Chapter 3 The Hidden Help Meet: Stand By Your Man

hiddenhelpmeetby Suzanne Titkemeyer

Today we start chapter 3 of Debi Pearl and Denny Kenaston’s slim tome titled ‘The Hidden Help Meet – Stand By Your Man’ with this unattributed quote – “Behind every great man is an extraordinary, hidden help meet” Much of this chapter is a reworded repeat of Chapters 1 and 2.

Just a reminder. Debi Pearl’s quotes are in italics and Denny Kenaston’s are in plain text throughout the book and review.

“Your primary purpose is for your husband. Although you may be busy raising children, I want to encourage you , do not lose sight of your husband. He is the reason you are here.”

Denny goes on to say if you are not obeying your husband ever so cheerfully over everyone else then you are doing it wrong. He even goes so far as to blame ‘seducing spirits’ and Satan for women not living the way he wants.

It all just proves yet again that no matter how horrible or abusive the circumstances in the marriage you are allowed no outs. It’s all suck it up and smile. Very unhealthy for anyone.

“You can’t just throw off your God-ordained purpose and choose another”

Denaston follows that quote with a sappy story of an unsubmissive wife on her deathbed receiving divine revelation from God Almighty that He’s sending her back because her work as a good submissive help meet hasn’t been done yet. She’s getting a second chance and she joyously grasps it fully.

That’s one heck of a threat – sending you back to do it right this time. Debi breaks out some burbled out bumbling story about Doubting Thomas and orders us to just follow every word of the Bible, no doubting allowed.

If doubting is such an awful thing why didn’t God zap him with some particularly gruesome punishment straight out of the Old Testament that would make ‘Game of Thrones’ look sweet and quaint? More attempts to Debi Pearl to inflict thought policing on women and to push all your guilt buttons down at the same time. Your thoughts, doubts, worries and more are all your own and aren’t sin no matter what Debi claims.

Then Denny moves on to that great hoary old chestnut of American history that behind every great man is a great woman. He urges us to be like the women of history to push your husband to succeed so you can rise to the top too. Which really does not jibe at all with the next bit, Debi talking about ‘Jezebel’

So what are the attributes of a Jezebel as Debi sees her?

  • Committed to her husband only for her own good.
  • Carelessly both spoiled and neglected by her own mother.
  • Wears and says whatever she wants.
  • Practices False Religion in a very self-righteous manner.
  • Manipulated circumstances so that she alone could bring a solution to her husband.
  • Manipulated until her husband grew weak.

Gee, I don’t know. Dare I say that these all sound like things that Debi herself has engaged in during her marriage and ministry with her husband Michael?

She moves on to the story of Ananias and Sapphira:

“God knows our hearts. Sapphira could have simply answered Peter with ‘Ask my husband’ “

Debi then moves on to that mythical unicorn woman of the Bible that she, Lori Alexander, Nancy Campbell and a host of others have conflated to mean so many different things not mentioned in the scriptures. She praises this unnamed woman for being ‘strong’ and her definition of ‘strong’ means that this woman prays for her husband and treats him with respect.

Really? That’s all you get from Proverb 31?

After a few warnings not to push yourself out in front of your man, or push him forward Denny states that you must pray ceaselessly for him and allow God to do what He will with your husband.

But he gives this warning:

“It is important as you speak encouragement to your husband that you avoid:

  • Being like Jezebel, who helped Ahab be a wimp, by treating him like a small boy, defending him and pandering to his whining.

  • Being like Sapphira, who joined in her husband’s lie to the Spirit of God and ended up in the grave beside him.

  • Being like Eve, who influenced Adam to disobey God by tempting him to do what God had commanded him not to do.”

Alrighty then. You cannot see it through the computer but I am rolling my eyes here right now. We’re done with this chapter and what did we learn?

  • Put your husband in the tin-plated dictator/God position in your life.
  • Push him forward, but not too much.
  • That Denaston and Debi love bad analogies.
  • Debi gets the chance to do lots of blaming of women and she loves it.
  • If you do anything more than smile, say “Yes, dear” or “You are soooo wonderful!” and pray you’re sinning.

While praying for someone else, anyone else, is not a bad thing it’s not the be-all/fix-all panacea that Debi is pushing here. Sometimes your children must come first in your life and not everyone’s husband is a thin-skinned, attention hungry toddler. Honesty, why do female cultural enforcers try to make marriage so much harder and unpleasant than it has to be?

Next week’s chapter is titled “A Force To Be Reckoned With” and is chockablock full of stories of ancient preachers and their simpering milquetoast wives. Oh joy! It’s also the longest and most repetitive chapter, clocking in at an impressive 15 pages. Too bad it’s largely uninteresting.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2

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Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia for now with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape


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