CTBHHM: Don’t Take Your Kids to the Doctor

Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 219

A good woman has a lot to offer the marriage. A man is wiser and more successful in his endeavors because his wife has a great deal of informational resources and a lot of hard work to add to the mix.

Not surprisingly, studies show that a man with a stay-at-home wife makes a higher income than a man with a working wife or a man without a wife. A stay-at-home wife frees a man up to be more productive at work because he doesn’t have to worry about the errands, the meal making, etc. This is part of why feminists argued so adamantly in the 1970s that housework should be considered actual work, not just something women do because that’s what women do.

But that’s not how Debi’s approaching it. She seems to feel that every man deserves a stay-at-home wife doing all those things. Plus, to read Debi, the stay-at-home wife does all of this for the husband, rather than for the family. I have several friends who are currently stay-at-home moms, and while they love their husbands dearly, they’re stay-at-home moms because that’s what’s overall best for their families right now, not to make their husbands more successful at their careers.

God tells us that a prudent wife is from him.

Like a gift? I am my husband’s friend and partner, not his present.

Debi turns to quoting verses from Proverbs, verses about being prudent, seeking wisdom, etc. She then proves what we already knew—that the Pearls’ religion is grounded in fear of God.

We have already studied wisdom, and we know that wisdom starts with fearing God in regard to the consequences of our actions. Fear causes us to pay attention to what God says, knowing that he is quite serious in his blessings and his cursings.

I just realized something. I can’t recall Debi telling her readers that God loves them. I think Debi holds to an older fundamentalism that is in many ways very different from modern evangelicalism, with its strong emphasis on God’s love.

God is pleased with our learning. He calls it being prudent. Learning how to cook healthy, low-cost meals is a prudent thing and would certainly qualify us as a good woman. For us to learn how to bring natural healing to our children instead of taking them to the doctor (which would mean high medical bills and unnecessary risks, as well) would be a prudent thing to learn and would also make us a good woman.

Yes, you read that right.

Someone should tell Debi about health insurance. Copays are wonderful things. But then, that would mean paying for health insurance each month and . . . oh wait, look what I just found. Debi had to have surgery on her neck this past January, and she ended up raising money for it through soliciting donations from supporters of No Greater Joy Ministries because nope, no health insurance.

Because of the extreme benevolence of friends that are concerned for Debi’s health, she is finally going to get the surgery that is needed to fix her neck! Debi is profoundly grateful and humbled by all who have already given to her medical needs. Debi has degenerative bones in her neck that has needed surgery for several years but she didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to get it fixed. NGJ dropped medical insurance coverage for its employees due to the escalating cost so Debi is without medical insurance. The needed operation will cost $40,000.

Okay, so, true story time. My grandfather has always been self-employed, and he is a very frugal man, so he never got health insurance for his family. My grandmother had high blood pressure problems for years, but nope, no doctor visits, because that would cost money. Ten years ago my grandmother had a stroke and almost died. She spent months in the hospital and rehab and I can’t even begin to imagine what the bill must have been. She also never completely regained her health. It turns out health insurance and doctor visits are kind of important!

This anti-doctors and anti-medicine thing Debi has going here is not only not good for her health, it’s also not good for children’s health. Regular doctor visits are important, both to ensure that children are growing properly and being given what they need and also to catch medical problems that might otherwise go unnoticed long term, with dire consequences in the future. I’m not against natural healing methods, but those are not a replacement for modern medicine. Children’s lives can hang in the balance.

Actually, when I was in college I met a young man who took me aback, because I’d thought my family was pretty far out already. He was the oldest of nine children, and he proudly told me that neither he nor any of his siblings had ever—ever—been to a doctor. He said that all of his siblings were born at home, with only their father assisting and no midwife. He said that one baby had been born blue, but when his father slapped it, it started breathing and was fine. He seemed thoroughly proud of all of this, but as for me, I was horrified. My parents tried not to take us to the doctor unless strictly necessary, and they delayed our vaccine schedule out of anti-vaxxing concerns, but we had checkups. When we had strep throat, we were taken to the doctor. And, ultimately, we got our vaccinations.

In fact, my family didn’t even do home births. Mom once confessed to me that she liked the mini-vacation being in the hospital gave her—two full days of just her and the baby before she had to return home, to the hubbub and commotion. We had lots of friends who did home births, but all of them used midwives.

Kierstyn King grew up in a homeschool family that didn’t use modern medicine. She grew up assisting at home births where there was mo midwife. If you want vivid and heartrending refutation of Debi’s words about natural medicine, you need look no farther than Kierstyn’s bold, honest, and horrifying posts on the subject. She has written about her untreated abscesses, being traumatized by being required to assist in her mother’s home births as early as age 11, and the preventable stillbirths of two of her siblings. “Listening to parents scream breathe! at yet another stillborn alone is enough to turn anyone off from the idea of having kids,” she explains when speaking of her own reluctance to procreate. Reading Kierstyn’s description of her childhood has made me incredibly glad at my parents’ own willingness to take us to the doctor.

As I close this post, it’s worth mentioning that Debi herself ultimately had to admit that there are limits to what natural healing can accomplish. I’m sure she tried for ages to find a natural healing method to cure her degenerative neck bones, but it clearly didn’t work. I only wish she would be more open about this and temper some of her language about the evils of taking children to the doctor.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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