As we start our review of Chapter 4 of Debi Pearl’s newest book I have to note that much of this longer chapter – A Force To Be Reckoned With – is lifted word by word from some of the posts at Debi’s website ‘No Greater Joy’ I guess the Pearls are big into recycling.
Again, the quotes from the dead preacher Denny Kensaton are in plain text and Debi’s are in italics. But there’s nothing worth directly quoting in this chapter said by Debi since it’s a complete rehash of several posts on No Greater Joy.
This chapter starts with a letter from a young husband to the Pearls that we’ve shared here before. He was raving about how awesome his six months of marriage have been. Yawn, it sounded like a Pearl-fakery then with suspicious wording like ‘Faileth’ and ‘Suffice’ that sounds more like something one of the Pearls might scribble instead of a twenty-something young man in these times.
I’m not going to bore you with long biographies of the hidden women Kenaston thinks we should be emulating. A quick summary.
- Lillian Norris – She fasted and prayed for three whole days because her husband was failing at preaching and he was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit to be a preaching dynamo.
- Emma Moody – She moved many times with husband D.L. Moody and still managed to keep a wonderful home AND homeschool their children.
- Elizabeth Bunyan – She prayed and stayed faithful to him for the 12 years he was in prison.
- Mary Moffat – She established a home in a mud hut overseas.
- Ann Judson – She was a wife and mother during her husbands years of being a missionary in Burma and his two years in prison.
- Jackie Kenaston – She was her husband’s ‘Prayer Warrior’
Are we seeing a pattern here? The message seems to be pray, take care of the home and you should have no needs of your own. Seems miserable and small from here. Apparently there’s a lot of abandonment and squalor in these ideas too.
Let me state this as a counterpoint to Debi’s ideas. While being supportive of your husband is a good thing most of the time if he attempts to drag you into a situation or life that you are simply not prepared for or agree with it’s fine to express that to him, to work together to come up with a situation that is livable for you both. I’ve had to do it in my life, first as a military wife and now in his retirement. I’ve had to impress upon my husband that I will not go to Costa Rica to live in one squalid room in the Peace Corp facility he is currently teaching English at, and that I’m not arriving until we find the right house or apartment. I’m only willing to stay in that room for a week or two tops. We worked it out so that both of us had our needs met. There was no shouting, insulting, disagreement, just a great deal of discussion and compromise because we love each other and realize we both have differing needs. I’m sure Debi and Denny would brand that as rebellion, but knowing your needs and expressing them is far healthier emotionally than going along with all the disagreeable plans of your spouse and ending up grumbling and resentful.
Debi follows up Kenaston’s portraits in being a house slave/pray warrior with a rambling story about a bad husband and his praying wife that ended up with him becoming a preacher because she prayed and submitted so damn hard! Debi says watching this woman helped her be the submissive help meet and possible mental abuse victim that she is now.
And we’re done. Very boring chapter. Next week chapter 5 is labeled ‘Let’s Be Honest’ and it talks about how most women do not want to submit to men, but you have to push past all of that and submit harder, even if that means feeding your children animal feed or going without crucial medical care for a life long condition (like neck problems);
I’m assuming that in a year or two we’re going to see a reworked version of this book from Pearl acolyte Lori Alexander.
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. If eye rolling was an Olympic sport she would take the Gold every time. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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