CTBHHM: Blessings and Vessels

CTBHHM: Blessings and Vessels October 31, 2014

Created To Be His Help Meet, p. 291

Today is the very last page of Created To Be His Help Meet.

In Closing

God is awesome and terrible in his judgements. He is also full of mercy, and of grace. His strong desire is to bless his people, but too often by our “carelessness,” we force him to judge. I believe he wearies of judgement.

By our “carelessness”? That phrasing is just weird. It’s like suggesting that child who is careless and spills something is forcing her mother to punish her. But that is so not so! As a mother, I often have a choice. I could reach for judgement, but I could also choose compassion, and walk my daughter through a learning process side by side rather than facing her with sternness. But then, Debi’s God likely follows the methods in To Train Up A Child, where children must be broken rather than helped along.

He is looking, searching, calling out to those who will hear him. He calls your name, just as long ago in the night hours he called the boy, Samuel. Just as he came to the handmaiden, Mary, he softly calls your name. Will you hear him?

God is looking for help meets . . .

That did not end the way I was expecting it to end. This is the weird thing about Debi’s entire book—ostensibly it is all about doing God’s will, but actually it is about getting women to do their husband’s will. Protestants of old made a big deal about being face to face with God, contrasting themselves to Catholics, who placed priest in between as mediator (this is simplistic, but let’s run with it). In a sense, Debi is going beyond even this, not putting husband as mediator so much as urging women to serve husband rather than God—because for Debi, God has called women to serve their husbands, and that is all he wants of them, and is his sole purpose for them.

God is looking for help meets, ladies who will honor what he said in his “letter of instructions,” so he can use them as vessels of blessings. Blessings! He has so many blessings and so few willing vessels.

When I first read this I thought it was talking about procreation. Given the next paragraph, though, I don’t think it is.

I can almost see him standing there, leaning over the portals of Heaven, watching, waiting, and listening for that lovely musical sound of joyful laughter wafting up through the heavens. “Yes, I hear one answering the call. Bring me the cup.” An angel hands over the cup of chastisement and judgement, and God replies, “No, not THAT one; the large one full of blessings is what this little gal needs.” And the angel smiles as he puts the large Blessings Cup into God’s hands. Smiling, God begins to pour the blessings forth, spilling out blessings faster than they can be received. The angel leans over so he can see, and then he, too, hears the beautiful sound of thanksgiving floating upward as a sweet aroma to God. He is an Awesome God of blessings and delight. He is ever willing and ready to bless those who honor him.

Note that Debi assumes that women who are proper help meets will exude “joyful laughter.” Remember that being a proper help meet = being happy and fulfilled. What message does this send to women who are doing everything possible to be submissive help meets but are finding themselves miserable? Certainly not a good one. In some sense, if you’re not happy, you’re doing it wrong. But Debi is asking women to be happy with giving up their autonomy and even their right to voice their own views or opinions. It should be expected that many women would find this unpleasant.

What Debi asks is so all-encompassing. She asks readers to give up their opinions and rights (and says so explicitly), but also asks them to be happy, even filled with joyful laughter. It is not enough to demand women give up their rights—they must be happy about it, too.

Do you hear him? He is softly and tenderly calling your name: “Be the help meet I created you to be. Believe me, trust me, obey me, and then watch what I will do.”

Showers of blessings!

Oh, that today they might fall.

And this is it—the closing lines. So much of this is wrapped up in promises. If you submit right, you will be happy. If you submit right, you will receive blessings. And if you don’t get these things, well, you must not be submitting right. Submit harder! Sigh.

Every marriage advice manual should include things like learning to communicate, practicing compromise, and the importance of mutual respect. Debi’s book has none of these things. As for what it does have, well, I want to spend some time trying to pull together the overall themes that have come out in this series, and we’ll go from there.

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