A Wise Woman

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by Kari

Because I must be some kind of masochist, I was browsing over at the No Greater Joy site today. I came across Debi Pearl’s article “A Wise Woman Builds Her House,” dated May 5, 2001. After rolling my eyes repeatedly, I decided to write my own version. Mrs. Pearl’s words are in black, mine are in red.

A wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She is thankful to be loved and seeks to make herself more lovely.
A wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She knows she is worthy of love and seeks to remember her true worth.

A wise woman doesn’t allow herself to be a liability but strives to be an asset to the marriage bond. She looks for ways to make, save, and use money wisely. Her husband knows he is a richer man because she is his wife.
A wise woman is not ignorant of the family’s finances and is involved in decisions that affect her well-being. She looks for ways to help balance the family budget by looking for ways to make more and spend less. Her partner knows they can depend on each other.

A wise woman seeks to be a part of her husband’s life. His interest becomes her interest. She looks for ways to help him in every endeavor in which he is involved. When he needs a helping hand, it is her hand that is there first.
A wise woman seeks to be a part of her partner’s life while maintaining her own identity. She develops her own interests to pursue when she does not share her partner’s interest. She looks for ways to support her partner without sacrificing her own life.

A wise woman knows that his peace of mind (and sometimes, wise understanding) is something she can give or take away by her observations and conversation concerning circumstances or people. She limits her conversation to the positive.
A wise woman knows that she must be honest with her partner and herself to achieve true peace in the home.

A wise woman sets a joyful mood in the household. She uses laughter, music and happy times to stir the children to a positive, joyful frame of mind. She knows this light-heartedness helps take stress off her husband.
A wise woman knows she cannot control anyone’s mood or temper besides her own. She does not attempt to force her children to pretend happiness and joy where none exists. She knows this will cause them unendurable pain, and ultimately create more stress in her home.

A wise woman gauges her husband’s needs. She seeks to fulfill his desires before even he is aware of them. She never leaves him daydreaming outside the home. She supplies his every desire.
A wise woman knows she cannot be all-knowing and expects her partner to communicate desires with integrity. She does not pretend to know her partner’s daydreams and does not degrade herself by becoming a porn queen against her will.

A wise woman understands that her husband’s need to be honored is not based on his performance but on his position. She learns quickly to defer with enthusiasm to his ideas or plans. She looks for ways to reverence him. She knows this is God’s will for her life.
A wise woman understands that respect must be earned and is not to be given lightly. She learns quickly when to stand her ground and when to back off. She doesn’t pander to her partner with false reverence or respect.

A wise woman is not pitiful, puny, or whiny. She seeks to be confident, capable and thankful.
A wise woman is not pitiful, puny, or whiny. She is thankful for her spirit, courage and intelligence and uses them to help build a better life for herself and her family.

A wise woman does not dream of what “could have been.” She sees clearly that she is not God’s gift to men; thus she is blessed in her present circumstances. She learns to be content.
A wise woman does not spend her days regretting the past. She looks at the past only as a lesson as she makes plans to move forward and change the circumstances of her life that she finds lacking. She learns that her value and worth are not to be overlooked or diminished.

A wise woman never expects anyone to serve her; therefore she is never disappointed. She is ready to help—a giver. By her example her children learn to serve cheerfully and energetically.
A wise woman knows that in order to care well for others she must first care for herself. She knows that we must all serve each other. By her example her children learn to share, to think and to live with freedom and joy.

A wise woman doesn’t attempt to instruct her husband through feigned questions. Her questions are sincere inquiries concerning his will.
A wise woman isn’t afraid to state her concerns clearly. She does not manipulate with false sincerity.

A wise woman is always learning. She is open to change. She is ready to hear. She wants to know. She doesn’t cloud her mind with the foolish folly of entertainment. She uses her time wisely.
A wise woman is always learning. She is open to change. She is ready to hear. She wants to know. She doesn’t cloud her mind with the foolishness of useless doctrine, artificial roles or rules designed to dominate and control. She uses her time wisely.

Join the discussion on the NLQ forum! Comments are also open below.

  • Celestine

    I do love the foolish folly of entertainment! :D

  • Mom of 2 in Ga

    All of this Pearl rhetoric makes me oh-so-relieved to be single. I lived that nonsense for years. It. Doesn’t. Work.

  • africaturtle

    I so enjoy reading a contrast in thought to teachings that i swallowed “hook, line, and sinker” not all that long ago… i too, found it “didn’t work” and when I read your “alternative” I wonder how I could have set aside my intelligence so quickly and easily….

  • margaret

    What a wonderful contrast! I always perceieved there was something wrong but only in the last year understood the Truth more clearly.

  • Lisa

    Great post. Almost makes me want to try to do my own version.

  • Pressing On

    Great illustration of the subtle differences. Hooray for women who can be honest and real!

  • Stacey Westover

    I love this post! Those redos are fantastic. Thanks for posting.

  • peggy

    Walk softly here. Jesus is pretty plain about judging fruit. I dont follow the Pearls much but their fruit is amazing! Their kids have turned out to be wonderful godly people. And in the final analysis our intent as parents is pretty basic- that we have no greater joy than to know our kids walk in the truth.
    I have done many things in life- career and all but nothing is as difficult as parenting. Everything in our society is against a godly home- society, satan and even our own flesh. No one drifts to Jesus- we have to fight to get to Him. With all this cult talk how I wish I could have traded places with any of you. My mom did witchcraft, my dad was into porn. I remember being all dressed up for church on a sun am and asking a parent just to drive me and drop me @ church and they just rolled over in bed. My mom didnt care who I went out with. She drove me to the airport to spend a weekend at my boyfriends apt because he had money. You see your lives as being controlled but is the opposite better- indifference? I hope as years go on you will realize how treasured you were by your parents. just sayin Thank God I have Jesus now!

  • lisa trujitt

    I appreciate this website, but you have to be careful and take a lot of things with a grain of salt. There are a lot of young people who think they are so wise (wise in their own eyes) that post here. In my opinion, this is the case with this writer. The youth and foolishness is apparent. The angst against Debbi Pearl, that won’t allow her to concede any wisdom that comes from this woman, is apparent. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Debbi Pearl on many things, but there is truth in the advice she gives in this article. Just because she says to be an asset to your husband doesn’t mean you are to totally sacrifice yourself and have no boundaries, and no individuality. My husband is a wonderful man, and he strives to be an asset to me, to make my life better and easier as well. Both parties should be doing this for one another, if they really love one another. But in this article, Debi is a woman, and is focusing on giving advice to the women. The bible says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not as they do unto you. It is a person’s responsibility to show kindness and love to people when they are not being loving and don’t deserve it. As you said, we can only be responsible for ourselves, not what our spouse is doing. This doesn’t mean that there is never a situation where a spouse can not cross the line and behave in such a way that we have to separate ourselves from them. But before that point, where they may be behaving badly, but not to the point of having to stay away from them, we treat them as we want to be treated, not as they are treating us. My husband did this toward me early in our marriage. I was mean. I had been raised that way and had a lot of pain and anger to get out of my system. He knew this and was very patient and kind to me. It changed my life. Can Mrs. Pearl’s advice be warped and applied in unhealthy and unbiblical ways? Sure. But many things are like that. Regarding the complete rejection of Mrs. Pearl’s advise to create an uplifting environment, I want to say that it really works. It helps ME. Don’t you feel better with some nice music playing, and when there are people around you that are relating to you in a peaceful, cheerful, patient, kind, helpful way? This isn’t controlling, or trying to control anyone. It is simply encouraging the kind of environment and relationships and interaction that you want. It isn’t a gaurantee that someone is not going be grumpy and unpleasant, but it really helps smooth things out and sooth the beast. I have seen vividly how this works in my own home. When I am pleasant and when I create a pleasant environment everyone else is happier and more pleasant. It is just common sense, and to be frank, your article and the fact that Vicki Garrison would publish it on this site doesn’t make me think too highly of either of you.

  • CC

    I just read this after finding a link to this site somehow (still not sure how I found it) but I want to thank you for this. My Fiancee suffers horribly from too much of the no greater joy brand of wisdom and I’m trying to help her overcome some of the negative ideas that she has taken into her heart.
    I will show her your words, and hope that they resonate with her as much as they have with me.
    Thank you.

  • Kari

    A couple of responses: First, thank you. I appreciate the feedback.
    Second: I am neither young nor foolish (I am a happily married grandmother) and I have no “angst” against Debi Pearl. I am glad that you found what works for your marriage, I really am. I simply find that everyone I have met that has tried to implement her teachings has found them to be a disaster. Myself included.

  • Kari

    Indifference is not better it is another form of abuse. Most everyone here has suffered abuse in one form or another. Verbal abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and/or sexual abuse. Most also acknowledge that in some way, we were treasured. Knowing the abuse was based in love doesn’t actually make it better or easier to survive.

    As for the Pearls’ fruit? I see it rather differently. I see the lives that have been destroyed by their teachings. I have no opinion of Mr. and Mrs. Pearl as individuals, having never met them. My opinion of their teachings is based on an awful lot of poisoned apples.

  • Kari

    Thank you. I hope she finds her worth, and I’m glad you are interested in helping her on that journey.

  • Kari

    To all: thank you, thank you, thank you! This journey is a long one and it’s good to know we do not travel the road alone.

  • formerPearlmomma

    Thank you for your comment, Peggy.

    I would say just a few things in reply.

    1. We don’t know if the Pearl kids have turned out to be wonderful godly people. We are regularly told that they are. However, we also know (from the Anast writings and forums) that Gabe Anast decided God told him to move his family out into the wilds where they proceeded to live without electricity or running water, or any income because Mr. Anast heard from God that he was supposed to concentrate on the Bible, not on a job… and his wife, Rebekkah, of course was submissive to that (she has to be)… I could go on with some of the disturbing things that I read there (I suspect mental health issues, perhaps for both of them) but suffice it to say, I think things are not all peaches and roses. I think it is very very easy to use nice photographs and written words to paint any picture that you want…but that doesn’t make it true. I know that because my OWN family looked amazing, and I wrote pictures and articles about us, and we presented SO beautifully at Christian gatherings and church services (my husband was a minister) while things were actually very dysfunctional, sick and broken underneath the pretty surface.

    2. I am very sorry for your difficult childhood. I don’t think trading places with anyone here would be better or worse (other than that you both would gain great compassion for each other). I think that difficult childhoods are just that—difficult. They traumatize us. We spend a lifetime working through the brokenness, sometimes. I’m very sorry that you had to go through a home where you were not loved in the ways you needed to be loved. i wish I could change that for you. It makes me very angry to think of a child growing up in a home that does not value her.

    3. As for our lives being either controlled by a parent or met with a parent who was indifferent, I think you are correct in seeing that both of those extremes are horrible and no way for a child to live. Thankfully, childhood does not have to take place under either extreme. There are wonderful ways to raise children in homes where an appropriate balance of freedom and nurturing care and discipline all combine together. That is our goal. Not to reproduce the horrible extreme of control. The Pearls are on that side of the extreme (though, yes, they seem like such nice people—-it took me a long time, and some very hurting kids, to see that following their teachings was damaging my children). But also, the solution is not to send people to the other extreme of indifference, because that, too, is horrible.

    The solution is to work to find ways to raise happy and healthy children, NOT in an unbalanced extreme, but in good solid ways that are proven to work. There are a LOT of books and helps out there along those lines. I am thankful for those kinds of resources. I leaned heavily on them as I unlearned Pearl Parenting. My children relaxed. Their eyes brightened up. Our whole home breathed a huge sigh of relief.

  • Kari

    Thank you….you are much more articulate than I.

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