Saturday, April 12, 2008

Helpmeet Book, Part 1

My friend Kathy loaned me a book by Debi Pearl called Created to be His Help Meet. I've seen this book advertised in homeschool and Christian publications, and have always been curious to check it out, partly because the book To Train Up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl, was instrumental to Kevin and I as we formulated a philosophy about raising children. (On a quick side note, people either love or hate this child-training book, it seems. My friend Beth calls it 'the horse-whipping book'. If you google it you'll find all kinds of claims that it promotes child abuse and such. While Kevin and I don't agree with everything in the book, we did find it to be very helpful, mainly by showing us that kids don't have to understand to be expected to obey. Okay, not such a quick side note...) So far, I am about a fourth of the way through.

Initially, I was really excited and inspired by the encouragement to really be the kind of woman your husband wants to come home to. Lots of good and very practical advise. Debi has a very feisty, straightforward style that's refreshing in a day when lots of writing geared toward women can come across as fluffy and so gentle as to not plainly state hard truths. Not the case here. Pretty in-your-face, like one example when she answers a letter and paints a bleak picture of what will happen if this woman continues to drive her husband away: poverty, loneliness, and stress of being a single mother.

A couple of things have given me pause, though. She asserts that there are three types of men, based on the three main attributes of God. This seems a bit unfounded, in my opinion. I don't know, I just get kind of wary when bold assertions can't be clearly backed up with scripture...The point she's making is a good one, I think: learn what your husband needs so you can be his 'perfect' fit. However, the descriptions of the types of husbands seem a little weird to me. I can't quite put my finger on maybe it's too early to blog about my opinion. I will be getting back to this book in more posts as I progress.

Have any of you read this book? Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I agree, the three types of men sound hokey. That seems to be taking the fact that we are to be our husband's helper and making up a theory to help us apply it (it sounds almost like psychology!). I think some of their examples of how to apply the "train your child" command were pressed to the extreme in the To Train Up a Child book. Although the book was instrumental in helping us to train our kids, too! It was great to know that they are not always going to understand why we say what we say when we give them a command, but that they still must obey. Also, that our relationship with them is one built on trust and love, where our commands are for their good (well, we strive for that, anyway....). -Dana

cristina said...

The Pearls are Pelagians and it's clearly coming out of the Training Up A child! You can train up a child all you want, you have not their hearts, you failed. I have not read the book you are referring to and honestly I probably will not. :) For me Douglas Wilson's books on child rearing and spouses duties have been a greatly instrumental. :) I do not agree with his theology on church, but when it comes to family matters, he got it right! :)
Also, Ted Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart is wonderful! I am sure you probably read his book and can tell a difference.
And for the record, Candice, I think that you and Kevin are doing a great job with the kids. From the time I was there and been around your kids I was impressed with your relationship with them. :)

Candice said...

Thanks for the thoughts, Cristina. I had to look up 'pelagian'! Debi Pearl does talk about our fallen-ness and the fact that we are all sinners married to sinners, so I don't know if they would be considered Pelagian or not. I completely agree about needing to have our children's hearts; as a matter of fact, when I recommend 'To Train Up..' to people, I always tell them to read Ted Tripp's book, too. Each of the two books have different, but important, focuses, I think.

Thanks for the compliment about our kids. We make so many mistakes with them, and I know we will yet, but we cling to God's promise of grace for us and them!

Cristina said...

Candice, this makes for a good reading when you have time. It explains more in depth of the Pearls' theology. :)

And I will call it a day on the Pearls... haha!

Anonymous said...

Debi divides men into "Mr. Command Man", "Mr. Steady", and Mr. Visionary. These men are, respectively, leaders, followers, and those who neither lead nor follow. Logically, I think that you can see that men (and women too!) would have to fall into these categories. However, it's a pretty small box to put someone in. A leader is not always a leader, and neither is a follower always a follower. Different situations bring out different qualities in a person, as I'm sure you know! That's my take. Corinna