by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
A new chapter brings a new topic: Knowledge according to Debi Pearl.
“Moral to the Story: Knowledge can save your life.”
“A Caution: Shrugging off learning can be devastating.”
Are we talking “don’t eat wild mushrooms”? Yet another cryptic beginning to a chapter by Debi.
“Married life is not all romance and passion – maybe 5 percent. The rest of your time is devoted to the routine of living. There will be unexpected trials and burdens that will catch you and your sweetie totally by surprise. Whether your family, not to mention your passion, survives life’s curveballs depend on knowledge….yours.”
Marriage isn’t always easy; Debi and I agree on that point. But looking back on the hard parts of my marriage, none of those times were solved through knowledge.
My life-long best friend Jess died in a car accident the day before Nico and I married. Looking back, the first six months of our marriage is a blur of exhaustion and grief. I had the summer off of work, so I had the time I needed to start the process of grieving. I’d sleep for 12 hours, get up, do one thing around the house, sleep for a few hours, do one more thing around the house and crash from exhaustion. That’s what I needed to keep going, but I felt horrible. Nico was wonderful. He held me when I cried and was just there for me.
At the same time, Nico was suffering from severe, unrelenting facial pain that felt like a sinus infection. He was going back and forth between doctors, trying medication after medication with no success. A specialist thought he might have a blocked sinus that would need surgery. The worst point was when he got a CT scan and found out that there was no blocked sinus. We both dissolved in to tears of sheer exhaustion and frustration because we had mentally prepared for a short surgery that would relieve his pain – and found out we were back at square one. I tried to support Nico – I remember making a lot of soups since the warmth eased the pain.
I remember a lot of afternoons curled up in bed together because we were both too exhausted to do anything – not even watch TV.
Long story short: Eventually, the doctors realized Nico had a superficial sinus infected and needed to use an antibiotic applied through nasal irrigation for about 6 months – although the pain lessened markedly within a week, thankfully. As time passed, I moved out the most acute phase of grief and stared feeling some more positive emotions again while still missing Jess and figuring out what a life without her looked like.
Our marriage survived. Knowledge had nothing to do with it – patience, gentleness, forbearance and fortitude got us through.
“Most people live their lives behind closed doors, figuratively speaking. They look out the window and see other couples living their lives in such satisfaction, but it all seems so distant to them, so hard, so unreachable.”
That’s really bleak.
“A man comes into marriage believing his wife will be the fulfillment of all his longings, all his dreams and all his expectations. After only a few short weeks, he looks into her eyes and finds only dissatisfaction. A wife blames her husband for being a loser sitting in front of the TV or spending his life on some other time waster. The husband is frustrated that something is not as it should be. He sees the disappointment in his wife’s eyes and it leaves him powerless to go forward, so he drops into the nearest chair to lose himself in mindless pursuits. And so he stands behind the locked door thinking his youthful dream were just wishful thinking, not really possible. He loses hope. Without his vision, she has no vision or she pursues her own vision apart from him.”
First, the man has incredibly unrealistic ideas about marriage. Marriage isn’t going to fix any problems – especially about longings and dreams. It’s not her fault he’s dissatisfied. The man created a idol – and married a real woman. Apparently, he’s such a fragile being that he can’t even come up with a good idea to change what he thinks is wrong. Nope, he just become a human slug.
The woman isn’t much better. Well, until she starts off on her own vision. Following your own vision is better than waiting for SlugMan to get moving…
“Half of Christian couples settle into a life of ho-hums. The other half will part ways and try again, and then again, and maybe again, with different spouses. Failures keep pairing up, hoping to find a workable combination. “
I’m gonna make that into a cross-stitch sampler for the next couple I know who get married. That’ll look nice on the wall.
“Where there is no vision, people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
A) I do not see how that verse from Proverbs has anything to do with marriage.
B) That’s not the entire verse – and there isn’t a period there. The entire verse in KJV is “ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The entire verse is an even worse fit.
“For most people it is a simple lack of knowledge that keeps them chained to the floor, daydreaming their lives away, daydreaming their lives away one day at a time. Living behind closed doors means always living in expectation, waiting, waiting, never doing anything better with their lives. Do you daydream your life away even now? It is a sign of things to come.”
I keep having a line from “The Ten Commandments” (1956) go through my head “So let it be written, so let it be done.”
Debi’s laboring this point so hard that I feel like she’s hoping if she wishes misery on enough people everyone else will be as miserable as she is.
“Actually, if I had to point to one moment in my life when I saw clearly the need to take hold of everything I could to learn and grow in wisdom, it would be the night the Death Angel came to visit me. It was then that I finally rushed through the door of being actively pursuing truth and have never returned. I’ll tell you that story, but first you need to understand a few simple truths.”
Yeah, that’s the next post. The story alternates between one of the funniest vignettes of what life with Debi is like and a horrifically Pearlian victim-blaming bash….
Proverbs 24:3-5 says: “Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increases strength.”
“Life is not that complicated. There are only a few simple principles that God set in place to make the whole process not just run smoothly, but really fly.”
Didn’t Debi just spend a few pages on how complicated life is? Most of this book is about the theme “Life is bad and hard.”
Proverbs 24:14 says “So that the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou has found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off”
I doubt that Bible quote was talking about worldly knowledge. I think it’s talking more about a relationship with God.
Random youth-bashing always makes me laugh. Why do I think Debi would be against teenagers knitting and building corn-cribs if they found it pleasant – because fun is BAD!
“When someone hands them a book like this, they grimace and say, “I’m not much of a reader…it’s just so hard; it’s boring,” or “I’m just so busy, I don’t have time to read books like that; besides, I’ve already read one like that before.” And so their lives stay limited by the lack of knowledge, understanding or wisdom. This chapter is a wake-up call.”
Wait, I thought home-schooling guaranteed voracious reading habits. (Seriously, every pro-home-schooling website extols how much more voracious reading goes on in home-schooled students than from public school students. Of course, I’m biased because I’m a non-home-schooled voracious reader.)
Also, kudos to anyone who ran away from this book. Your life will be better for it.
The next post has an awful story about how Debi saved the life of her sick baby (who was having a perfectly normal (read minor) reaction to a vaccine) while the woman across the street baby died because she wasn’t as great a mom as Debi. The overall story is sick and twisted. You also get to see what Debi’s like while having a panic attack. (I should feel sorry for her because I know how debilitating panic attacks are….but I don’t. Her re-telling of it is comedic gold.)
If this will bother you, skip the post titled “Debi’s Massive Over-reaction”.
AntiPearl: To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.