A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Debi Pearl’s “Created to be his help meet” — a review by Avid Reader

This book goes way off the deep end in craziness but the root problem is that Michael and Debi Pearl are violating God’s law of sowing and reaping. (Galatians 6:7-8) They want one spouse to sow to the flesh without reaping any consequences because they won’t allow the other spouse to set any boundaries.

[The ACFJ team encourages readers to click here to vote on this review at Amazon where it was originally published.]

Debi Pearl writes, 

Never demand a man love and cherish you because he ought to. (p. 31)

Your husband will be selfish, he will be unkind….not respect your rights…foolish….cruel….actually walk in sin…… (p. 55)

In most marriages the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects obedience, honor and reverence and is not getting it. Thus he reacts badly.”(p. 79)

If some worthless men had wives who were more ______, you fill in the blank, they would not be so worthless. (p. 278)

The further you read in this book the more you find real hatred for women. Debi is so focused on blaming women that she will contradict herself in the process. Then she turns around and tries to portray God as an abusive father!

Reflecting God’s nature

Debi writes,

There are basically three types of men. The different types are just as marked in one year olds as they are in adult men. It seems that God made each male to express one side of his triad nature.”(p. 75)

Wait a minute. There’s only ONE man who reflects God—Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:3) But Debi claims that these three types reflect God’s nature: Mr. Command man, Mr. Visionary and Mr. Steady.

Mr. Command is actually the type of abuser known as the Drill Sergeant. Listen closely to Debi’s words.

Command men…..are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot…..She is on call every minute of her day. Her man wants to know where she is, what she is doing and why she is doing it. He corrects her without thought. For better or for worse it is his nature to control…… A woman married to a Command Man wears a heavier yoke than most women but it can be a very rewarding yoke….her walk….is easier because there is never any possibility of her being in control…. Command men have less tolerance so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage… The Command man feels it is his duty and responsibility to lead people and he does whether…they want him to or not. (p. 77-78)

That’s supposed to reflect God’s nature? This is so far from the heart of God. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He doesn’t kick the door down. Plus, Jesus NEVER leaves us.

Now would Mr. Command ever allow another man to walk in and take control of his life? Of course not. That’s the double standard. He feels entitled to usurping authority over whole groups of people but would never allow another man to control him. Yet the irony is that Mr. Command is NOT controlling the only thing that God actually commands him to control — himself! SELF-CONTROL is God’s will for our lives not letting Mr. Command do whatever he pleases, trampling on everyone else’s boundaries.

Then there’s the other two types. Debi describes Mr. Steady as a loyal husband who works hard and takes care of his family. On the other hand, Mr. Visionary is lazy, refuses to work, and hops around the country, chasing empty frivolous things. Exactly what the Bible warned us NOT to do. (Prov 12:11)

Debi describes him as so irresponsible that “if our husbands are visionaries they will yell and make our life miserable until we run back to mama and end up sleeping in a cold bed and living on food stamps.” (p. 97)

“They are often the church splitters….they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way.” (p. 80-81)

Why is Debi totally fine with allowing this guy to disobey God’s command “to settle down” and work to earn his own living? (2Thes 3:12) Meanwhile, Debi won’t allow the wife to work outside the home so this guy is allowed to destroy the family’s finances, while the wife is supposed to watch helplessly! And then Debi shifts the burden of responsibility to God, saying that God will clean up all the messes that this guy is creating. The irony is that while God will hold this guy accountable for his sin, Debi won’t.

This whole book revolves around the sin of showing partiality (James 2:9) by consistently making excuses for the willful sin of one spouse while blaming the other spouse for everything. On page 207, Debi blames Bathsheba for David’s sins but never holds David himself accountable when she says that Bathsheba’s “lack of discretion cost her husband his life.” (p. 207)

No! David murdered her husband. Then God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David not her. Even when David repented, he took full responsibility for his sins without ever blaming her.

Throughout this book, Debi Pearl twists Scripture to fit her opinion then rejects actual verses that she doesn’t like. For example, she slams women for working outside the home but won’t accept how God raised up Deborah to judge the entire nation of Israel. And she ignores where the Apostle Paul actually commends women for laboring with him in Phillippians 4:3 (also see Romans 16:1-2).

Meanwhile, Debi keeps disregarding God’s commands to keep her tradition when she writes, “Women are simply deceived.” (p. 111)

The Bible says that women “have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor 2:16) All the “treasures of wisdom” are in Christ who dwells in us. (Colossians 2:3 & 1:27)

Debi: “It is NOT God’s will for your husband to reverence you.” (p. 137)

God commands husband to reverence their wives in 1Peter 3:7 and warns that their prayers will be hindered if they don’t!

Debi: “You were created to make (your husband) complete, not to seek personal fulfillment parallel to him.” (p. 21)

God says, “The desire of the righteous is granted.” (Proverbs 10:24) “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4)

Debi: “Dominance and control are always masculine characteristics.” (p. 115)

No! God commands women “to be self-controlled.” Titus 2:5(NET)

Debi: “A woman’s calling is not easy. To allow someone else to control your life is much harder than taking control of it yourself.” (p. 50)

Nope! Since there’s no law of God against self-control (Galatians 5:23), Debi doesn’t get to make up rules that take away our ability to make our own personal choices. You can’t function in self-control if someone else is making all your decisions. Jesus commanded us not to allow anyone to take away our ability to say “yes” and “no,” warning us that “anything else comes from the devil.” Matthew 5:37(CEV). Yet page after page of this book tries to eliminate people’s ability to say “no” in their own lives. And this book doesn’t even try to hide the vileness of teaching people to submit to abuse.

Listen to what Debi’s husband, Michael Pearl, writes,

Wives…are not prone to be balanced or wise.

A husband has authority to tell his wife what to wear, where to go, whom to talk to, how to spend her time, when to speak and when not to, even if he is unreasonable and insensitive. (p. 260-261)

That violates God’s command in 1Cor 7:23b(NET) “Do NOT become slaves of men.” Yet Michael actually likens wives to slaves when he writes,

Many women disobey their husbands on grounds that they are obeying God instead. (p. 259)

The wife is to obey her husband in all things. (p. 261)

The servant is not given the option of deciding that the master is not acting within the will of God and therefore should not be obeyed. It is acceptable with God—God’s will—for the underling to suffer wrongfully and take it patiently. You will surely wonder, ‘Why is it the will of God for the underling to suffer at the hands of an unjust and perverse authority?’

Two reasons are obvious….First the chain of authority must remain intact, even to the point of allowing some abuse. The other reason is….lady, you were created to give glory to God. When God puts you in subjection to a man whom he knows is going to cause you to suffer, it is with the understanding that you are obeying God by enduring the wrongful suffering. And when you suffer wrongfully, as unto the Lord, you bring great glory to God. (p. 262-263)

Did God tell the Israelites to submit harder to Pharaoh’s abuse because the chain of authority can’t be broken? NO! Here’s what God actually told Moses,

I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptians hurt them. I know about their pain. Now I will go down and save my people from the Egyptians. I will take them from that land and lead them to a good land where they can be free from these troubles. It is a land filled with many good things. Exodus 3:7-8a (ERV)

That’s the heart of God which this book totally misses. Jesus said it best, “Get behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord thy God, and HIM ONLY shall you serve.” (Luke 4:8) Yet this book keeps trying to usurp God’s authority. Debi says,

When you obey your husband you obey God. (p. 22)

Like Eve we imagine that we can disobey……God’s Word and our husband’s word.
(p. 129)

Right there Debi just tried to seat man on God’s throne — the devil tried that and got kicked out of Heaven. This is pure idolatry — trying to put man’s words in God’s mouth which Jesus warned us about in Matthew 15:9.

The Bible distinguishes between obeying God and obeying man. (Acts 5:29) Consider Romans 13, which tells us to submit to civil authority because “the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God.” Romans 16:2 (NET) Resists the “ordinance” NOT God Himself because civil authority is not the same thing as God Himself. Remember when King Herod tried to stand in the place of God, he was immediately struck down. (Acts 12:22-23)

Debi Pearl is actually teaching the same twisted theology from the 1970’s Shepherding Movement that caused tremendous damage. The founder of the Shepherding Movement, Derek Prince wrote,

“Christ doesn’t rule in every area directly, in His own Person. He rules through delegated authority.”

Whenever God’s delegated authority touches our lives he requires us to acknowledge and submit to it just as we would to him in person….. Our attitude towards those whom God sets in delegated authority over us is….our attitude towards God.
(Discipleship, Shepherding, Commitment, p. 19-20)

It is the same thing that Debi Pearl teaches, when she says that “the degree to which you reverence your husband is the degree to which you reverence your Creator.” (p. 22)

Michael Pearl even uses the same terms from Shepherding, when he says, “In those areas where God has delegated someone to be in authority he has relinquished a certain amount of control to that authority—for better or for worse. God doesn’t micromanage all spheres of authority. He allows certain latitude for the authority to be wrong and still retain the office.” (p. 259)

When Saul became abusive, did God tell David to stay at the palace and pray for Saul to change? No! God repented of making Saul king and revoked his authority.

Meanwhile, this book continues teaching Shepherding theology. Michael Pearl writes, “The authority God gave to your husband is his alone and God will not interfere and take back to himself that power even if your husband abuses his powers…” (p. 260)

“As a divorcee, she maintains the image of the persecuted and abused victim but in many cases it was her standards that created the rift that led to divorce.” (p. 261)

Same thing taught by another founder of Shepherding, Bob Mumford:

Your higher power may not be doing it right according to your standards…..but there’s not a thing you can do about it but submit. (Problem of Doing Your Own Thing p. 67)

Too often we want our ministry directly from God. We want personal attention. We aren’t about to receive what we need through some delegated representative. (Problem p. 73)

I know of a church where the members took the stand that our pastor is right, even when he is wrong.”(Problem p. 85)

The error of Shepherding theology was:
1) Disregarding 1Timothy 2:5 by trying to put a mediator between you and God
2) Teaching idolatry by seating man on God’s throne
3) Disobeying Jesus by taking away the ability of people to say “yes” and “no”

Sound familiar? That is Debi’s book in a nutshell.

Boundaries

To better understand how Debi tries to destroy personal boundaries let’s review what boundaries actually are. In the book, Boundaries In Marriage, Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend write,

Couples have a duty to set limits on each spouse’s destructive acts or attitudes. For example, if a husband has a gambling problem, his wife needs to set appropriate limits, such as canceling his credit cards, separating their joint accounts….to force him to take responsibility for his problem. (p. 43)

Another problem may occur when a wife stands up for the right thing, and her husband tells her she is not being submissive. She may confront her husband’s attitudes or addiction or lying or some other ungodly behavior and then she is called “unsubmissive. (p. 245)

What submission doesn’t mean is that a husband just tells a wife what to do……The idea of submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another’s boundaries. Submission only has meaning in the context of boundaries for boundaries promote self-control and freedom. If a wife is not free and in control of herself she is not submitting anyway. She is a slave subject to a slave driver and she is out of the will of God. If a wife is being put under some law that says she is “bad” if she doesn’t submit to her husband’s cruelty and problems then she is not free at all. Likewise, if she is not free to say no without being deemed “bad,” then she is not free at all. A free person is the only one who can submit.
(p. 245-247)

***

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152 Comments

  1. Lea

    “A woman married to a Command Man wears a heavier yoke than most women but it can be a very rewarding yoke….her walk….is easier because there is never any possibility of her being in control….”

    Everything about this skeeves me out so much! I mean, the whole thing is awful, but that last part? Shudder.

  2. Lea

    Also, it looks like according to Debi, only 1/3 of men are actually worth dating/marrying.

    From the way she talks about how awful men are in general, you have to wonder if she’s ever met a decent one!

  3. Jeff Crippen

    The Pearls are real “gems” alright. I wonder how a competent psychologist would classify them? It’s virtually a kind of sadist mentality using marriage for self-serving ascetic suffering. Somehow the Pearls appear to get a thrill out of beating women down and view them all as daughters of Jezebel. Whatever goes on in the Pearl’s minds at any rate is seriously and dangerously twisted.

  4. Bunkababy

    A woman gave me that book . I have never been so pissed off in my life. I threw that book across the room more than once. She told me to pass it along when I was done. I threw it in the garbage. This same woman told me to read to Train up a Child as she proceeded to go find a willow branch to switch her 4 yr old. I had only just met her and this was my third visit. I was horrified. I eventually was able to talk her out of all these stupid ideas from the Pearls. I think what shocked me the most was that this woman had no inner voice, or conscience that gave her pause. She was not raised like this nor was her husband. She was the boss of that family. Controlling by nature. She was kind of unhinged. these books gave her an “biblical” excuse to become even more crazy.

  5. Shar

    This book was given to me when I got engaged, while living overseas. I didn’t have much to do but read, so I read feverishly. I know this book, and the woman that gave it to me, had much influence on what I thought the relationship I would have with my husband should look like. I foolishly put it on par with my Bible, and went into the marriage trying desperately to live like Debi.

    My friend and I labeled my fiancee/husband as Mr. Steady, but trust me, Mr Command lived inside Mr Steady. I remember him counting my money (and it actually was my money…) when I returned from the local market. I remember him telling me what clothing to wear, and that he didn’t like it when I wore make up. I remember his horrendous jealousy of every person that wanted a moment of my time. (this included my/our children). And then I remember the countless times (even once while I was sleeping), that my body was not mine, but his. Years later, I found out from my child that I was not his only victim.

    Although I had grown up with parents that truly loved each other, I got lost in this heresy. Sadly, I was also given a book called Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tripp. Wow, another pseudo-christian piece of garbage that should be burned. My start into motherhood, with my then toddler adopted child in that overseas county was filled with me trying to micro manage everything the child did, and me, flying into a rage when the child didn’t. I was a terrible parent, and it has taken years to write over some of the damage I caused this child, and I say write over, because it can’t be erased.

    I had every advantage going into motherhood and marriage…. a healthy church and family while i was growing up, and still, I was profoundly affected by this whole “shepherding heresy”. Countless women and children have been brutalized by these damaging books. I pray for healing for all of the beaten down and afflicted, and I am grateful God allowed the scales to be removed from my eyes. I seek to educate my children about the dangers of abuse, while trying to live as a testimony of a woman that is wholly loved by God. ….

    Thank you for bringing this information to so many. May God continue to bless and keep you, and to cause His face to shine on you, and give you Peace.

    • Shar

      I posted this review on amazon. Thank you for sharing this article.

    • AD

      Interesting, I don’t think “Shepherding A Child’s Heart” is at all the same. I know many people who would never agree with the Pearls, but who highly recommend Tedd Tripp’s book. In fact, I’ve read his book, and his teachings are nothing like theirs. I’m curious, what did you find to be so bad in his book?

      • Hi, I changed your screen name to AD as a precaution for your protection. Welcome to the blog 🙂

        We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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      • Raped By Evil

        I haven’t read Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Paul Tripp, but click here to read the negative reviews on amazon that may give insight into why someone would take issue with this book.

  6. 3Blossommom

    I read this book at a time when I should have been divorcing my stbx. I couldn’t have done more to follow Debi’s instructions. And God didn’t fix, clean up, or change any of my man’s foolishness. He just became more practiced, deceitful, and devilish (but such a gem at church KJV and all). It put me in position to be abused for more then a decade longer than I should have. And when he walked out for latest mistresses, guess which book he used to excuse himself and condemn me.

    • Trueworthy

      That is exactly my story 3Blossommom. I followed the instructions and blamed myself for EVERYTHING….my husband’s infidelity, his selfishness, his foolish financial decisions. Reading back through my journals from that time nearly makes me vomit; the condemnation/blame I was heaping on myself is sickening.

      It wasn’t until I read the Dr. Cloud’s book “Boundaries” that the blinders began to come off. After the next infidelity I told him to move out. The 18 months since he left have been the most peaceful months my children and I have experienced in years and years. Reading and following the Pearl’s books was the single worst piece of advice I received over the last 8 years of trying to save my marriage.

      I have been divorced for 3 weeks and my ex, who always professed to be a Christian, now has a live in girlfriend, and is making moves to force me out of my employment as in the company we started together (he is CEO). He has little to no contact with his children (who are teens that he could certainly reach out to himself), and he blames me for ALL of it.

      The Pearl’s have done great harm to countless women with their nonsense. I thank God that we are free of that now.

      • Hi Trueworthy, I published this comment of yours but if on reflection you want us to edit it to disidentify any of the details, just let me know.

    • Trueworthy

      That is my story too, 3Blossommom. I wasted several years blaming myself for his infidelity, selfishness, and foolish financial decisions because of this book. Reading my journals from that time makes me want to vomit. It was not until I read the Dr. Cloud’s book, Boundaries, that the blinders began to come off. This nonsense has hurt so many women.

      • 3Blossommom

        Trueworthy, I am in the middle of divorce proceedings and settlement negotiations. My stbx has had 5 women in the last two years, over twenty in the history of our marriage. We too have a company and he tried to steal it from me and has tried to get me to take a pittance in the settlement. He has been caught lying to our accountant and has broken numerous laws as concerns my financial earnings from the company. He currently lives with a mistress and acts like a gem of a dad to her son, but has only attempted to see his own teen children 5 times in the past year and a half. His mistresses parents have recently included him in their family picture. They attend church. He too blames me for turning everyone against him. He continues to lie and play innocent and even cry for people.
        They really all do behave quite the same.

        twbtc, It is fine to post this. I have no concerns about my stbx reading it. My divorce case is solid.

  7. Her theology is just plain awful.

  8. M&M

    I don’t understand why women do this to other women. I’m guessing at possible reasons. Maybe she’s been so abused she doesn’t feel like she or anyone deserves better. Maybe she feels superior to other women and thinks they need to suffer more than her or suffer as much as her. Even if I had a reason it wouldn’t make sense emotionally. Even the Old Testament law is easier than this. There are plenty of gender inequalities in the Old Testament, but at least men were punished for adultery and assault.

    • 3Blossommom

      I once recommended the book to others and after reading it my attitude took on Debi’s just a bit. Honestly I thought to myself, “If I can endure the garbage I go through and keep my man, then any woman who really wants to can.” It was stupid, conceited and ungodly. I admit that fully. I have begged God’s forgiveness many times since. He has taught me the truth.

      • Hi 3Blossommom, you are not the only reader here who has been pharisaic in the past to other abused women. You’ve come out of the fog and realised your error — that’s the main thing. And now you’re helping other survivors by voicing your experience on this blog and elsewhere. 🙂

    • Raped By Evil

      I know how you feel M&M.

      My psychopathic aunt was in a cult and she tried to recruit all the women in our family. She was extremely charismatic and loved to cook, was a superb entertainer and charming to boot. But once she’d opened the door and invited you in, if you refused to join her church, you’d see in short order just what nature she really hid behind that façade.

      People without a conscience can do ANYTHING to ANYBODY…and if they can gain supporters or an audience simply because they APPEAR to be a woman with a heart for the Lord, how much EASIER it is for them to get their foot in the door.

      Debi exploits women, teaches them to abuse themselves, to expect abuse, to deny the Holy Spirit inside of them, and to hate themselves. Coming from a family full of psychopaths, I was well versed in this type of thinking and I’m just grateful that I was NEVER introduced to her teachings and only learned about her book after I knew about psychopathy. I may never have survived.

      Debi Pearl reminds me of other female author’s who claim to be “c”hristians, but degrade and dehumanize women. IMO this is almost worse than a man doing it. It’s like cannibalism. Phyllis Schlafly comes to mind and I shudder.

      • 3Blossommom

        And they wield power because of their positions. They have money, influence etc, because of their writing and speaking engagements. They are not stay-at-home moms who do nothing but housework and child care in full submission to their husbands, yet they condemn all women who might try to step out and accomplish something other than those things. Debi claimed her book was written in complete submission to her husband (I bet it was), therefore it was justified, but her husband did not permit her to listen to any other women teachers on the radio etc (I bet he didn’t).

      • Raped By Evil

        Exactly right 3Blossommom! It’s like other comments to other posts here on this website where this was addressed about Elisabeth Elliot, and how she too made her own money by writing books, doing speeches etc., but still told other women to stay home.

        The rules don’t apply to THEM–just the rest of us suckers who buy their garbage–that sense of entitlement comes in male and female models, and fits exactly the same on either one.

        Whether Debi Pearl is a true victim of her abusive husband or whether she is the lower ranking p of the marriage, the damage she’s doing to others amounts to the same thing. She is harming God’s children and creating environments RIPE for the destruction of many–both men and women (and of course the children too)–are harmed by this unbiblical teaching.

    • E

      In Michael Pearl’ s DVD, “The Balanced Patriarch,” he does jokingly tell how Debi’s dad would beat her, with the gist being, “Yeah, he could get outta hand, but he really had a heart for the Lord,” or something like that. It was disgusting.

      • 3Blossommom

        You know it has been a long time since I read or heard any of their teaching. And I never paid any attention to the stuff directed toward men. My husband would listen to that alone and we didn’t discuss it. If this is the kind of comment he was hearing, then it is no wonder he used their ministry as part of the justification for his behavior both toward myself and the kids.

        That line of thought about Debi’s childhood is very revealing. There really isn’t a very big leap from the idea that you can beat your kid and still be a lover of Christ and you can treat your wife like garbage and it is sanctioned by the Word.

        My mother was the kind of person who got “out of hand” (love how abusers soften up their acts like that) but loved Jesus. She is the one who taught me to try and jump higher and do better to get praise and acceptance (always followed by a little more abuse). Debi’s response to Michael’s abusiveness on their honeymoon was just her falling into line after living with an abusive parent. It would also explain why she though his child training techniques were stellar.

        Debi, it would seem, is actually one of us, but still living in the fog.

      • Lea

        Every time I think I’ve heard the worst about these two, I hear something else. I never thought I would say poor Debi, but wow. Poor Debi.

  9. CM

    They taught this in my church when my sons were small as well as their child-rearing class. No wonder I was so confused! I honestly didn’t remember that this is what they were teaching (20 years ago) and now I get why I was a mess. Thank God the church I have been attending the past 12 years is nothing like that!

  10. JJ

    So, Is marriage a license for abuse?

    • Hello JJ, from your email address it looks like you are male. I’m publishing your comment but I want to let readers know that you are male.

      Sometimes abusers and abusers’ allies submit comments to this blog, and we are very careful moderating the comments on this blog to prevent our readers who are survivors of abuse from being further mis-taught and traumatized. If you are a supporter of the things we write here, you are welcome to comment on the blog. And if you have genuine questions, you’re welcome to write. But if you are here to just throw spanners in the works, we will pick it up and deal with such comments as we see fit.

      • Raped By Evil

        Thank you Barbara and all at ACFJ who are diligent in doing this for us!

  11. Gany T.

    Excellent review, Avid Reader!

    I was initially attracted to the Pearls’ PARENTING teachings in our early years of marriage, but their marriage teachings are enmeshed with those. They first appeared to hold a gentle, supportive view of a wife’s demanding job of (multiple) childbirths, breastfeeding, mothering, and then homeschooling the little flock. I soon learned it was actually Part Two of their two-part view of a “godly” wife’s only roles: 1. completely “submissive” wifehood, and 2. legalistic motherhood with mandatory homeschooling. This was in contrast to our experiences with the expectations and demands placed on young mothers by most churches to unquestioningly drop off one’s infant in a nursery, even as a new visitor; preferably wean early so that one can get on with “real ministry,” i.e, serving in church programs asap, and certainly never “idolizing” one’s babies and young children over “serving God.” Longish-term SAHM’hood was not respected.

    Michael said a few nice things in their To Train Up a Child book and website about understanding and supporting a young wife’s physically demanding roles and that it was “real ministry” not to be dismissed by churchy traditions; coming from a PREACHER, it was very freeing at the time. I shared some of their mindset on natural lifestyles; it seemed like a (mostly) healthy worldview, overall. Ah, a refreshing, authentic, truly pro-family minister! (so I thought) And his pointing out the legalism and unregenerate state of most of their Amish neighbors…ah, what evangelical discernment! (Not! It takes one legalist to know another.)

    However, we soon saw his elitist attitudes: Arrogance on all things doctrinal (My husband called him a “rabid Arminian”). Self-righteousness in exhorting women to ask theological questions ONLY from their own husbands, not from him or any other preacher. (How noble! NOT!) (He wrote about several instances where he embarrassed women who asked him doctrinal questions, including his soon-to-be-married first daughter, by refusing to dialog with them, as it was their ‘stepping out of their God-given hierarchy’ to ask him and not their husbands.) And I could go on and on.

    And Debi COMPLETELY buys into all of this and has built her “ministry” around it. I recently read his (published) account of their “honeymoon,” and was revolted at this abuser’s unmasking of himself and gloating about it, STILL to this day. (find it here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/07/quoting-quiverfull-michael-and-debi-pearls-honeymoon/ – link added by ACFJ Admins) . If there is ANY value in the Pearls’ teachings it is that they are the unsophisticated, out-in-the-open, living example of the actual ramifications of Scripture-twisting, abuse-aiding teachings so popular among other more mainstream celebrity marriage counselors.

    • Jennifer

      Honestly, I hadn’t thought he was abusive in the honeymoon, just boorish and insensitive, until Debi finally yelled at him that she was exhausted and sick of his little constant excursions. I thought he was sharing the story to say it was when he first learned how different women are.

      • notlongnow

        Honestly he’d have to be pretty dumb to not be aware of the fact that he was using his wife like a possession, like a new farm animal he had just brought (and treating a farm animal like that would be abuse too). He knew full well that how badly he was treating her, he owned her in his mind and would do what he pleased with no care to her needs. I believe he is too shrewd to have been simply ignorant of how badly he treated his wife on their honeymoon.

        Also unless there is more written about it than was published on the link site, I saw zero repentance in his story. Just gloating and a “what is her problem?” kind of attitude. If the whole point of telling that story was to show he learnt that he needed to be kinder and more sensitive to his wife, then he certainly didn’t explain that well. It came across more as a typical abuser boasting over his ‘war stories’ to me.

    • M&M

      I googled it and I was shocked that he was “surprised” that his wife got angry when he deprived her of sleep for almost 48 hours and made her walk without shoes on rough terrain. He was “surprised” because his brother never got angry on their trips, but he didn’t clarify if his brother got more sleep or had shoes. And I’m very sure he didn’t wake his brother in the middle of sleep to have sex. I feel bad for her at that moment (before she wrote the book).

      • Lea

        That honeymoon story is unbelievable! I get, maybe, wanting to save money by not going out, but why not just buy sandwich stuff? Thats what I did with a friend when we went to the beach. If I ever get around to a honeymoon, I’m not cooking on it.

      • Gany T.

        Notlongnow- The ghastly word picture of Michael treating Debi like a new farm animal shook me. My mind filled it in with “breaking in” of a new horse or mule. It’s more shocking because I think it is VERY likely to be TRUE of his mindset. It fits in with his child training teachings which draw on how his Amish neighbors train their mules. (And he’s long loved fancying himself a hillbilly. Very ‘authentic’ and manly, you know.) And it fits in with his comment on “The Balanced Patriarch” DVD referring to Debi’s “Christ loving” father beating her; Michael just assumed the role as Debi’s “authority” when her father gave her in marriage to him, and he picked it up from there.

  12. Laura

    It is just flabbergasting and discouraging that this book averages 4 stars on amazon! How can so many people blindly read drivel like this without the problems being obvious? Does critical thinking exist anymore? Knowing what the Bible says, with an ability to apply it discerningly and notice false teaching? Sigh. Thanks for writing this review – which shouldn’t have to be written in the first place – but sadly does!

    • 3Blossommom

      When Amazon and CBD agreed to carry CTBHHM they had their supporters go to the sites and leave good reviews. They actually requested it.

    • M&M

      4 stars? Do those reviewers enjoy abuse????

      • 3Blossommom

        It is hard to explain even after having been in that situation myself (living by Debi’s book). There is a strong current within the US home school community of lock step thinking. I still know women who swear by this book. A couple of them are in very unhealthy marriages, but still persist. They don’t view it as abuse, but rather as suffering for the sake of the Gospel, being more spiritual, keeping the family together, being a good home school wife, obeying God, and whatever false promises are preached to them. It is incredibly disturbing to me.

        There is a bit of a persecution complex (fostered by people like the Pearls) that binds home school moms in particular to blindly accept things as part of the Christian home school culture. It is hard (if not impossible) for them to hear anything contrary to what they want to believe. Even when home school advocates like Bill Gothard or Doug Philips defile the name of the Lord and abuse young women or when the ideas of men like Michael Pearl are found connected to abusive, murdering parents, homeschoolers will rally to support these men and not the victims.

        I have gone from die-hard home school mom to telling my children that I hope they will never home school their own children. Simply for fear that they will latch on to some of that cult-like mindset. My son just visited a home school convention for the graduation of a friend. He came home and said, “Mom, now that I’ve seen the home school community through adult eyes, I know that I will never home school.” He was absolutely shocked that Vision Forum has returned with a new sanitized name, the Pearls stuff was everywhere. And people were thrilled and supporting them.

      • Hi 3B, can you let us know in this thread the sanitised name that Vision Forum is now using?

      • They don’t view it as abuse, but rather as suffering for the sake of the Gospel, being more spiritual, keeping the family together, being a good home school wife, obeying God …

        If any readers want to understand why an abused woman’s suffering in her marriage is NOT ‘suffering for the sake of the Gospel,’ here is a page which will addresses that topic:

        “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” … so should I just put up with being abused?

      • 3Blossommom

        I believe my son said they are calling it Family Vision.

      • 3Blossommom

        Same materials and stuff, along with some new, that Vision Forum had.

      • Raped By Evil

        3Blossommom, Thank you for this information as it’s always so nice to get a perspective from someone who lived it, understood the mindset, and now sees the truth of it and the harm that’s been done. You are in a great position to help others who may be just waking up from the fog, to see the light…if that’s something you’d like to do.

        For my daughter it was a little different story. We had lived overseas for the majority of the children’s childhoods, and the DOD schools were AWESOME. All the kids were advanced and they’d felt safe and secure, had a voice etc…

        So when we got back stateside and my youngest had to attend public school…it didn’t go well for her. Mind you, this was a top rated public school in a nice area. She didn’t tell me until later all the abuse that took place and it harmed our relationship for a time as well. This was when God started waking us up and….I truly can’t believe I’m alive and that I so deeply love God…

        But homeschooling saved her life in a way. We moved and my husband insisted she try this new school, which she did, but I was now unwilling to allow her to be unhappy so I told him that she WOULD be able to do what she wanted next year. (God used my standing up for my daughter AGAINST my psychopathic husband to teach me to be an advocate for myself as well.) She was not happy so we started shopping for an accredited home school programs with video’s or streaming capability. By the end of that school year we had signed up for the home-school program that she chose….it was a GODSEND.

        I’ve written before but our lives were so chaotic, so full of abuse due to my husbands forcing us heavily into debt, etc. etc., that this homeschool program gave her—for the first time in years—control of her life to some degree. SHE had chosen the program that we both researched. SHE had LOVED school prior to the two years stateside, and for her this was like that. She loved to do her homework, and she was of the age where she did it independently–it was HERS. (This is so important I now know–to be able to feel like you have a voice for yourself and that you have a right to make decisions for yourself…)

        We never got involved with the support groups or had any interaction with other homeschool people…but we were at the point in our lives where we refused to play any more games with people, so I realize that we were in a very different place than many others. I just wanted to put this out there in case someone felt like homeschooling should NEVER be an option. It was the best one for us at the time and my daughter still talks about how she finally started to heal when she had done it for a few years and I wouldn’t allow my husband to take it away from her.

      • Lily

        Rapedbyevil, I homeschooled all my children and have never regretted it either. At first I was sucked in by all the Debbie Pearl type teachings but eventually got out of it, but I didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, I kept home educating them and I believe it was, for us, the best way to go. My youngest wanted to try school, so he went to public school for his last year (though he’d already graduated at home 2 years early). He had fun because he’d gone there for band and sports for a few years and so had made friends there, but he said educationally it was a waste of time, because he could do in 2 hours at home what took them all day in school.

        At home, we’d used Saxon Math. At the school they used it for the slow learners. I asked why, and they told me because it was so easy to understand and well laid out. So I asked why they didn’t use it for all the students. “Because then they would be done half way through the year and then what would they do?” Right. So most kids hate math because it’s deliberately made too complicated to understand.

      • Raped By Evil

        Lily,

        THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING UP THE MATH THING!!!!

        You have NO idea how important this is to me for so many reasons. I used to substitute teach while we lived overseas and when I’d sub for math I would do the math problems like I’d been taught–MATH. But most of the kids were lost and so MANY of them HATED math because of it. When I’d taken algebra in “junior high” (no middle school back then), I was taught several different ways to come at a math problem in order to check for the right answer as well as sometimes a different method worked better for certain problems. But I’ve since heard many parents say that they can’t help their kids with math because it has to be done the “new” way and they have to show their work. They aren’t even ALLOWED to use different methods.

        And I’m currently still attending college myself and SO MANY OF THE STUDENTS are failing math and dread to take it because of this kind of ABUSE! I really do think it’s abusive to deliberately do this to students. It’s nice that you confirmed and explained what is going on. HOW CRUEL!

    • Let’s hope more people write negative reviews of it on Amazon! Already, today, several comments praising Avid Reader’s review have been posted on Amazon.

      And if you can, dear readers, pls go to Amazon ( click here) and up-vote Avid Reader’s review.

  13. GypsyAngel

    I am very concerned about this book being used in a church setting by elders or ministers, to condone ongoing violence in the home and forcing the abused partner into staying in said abusive marriage. This issue is already rampant in the mainstream church and this book only adds fuel to that fire in my opinion.

    I am also concerned for the woman who wrote the book. The rhetoric I hear coming form her, sounds much like someone who has Stockholm syndrome, attempting to justify their spouses actions. None of the excerpts from the book that I read in this blog, has scripture based truth, and much seems to be twisted and taken out of context to justify the actions of the abuser and place blame for the abuse and subsequent failure of the marriage squarely on the shoulders of the abused.

    I would certainly NOT recommend this book to wives, Christian or otherwise. Thank you for the heads up on this publication.

    • Hi Gypsy Angel, re Stockholm Syndrome, that term was invented by a psychologist who never even interviewed the woman he labelled as ‘having Stockholm Syndrome’. We prefer not to use the term stockholm syndrome about victims, as it discredits victims. I urge you to read this post to get the full low down:

      The Myth of Stockholm Syndrome and Other Labels Which are Used to Discredit and Pathologize Victims of Abuse.

      • Thank you for that information. I will definitely read what you posted.

    • 3Blossommom

      To be fair, she did tell women who were being physically abused that they should leave the home (but not divorce). She (or Michael) also said that if children were being molested the mother should report the father and have him arrested (but not divorce). I’m not saying that in support or agreement, just to clarify.

      • Yeah, but as we say so often on this blog, by speaking about physical abuse that way, as if it’s the only grounds for leaving the marriage, then that makes the victims of emotional/psychological/financial/social/coercive control feel like what they are suffering isn’t really ‘abuse’. \

        And the ‘no divorce’ message is another cruel unbiblical message to give to victims, as we have argued so often on this blog and as I argue in my book.

      • 3Blossommom

        Yes, Barbara. I agree with all of that. And it is thanks to a good counselor and this ministry that I had my thinking clarified.

      • notlongnow

        If I remember correctly though, she also said, or maybe it was her husband in an article, that once the husband gets sent to jail for sexually abusing your children, to keep visiting him, remaining married and praying for his repentance. That has always remained in my memory as the thought of staying married to a pedophile husband, and continuing to visit the man who had sexually abused your children, made me recoil.

      • notlongnow

        I found this link Michael Pearl’s Thoughts on a Wife’s Duty to a Child Molesting Husband which quotes what Michael Pearl teaches on what to do if your husband is a pedophile. Even though he says to call the police and send him to prison, he teaches the wife to keep visiting him and welcome him back at the end of his 10-20 year prison sentence with open forgiving arms….even if he is not repentant (and in my opinion pedophiles are beyond repentance and are reprobates). Michael Pearl says God will give you the same reward as the martyrs at the end of it. He also says that if you think your husband is really repentant when he is caught sexually abusing the children, to let him be around the children and test things (and not call the police I assume).

        I just want to clarify their teachings on this issue, because in Created to be his Helpmeet Debi says the same thing, or re-prints what Michael said on it. I still remember eight years later that part of the book because it made me worried about all the children at risk because of his bad advice.

      • Thanks Notlongnow!

      • I just checked with Karen (the blogger whose blog has the link notlongnow gave above). She told me that she thinks the quote comes from Created To Be His Helpmeet — which is what notlongnow also said.

        Is anyone here able to risk looking at the book to give us the exact page number? Just for the sake of being accurate with our sources. 🙂

      • Raped By Evil

        Notlongnow,
        Thank you! The more I read about this man’s teachings, the more I am convinced that he is extremely dangerous. I keep wanting to just close my eyes so to speak, and not look anymore here at the new truth being brought out about him by this discussion, but it IS TRUTH and many people are enslaved and being harmed by him and by those like him. Just because I am not involved with this mentality doesn’t mean I won’t meet a person who is, and with the knowledge I gain here, I may at least be able to insert some truth and food for thought, into their mind and heart. And who knows, but maybe God was already working in them to help them unshackle themselves from this teaching, and with the truth I can knowledgably speak, I may be able to be a blessing through Jesus.

        Quite frankly it’s why I still read all this stuff so much and study God’s word relating to everything–to be able to help one such as myself–how I used to think–well, I pray I can be a blessing and not place another millstone around their neck with lies and half-truths.

  14. 3Blossommom

    I’m sitting here remembering so much of her book and her scare tactics. One in particular was her description of what happens to women who aren’t submissive or end up divorced. I can’t quote because I threw CTBHHM out a couple of years ago, but she described these unsubmissive types of women as wearing butch haircuts, mowing lawns for a living, and living in lesbian relationships, because they were unwanted by men. She said she saw it more and more in society. At the emotional state I was in at the time (after discovering my stbx’s STD, multiple affairs, thefts, swindling of churches etc) it threw me. I became even more fearful that I couldn’t support myself, that I would be ugly and undesirable, and that I was worthless to another man (or worse forbidden to have another). Rather than let a woman know that God will care for his children she, condemns them to a life of misery if they don’t stay.

    She will answer for those things some day before the throne of my Heavenly Father.

    • notlongnow

      3blossomsMum that is how the book made me feel too. Still to this day, 8 years after reading it, I am still battling the fear Debi Perl put in me over ending up divorced. She pushed hard in that book that there was no outcome worse than divorce, and even abuse was better than ending up divorced.

      She also pushed hard the needing to stay ‘sweet’, ‘pretty’, and ‘smiley’ or else if you show any real emotions or humanity, watch out or the worldly hussy at your husbands work place is waiting for him with a batch of home baked muffins and a non judgmental listening ear. On the contrary all divorced women (by their own fault of course in her mind), are ugly, lonely, rejects that will live a cursed life. Demonic lies!

      Truly I’m sure she has turned many poor women into absolute nervous wrecks on top of the abuse they already suffer in their marriages, and you are right, she and her husband will have to stand before God one day and give an account for these heavy burdens they lay on women.

      • Avid Reader

        Notlongnow,

        That’s a good point. Debi is responsible for planting that fear in your life. We commend you for having the courage to follow the words of Christ that “Every plant which my Father in Heaven has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
        Matthew 15:13(CJB)

  15. H

    “In most marriages the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects obedience, honor and reverence and is not getting it. Thus he reacts badly.” (p. 79)

    And yet the Bible says, “You desire and you do not have, so you murder. You covet and you cannot obtain, so you quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly to spend it on your passions….. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (Jas. 4:2-3, 8)

    She says the man is not cruel or evil, yet this exact behavior is described as murder, covetousness, and the evil root of sin in the Bible! So she’s a liar, a false teacher, and a defamer of God’s word, calling evil good and teaching wives to accommodate, serve, and ultimately worship evil. I find that incredibly scary that Satan could be so clearly speaking through someone claiming to be a Christian, and yet look how easily her disgusting teachings are knocked down by the truth.

    So much sadness though for women who are caught in her net. But I’m grateful that both she and the evil men she’s defending will very soon stand before God and answer for every evil thing they’ve done in God’s name, and God is not at all fooled by any of their lies.

  16. God-fearing mom

    I think it’s been 4 years since I have been healing from all the damage done in my marriage through that book. God showed me I had made an idol out of my husband. I had given my mind over to my husband and been damaging my conscience. I didn’t trust myself to think clearly regarding what I should be doing spiritually because my husband found it irritating every time I got a conviction. I had learned to gauge my spiritual walk by how happy my husband was. When I wanted to obey scripture I was persecuted by him. When I got tired of the persecution I think I fully gave into these teachings. They seemed to be saying if I was making my husband happy I was in God’s will. Soon I became no better than a concubine, a babysitter, a cook, and a housekeeper, living dirt poor with no transportation and no friends. We didn’t even go to church often enough to have a social life.

    Anyway God brought me through it. He opened my eyes. It was idolatry and heresy.

    • 3Blossommom

      Wow. You express my spiritual life exactly. I was Bible College trained and studied the Word, as a serious student, for at least an hour every day. But after that book I gave myself over to the devil who mas my “head”.

    • notlongnow

      I think you hit the nail on the head. All of these types of books, and a lot of the ‘standing for your marriage restoration’ community, are in essence encouraging idolatry of our spouses. The be all and end all is persevering your marriage at all costs, and having it restored even if you had an adulterous, abusive husband leave you. The marriage becomes greater than God and the prodigal spouse is put up on a pedestal, immune from being held to any responsibility for their sin, after all that might upset them and they may leave again.

      This may be a bit off topic, but Charlyne Cares, of Rejoice Marriage Ministries is a bad one for this. Even when I was in the thick of all that stuff, it always bothered me that she would teach you to just let your husabnd or wife do whatever they wanted, come and go no questions asked, even let them move back in when they were still in adultery, abusive, purely using you for money and a place to stay…ANYTHING. She taught this ‘unconditional love’ would eventually win them over, because that is how God loves us. All very bad theology. She meant well I believe, but she is making many women (and men) vulnerable to years of unending abuse.

      • Lea

        The be all and end all is persevering your marriage at all costs, and having it restored even if you had an adulterous, abusive husband leave you. The marriage becomes greater than God and the prodigal spouse is put up on a pedestal, immune from being held to any responsibility for their sin, after all that might upset them and they may leave again.

        What a terrible set of incentives this is for men!

  17. Jennifer

    “God repented of making Saul king and revoked his authority.”

    Wait..what? God doesn’t repent of anything, because He does not sin!

    • Hi Jennifer, after publishing your comments I realised I should have removed your surname first. But I’ve done it now.

      There’s an article here which explains the phrase ‘God repented.’ God wasn’t repenting of sin. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

      …the meaning of the word “repent” has changed over time. Thus in place of the word “repent” most modern English translations substitute the word “regret” or “grieve.”
      God’s repentance must be understood as an anthropomorphism communicating the full measure of God’s grief over the horror of sin rather than a change of heart or a change of mind. With respect to the faithlessness of Saul, God says, “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king” (1 Samuel 15:11). Yet, the very same context says that “the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent” (v. 29, emphasis added). Apart from an anthropomorphic understanding, such passages would be self–refuting.

      Welcome to the blog. 🙂 We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQs.

      • Jennifer

        Ok, thank you for explaining. I realized after posting it automatically posted my surname.

  18. romans818

    I haven’t read this book and I don’t know that my elders have either, but a lot of the advice is what I’ve been counseled. I have an off-topic question. I’m nervous to type this, even anonymously, but how exactly does one get out of a reformed church once the disciplinary process has begun? Soon.

    • How exactly does one get out of a reformed church once the disciplinary process has begun?

      The Wartburg Watch have a permanent page which addresses this question:
      How to Resign From a Church Whether or Not You Are Under Church Discipline

      When you get to that page, scroll down to the heading ‘How to resign if you are under church discipline or anticipate being put under church discipline.’

      Welcome to the blog romans818. We are very glad you have found us!

      We suggest you read our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQs.

      • romans818

        Thank you, Barbara! Anyone have any other experience or advice?

        And what does it say about me that despite the ways these men have enabled the AH for YEARS (although I think due mostly to naivete), when I read that sample letter I thought it was a little harsh? Like isn’t there a nicer way to go? Ugh

      • I don’t think there is a nicer way to go. I don’t think the letter is harsh. To me, it’s just very firm. And firmness is required when dealing with hard-hearted Pharisees.

        Here is a link to a comment I made recently on this blog which lists comments other readers have written about being disciplined or excommunicated by their churches. Go to this link and then scroll down from there.
        https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2017/06/05/dealing-with-pharisees-and-their-spiritual-abuse-by-iammybeloveds/#comment-94390

      • Raped By Evil

        Romans818, Barb gave great info and here’s just a little of what IamMyBeloveds wrote from that post that you might be able to relate to:

        Having gone through trial and excommunication myself, my advice is based on hindsight and what I should have done, not necessarily what I did. Anyone who is placed under such abusive power and control, already being in abuse fog, typically responds with at least some amount of fear. That was my case. I wrongly believed that these abusive men held some sort of power and decision over whether I was in fact a Christian or not. But the truth is, that only belongs to God and Christ, and no one else.

        My advice to anyone facing this kind of spiritual abuse is to, in a word, RUN. Do not look back. When they send you things in the mail, don’t accept them. When they contact you in anyway, don’t answer or read it. Throw it all in the trash and move on. They hold no power over you, in any way.

    • MarkQ

      Hi Romans818, I don’t fully understand the legal implications of whether a church is breaking the law by continuing the discipline process of a member who has resigned.

      What I do know is that some of the reformed churches respect the discipline process in other churches. Especially in NAPARC (ARP, OPC, PCA, …) the member denominations are not supposed to accept members who are under discipline at another church. I’m aware of a few cases where people seeking membership were told (it disgusts me) to send a letter of repentance to an abusive church to check a box so that they could become members.

      One of the pieces in my process of resigning from my last church was seriously asking myself the question about discipline… What if their response to my complaint was to put me under discipline? My conclusion was I didn’t ever want to join a NAPARC church.

      I will underscore the TWW recommendation to not join a new church right away. My new pastor actually recommended that I not join based on my experience with shepherds lording it over the flock. Funny that my NAPARC friends say “there is no ordinary means of salvation outside the visible church”, as their prooftext of church membership, yet can’t defend that from scripture.

      Re: the letter being harsh. I think the letter is actually trying to make the church think seriously about the legal aspects. I suspect that both letters carry the same legal weight whether they are done before or during discipline. Whether the church breaks the law, is not dependent on whether I first warned them.

      • Romans818

        Thank you, MarkQ. Those are applicable & helpful points.
        Barbara and RBE, thanks.

  19. Lily

    Has anyone else read Mike Pearl’s description of their honeymoon?
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/07/quoting-quiverfull-michael-and-debi-pearls-honeymoon/

    What more do we need to know?

    • Gasp

    • 3Blossommom

      This made me sick to read. My own honeymoon included a day during which my stbx planned that we try to be intimate 7 times. I went along, though it quickly became pure misery for me. Then, when we returned home, I caught him bragging to a group of friends that he had beat the one guy’s honeymoon record. He set me up.

      Our honeymoon was much like Michael describes as far as my husband’s attitude goes. It was on the honeymoon that the icy black glare and hostility toward me came out. I ended up with a UTI that was so severe that I had to be taken to the hospital. My stbx had no mercy on me as far as intimacy goes and the next day left me alone, drugged up and sick from the pain killers and super strong antibiotics, to care for his visiting parents. He did not tell them anything was wrong with me. Til the day he left me, he never let me forget how “rude” I had been to his parents by not being more hospitable to them on their visit that weekend.

      I can’t even imagine the idea that a man publishes this kind of story and then passes it off as simply not understanding how “different” men and women are. My son is a man and would never even think to treat a woman so callously. It has nothing to do with being a man. It is abusive.

      • 3Blossom (((hugs))))

      • Lea

        That is terrible! So sorry.

        Sidenote though, it occurs to me that ‘how to prevent UTIs’ might ought to be more standard in the advice department to young women. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember knowing anything about this when I was younger…

    • Avid Reader

      WHOA!

      That honeymoon sounds CREEPY. The more we listen to Michael Pearl the more we hear his self-centeredness. No one else’s needs seem to matter to him. Even the title of his book is about HIS needs and no one else’s!

      • Raped By Evil

        It’s so true Avid Reader! NOT ONE WORD ABOUT JESUS / GOD / HOLY SPIRIT.

        It’s another reason I don’t like to “teach” people without a conscience the “right” words to say. For those of us blessed to be able to identify such people, Mr. Pearl’s words make it profoundly obvious what he is. The grossest thing is that he claims to represent the biblical man. Well yeah, if he’s referring to being the anti-Christ that the bible talks about…but not the CHRISTIAN man.

        That people follow him like he’s some kind of guru is TYPICAL of those who follow cult leaders. But again, that so many who claim to be CHRISTIANS worship him–well, no wonder so many people think “Christians” are blind and stupid.

        And for those of us who TRULY belong to the Lord, we are kept in the dark and led astray by being told that this man’s teaching are biblical and of God–when they are anti biblical–keeps US blind and defeated, enslaved and suicidal–the RIGHT response to being held prisoner with the devil–but the OPPOSITE of how we feel when we are in step with Jesus. (I didn’t even KNOW this truth until my late 40’s) Gee, I wonder why so many “Christian” marriages are failing today?

    • Lottie

      If a man treated me this way, I would jump on whatever transport was easiest and go home. He can enjoy the honeymoon all by himself. This is beyond disgusting. This is horrifyingly unbiblical.

      • Hi Lottie, this looks like your first comment on the blog, so I’d like to encourage you to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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  20. notlongnow

    This book was recommended to me by a relative when my abusive husband first left me. She said she she wanted to throw the book at the wall many times, and that it was a bitter pill to swallow, but that it was true and worked. She meant well and was deceived by the book too I believe. I have a hunch this book became (don’t know if it still is), somewhat of a fad among Southern women in the bible belt especially. Much like their horrendous child training book did. Being desperate at the time, I read it and was convinced everything was my fault (not his lies, abuse, adultery and deception), and that if I just became a doormat essentially, all would be well!

    This book did nothing but make me an even easier target for my husband to abuse, and it reaped nothing but bad fruit for me.

    I was also very disturbed reading the disparaging things they would call women. There is definitely an under current of blame, even hate, towards women in the book, while the husbands get off scott free. The heavy burden is put on the woman’s back, even the husband’s sin is her fault somehow.

    I also intensely dislike the constant fear they put in woman over divorcing….(they are always pushing the idea that to divorce is the worst thing that could EVER happen to you, you will end up sleeping in a cold bed at your mother’s, or living in a trailer park alone and poor and so on.) First of all, Jesus says the poor are the blessed, and besides that, if even if those things were true (that you will end up, cold, alone and poor); “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1

  21. Treasuring My Freedom

    Reading these quotes is a major trigger for me. My husband is the so-called “Command Man.” The best and most dangerous thing I ever did was to stand up to him, set boundaries, and publicly expose his behavior. Someone from my church left a copy of the Pearl’s book on my desk with my name on it. I suspect that it was one of the few people who knew my story, who knew that my husband had tried to smother me with a pillow and to strangle me, that he had pummeled me with his fists, and that he had dragged me up the stairs by my hair, pounding my head against the wooden steps. Apparently, they believed it was my fault. I threw the book in the church dumpster, hoping they would see it there.

    I used to wait on my husband hand and foot. I was an obedient wife because that’s what I had been taught, and he took the utmost advantage of that. I violated my conscience more than once in my attempts to be the submissive wife. It made my husband angry when I read my Bible or other Christian literature (he even tried to control my thought-life) though he went to church with me regularly, and the women of the church surrounded him with their support, love, and sympathy – sympathy because they felt (and voiced) that I didn’t take care of my man properly.

    My husband is a reforming abuser because I did, and still do, set boundaries with him. I am still with him, not for his sake, but because I would have too much to lose if I left, so I have dedicated my life to bringing reformation to all the members of my rather large extended family, to supporting my daughters-in-law, and to teaching my granddaughters to be strong. I am still teaching my sons that they cannot treat me with the same lack of respect that their father demonstrated to me while they were growing up. Thank you Avid Reader for this very excellent review!

    • Treasuring My Freedom — welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing your story!

      We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

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  22. Karen

    Thank you for the link to the Pearls’ honeymoon. It was a disturbing read for me. Does Michael Pearl really love and cherish his wife, seriously? And do men really sit around and compare their sex lives with the other “guys,” boasting a bragging of their manhood? I haven’t read any Biblical accounts of where men of faith in Jesus Christ do this in the New Testament. Do they discuss their sex lives in church during fellowship time, or is does this conversation take place during their fishing trips or at the bar on a Friday or Saturday night out? Is sex becoming a competitive sport amongst the patriarchal, complementarian types? Do men such as these get elected to higher leadership positions within the church, for they have proven themselves to be great leaders due to their abuse, manipulation and control of their wives?

    And Michael describes himself as a Christian? And Debi Pearl’s description of a help meet is Christ-like?

    It is false teachers such as these within the apostate church that leads many women down the path of wishing they had never been born. John Piper and his Desiring God rhetoric is another wolf example that abides by similar Pearl heresy, whose teachings promote death and destruction, instead of life.

    • Yep. We have 34 posts under our tag for John Piper. We’ve written many times about how his teaching is unbliblical and dangerous, and especially dangerous to abuse victims.

    • Lea

      And do men really sit around and compare their sex lives with the other “guys

      I always got the impression that this was behavior for young unmarried people, not grown men (or women for that matter). That marriage was meant to be more private and maturity and experience would cure the need to discuss these things.

      I guess not?

    • 3Blossommom

      Karen, The answer is yes to many of your rhetorical questions. I don’t mean to say that all do. But The group I overheard my stbx talking to after our honeymoon were all ministers or ministry students, two were the sons of a very high ranking minister. I have walked in professional ministry circles for quite a while and there are many very good men (my church has great ministers), but men like Michael Pearl and my stbx are all too common.

  23. Healing

    Horrible evil book. I was delivered of a demonic oppression when I renounced the teachings of this book and felt something unclean leave my head.

    I find it abusive and cruel. I actually now believe that the discipline tactics, such as stopping at a light and teaching the kids to dive out the windows, reveal a degree of control that is sociopathic. And while I was influenced by these teachings, my discipline was so harsh towards my kids – it was abusive.

    I also remember her contempt towards divorced women. “Would you rather be married or alone in a dingy condo?” was one of her comments. VERY EVIL and legalistic. This book brought a lot of bondage into my home and heart to the degree that I have bought this book in used book stores simply to throw them away. I find it highly dangerous material and the Dad has a control over his family that resembles a mini-cult. (And I am a survivor of a literal cult, During that season, this type of material, helped keep me enslaved.)

    God loves women. Jesus loves women. This book has more error and should not be regarded as “biblical” or “Christian.” It is neither, but Bible based bondage.

    Final- A smile and a pretty dress, will NOT change a hardened, foolish, or wicked heart. I tried for 14 years. It does not work. (And again, not biblical)

    • I have bought this book in used book stores simply to throw them away.

      Yay! You’ve helped protect women from drinking the KoolAid. 🙂

  24. Ann

    Thank you so much for posting this. There are so many people in churches who actually live by this and hand it down to the younger wives. Are there any reviews on two books called The Excellent Wife, and The Exemplary Husband ? I find these books heretical as well and I’m curious of your insight into them. There are pastors who are urging married couples in counseling to read them and to abide by them.

  25. Debby

    I thank the Lord every day that I did not get ahold of the Pearl book! Some of the ones I did read were bad enough (Jimmy Evans, Love and Logic, etc, YIKES!) but this gal has lost her marbles (which I can say now that I am past the point where a book like this would make me cringe with false guilt). She sounds very much like her husband is writing the book from her vantage point to make the subjugation of his female readers more palatable. She is probably being used to keep other women in bondage. I can’t judge her too harshly as I have many times held similar views that were taught to me. Thank you for warning other readers away from the Pearl Ideology! The Boundaries books, on the other hand, gave me my first real “handbook” of how to respond to an abuser’s crazy making and manipulation. It was a life-saver for sure. As is ACFJ.

  26. Avid Reader

    My heart goes out to all of you who have been deeply wounded by Debi Pearl’s book. This book was on my heart for a long time because I kept hearing people mention how much damage it had caused. Just wanted you all to know that it was your stories that inspired me to write this review.

    To answer the question that was asked—it’s interesting that Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife was mentioned on this thread because it’s very similar to Debi Pearl’s. Both books are so arrogant, so sharp, and so much like “the one who speaks rashly like a piercing sword.” (Proverbs 12:18 HSCB)

    Anyway, thank you all for your helpful votes on Amazon which have pushed this review front and center where hopefully it might save some people from the suffering this book has caused.

  27. Raped By Evil

    The Pearl’s honeymoon…..

    The entire monologue was laden with how abusive he was to her! How he dragged her here, then dragged her there, while coercing her into ‘consenting’ to sex when she didn’t really want it, never giving her what she asked for or even considering what she desired. “Boys will be boys!” is the feeling that comes across. Saying how stupid she is (leaving the bag with crabs in it opened), saying she was a good cook might SEEM like a compliment but don’t be fooled….he takes away any credit that SHE deserves by saying it’s only cuz her mother was a good cook and taught her….SHE get’s no credit.

    “. I sat up in bed and offered some constructive advice and she had a personality change right there in front of me, and us not yet married 48 hours. Who could have imagined a female could carry on in such a crazy manner? I tried to calm her down but she just stomped off, leaving the French fries turning black in the hot smoking oil and the crabs crawling. I yelled at her retreating form, “I don’t need to hunt crabs; I married one!” Somehow that one remark has hung around our marriage like a ticked-off ghost. It seemed appropriate at the time.”

    That line about not needing to hunt crabs cuz he married one is SOOO typical! My husband actually comes up with stuff like that or hears someone else say it and then sets up a scenario just so he can toss it at me……..

    “To her credit she did come back and finish cooking…”

    But he’s really just insulting her again…how kind HE is….how benevolent he is to FORGIVE HER since she’s clearly insane and he’s just sitting on the bed.

    “After we ate I was ready for some more sex, but she just wanted to sleep. I had read in a marriage book how women always have excuses, like being sleepy, having a headache, etc. There was a great sense of satisfaction when I was so completely able to change her mind; it wasn’t that difficult. She is wired right.”

    I can’t take anymore……..I would LOVE to hear an expert such as Dr. Hare read this man’s story and see what he thinks of it.

    • Hi RBE, I amended a bit of your wording in this comment; hope you don’t mind. I did that to help newbie readers understand. The bit I amended is “while coercing her into ‘consenting’ to sex when she didn’t really want it”.

    • Lea

      The entire monologue was laden with how abusive he was to her!

      It really illustrates how all the little discourteous and uncaring actions add up to misery.

      I can’t help but compare and contrast him insisting she cook on their honeymoon to save money (which as I said earlier I have done with friends but we made sandwiches!), and then dragging her around so he could have crabs (which seem complicated to cook) to actually going to take a NAP! while she cooked for him…

      with my last boyfriend and I making dinner together, collaborating and talking the whole time.

      One is misery and one is joy.

      • notlongnow

        “It really illustrates how all the little discourteous and uncaring actions add up to misery”.

        Yes. The whole story to me is a very good example of the type of abuser that ‘flies under the radar’. Abusing through everyday, seemingly benign things, everyday marital things, but they are used and designed to torture, exhaust and drive the woman to insanity. Steal, kill and destroy as Satan does, but in a much more covert way. There would be tons of people reading that story who don’t see through it and think it’s just a little, lighthearted funny tale.

    • M&M

      I know what you mean, RBE, in addition to cruel actions it sounds like he didn’t believe anything she said. He didn’t believe that she was really tired “women make excuses” and he didn’t believe that she was really sore “they weren’t that heavy” and he didn’t believe that her fear or anger was legitimate “I married a crab”. Finally when she gets to the point of being very explicit about what’s wrong he doesn’t think “wow, I should give her a rest”. Instead he thinks “she’ll get used to it”. Why doesn’t he believe her?

      Though it doesn’t make sense, I observed the same dynamic in a friend’s abuser. After unsuccessful attempts to please him she started standing up for herself and he reacted by saying her parents made her disagree with him and they need to stop controlling. Why doesn’t he believe her when she says it’s her idea? (She’s free now).

      • Sorrowful

        My husband not believing me about issues I have with him is one of my main problems.

      • When a husband conveys that he doesn’t believe his wife when she expresses grievances about him, he is probably being devious and deceitful. The abuser actually KNOWS that his wife’s grievances are legitimate, but if he admitted that he would have to be honest. He is not willing to be honest. So he gives the impression that he doesn’t believe her grievances are genuine. This is one of the tactics abusers use to resist taking responsibility for their sinful conduct. They KNOW they are doing wrong, but they deny they are doing wrong. In other words, they lie.

        You might find it helpful to read these posts:

        The Frustration of Explaining things to an Abuser

        The Abuser’s Goal – A Master/Slave Relationship

        Does the victim recognize the abusive patterns? Yes, and no. And then, by degrees, YES!

      • Raped By Evil

        M&M, So true!

        And now that I think about it after reading your comment, all of his “knowledge” about women, came from other sources such as the book he read about women making excuses for sex, his “puny” friend who copulated with his wife X amount of times on their honeymoon, whose record good ole’ Mr. Pearl wanted to beat. He doesn’t seem to have the faintest idea that Debi is a HUMAN BEING.

        The mindsets of people like this reveal themselves in times such as your friend experienced when her husband blamed the parents for her standing up for herself. If you were to have asked him, his reasoning probably has little or nothing to do with reality and all to do with him losing control over her….and since he’d previously been god in her life (in his mind), it HAD to be THEIR fault and her colluding with them.

    • Raped By Evil

      Wasn’t it BOTH of their honeymoons? From his rendition, it looks like HE got to do and be whatever he wanted to, while Debi was little more than an unpaid prostitute as well as a cook. How romantic!

      • Lea

        It certainly doesn’t sound like she got much of a vacation! Also, a honeymoon should be when a man is on his best behavior, right? This was his best behavior. Horrifying.

      • ruth8318

        Exactly!!
        He got what he wanted WHEN he wanted it. She got nothin but soreness and disrespect. (and the worst part is she’s COOL with that!! 😵)

    • Seeing the Light

      I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but another thing from the honeymoon story that really hit me was when she was in the bathroom and she finally couldn’t take anymore and spoke up, he says that since she was hurt, he let her have her say. He LET? her have her say? If she hadn’t been physically hurt, she wouldn’t have been allowed to speak up? This is sick and disgusting.

      I actually gave this book of Debi’s to a relative to try to save her marriage to a verbal and emotional abuser. Thank goodness she gave the book back to me and filed for divorce.

  28. On Amazon, 25% of the reviews of this book are now ONE STAR REVIEWS! This is very good news. 🙂

    • ruth8318

      I’ve clicked tons of “Helpful” on the One Star Reviews. I don’t know if that does any good. But wow, as my teenagers would say, these writers are ROASTING the Pearls LOL!

      • Avid Reader

        Ruth,

        Thank you!

        Yes, all your helpful votes on Amazon make a HUGE difference two ways

        1) Raises the review front and center where more people will see it. Amazon ranks reviews according to helpful votes, putting the ones in front who get the most votes.

        2) Protects the review from getting deleted from those who want it to disappear. If Amazon knows enough people like the review then they won’t listen to complaints from people who don’t want that review there.

        All of your voices really do matter. We can’t do this alone.

  29. IamMyBeloved's

    Debi Pearl may just be the winner of the most brain-washed, confused, living in denial and spreading abuse victimization, calling it God, we have ever seen or read a book by!

    Who keeps publishing her books? Do they read them first?

    • 3Blossommom

      They are published by their own ministry. They answer only to themselves.

    • Raped By Evil

      And I was thinking what an awesome testimony it would be if she woke up to the truth, left this antichrist husband and wrote a book denouncing WHY she had been so in error, then opening up programs for women to be de-programed and to prevent still others from buying into this destruction–a version of this where GOD is the center and reason for truth reaching her heart.

      I’d just like to add here how grateful I am for all the testimonies from all the woman and men who left their abusive spouse and moved on. Through God’s grace, this will be me someday.

    • notlongnow

      I want to be very careful when I say this, and I have a lot of compassion for how Debi was treated by her husband in the early years at least, but I think at some point she crossed the line from being a victim to being a co-abuser. I say I want to be careful because we don’t fully know what goes on in their marriage and to what level she is or is not still mistreated. BUT that is still no excuse to then go and pass on the emotional abuse large scale to all the women reading her book.

      I think a good comparison could be similar to what happens in cults. Some join up, naive and eager to obey their ‘leader’, but quickly once they are all in and up the stream without a paddle so to speak, find themselves a victim of abuse by the said leader. They have two choices at that point, fight your way out with God’s truth and stand up to the injustice, even if just by leaving, (and this can take years and decades sometimes, I have no judgment for what a difficult process it is, and there are also situations when one can’t leave for a myriad of very real and practical reasons and have to choose the lesser of two evils to stay, but even in staying they can refuse to abuse others to satisfy the abuser), or become a fellow abuser, to satisfy the sick perverse lusts of the leader for control. Often those who sell their souls to make the second choice (I do not include those who choose to stay but do not become a fellow abuser themselves), find they are ‘rewarded’ by becoming a proxy abuser for the abuser and are no longer directly targeted. This also happens a lot when an abuser remarries, and treats the new wife well so long as she hates and persecutes the first wife for him. It must please Mr Pearl in a very perverse way to be able to abuse thousands of woman by proxy, through his wife none the less.

      They have done studies of this kind of thing, with prisoners of war, prisoners of the Nazis, studies of cult members behaviours and so on. I do not want to judge at what point one becomes fully a perpetrator and not a victim, but I think the whole thing is pertinent to understanding just how Debi can go along with all this evil. The other explanation is that she is evil herself, or has become evil by being complicit with his evil over many years.

      This is all speculation as I do not know the details of their marriage per se, and if it is not appropriate please don’t post. I read through these posts and comments to help me cope with my own situation, especially after an incident, and somehow it helps me with commenting on what truth I believe God has shown me alone the way. Maybe it helps me to process it all in my mind. Not that I have it all together at all. Thanks.

      • Raped By Evil

        Notlongnow,
        I hear you and I understand and agree. The thing for me is that I have ALWAYS given the benefit of the doubt to all people since as long as I can remember. I was trained to be this way and up until maybe a decade ago, I thought everyone was like this. Doing this without discernment and the knowledge of evil that’s written about in the bible is dangerous.

        Now, I still do this initially, but I pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to people in Debi’s position, if, say for instance, they are let off the hook and the bigger abuser that’s been controlling them is fired or leaves etc. Often times they are actually the lower ranking abuser in that relationship, and if this is true about them and the abuser exits the scene, it won’t be long before THEY are inserting their own abusive tactics. Now, I’m not talking about say a mother who has been abused like so many of us here for decades and after their abuser “leaves” (or she is dumped by him or some other scenario where she is STILL in harms way and vulnerable) and is angry and frustrated and trying to make sense of it all, I’m referring to the kind who (usually immediately) start implementing their own abusive agenda, and it becomes obvious that they are abusive themselves and were only kept from being in charge, by the alpha abuser.

        There was a victimology class offered at one of the colleges and I looked into it and rented the book for this class (I didn’t take this class). The book stated that this is one of the problems that society is having. For instance, in the prison system one inmate will complain that another inmate is abusing him, but once that threat is removed, this inmate now starts being abusive to others. So who’s the REAL victim and who’s the perpetrator?

        My dad was the king psychopath in my family. He made sure the boys knew their place, but he had a soft(er) spot for the girls. In his evil brain the girls were no threat to his authority cuz we were girls (weak etc.). But my brothers are all the same as my dad in nature so when they had a chance to lord their position over us, they always took it and they were FAR WORSE than my dad had ever been to them or to us. Looking back now from decades of adulthood and God’s wisdom I can see that they were always like this, and they LOVE what they are and just wanted to be in charge too.

        At this point all we can do is say that Debi signed her name to these books and as such, she is saying that she endorses this. It seems that most of us here are hoping that she is simply (badly) deceived and we hope that if she has a heart for the Lord and if she is another victim of abuse, that God wakes her up and she denounces this evil and runs away from it and who here wouldn’t run to her with hugs? Maybe time will show differently but right now her teachings are dangerous and she is teaching other women to allow and even encourage abuse from their husbands all in the name of God. I often feel as King David did in Psalm 139:20, “They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.” To me they are misusing God’s name saying that what they teach is from him. What they teach is evil and abusive and this is NOT GOD.

      • notlongnow

        * child abuse trigger warning*

        Yes I understand what you are saying. I had a similar situation in my own family of origin.

        As for Debbie, personally I don’t have much hope for her, not after I saw an old clip of her standing next to her husband at one of their child training seminars, laughing as her husband banged a dolls head on a table repeatedly, to demonstrate how to subdue a ‘rebellious’ child who won’t stop crying during a spanking. Joke or not that is sick and evil. She has had too many incidences in her life of seeing Michael Pearls true nature, and still choosing to actively endorse and treach all this evil herself, for her to not be also a co-abuser.

  30. Stronger Now

    After reading his account of their “honeymoon,” I am in tears.

    I also agree with one of the other commenters here that I actually suspect that her husband wrote CTBHHM and put her name on it.

    I also agree with the cult-like atmosphere among home-schoolers. I went to a few home schooling conferences but eventually stopped because I always came home feeling like a failure. The last one I went to, Gregg Harris taught. One thing stuck with me. He taught that a woman should never ask questions of anyone other than her husband, and that even if her husband is a non-believer, never cracks open a Bible and never darkens the door of a church, he is still the only person she is allowed to ask her spiritual questions. And then whatever he says, goes, regardless of how un-Biblical it is.

    After that, I knew. Never again.

  31. kim

    I had major triggering just reading the stories the community shared here, as well as Avid Reader’s excellent review. And I haven’t even been in an abusive marriage. My heart goes out to all of you who have been damaged by this type of evil “theology” and may God rescue those who are still enslaved by it. Blessings to Avid Reader, whose words will help free many.

  32. He Delights in Me

    Thank you so much for writing this review and shedding light on such craziness! Seriously, TODAY, a very kind, sweet, humble woman from my church brought me some quotes from this book because she knew my husband and I were having difficulties. I sincerely believe that she meant to be helpful. She is very kind and a quiet servant. But to me it reveals how corrupt and evil teachings like the Pearls are so integrated into common Christian culture!! I am thankful for communities like this. It’s freeing to discuss this and realize I can leave the lies behind.

  33. Mary27

    I once wrote a book report on this book to give to the lady who thought my daughter (who was in an abusive marriage at the time) would benefit. I was very glad I read the book first and I definitely did NOT pass it on to my daughter. Here are a couple of my comments at the time:

    According to this book, the only purpose for a woman in life is to be a helper to her husband – “it is your purpose for existing” (pg. 21). This theme is central to the whole book. I disagree. God created man AND woman for the purpose of having fellowship with HIM. That fellowship was broken by sin, but God took the initiative to restore it through the sacrifice of Christ. Our purpose to exist: “For me to live is Christ”. If women were only created to help husbands – then why isn’t there marriage in heaven? Our main focus is to be on our relationship with the Lord, which is a relationship that will last through eternity…

    This book gives the impression that the most important commands in the Bible (for women) are to love, honor, submit to, and help their husbands. This is out of balance with the rest of the scriptures. Jesus said the most important command was to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. The second command is to love others – I’m sure that includes our husbands although they are not mentioned – but it also includes any other people God brings into our lives. Jesus said there are no greater commandments than these – so submission and being a “helpmeet” are NOT greater commands than loving God and others. In fact, without loving God first, it actually could be idolatry.

    • Well said Mary27. 🙂 I encourage you to submit that as a review on Amazon. Go here and then click on the button that says “Write a customer review”.

    • And welcome to the blog Mary27 — We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQs.

    • Mary27, we got the comment you later submitted. Thanks.
      If you want us to do anything, pls email TWBTC twbtc.acfj@gmail.com
      Thanks 🙂

    • TuffEnuff

      Thank you, Mary27, I have come to this realization over the past couple of years. We are Christians first and must follow the whole of the Scriptures. Staying in an abusive marriage contradicts the nature of God. It’s so simple but so many of us have been brainwashed into a very narrow outlook on this topic. God is consistent and that is why His Word is suitable for instruction and rebuke. II Tim. 3:16. The whole must be followed and not stand-alone, cherry picked verses. Thanks.

  34. Hey readers, I’ve let this comments thread go off track a bit onto the topipc of homeschooling, and that was okay, but would you please mind not taking it further down that track from now on? If people come to this post wanting feedback about the Debi Pearl book, they might not want to keep reading the thread if it spends more time on the off topic subject. Thanks!

  35. E

    Abusers use both marriage and homeschooling as covers for their evil, but marriage and homeschooling are not the problem. They have been co-opted by evil people, and it is showing up within, and even spearheading factions in the “homeschooling” and “traditional marriage” cultures.

    Since many suffer abuse within the context of “marriage” or “homeschooling,” those situations are ruined for many people, and that is a monumentally grievous part of the insidious nature of covert manipulative, mindwarping abuse. Abuse is not a male problem, or a feminist problem, or a “marriage” problem, or a “homeschooling” problem; it is an ABUSER problem.

    • E

      (Barbara, I apologize for tone there, after rereading. Some more newly hurt and raw abuse victims than we are would be hurt, possibly, but I do not know quite how to say that “marriage” itself and “homeschooling” itself are not the abuser, but an often unwitting incubator for abusers’ unaccountability.)

      • Well actually, I didn’t think your tone was harsh, E, but if anyone else did, they will hear your apology. 🙂

    • Eagerlabs

      Well said E. Not only ruined, it gives all of those institutions a very poor witness to others too. For example, how might unsaved neighbors now equate homeschooling and Christianity with four troopers in the driveway. I didn’t have to ask them. All of them.

      • Yeah. Police cars or vans visited my house on more than one occasion. My neighbours knew I was a Christian. I took pains later to explain to them that my husband was an abuser — by that time he was my ex-husband. But what the neighbours thought at the time who knows….

    • Clockwork Angel

      No kidding! My Mom wanted to homeschool me for good reasons. As an adult, I had always wondered why so many people were shocked when I told them I was homeschooled. Especially in my workplace. Their first reaction is, “But you’re so normal!” Then I’d get to hear the horror story of some family member / neighbor who had had their children doing chores all day instead of learning, or whatever. These people are RUINING homeschooling for the rest of us who have good motives and reasonable ability to do it. It will be because of these people that homeschooling ends up being outlawed, and the rest of us normal folk will suffer.

      Strangely enough, when I was in college, none of my college professors had the same shocked reaction that some of my coworkers have given me upon finding out my education background. They pretty much said to me, “Oh, that’s why you’re able to write in complete sentences. How refreshing!” Apparently the homeschoolers who manage to make it to college tend to be the ones homeschooled for the right reasons, and the professors take note. They always told me that the homeschooled ones were some of their best students. As such, I don’t think those homeschooled for the wrong reasons are going to do so well and make it to college, by and large. Or, at the least, it will be a struggle. The families of these children are not doing their kids any favors.

      [Admin’s note: Comment published because it still relates to the particularly toxic homeschooling culture which Debi and Michael Pearl have contributed to making so toxic.]

  36. anonymous

    My ex-abuser DEMANDED I read this book; so I did. Paragraph after paragraph as I read on in total disbelief, I actually got tired of hurling the book across the room at the wall, so I used it for kindling to build a fire. Then relaxed by the warmth of the fireplace, I came back to all truth while reading God’s holy word: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

  37. Raped By Evil

    I keep going back to the Mr. Pearl’s honeymoon story with this bible verse in mind,

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her….husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body… Ephesians 5:25, 28.

    How was Mr. Pearl demonstrating this on his honeymoon? How was he showing his gratefulness to God for giving him this wife and how was he honoring God by showing love to his wife?

    We can certainly see he loved and fed his OWN body, over and over and without consent from his bride and when he was done forcing her to have sex, he made her feed him. But where did HE give himself up FOR HER? While he was dragging her to pick crabs without shoes on in the middle of the night, then ridiculing her for being a complainer? Making her carry “30 pounds” of crabs–AT NIGHT, ON HER FIRST NIGHT WITH HER NEW HUSBAND?

    Was it when he was so concerned about keeping up the number of times that he was able to have an orgasm, in order to keep up with his buddy? When she’d fallen out of the shower and crashed to the floor and he went in and wondered if “poor him” had ended up with a dead wife on his honeymoon? (She had fallen out of the shower because she was EXHAUSTED from unrelenting sex and abuse perpetuated against her in a very short amount of time. And if she’d been taught that she should feel ripe with desire and be raring to go else she wasn’t a “good” Christian wife, she probably carried that guilt as well.)

    The first two paragraphs are all about HIS wants and needs and when he starts talking about his new bride, it’s all insulting abuse.

    Mr. Pearl testifies against himself biblically with this diatribe against his wife. That ANYONE could find this sweet or enduring or even funny is….demented. Yet I have little doubt that MANY in the “Christian” community have passed this around as not only appropriate but RIGHT BEHAVIOR for a “Christian” man to display on his honeymoon. Not “the couples” shared honeymoon but HIS.

    Well done Mr. Pearl! You’ve proven yourself to be no better than a creature of instinct, rutting after a female of the species, with no more concern for her welfare, heart, or if this coupling brought joy to the Lord. We know how many orgasms you obtained, we know what you ate and that you got some good nap time in but, but when did you praise and thank Jesus for his joining you together and where was you gratefulness at humbly been able to please and satisfy your wife?

    • Lea

      Not “the couples” shared honeymoon but HIS.

      There is a thread that runs through these stories of deep selfishness.

  38. Clockwork Angel

    Wow, that was… freaky. The Pearl’s are nuts!

    With all this talk of “giving glory to God”, did they ever stop and ask why anyone would want to give glory to a sadistic Being who enslaves women to abusive men? And they wonder why atheism is a thing. Because burying one’s head in the sand concerning God’s existence is better for one’s psychological health than believing God wants you to suffer in agony so he can be glorified. And how, for that matter, does God get glorified by having an innocent be tortured like that? What on earth is that even supposed to prove?

    Oh, I forgot. We’re all just sinners and deserve it. Just feel lucky happy clappy that God doesn’t put you in hell.

  39. NJ

    Somewhere I still have my heavily comment-laden copy of this book. Got it free in a women’s bible study. We ended up only superficially reading through one chapter at the time, for which I am glad. The homeschooling mom hosting it either hadn’t read the whole thing, or else her discernment perhaps wasn’t too good. Knowing her, I’m sure she meant well, but I hope she’s since ditched it.

    I know this is technically off topic, so do what you will with this part. After 3Blossommom’s comment about her son at the homeschool convention, I did some googling. The most likely candidate is this.
    https://www.familyvisionministries.com/

    There is no information on the About Us page on who exactly is running it, but all the other things they advertise and link to suggest this is probably it. If it’s true that some of the people formerly involved with Vision Forum are trying to get their efforts back off the ground under a different name, that is some very pertinent information for the home schooling community. I didn’t see them at the big Midwest one in Cincinnati this year, so I didn’t know about any of this until I read her comment above. They are coming to something called the Noah conference, however; one of my former churches is probably all over that. 😛

    [Admin’s note: Comment published because it relates to the particularly toxic homeschooling culture which Debi and Michael Pearl have contributed to making so toxic.]

  40. Dear readers, your diligence is bearing fruit. Avid Reader’s review is now the Top Customer Review of this book on Amazon. 🙂 Here is the screen shot I’ve just taken.

  41. I’ve just done some digging at Michael and Debi Pearl’s website. I found an article by Michael Pearl titled “He that covererth a sin is not wise”. I’m not going to give the link as I don’t want to drive traffic to their blog.

    The article (dated June 14, 2013) begins with a letter from one of their readers. TRIGGER WARNING — description of a father sexually assaulting his daughters and grandchildren —

    Dear Pearls,
    This past month, my younger sister called and asked me if Dad had ever sexually molested me. At the age of forty, I finally admitted what he had done to me. My dad had only “touched” me; he had done much more to my little sister. We went to the other family members and found he did not stop with his own daughters; he raped his own granddaughters and who knows what other little girls! How sad that I kept his ugly sin a secret all these years, thereby allowing him to continue from child to child with his filthy practices. How many lives could I have saved from the shame and sexual confusion that I have had to endure?

    Tell your readers for the sake of the children: They must speak out! I cannot tell you why I was silent. It all seemed so unreal—like it happened to another kid. …Time does not change a man. Getting caught and being sorry does not change a man. Any man who has ever messed with a child should NEVER be allowed to spend time alone with one, even if it is 40 years later! …

    At the end of the letter, Michael Pearl says:

    What she says is true.
    We receive several letters every week dealing with this subject. Usually, the perpetrator continues through two, sometimes three generations of children due to the silence of those who are molested. He usually gets bolder and cruder in his activities, and more offended and sincere in his denial when questioned.
    Years, prison time, or true confessions do not change a pervert. Any man who is truly repentant never allows himself to be alone with a child, thus proving he is walking in truth.

    Michael Pearl said that in 2013. We agree that years, prison time and true confessions do not change a pervert. Any man who is truly repentant never allows himself to be alone with a child, thus proving he is walking in truth.

    And this begs the question: why do Michael and Debi Pearl give such wishy washy advice to the wife whose husband has molested their kids in the book Created To Be His Help Meet ??

    And by the way, there is one more thing that really needs to be highlighted in Michael Pearl’s response to that woman’s letter. He said “We receive several letters every week dealing with this subject.” I think it is highly likely he’s stating the truth there.

    Incest, especially by fathers and stepfathers, is MUCH more widespread than many people want to imagine.

    • notlongnow

      I’ve noticed that he does a lot of double speak. Contradicts his own advice a lot. Which is the trait of an abuser as we all know. You can never pin what they say down, they squirm and slide around like a snake. He will say stuff like that, but then annul his own advice in other writings. Madness.

    • Lea

      Incest, especially by fathers and stepfathers, is MUCH more widespread than many people want to imagine.

      I think it is and I don’t know why this surprises me, since I know it happened in my own family.

      As for why they’re so wishy-washy? It seems like too many people are unwilling to say flat out that divorce is ok, regardless of the reasons. Even if they think it! (which some don’t, they just think permanent separation will work, even thought that’s legalistic and impractical). My opinion is that they are SO afraid that someone, somewhere might divorce for reasons they consider frivolous, that they want to always come down on the side of no-divorce in public. Even thought that is also stupid, because anyone who wants to divorce frivolously is going to do so. Nobody needs Michael Pearls (or anyone else’s) permission for that.

  42. Avid Reader

    Barbara, here’s the quote that was referenced:

    Debi Pearl writes,

    If your husband ever sexually handles your children, call the authorities. Testify against him in court, and pray that he gets at least twenty years in prison so that the children will be grown when he gets out. Visit him there, and be an encouragement to him. Get him books and tapes on good Bible teaching and let him see the children three of four times a year in the prison visiting area. Children heal better from sexual assaults when they know the perpetrators even their fathers are punished for it. They’re also less likely to follow in his steps.”
    (p. 171)

    Then Debi quotes the millstone verse where Jesus gave better advice on how to handle that situation than she did! The arrogance and callousness in her words just floored me! There’s another part of the book where she says that there’s no pastor higher in authority than her husband. So even if someone in the local church tried to talk some sense in her or Michael, the arrogance rises back to the surface!!

    • Lea

      Take the sexually abused children to visit their abuser 3-4 times a year to help them heal? Um…

      pray that he gets at least twenty years in prison so that the children will be grown when he gets out

      The implications of what happens if he doesn’t get those 20 years are frightening.

      • 3Blossommom

        This right here just makes me so incredibly angry. So the woman stays married and she is now responsible to make sure her husband’s spirit is fed (in this case it is okay). Then she traumatizes the kids several times a year to keep them in touch with Daddy. After she has kind of protected them and raised them to respect their father, they are grown, married, and have children. Assuming the man got 20 years, she now has a pedophile husband (Michael himself said they don’t change), who has been deprived of his target group, coming out of prison just in time to meet his grandchildren. And he’s sure to be a more sanctified pedophile, who has learned to manipulate that Christian language well. He will thoroughly know all of the stuff about forgiveness and respecting your elders and such, because she brought him all that good teaching. And the process repeats. Do they even pay attention to what they write? Do they consider their own inconsistencies? Do they think ahead to the long term consequences of what they are saying? It is astounding.

      • Avid Reader

        What’s so frightening about Debi Pearl’s words here is that since she won’t allow women to make their own choices, she’s telling women to hope and pray that someone else will make the right choice for them. She won’t even allow women to protect their children so she tells them to hope that law enforcement will! That’s a whole new level of evil!

      • Raped By Evil

        Avid Reader, Excellent synopsis of Debi Pearl’s teachings.

        I look back at my life with so much regret, and most of it stems from this–that I was conditioned to allow others to make all my decisions for me and to hope they would do it right, but never feeling like I was capable of doing it myself. This was reinforced when I had tried to do something on my own and “failed.”

        I was never allowed to make mistakes and to learn from them and move on. From my earliest memories, every action I took or thought I had that I voiced out loud was used as a way to “prove” that I was worthless and incapable. The psychopaths in my life turned everything into a moral choice where if I did not seek them FIRST when faced with new information or challenges etc., or when I had a problem with it or didn’t take something into consideration etc. (because I was a child and didn’t know everything), well then it was my fault thinking I was god because for THEM, it is all about who is GOD. (I didn’t understand this truth until the last decade.)

        I was never allowed to go through the very normal process of trying new things and learning how they worked by” messing up,” but really just learning how things are. I gave up trying before I was seven and I even taught myself not to even LEARN because then I wouldn’t be in “competition” with my dad who thought he was a genius. Of course I didn’t know all this until God himself showed me over the past decade, and like I’ve said, God woke me up to much of it all at once and it was majorly hard to wade through.

        Needless to say, by a very young age I learned to concede to all authority and to think that I was beyond help and stupid and rebellious when the truth was that I was a very smart, tender-hearted little girl with a mind and heart to please the Lord and to obey her parents. I went on to marry the same kind of abuser because I didn’t know / wasn’t allowed to know the truth about signs of what an abuser looked like

        Debi Pearl’s teaching are the same mind-bending abuse that I grew up with, and as such, they turn women into perfect victims ripe for the most extreme abusers. These teachings are set-ups to destroy God’s true children. It’s the most evil way IMO to harm us, because we don’t even try to protect ourselves, our hearts, our minds and souls, (which all belong to Jesus, by the way) like the bible tells us to; and instead of resisting the devil so that he will flee from us, we are told to marry him, be grateful that he would want to be with us in the first place and that WE are the evil ones. Oh, and we can’t divorce unless there’s adultery, but even then if our son of satan spouse “says” that he / she repents, we are supposed to once again open ourselves up COMPLETELY once again–to being emotionally, spiritually etc. raped. It’s one of the great accomplishments of the devil– that he’s been able to do this to God’s children–by using God’s holy word to shackle us to his children through teachings such as these.

        I’m so glad this has all been brought to the forefront through these posts–God is using it to bring out His truth by shining the light on the lies.

    • M&M

      This shows the mixing of truth with lies. They probably do heal better if the perpetrator is punished, but probably not if they have to visit him!!!!

  43. letsgetreal2016

    I found Stormie O’Martians book, “Power of a Praying Wife” to be demeaning to women. She has a condescending, patronizing attitude to women, and basically sends the message that you just have to suck it up no matter how unreasonable the demands are that your husband makes. She gives examples from her own marriage, which reveal that her husband is a self-centered jerk. The message is that the wife is mainly there as a slave to the demands of the man. Awful tripe. And what’s so sad, is that this book gets a lot of good reviews on amazon. I’m convinced many of the good reviews on amazon are fake reviews.

    • Hi Letsgetreal2016,
      Personally, I’ve not detected any evidence that suggests some reviews on Amazon are fake reviews…. But we have heard from readers here on this blog that some authors (like Debi and Michael Pearl) ask all their followers to write Amazon reviews of their books. There is nothing exactly wrong with asking one’s followers to review one’s book on Amazon. But if you are a false teacher and have masses of followers who you are leading into the ditch, this generates a large number of 5-star reviews on Amazon which is a dangerous situation because the book is full of false teaching.

      That’s one reason why we encourage our readers to write reviews on Amazon. To be honest and forthright about how dangerous these false teachings and false teachers are.

    • Raped By Evil

      I agree with you letsgetreal2016 about Stormie O’Martian and her telling women to cater to men. She was another of the many authors I had to expel from my brain after God woke me up to the truth about evil through His word. So much time and so many brain cells wasted on people like her and SO MANY others.

      But I will say this about God (this and MANY other good things!), He used all of the wrong teaching I’d had to show me how very many wrong teachings were out there but also when I took these wrong teachings to Him (I was VERY ANGRY THAT I HAD BELIEVED THEM FOR SO LONG AND THAT THEY WERE STILL BEING TAUGHT.) He also solidified in my mind and heart WHY they were wrong. Basically, after the horrific teachings — when God healed me — he completely closed those wounds and I no longer had ANY doubts (in this area) and was no longer confused here. He used all of it to make me stronger in the end.

      But don’t think for a minute that I’m condoning listening to wrong teaching or that a person should just continue on…not a bit! RUN! from these people as they are dangerous and will burden you down and keep you in darkness.

      Thank you!

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