. The article in which this is based you need to click the title at the top that is bold white letters "I feel sorry for Debi and Michael Pearl" before any content is written. I just clicked to make sure it was still there! It is. You may be clicking in the wrong place. It can be confusing I know!

Hope this helps!

Hannah on 8:34 PM said...

I'm not sure what book you are referring to.....the quotes are from an article right on their the Pearl's website....not a book!

Or are you referring to something else?

Anonymous said...

I was asked to critique CTBHH for Pamela Spurling of A Christian Home- she mailed the book to me. I have some grave concerns about this book and even about the Pearls themselves. I was hesitant at first about upsetting people with my views about the book, but as it turned out, there are a lot of people with those same concerns. Since then. I have written about this book on other sites only to have the majority of people agree with me and tell me that they have tried the Pearls methods of child raising and have been hurt by their ministry and ideas. Certainly this book and others of theirs are controversial and very divisive!
So here are my thoughts- but bear in mind before you throw tomatoes at me- they are just my thoughts. ~smile~ (It is interesting to note that Amazon’s sales of CTBHH have dropped in favour of Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife- which I love)

Here is my review:

I am a conservative Baptist, non-feministic and a submissive wife. Even though there were some good things regarding bringing women back to godly principles in marriage, I found this book very disturbing. I had been a severely abused wife for 25 years. So from the angle of an abused wife, I would like to comment and speak up for those women too afraid or unable to speak for themselves.

Chapter 2: The ugly hillbilly woman- the first and main reason she is accounted as ‘Ugly’ by Debi Pearl, is that she is overweight! As an overweight woman, that stung! I may be overweight, but my husband and family and friends have never even intimated that I am ugly! The fact that a smile can change this “worse than regular ugly!” woman is hogwash. It takes more than a smile to change a character- though a smile does indeed help. To say that the woman became unrecognizable when she was caught scowling because she was upset at her obese daughter taking candy is a bit far-fetched (unless her husband is short-sighted or dim-witted) However, I do agree that we must cultivate a happy disposition and smile. Our husbands and family need to see that.

When I first read the letter to the desperate wife whose husband was having an emotional affair with his secretary my first response was that Mrs Pearl’s advice was wrong. Then I reconsidered and thought that there was truth in the advice that if the wife stood up for her rights (and indeed she was in the right)- and fought to win her man back, then that would be the better way to approach it than to end the marriage. I have seen marriages almost ruined by affairs become stronger than ever where the wife has stood her ground. But if the marriage fails, why does Mrs Pearl attest that “if you get another husband, he will be like your old one- cast off by some other woman”? Who is she to say that with such conviction? It is not necessarily true or a given fact!

But it is so true that you cannot force or demand your husband to love you and that he cannot be pressured to love you because you are husband and wife. But why does love come into the equation in a Christian marriage? Where are commitment, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and other Christ-like attributes like forbearance, integrity and obligation to keep the marriage vows simply because God says we must?

If one person does not want to be in a marriage, it is a sad fact of life that sometimes no matter how much the spouse who wishes to remain in the marriage tries to please the errant spouse, then the one wanting out will often leave or make it impossible to stay in the marriage by becoming violent or aggressive. Then, because of hardness of heart of the errant spouse, the prayers and efforts of the faithful spouse come to naught. Why? Because we are carnal creatures at times- both men and women. God sometimes cannot soften a heart that is turned from Him because He will not violate our free will. However,I believe if you loved your husband enough, you would fight for him. Or stay in the marriage until it was impossible to remain safely in it.

We do see a bit of the “boys will be boys” mentality in this chapter, and I have to wonder if this is biased towards men being helpless creatures bewitched under the guiles of wicked women- Jezebels all. I know that men are called to account to God for their sins and being a man who can’t control his thought life and actions is not being a godly man. It does seem that the wife is to bear the burden of blame for her husband’s sin and then take it on the chin! And smile, smile, smile through her tears!

Another sore point with me is where she says,” being pitiful, hurt, discouraged and even sickly is one side of a “bad marriage” coin. Men in general (your husband in particular), are repulsed by women who project this image. A man’s spirit tells him his woman is rejecting him manipulating him when she regularly manifests a broken spirit, and he will react in anger.” As a woman who suffers from an illness that causes chronic pain and fatigue, I am so overjoyed to report that my husband doesn’t treat me as a faulty appliance which causes him great anger, but he cherishes me and tries to alleviate my suffering on bad days by sharing in my tasks and closing an eye to that which can’t be done on any particular day. After all, we promised to love each other in sickness and in health. Isn’t that type of commitment what God wants in marriage? So this chapter got me thanking God for the blessing of a husband who puts me first when I need it.

Chapter 4: Thanksgiving produces joy. Whilst I can see Mrs Pearl’s point about not getting upset about the trash not being taken out, I think she is a little (much?) on the immature side when she finds screaming like that funny. IMO she is mighty fortunate to have a man who can see the funny side- especially when he has not been in the habit of taking trash out for her. And then to see her struggling week after week with the trash and not help her seems really inconsiderate to me.

Also I am uncomfortable that a woman who is teaching other women to be godly wives forgets that we are to be discreet- especially when our intimate lives are involved. It is not very discreet to almost hope that the business manager comes in and then to have a scream ready to embarrass the poor man! Yes, we are to be our husband’s playmate! I agree 100% but then I agree with the Word which clearly says: ” as a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” Proverbs 11:22

To not care about the feelings of the business manager but in fact to entertain thoughts of him finding Mr and Mrs Pearl frollicking or worse yet, in flagrant delicto, is absolutely contrary to Scripture. We are not to be the cause of another person to stumble- apart from being very embarrassing to the staff, I am sure most of them would think Mr and Mrs Pearl extremely indiscreet and insensitive- lovemaking should be enjoyable, fun and PRIVATE!

Chapter 5: the gift of wisdom: In the beginning of this chapter, IMO Mrs Pearl is putting a great deal of pressure on the wife to be the prime force behind a successful marriage. If the marriage is not a heavenly one, it would seem in her opinion, that the wife is not submitting or being thankful and joyful. Whilst I agree that basically what she says is true, there are marriages where normal boundaries are overstepped and it is impossible to be thankful or joyful- for example after a beating or some other horrendously humiliating experience. Now it is extremely difficult if not impossible, to be thankful to and for the husband who is like this.

Marriage is a two-way street. A man is to love his wife as his own body- no man hates his own body but cherishes it (Ephesians 5:28) To completely negate this by saying that a wife should love and respect her husband regardless is OK- to a point. But what of the badly abused wife? It is impossible to be a loving responsive wife in the evening after that same man has bruised you physically and emotionally during the day. At best our body can be receptive, but our heart cannot join in with loving responses. The fear overrides all else.

I feel Mrs Pearl is totally unable to empathise with a wife who is badly abused and to add the pressure of maintaining or creating a “heavenly” marriage in such a case is not only impossible but invites the poor woman to break down emotionally or even doubt or lose her faith! Mrs Pearl is preaching the truth for the majority of marriages- but not for all!

As a woman nearly beaten to the point of death in my first marriage, I take great exception to this:(the abusive harsh husband)…”But he cannot victimize you unless you react outside of the wisdom of God.” This is such hogwash! When your jaw is dislocated or your ribs broken, it is a normal reaction to feel pain. Then to fear being hurt like that again. It is hopeful that the godly woman will turn to God in her pain and not feel rejected by Him. To even continue in a marriage like this takes more faith and obedience than Mrs Pearl will ever know personally.

I did as Mrs Pearl advocates: I held my tongue and didn’t strike back in anger. I tried not to feel sorry for myself and protected HIM from the consequences of his sin by not going to the law and telling my doctor lies about how my injuries came about. I understand what Mrs Pearl is saying but I also understand that there are some men walking so much in sin that it goes WAY BEYOND TRASH BAGS NOT BEING TAKEN OUT. Preaching like Mrs Pearl’s saw me come to the point of a nervous breakdown.

When you feel like God doesn’t intervene or care or if you leave your husband, that you are going to Hell, and are therefore trapped in a cycle of abuse that makes you vomit up everything you eat because of fear, then you have nowhere to go but down into the pit of Hell itself. I am adamant that God does care, and doesn’t want any wife to be treated in this way. But I realise that on the other side of the coin, there are many wives who will justify leaving their husbands for a minor infringement like not taking the trash out! So this chapter has to be read assuming that a marriage is not in the extreme range of violence against the woman.

I wasn’t going to get personal in my critique, but maybe some women reading this will identify and be helped by what I write! Balance, dear Sisters, balance and wisdom in ALL things! So this chapter to me is one where I nod and turn the page over!

I have made notes of other things both good and bad to comment on, but I now realise that in all honesty, the more I delve into this book, the more I find it disturbs me. There are too many things that Debi Pearl writes about that are not backed up by scripture and in other situations, I feel that she and Michael offer no real answer for those married to men who are habitually abusing their wives. I am not really well enough at the moment to write about each and every chapter, so I will make a blanket critique of this book by saying IMO the advice is often unrealistic and even dangerous- especially about keeping silent if you are a wife suffering from abuse.

My belief is that when a wife comes to the point of shedding blood or having bones broken by her husband then the authorities should be notified, her doctor should be consulted and treatment given and her pastor should be informed. I regret that I followed the “suffering in silence” method of dealing with my own physical abuse and almost ended up dying at my ex husband’s hands. To counsel women along the lines of silent suffering is not wise counsel and downright dangerous.

So in closing, I would say that I have changed my mind about recommending the book- I would caution all those who read it to keep in mind that husbands do indeed have no right before God or man to so damage their wife that she suffer real physical damage. Christian or not- the red line is crossed when a woman or child is hit enough to cause any damage.

We have many excellent books on Christian marriage that are equally good in bringing women back to remembering that they are helpmeets. IMO the Pearls book is not totally backed up in scripture and is therefore erroneous teaching and dangerous as well. I now would say that my findings are 90% rubbish and 10% good teaching. If you are in a marriage where you are not living in fear every waking moment, praise God! I am happy for you, however, I am speaking up for thousands of godly Christian Sisters who are not! They need your prayers and compassion badly- something that Debi and Michael Pearl seem to be lacking!

Here are some books that are by far better than CTBHH

“The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective” by Martha Peace. Leslie Vernick’s ‘How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong’Gary Chapman: ‘The 5 Love Languages’ and ‘On the Marriage You Always Wanted.’ And by John Piper: ‘What is the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible.’”The Power Of A Positive Wife” by Karol Ladd

‘Feminine Appeal: 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife’ and ‘Mother and/or Biblical Womanhood in the Home’…both written by Nancy Leigh Demoss. Other greats include ‘Lord, Meet Me in the Laundry Room’ by Barbara Curtis as well as ‘The Mother at Home’.

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative christian and married to a good man, but one that lacks self responsibilty and does not take his place as the "man", I am a submissive non feminist wife and I got this book thinking that it was most definiately me, recommended by someone in the church. I read it and followed it to a T. I was working then, exhausted every night by my 100lb frame picking up half of my weight all day long for 8-9 hours. My husband has a job where he works 3hrs per day (it does vary to almost 10 hrs per day in the summer)The rest of his day he sits on the computer and plays games. I came home from a particularly exhausting day with very little sleep the previous night and the whole house was a DISASTER, not something I did either. In the peak of my will do follow the book I stayed calm and asked him how his day was with a smile- a very bland response without lifting a butt cheek off the chair. I started to feel my temper rising but I kept it diligently hidden. I continued to organize my work stuff and clean the house at the same time. Acouple hours later I was too exhausted to cook anything and there was no offer to get take out and no offer to help. Debi specifically remarks that men will be more willing to help you when you are a good wife that is happy and cheerful and won't act on a little act of selfishness. This day happened more days that I can count and finally I concluded that I'd stop working so hard to please him while I'm over here working my butt off while no act of help is being done for me. There are many faults I see in this book and one is taking away the responsibility for the man, and it also sets a woman up for failure thus making her even more emotionally unstable that yet another attempt has failed. This could be a breaking point for some women to end their marrage because "if debi's book dont work then nothing will and now Im going to to divorce" I talked to my husband about what I did and that I followed her book to every letter and told him that hes got to take responsibility and our marriage has been better with some work. I feel that talking to your man isn't being a pushy wife it is relieving our natural GOD given ability a way to bond the marriage better if done the right way. I also highly agree with the other commenters about fear, this is a highly touchy subject and debi diligently puts fear around every corner of her paragraphs. How can you be happy and jump around and such when your always in fear that your not doing the "debi" way. Furthermore, I feel that since the bible states plainly to have no fear in faith this is setting you up for it. This book is for a woman that does not exhist and I fear a half hearted attempt to make some money along the way.
I also agree with one of the commentors about the situation of where she depicts a woman being ugly. So many women are highly concious of their looks and not only is this not a right thing for a christian to say, but it also hurts the confidence of women reading the book. I think in her attempt to be edgy and attract more people to the harshness of the book it only made herself look bad and nonchristian like.
There is also one more main thing I'd like to address in her book, and that is when a woman writes in complaining that her husband wants her to not go to church and go places with him on sundays. Debi says that you must obey your husband so go camping fishing whatever on sunday! God told us to obey our husbands but not for our salvations sake! "Do not forsake the assembling of the saints" This doesnt say do not forsake unless your husband says it ok. Your husband is a man and has no authority to usurp Gods command. This thouroughly sickened me when I read it and my mind urged me to toss the book....

Hannah on 3:19 PM said...

I do agree with alot of what you said. There is alot of holes in what she asks women to do, and she does set them up to fail. lol my copy would be tossed out a while ago!

Thank you for commenting.

TealRose said...

My life is summed up thus.

Love God. Love others and do to them as you yourself would want to have done to you.

EVERYTHING falls into place after that. Hitting children? Never in a month of Sundays. Hitting anyone, never. Staying with an abusive husband? No, never and I didn't, and I do not believe that Jesus would want that either. I was married to my present husband, in church. I told the minister the story of my life and he told me that NORMALLY that his church didn't believe in remarrying in church either, but that he would marry me and my now husband. When I asked why he answered " Because we believe in doing the LOVING thing .... love is the most important thing."

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