Questioning the Pearls: Do You Believe in Birth Control?

Questioning the Pearls: Do You Believe in Birth Control? November 6, 2016

QuestioningthePearlsFor well over a year we’ve been running a second Answering ‘Preparing To Be A Help Meet’ on Sundays, filled with questions by young ladies trying to get ready for marriage. Since we’ve run through many of the questions on their site it’s time to shift Sundays to something else, like perhaps examining the cornucopia of probably fake emails and questions that Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy post on their website and the possibly poisonous answers they give.

Original question and answer here:

I have had 4 babies in the last 2 years. I already had 4 other young children. My husband does not share my conviction on trusting God in the area of how many babies we have. He has been very angry because I refuse any use of birth control.

I feel so alone sometimes. We are under such a strain. I must admit I dread coming together. My body is shot. My 4 older children are strangers to me and very disobedient. I am so weary from being pregnant, nursing or taking care of sick kids that I don’t have anything left to give them. My husband just stays away as much as possible. I don’t even know what I am asking except, help.

Debi’s answer:

The Bible clearly teaches that your husband is your head. He has the rule over you. You are to submit to him, obey him, honor him, and never usurp authority over him. I fear you have not submitted, not obeyed, and not honored. You got your “conviction” someplace other than the Bible. The Bible does not state that it is sin to use natural means to space your children, but it does state it is sin not to obey your husband. He should have the final say in birth control, unless he would employ a method that would abort a fertilized egg. It is your duty to trust God to direct your man.
Instead of your children being a blessing, they are an unwanted burden. To your husband they have become a symbol of your dishonor to him. You suffer, your children don’t have a daddy, and not much of a mother, and your marriage is failing. Go to your husband and tell him you are sorry, and humbly ask him to help you learn to honor him. When he sees your broken submission and willingness to honor his will, he will stop being so angry and, hopefully, begin to take more interest in the children.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    “…When he sees your broken submission and willingness to honor his will,
    he will stop being so angry and, hopefully, begin to take more interest
    in the children.”…

    Broken? And only ‘hopefully’?? People don’t need to be broken (anyone who thinks they do is terrible and not one who should be allowed around other living beings until they learn differently.) and I don’t like those odds on the taking more interest in the kids thing.

    That said, birth control isn’t a bad thing and perhaps consider that God *is* telling you that you don’t need to have more kids, you’re just not listening to him for whatever reason.

  • Maura Hart

    sickening. that pearl person is filled with self loathing and is spreading it around to as many women as possible.

  • SAO

    Well, hubby could have had a vasectomy. I don’t see what the difference is between trusting God with family planning and trusting God to keep you safe on the roads. Go ahead and take a nap behind the wheel. Whatever happens is God’s plan.

  • Aloha

    Debbie seems to have a 3-part scheme:
    1. Abortion is super-bad. It’s your one excuse to disobey your deified hubby.
    2. Medical birth control is something she just skips over here … these options seem to be unacceptable, but she’s a little evasive
    3. “Natural” planning like the rhythm method is A-OK.
    4. Free-for-all pregnancies are A-OK. Even if your health is declining, you hate your bratty children, and hubby is a lousy dad.

  • SAO

    If she’s had 4 kids in 2 years, she’s either had 2 sets of twins or she’s had one set of twins and got pregnant again less than 3 months after each birth. For natural birth control to work, a woman’s periods have to be regular. The chances are pretty good she got pregnant before getting her period back, so NFP wouldn’t have done any good. She almost certainly got pregnant before her periods were in a well-established cycle.

    Further, if she’s had 8 kids in a short period of time and her “body is shot,” the chances she’s having regular, predictable periods is not great.

    Add in her tendency towards having twins and I doubt NFP is going to work for her. She needs good BC.

  • Bettie Bedford

    Or her tubes tied.

  • Friend

    Unintended humor in the answer: “it only takes one glance at the colorful calendar to know where you are in your cycle and act accordingly. Your husband can view the calendar before he goes to work in the morning and pace himself accordingly. It is much easier than trying to explain it to him at the last minute. This training is so easy and effective that UCLA and Planned Parenthood have opposed it for years, trying to use the courts to prevent it from being taught.”

    “… your husband can … pace himself accordingly”?! Huh? On her “wet” days, is hubby supposed to refrain from pleasuring himself in the port-a-john, or ask the boss for a lighter workload so he can save some energy for the little woman, or…?

    And I do love the notion that the ebil librulz are trying to suppress the Sticker Calendar.

  • Or HIS tube clipped. But noooooo, these pansy-assed men can’t be stand-up guys long enough to do something quick, easy, and MUCH less invasive to prevent pregnancy on a reliably permanent manner than anything involving HER body.

  • Anonyme

    I”It appears that this natural, common sense concept was known and
    understood by women down through the ages, because they lived close to
    the earth and knew the normal cycle of animals.”

    I’m pretty sure people were too busy trying to survive and provide for themselves and their families to observe the minutae of animals’ fertility cycles (unless they bred animals as a livelihood). Not to mention that the fertility cycles from animal to animal are vastly different.

  • Anonyme

    “And I do love the notion that the ebil librulz are trying to suppress the Sticker Calendar.”

    Being a recent “escapee” of a very (proclaimed) pro-life family, I think I may know the “reasoning” behind this. It is not uncommon for the more extremist pro-lifers to say that PP likes to hand out artificial conception so that if it fails, women will just come back for an abortion.


  • paganheart

    I found myself rolling my eyes at that, too. If natural family planning (or the “rhythm method,” as it is sometimes called) actually worked as well as its proponents claimed, there would not have been a need to develop the Pill, IUDs, and other forms of birth control. My brother-in-law was raised a strict Catholic, and remembers his mother and her friends talking about “rhythm babies,” children conceived when their parents had sex on supposedly “safe” days. 50-some years later we have more accurate ways of predicting ovulation, but it’s still not perfect, and there are still too many times when a woman may be unwilling–or unable–to avoid having sex on a “wet” day. (Isn’t one of the Quiverfull Commandments “Thou shalt never, ever say ‘no’ to thine husband when he wants sex?”) It is utterly foolish to rely solely on natural family planning, unless of course you just want women to birth dozens of children, and who cares what it does to them physically, mentally or emotionally.

  • jennabobenna

    You can teach it all you want, but 1) teens’ menstrual cycles are often less regular than those of their adult counterparts; 2) natural family planning requires forethought, and we all know just how awesome teenagers are at thinking ahead /s 3) where has PP or the ACLU ever even had the opportunity to oppose NFP in court??? Generally speaking, pro-lifers want abstinence-only education (even if they homeschool their kids). Teaching NFP would be a deviation from the party line that sex is for marriage -_-

  • SAO

    If you are not using condoms on fertile days and not having sex during periods, doing NFP well requires having not much sex. And the minute a woman’s cycle is disrupted, it stops working. For example, if she has a cold midcycle, her fertile peak might be delayed, which means that when she’s better, she’s not in a safe time, as might have been predicted.

  • SAO

    First, most animals have cycles very different from humans’. Second, in the absence of good nutrition and healthcare, women often didn’t have regular cycles. When I lived in Haiti, it wasn’t uncommon for rural women to say they’d been pregnant for 12 months. Third, after a birth, it can take 6 months before a woman’s cycles are regular and breastfeeding isn’t effective birth control for most women. Meaning for NFP to work, the couple is going without sex for a long time after every child.

    How many couples would be happy with such limited sex lives?

  • Astrin Ymris

    I read a Guttmacher Institute survey some years back which said Evangelical were twice as likely to use sterilization as a method of birth control than other religious groups. Serial Rescue Adopter Adeye Salem reported having her tubes tied after three or four biological children. This was some years before she truly got into the “Adoption Gospel”.

    Tubal ligation and/or vasectomies should meet fundgelical standards as “not preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg”. That is, unless someone’s thought up a cockamamie pseudoscientific rationalization for a “post-fertilization effect” from the surgery.

  • jennabobenna

    I just want to point out that Planned Parenthood includes several NFP methods on their website under the section on birth control. So add that to the long list of reasons this piece makes no sense at all…

  • Ruthitchka

    You sure got “pansy-assed men” right!

  • Ruthitchka


  • Ruthitchka

    Once again, everything that is wrong in the family is all the woman’s fault according to Ms. Pearl. My husband certainly believed that. That is why I am divorcing his butt!

  • Astrin Ymris

    Groveling is apparently an intrinsic part of admitting fault in CPM culture… or at least it is for women. Men are let off with a pro forma “I’m sorry, but God has forgiven me, so let’s move on now.”

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Well it sucks, and groveling doesn’t belong in a healthy relationship (unless the parties involved have negotiated that groveling occur as a part of their adult fun times or what have you. Consensual kink. :P)

  • Evelyn

    NFP has come a long way. A woman doesn’t have to have anything like regular periods, and mucus methods (especially really technical ones like Creighton) work great during breastfeeding before periods return. Of, course, she may not know that, and I’ve known plenty of women who think they know their cycle, but are really looking more at the calendar than they are at what their own bodies are telling them, and they get surprised.