Monday, April 14, 2008

Helpmeet Book, Part 2

Well, I finished reading Created to be His Help Meet yesterday. Here are my thoughts. Understand that I don't have the time or energy to go through page by page and dissect specific examples. But I'll give you my overarching impressions after one read-through of the book.

As I said in the last post, there were many things that I was initially excited about. I am a person who loves practical application, so I was energized by the things Debi suggested to do to bless your husband. Take care of yourself, think about ways to serve and make him comfortable, be careful to respect him with your speech, initiate intimacy and be 'into' it. That said, when I closed the book, I had a weird feeling that took me some time to put my finger on. After talking to Kevin and thinking some more, I think what bothered me is that Debi's 'straight talk' can come across as extremely unloving and ungracious toward struggling women. Which comes across as pride. The tone of the book was at times, unsettling.

Another problematic 'tone' of the book is how much of the responsibility she puts on the wife to create that 'heavenly marriage'. One example is the advise she gives a lady who is at her wits' end with her husband. This woman bemoans the fact that her house is basically falling down around her ears: trash in the yard, broken and leaky plumbing, screens with holes in them, toilets that need replacing. The woman says her husband has put off doing any work on these problems for months, but runs out to help every other person who calls for help with their handy-man needs. Perhaps this woman could handle picking up the trash herself, and maybe fixing a screen door, but that's really beside the point. Debi Pearl calls this woman a 'dumb cluck' and advises her to learn how to do all the fixing herself! In another part of the book, she says that we should 'paint the hall and cut the grass' so our husbands can go golfing. I completely agree that we should look for ways to serve and bless our husbands, but after reading this book, I can't help but think that women are being a bit devalued here.

There is a lot of good encouragement contained here, but surely there is a similar book out there that has the diamonds without all the rocks.


Anonymous said...

Good, balanced review. Again, I would say that she took a command to be a helper and stretched it to the extreme, while overlooking that God calls us to be in a mutually accountable relationship although we are under our husband's authority. One spouse doing all the other spouse's work all the time seems off balance to me, too. How could that be a blessing to the other spouse? -Dana

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found your blog on this book. I have been struggling with this book and all it places on the wife to do and be!! I mean really this is a marriage, right? Does the husband not participate except to be waited on hand and foot? I do agree with parts of the book but I have found that I have tried to follow the teachings of this book and it has turned me into a bit of a door matt. Not to say that my husband is not a great husband but by following the teachings of this book I have taken on more than I can handle alone and then when my husband wants to step up to the plate I don't think he has a right becuase he has been on a break per say because of me!! How can you blance this book in your marriage? A marriage is not all based on the wife, it is about both the man and the woman working together with Christ in the center, right? -O

Candice said...

I am glad this was an encouragement to you. I'll pray for you and your husband to find a God-honoring balance. Marriage keeps you on your toes, doesn't it?