I was initially unsure if I would read this book, because I read mixed reviews of it on several blogs when Sparrow’s Nest was considering it for a book club type feature. As I’ve talked to other women, the Pearls (author Debi and her husband, who co-wrote the “Train Up a Child” books) tend to provoke strong reactions; either you love them or you…don’t. However, a godly woman I know from church recommended “Created To Be His Help Meet” to me, and as I value her opinion I decided to read the book for myself.
Up front, let me tell you that my approach to books is to take the good and leave the weird. If you put down a book the first instant that it offends or startles you, you’ll often miss out on valuable or interesting information. In this book particularly, I would advise giving the arguments consideration before tossing them. I found that in some cases Mrs. Pearl’s style was a little harsher than I would have chosen, and some of her examples were a little strange. However, in large part this was a tremendously helpful book for me, and I would recommend it.
The first section of the book deals with general Biblical womanhood topics, but often in a fresh way that caused me to reconsider some of my behaviors. For example, Mrs. Pearl reminds wives that we aren’t given to our husband as his second conscience – he already has a conscience, what he needs is a helper meet (perfectly matched) for him. That’s profound if you think about the implications. She also talks about how our thoughts influence our feelings and actions, and how big of a difference it can make to choose to be thankful rather than discontented, choosing to think well of your husband rather than being critical, not being negative and disrespectful, and so forth. Changing those attitudes, even in the littlest things, can make a huge difference.
I think that the second part of the book is the stronger of the two. In the second section, Mrs. Pearl follows the outline of Titus 2:3-5
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 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.
Devoting a chapter to each of the eight things that older women are told to teach the younger women, Mrs. Pearl does an in depth word study of each of the topics, which I found helpful and illuminating, and then gives concrete practical examples of how that might look in a family. I was particularly struck by the point she made that these are behaviors we need to evidence so that the word of God not be blasphemed. I had never devoted much thought to what it means to blaspheme the word of God, but it’s serious business.
On a personal note, I am blessed with a good strong marriage (thanks in large part to my husband who is very devoted and strong and patient with me!), but I am always on the look out for ways to make it stronger. I found myself convicted on several points made in this book, so I made some changes in how I react to things, how I think about things, and my attitudes. I found that in a very short period of time, these little things made a surprisingly big impact in our house.
In conclusion, there is nothing new or subversive in this book – you can find similar points in other books on the topic. I think the value of “Created To Be His Help Meet” is in the fresh and practical way that Mrs. Pearl approaches the subject, and her challenges to the reader to really think about what Scripture says and actually apply it, rather than just skimming over it and thinking pink and purple thoughts about how great it is when people are nice. If you have read this book, or decided not to read it, or read it based on this post, let me know what you think/thought about it!