Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Created to Be His Help Meet: Part 3

As we did for the last two Tuesdays (Part 1 and Part 2),
Molly at My Three Pennies
Jenna at Proletarian and I are reflecting on Debi Pearl's new book, Created to Be His Help Meet (which you can order here).

This week we're joined in our reviewing by Roses and Tea and Sal from Stand up and Walk! Welcome!

Chapter Five: The Gift of Wisdom

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Debi tackles several main points in this chapter:

- Whether my husband acts in a godly manner, loving me as Christ loves the church, or not, the commands from the Lord to me remain the same.

Sometimes I depend on my husband's mood or behavior to determine my own. Not good. If he gets down, I mope. If he's elated, I'm reeling. I can't live that way (it's a strain on me emotionally, and Ryan feels the burden of his own vicissitudes intimately affecting someone else), and what's more, God doesn't want me to. Debi encourages wives in this chapter to simply believe God's Word to women:

"You can doubt God and say, 'I know God does not expect me to honor this mean man,' or you can say, 'God, I know Your Word teaches me to be a woman who is there to help meet all my husband's desires and dreams. Make me that woman'....Until you embrace that Divine plan for your life, your life will never make sense. You will always be struggling."

She's right. We can argue with God, telling him all the reasons why obedience isn't possible right now and describing all the ways our husband doesn't deserve a helper. But we and our families will pay the price for this rebellion against God. And it is rebellion: no matter what soft, comely language we couch our resistance in, it's still rebellion against God.

- The Bible says what it says. Any attempts to water down God's directives to women cannot be upheld Scripturally, evaluating precept upon precept the whole counsel of God's Word.

Here Debi's really tackling the popular teaching that women really don't have to obey their husbands, and they really aren't set in a submissive role in a marriage (did anyone just hear the hiss of a serpent? "Did God really say...?").

"There are many books written by men, 'scholars,' that undermine the beauty of a woman's help meet position....They talk in elaborate and 'learned' terms about 'the original languages' and the 'cultural settings' in which the words of Scripture were written....I do have a solution. There is one verse they have not yet contested: 'The aged women...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.' [emphasis hers, italics mine]

Nuff said.

- God's blueprint for marriage is for the woman to submit to her OWN husband, and be subject to him in everything.

It brings everything into sharp focus to realize that I am only called to be Ryan's helper. Not the pastor's, not any man or woman on the internet, not my friend's, not my father's. He is my head.

He doesn't deserve it. I didn't deserve the blood of Christ, either, but did He withhold Himself because I wasn't worthy? Or did he come in the form of a servant?

Phil 2:5-8
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Dare I raise my head in pride and grumble about having to serve a man? Or is it my privilege to imitate my Savior?

- Wisdom is a gift.
I can't earn it, and James 1:5 says I can ask for it and God will give it to me! Help me, Lord!

Chapter Six: The Beginning of Wisdom

God tells us at least three times in His Word that fear is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10, Prov 9:10, 1:7). As Debi says, "Anything God says three times is worth heeding."

The fear of the Lord is not just "respect" or "reverence," as is often bandied about today. Please see Christian Conservative's great post here to read more about the fear of God.

I saw a lot of pathos in this chapter; Debi writes about the many older women she's seen who are, to put it mildly, not teachable. They are bitter and hardened, tearing their house down with their own hands.

"I saw that my advice needed to be directed to those young wives who are still trying to find their way. While still young, they need to be warned, and they need an instruction manual to prevent them from growing into bitter, crazy old women."

The fruit of this "instruction manual" is growing in my life. Have I stumbled? YES. But like I said in previous posts--and as Debi says at the end of the book--my life will never be the same. Once your eyes are opened, there is no closing them; what you've already seen is burned on your mind and heart. A change is occurring in my marriage, and Debi's words have helped catalyze it.

Blog Archive