by Von Ohlman at True Love Doesn’t Wait – To Betroth or not to Betroth: A Response to Michael Pearl Part 1
Mr. Pearl’s article (and I should say I greatly enjoy the work that the Pearls have done on child training, his wife’s book ‘Helpmeet’, and other books and articles) begins rather interestingly, for a Biblical topical study. It begins with an example. Not an example from Scripture, but from modern life. And not just any modern life, but from his own family.This is a dangerous beginning. When one wishes to do an post-modern exploration one usually begins, and ends, with ones own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. They are, after all, all that matter. However, a Biblical study should really begin with… the Bible. Perhaps a didactic passage, perhaps a bit of history… but with Scripture.
But, as I say, he begins with his own story. And it seems as if he is holding it up, not to compare it with Scripture, but as a teaching tool in its own right. Why we should so consider the actions of Michael Pearl, we are not told. Is he an apostle? Our father in the faith? A godly patriarch? Nothing is said.
As part of his example, after he had rejected ‘suitors’ for his daughter, and she has rejected others (who didn’t pass through him), she finds call to reject a suitors who he had approved. He is quick to explain, however, that when he ‘approved’ them, he did not pass this approval onto his daughter. Or, in his own words, “I said to them, “Hey, it is fine with me, but it is her you must convince.” But Rebekah never gave any of them the time of day.” And “I did not speak to her on behalf of these young men,”.
His reason for ‘not speaking’ speaks volumes. He states, “I would never disrespect my daughter by commencing an arrangement without her knowledge.” With this one sentence, Michael rejects every single Godly marriage for which we have pattern in Scripture. In fact, I don’t know of any unGodly marriage in Scripture that he doesn’t reject with this phrase. He rejects every single marriage in Scripture as ‘disrespectful’. Godly parents, from God the father through Abraham, not only ‘commenced’ the arrangement ‘without her knowledge’, they ‘finalized’ the arrangement.
He further reasons this way, “If my kids come on hard times in their marriages, I want them to know that it is they who chose their life’s partner, not me.” If someone can find anything in Scripture that comes close to authorizing this, I await your input. Everywhere in Scripture we find the exact opposite principle. Even from Christ Himself
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce