Sunday, October 26, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Knowledge - Birth Control and Pregnancy (2)


Debi marches out some new oddities today.

Birth control is a subject that you need to study.  When Eve sinned, God placed a curse on her, "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. " (Genesis 3:16).
The curse of the woman, and every sister of Eve, is multiplied ovulation - having babies more often.  According to this passage, it seems that the woman probably didn't have a cycle every month like she does now.  A woman's cycle might have come only every six months or even once a year like some mammals.  At any rate, the curse of multiplied conception would have meant the cycles came more often, which would translate into closer pregnancies.  This is hard on a woman's body; it is part of the curse.

That entire explanation only works if you use an outdated translation like KJV.  In more recent versions like New Revised Standard Version, New American Standard Bible or New International Version, the curse is about the severe pain of childbirth - not increased frequency of pregnancies.

On the flip side, Debi does state that repeated, closely-spaced pregnancies are very hard on women's bodies.  That's not often admitted by QF proponents.

As a single girl, you need to decide before marriage if you are willing to cheerfully and confidently go along with your husband's wishes, knowing that he may change his mind.  He might begin marriage believing in birth control and then change his mind.  

Thought experiment: What if the reverse happens?  A guy is really into QF ideals before getting married, then decides he dislikes having children all over the place and orders his wife to go on hormonal birth control so he can have sex frequently with his wife without worrying about pregnancy.  

Why am I worried that Debi wouldn't see the problem with a husband who orders his wife to do anything?

*shudders*

Never go into a marriage thinking you will change his mind.  That attitude is controlling.

That is an excellent point.  It's a true point for men as well - although Michael Pearl spends a lot of time in the smoothly named "Created to Need a Help Meet" explaining how men can expect to train their wives into anything.

This is one point on which you must agree beforehand or there will be contention in the marriage. 

Yes.  We covered our views on birth control in premarital counseling along with other important topics like family relations, money management, conflict styles, communication tips and how we would manage being an inter-faith couple.

I just realized that most QF courtship / arranged marriages have no access to trained premarital counselors.  That's so unfair.

 Once you are married if you stand against your husband...you will be standing against God. 

WTF?!?

Then why didn't God strike down Rebekah when she helped Jacob secure Isaac's blessing through deceit?  Or when Rachel stole the gods of Laban?  Why was Joseph honored for being willing to quietly divorce Mary  so she could live - even though she appeared to 'stand against him'.

It is never moral to argue that you are "just following orders", Debi.  Use some of your "studying" time to look up the "orders are orders" defense at the Nuremberg trials.  

 Know your mind: make sure you both agree before the wedding is planned.  Get familiar with different natural forms of birth control as well as the timing of your own body in the event your husband wants to space the children.

The only "natural" forms of birth control I know of are the various sympto-thermal methods to predict when ovulation occurs and abstain during those periods, extended exclusive breastfeeding to try and suppress ovulation and 100% abstinence.  

Sympto-thermal methods take between 3-6 months of charting practice for most couples before being used to prevent a pregnancy.

I'm just hoping Debi doesn't have some weird herbal tonic she's hawking...or planning to hawk soon.


Don't let some nurse at Planned Parenthood tell you that IUD's are not abortive, or that "the pill" is not a problem.  Trained professionals are trained to lie.

In that case, I hereby declare Debi a fully-trained professional. 

Seriously, get health information from a trained health professional.  If you have strong feelings about the morality of one or another form of birth control, let them know - and be willing to listen. Many studies have been done on the methods by which hormonal contraceptives prevent pregnancies since the 1970's which is when Debi seems to have gotten most of her information on sexual health.  

It turns out many of the "abortive" methods decried by Debi have been shown in repeated, peer-reviewed journals to suppress ovulation and thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the reproductive tract.  Oh, and the standard formulations of the birth control pill actually increase the likelihood of implantation if fertilization occurs.

That's what I LIKE about professionals - they want to know the truth and are willing to do the work needed to find the truth.

AntiPearl:If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.





Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Knowledge - Pregnancy and Birth Control (1)

The next two posts show what kind of train wrecks occur when science and health education are neglected.  

Jerked Around
What do frogs and autism have to do with preparing to be a help meet?  You might think I am jumping around in my book.  Couldn't I have had my editor make the material a little more uniform?! I want you to understand that LIFE will jerk you around.

I might believe that if the other chapters were organized.  None of Debi's books, though, have any sort of organizational schema.  

  Get prepared! You spent so much time waiting to be the beautiful bride in a long, flowing, white dress, and then in a space of a few weeks you feel like you accidentally boarded a high-speed train.  When you're tired, when you have a headache, when you feel icky, when you don't want to get up and cook, well, you have to anyway, because now you're married.

I learned how to push through mild sickness to get school work, finish a shift at work, participate in an extracurricular activity etc. by the time I was a teenager. 

Why on Earth would Debi expect that her readers would be that inexperienced before marriage? 

 Within a few weeks of becoming a glorious, married princess you will find yourself kneeling in front of the potty barfing your guts out because you have a little one on the way.  Doesn't sound very princess-like, does it?  I know these things because I am the older lady.  Been there, done that, seen it ten thousand times.  Your time's coming.

Since royal families have been obsessed with reproduction throughout time, I think morning sickness is fairly princess-like.  

Debi probably doesn't know this, but pregnancy rates per month for women in their early to mid-twenties is 20% per month AND only 80% of pregnancies involve morning sickness.  So, a new bride has about a 16% chance of morning sickness within a month of marriage.

Preparing to Be a Mama
Most every young girl thinks it will be months and months...maybe years before a baby comes.  Surprise!  Pregnancy is not as easy to control as most girls think.  Now is the time to learn how to have healthy babies and what to do if your child has health issues.

In the absence of any form of birth control AND average fertility in both partners, pregnancy rates within 1 year are close to 90%.   I think it's fair to warn CP/QF girls that they are very likely to be pregnant within the first year of marriage.

In a garden, strong healthy plants get that way by being planted in strong, healthy, balanced soil. 

Well, kind of.  

You need to pick good varieties for your area, pick a suitable site with proper sunlight, water them regularly, prevent / treat insect/mold/viral infestations, weed diligently and amend the soil during the season as needed.

(As a botanist-in-training, poor plant metaphors really irk me.)

 Your body is the soil for your coming children.

That's why you should check your body against the soil chart.  I'm a silty loam.  My husband is a sandy clay.  Our babies will be AMAZING!

 Good health starts before conception. 

That sentence doesn't really make sense.  I think what she means is that it's best if the mom is in good health before getting pregnant.

Then again, this is Debi Pearl, so....who knows?


 The more you know now, the more you will be prepared to handle what life might send.  It is time to start reading on health issues for your future pregnancies.  There is list of good reading in the back of this book.

Yeah, I'm not copying that list of books.  If you need to know, start at something reputable like Mayo Clinic or your local doctor.

Birth Control
I wish I could avoid this subject, but it will be the single most discussed subject once you are married. 

Um.  No.  It won't.

My husband and I have had more discussions on whether or not tepary beans can grow in our short Michigan season than we've had on birth control.  (He likes the idea of blue speckled beans.  I hate the idea of a bean that will most likely mold long before it ripens. Clearly, we've talked about that more than birth control.)   

 This is a smidgen of how your future conversation will go:
He says, "We need to use something."
She replies, "We decided before we married that we wouldn't do anything."
He demands, "Well, we've got to do something!  Three babies in two years - and you're completely bedridden for the first five months of pregnancy!"

She moans, "What? What do you want to use?"
He throws up his hands.  "I don't know, but something! You're the woman; what do you suggest?"
She looks baffled, "I don't know...how should I know what to do?"
He responds, "Well, go figure it out!"

*blinks*

Our conversations on tepary beans were more adult that that conversation.  

I sincerely hope that before marriage ALL adults can name at least two birth control methods....

*sighs*

If you are like most girls, the issue of birth control has never crossed your mind.  Some girls, and guys, come to marriage with a principled conviction against doing anything to limit or control the frequency of conception.  Others are adamant against using any mechanical or chemical means of birth control, but are willing to practice abstinence or rhythm (timing) method to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  Certainly no Christian will want to use any method that causes the destruction of the fetus after conception.

Debi then directs readers to a modified natural family planning / lactation-based spacing website that is out-dated and hard to navigate.

I recommend Bedsider.org.  It's a non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing the number of unplanned pregnancies.  It covers everything from abstinence to NFP to condoms to hormonal options.  I find it really helpful whenever I need to change methods.

Obviously, after consulting a website, make an appointment with an OB/GYN or another health care provider.  You deserve to have an actual medical professional sit down with you and decide as a team what options are best for you.  If you are planning NFP or a QF lifestyle, you need to be sure you are off any medications/herbs that could cause problems during a pregnancy and check that chronic conditions are under control.

(As a teacher, crappy information angers me.  From one "older" woman to another, Debi should be ashamed of herself right now.)

My object here is for you to learn about your body, come to understand the entire process, and learn what God says on the matter.  If you don't give it any thought now, then chances are you will be pregnant and puking within three weeks of marriage.  Your first child will be a girl.  Now, how can I know that?  Because, if you are like most girls, you will plan your wedding for the week after your period ends.  That is when most women are fertile.  During the first three days of fertility the woman's slight discharge is beneficial to female sperm.  The fourth day, the woman's slight discharge is advantageous to male sperm.  Did you even know that there are male and female sperm?

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH THAT IS FACTUALLY TRUE.

1. "Thinking" in the absence of action will not prevent pregnancy.

2. Eggs are viable for 24 hours or so after ovulation.  Sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to 72 hours.  Combining those two facts means that sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy on (up to) three days: the two days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation.  [There is a less than 5% chance that sperm can survive from 4-6 days before ovulation.  As such the Whelan method described below has a large flaw.]

3. There are no scientific studies that support the Whelan method (sex 2-3 days before ovulation = girl while 5-6 days prior = boy) OR Shettles method (same timing for a girl; as close to ovulation as possible for a boy).  

4. The biological definition of female is the sex that has the larger gamete.  In humans, sperm are much smaller than eggs so males produce sperm. There are sperm that have an X chromosome and sperm with a Y chromosome, but never a female sperm.  EVER.

How do I know all this stuff?  I study.  Knowing things helps.

Only if the information you know is true.  

AntiPearl:Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Knowledge - Tree Frogs and Autism

Today, we get to delve into Debi's understanding of medicine and science in general.  This chapter is jumps around from topic to topic so I have taken the liberty of combining all of the random paragraphs on medical ideas into a series of posts.

Reflection on what Debi learned from the heart-breaking death of a neighbor's child:

Did I learn anything?  That night changed my life.  Never again did I stand in line like a dumb sheep waiting to receive what "professionals" said I needed.  I learned that "professionals" were people who were just following orders from people whose only goal was to make a buck. 

I don't see how following professionals is any different from mindlessly following your husband's orders.  In the Pearl household, after all, an entire series of boring and tedious books have been written so that people can mindlessly follow the Pearl's advice on living and the Pearls can make money.

In other words, Mike and Debi have become the money-grubbing professionals they so despise.


 It is true they might have gone to school a few extra years and and learned a different vocabulary; but they were not my baby's mom, and they couldn't make wise decisions for him.

Public health professionals - the kind Debi is so hell-bent on skewering - get a minimum of a 4-year Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university followed by a Masters degree from an university. AT MINIMUM.  Many are MD/Ph.D holders which is 5 years of study post-Bachelors followed by a 2+ year residency in medicine.

Debi, by contrast, dropped out of Bible college. 


Who do you want to take medical advice from?

  Time has strengthened my resolve.  The older and more "professional" I get, the less I respect the "professionalism" as the voice of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Oh, don't worry, Debi.  No professional - with or without quotes - would ever mistake you for a professional.  

Many people gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom without a formal, advanced education.  Based on Debi's statements about education, home-schooling, science and agriculture, though, I can't give her a "wise" rating in any of those fields.  


Now, no matter what the issue, before I submitted, I would LEARN everything I could possibly know for the sake of my children's health and my family's well-being.  The door was open.  I started to learn...really learn.

You need to learn about:
FROGS
Did you know that down in the Amazon there is a tree frog that has horribly toxic poison on its back?  The poison does not appear anywhere in nature except the gut of schizophrenics (people with multiple personalities).  Isn't that weird?  What does the gut have to do with the brain?  This poison is not in the gut of healthy people.  Is it found in any other diseased individuals?

Oh, what fresh hell is this?!? 

Alright, I know that some tree frogs produce poisons; every kid who goes to the zoo knows that.  

I have no idea what Debi is talking about otherwise- so I had to run a Google search.  

Debi has run into Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS).  

Tip One: When a website cites Dr. Andrew Wakefield AFTER he was struck from the medical register in Great Britain for abusive medical procedures on disabled children and had his research retracted from all major journals due to academic fraud, be aware you are reading crap.

Tip Two: PubMed is a free website that lists the abstracts for the majority of published medical research.  Natasha Campbell-McBride has never published a peer-reviewed paper which would have been very easy if she had actual research to back GAPS up.

I am not surprised that Debi fell for this scam.  She doesn't have basic medical knowledge to realize that schizophrenia and multiple personality disorders are different disorders - so how would she realize that the GAPS website is a fraud?

Thanks to a mom and dad who were desperate to find help for their autistic son, we know that the same toxin is found in the gut of autistic kids.  Where did their bodies get it?  Did it develop there from something they ate?  How does the gut relate to a brain disorder called autism?  Right now you are unmarried and autism is not an issue with you, but what about two years from now?  What are your chances of having an autistic child in two years?  Higher than you think?  

That mom and dad?  Natasha Campbell-Brown is the mom according to Science-Based Medicine.

Debi can't answer any of the questions she raises here since the first three would require human medical experimentation and the last three are based on so many different statistics that every person's answer would be different.

I find it pathetic, though, that Debi's trying to bolster her "wise woman" persona by pretending she has a solution to autism.


Once an unknown disease, autism is now destroying the lives of 1 in every 100 children. 

That's pretty insulting to people with autism.   

Plus, this is a woman who recommends hitting infants with tree-branches to promote obedience.  How many lives has SHE destroyed?

Each year a greater percentage of healthy two-year-olds suddenly develop strange digestive disorders and bizarre behavioral problems.  When the disturbed parents have their child tested they are informed he has autism.  Why?  What is causing these children to get sick?  What can you do to avoid the chances of your child developing autism?

Odd.  "Professionals"  like pediatricians and child development specialists have noticed that children with autism often start showing symptoms as very young infants.  This actual insight has lead to better early intervention for children with autism.

What does Debi recommend to reduce your chances of having a child with autism?  

NOTHING.  She never actually answers her own question. 

Maybe there's a method to her slip-shod editing after all.

AntiPearl: To mistrust science and deny the validity of scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You'd better go look for work as a plant or wild animal.




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Debi's Massive Overreaction

This story from Debi's life is horrible...just horrible.  

The Death Angel
Most people that hear this story think it was just my imagination playing tricks on me.  It happened more than thirty-five years ago.  I was just a young wife when the Death Angel visited, but I am convinced today, as I was then, that this truly happened just as I relate it.

Personally, I think she had a panic attack.

I lived in a small community of mostly young military couples.  All of the families were expecting, or had a baby or two already.  The girl directly across the street was nineteen years old and was married to a soldier of the same age who was in training to go to Vietnam.  Her baby was born a few days before mine.  One cold morning she came over to tell me the military authorities had called her, reminding her that the Health Department had issued a requirement that babies two-and-a-half months old should get started on their vaccinations.  This was a new mandate, starting the baby shots earlier than ever before.  Somewhere I had that there were problems with these vaccinations, especially for such young babies, but who was I to question the Department of Health?  Besides, the shots were free and we could afford that!  My best friend, Carla, who lived next door, also had a two-month-old son, but when I invited her to ride along, she wasn't interested in getting her baby a shot.  Mrs. Soldier Girl and I took our babies and stood in the cold in a line outside a small trailer that served as the local Health Department, waiting for our babies to get their shots.  We chatted and visited with not a care in the world except to stay warm.  I think back to that day and ask myself, how were we to know what was to come?  Then I wondered, why didn't we take the time to ask questions, demand information, or seek out advice?  I know the answer.  We were young; we believed that everyone else knew better than we did.  Until that moment neither of us had ever had been put in a position to know just how terribly a thing could go wrong due to a lack of knowledge.

Points worth pondering:

  • Debi's first child is a daughter.  Since this story is about her baby SON, this had to be her second or third child.  Debi could be as young as 22 (if she had Rebekah and Nathan back-to-back immediately after marrying Michael) OR as old as 25(ish) with three children.    She may well be a role-model to "Mrs. Soldier Girl"

  • Mrs. Soldier Girl went out of her way to help Debi.  She passed on information she got from the army and went with Debi.  And yet, Debi doesn't give her a real name - she gets a epithet. For anyone new to PearlSpeak, an epithet means that character is going to be thrown under the bus.

  • Debi - the older, experienced mother - should be excused for her "lack of knowledge".  Mrs.  Soldier Girl - who is 19 and facing an extended absence of her husband - well....Debi's gonna throw her under the bus.

Mrs. Soldier Girl called that evening to ask if my baby had a big red hot spot where the shot was administered.  He did.  Both of the babies had high fevers.  I knew this was going to be a long night.  As I rocked my son, trying to soothe him, I began to wonder why Carla had resisted getting her son a shot, and I sincerely wished I had listened to her when she tried to explain what she had read concerning the shots.  Finally, the medicine I have my son caused him to sleep.  It was cold in our old farm house, so I nestled my baby boy up to my body and fell asleep.  He cried off and on all night.

New points:
  • Mrs. Soldier Girl called Debi for advice.  She trusted Debi. 

  • Carla told Debi her fears about getting the vaccination.  Debi ignored her.  Did Debi pass that info back to Mrs. Soldier Girl?  (For the record, I am rabidly PRO-vaccination.  I'm just pointing out Debi's raging hypocrisy in this story.)

  • I get a flu shot every year.  I get a giant red welt and a 102 degree fever like clockwork and I am in my thirties.  Why do I get the shot?  Better a 24 hour period where I take a heap of Benedryl and Motrin and sleep until my immune system finishes getting ready than a potentially life-threatening case of influenza since I have asthma.  Why were they immunizing children younger?  Because babies were dying or having severe injuries from measles.  Imagine the same symptoms the little boys were having but for over a week - that's the measles.
I awoke sometime in the predawn hours, the blackest part of the night.  Other than my newborn's soft groans and my husband's light snores, the night was deadly quiet, like when there is a heavy snow that blankets the sound.  I couldn't say why, but I lay tense and fearful, waiting...for what, I knew not. I was afraid.  I moved ever so gently to lay my hand on my son's head.  It was burning hot.  I moved my head to his tiny chest and heard a strange, rasping sound.  Profound terror gripped me, causing my whole body to sweat.  Then, as if I could see the shadowy figure, I knew that the Death Angel stood there at the end of the bed.  My body was rigid, my mouth dry; I tried to control my breathing, but could only manage great gasps. I reasoned with myself that I was just an emotional female, and that nothing was really there.  Yet conviction held ground in my mind and soul...I knew what I knew, and I knew that the Death Angel had come to our house.

I've gotta give Debi credit: That's the best description of a panic attack I've ever read.

If Debi was honestly worried about her son being dangerously ill, she should have called 911 or an emergency line.  I doubt he was, but at least she would have gotten treatment for her panic attack.

I gave up trying to convince myself that it wasn't real and I began to pray as I never prayed before.  I pulled my baby up tight to my chest, defying the figure at the end of the bed that dared to enter this room. Time passed as I begged for God's mercy.  I began to pray aloud,  getting louder and louder as my panic grew.

Panic attacks suck - and apparently freaking out doesn't stop the attack.  Good to know.  The next bit always makes me laugh.

Finally I jerked the covers off of Mike and shouted, "Wake up now and pray!  The Death Angel is in this room!  Pray for our son!"  My startled husband sat up, confused and alarmed. Then he grabbed the covers away from me, mumbling that I had lost my mind.  I jerked his covers off and smacked him on the back as I screeched, "Get up and pray for your son!" By this time he was awake and truly concerned with my sanity. 

I'm guessing that if the Death Angel was in the room, Michael would have seen him(her? it?), too.  

 He tried to comfort me, but I cared nothing for comfort; I only wanted to hear him pray, asking God for mercy and commanding the Death Angel to leave the room.  I told my husband what to pray. He reminded me that I could pray just like he could pray, so why did I wake him up?

I never thought I would say this, but Michael Pearl makes a good point.  Debi doesn't want comfort; she wants him to pray - but she can do that as well as he can....

But he was my spiritual head and I knew that was now was the time for the top command to pray.  Thoroughly chilled, he grabbed the covers to lay back down but this time his normally obedient wife  shouted, "You will never sleep again unless you pray for your son!"
He turned over and tried to see me through the darkness, trying to perceive what had provoked such a passion.  What I was doing was so out of character that he was genuinely mystified and somewhat intrigued.  He wondered if maybe I was right, and the Death Angel was indeed standing there in the room.

See, hysteria can be passed from person to person - especially in the middle of the night.

 He reached over me and laid his hand on our son's head.  He prayed.  As he prayed, I sensed the Death Angel leave the room.  For the first time in several minutes, the constriction in my chest released; I could breathe again.

 Interestingly, even without doing anything, panic attacks eventually stop.

Our baby fell into an exhausted slumber.  We lay there wide awake , man and wife in the dark, staring at the ceiling, whispering about what happened.  He believed me.  We watched the early morning light slowly begin to lighten our bedroom. 
Suddenly, red and yellow lights darted across our ceiling. I sat up and pushed the curtains open, peering across the street.  The cold thin window pane frosted over and I rubbed it clear to see better. Then I saw the ambulance.  It was parked at Mrs. Soldier Girl's house.  I still remember the feeling of profound relief that enveloped me.  I still remember the shame that followed.  My son was spared....but hers was taken? I watched as a police car arrived.  Why police?

If Debi stopped here, I'd have a shred of respect for her.

We quickly dressed and Michael rushed over to see what was wrong and was told the following story:  The baby cried all night.  The young parents only had a couple nights left together before the soldiers was shipped off to war.  When they awoke in the morning the baby was no longer breathing. 

How is any of that different from Debi and Michael?  

  • Both babies were fussy and feverish after shots. 
  • Both babies cried all night.  
  • Debi and Michael both fell asleep for at least some portion of the night as did the parents across the street.  


Debi likes rubbing her mothering skills in people's faces, but she didn't do anything different from the younger woman across the street.    But if she admitted - really admitted  - that Debi would have to accept that her baby could have died.  That really bad things could happen to her family as easily as it happened to her neighbors.  

Debi can't accept that.  She retroactively blames Mrs. Soldier Girl - a young mother who trusted Debi.


At first the poor stricken couple was charged with neglect because the authorities assumed the baby died of cold.  Later, it was determined that it was the common three month crib death that had taken the child.  No one dared blame the vaccination that our babies were given the day before.

Well, except Debi - the Bible college drop-out.  She's got the skills to put professional epidemiologists to shame in her mind.  

Debi's got more to say on the subject of health care in general and birth control in particular, but I'm done for today.

AntiPearl: Make no judgments where you have no compassion.” Anne McCaffrey.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Knowledge - Part One

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."

Mmm'kay.  That's another random Bible quote.

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.

Many girls waste their youth by being entertained by movies or novels, shopping, playing the social game, yakking on the phone, texting, etc, or just lying around waiting for one of these things to happen.

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.





Monday, October 20, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Three Types of Women - Part

Debi is about to begin another "pick a verse - any verse!" Bible interpretation of why women should be submissive to men.

The Hebrew word Ayzer, from which the English words help meet come, mean one who helps.  Woman was created to be a helper who was suited to meet the man's needs, to fill in between the lines.  The female is a softer image, one step removed from the original.  I am his curves.  I am his sweetness, thoughtfulness, compassion, sensitivity and so on. 

Again, I feel bad that Debi has known so few men that she honestly believes that men cannot be thoughtful, sweet, sensitive or compassionate.  The vast majority of men I've met have all - or most - of those qualities.

Plus, the Gospels make a pretty good case for Jesus being at least thoughtful and compassionate.


 I was created to help him be successful, to bear his children and train them according to his will.  God did not create a help meet for the woman, for the responsibility is not hers.  He is the one responsible and in authority. He needs a suitable helper. 

What the hell are you talking about Debi?

 Run that statement to the logical conclusion.  If your husband tells you to abuse your children and raise them to be mass murders, there is no way you can defend yourself legally or morally under the "My husband said I was supposed to do that."  

The Bible is pretty explicit about how wives are more than free to disobey - or even deceive their husbands if their husbands are breaking the law - see the story of Abigail and Nabal in 1 Samuel 25.

 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 says, "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."

Debi jumps around in 1 Corinthians 11.  I wondered why that was so I read the entire chapter.  In the New Revised Standard Version, the portion after 11:1 has a large heading titled "HEAD COVERINGS".  All of the verses that Debi pulls out to support wifely submission are actually written to explain why women who lived in areas where modest married women covered their heads should continue to do so.    She also leaves out a few verses that are more interesting like 1 Corinthians 11:11-12
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God.
Those two verses, in my humble opinion, shoot most of Debi and Michael's views on female submission and male unquestioned authority in the foot.

This passage should alter our way of thinking about marriage somewhat.  Maybe we should be asking, "Would I be a good helper for that man?  Would I be capable of supplying all his needs, filling the emptiness in his heart, and serving him in a way to make him successful in all he chooses to try?"  And then we would change the way we pray.  "Lord, help me learn to be the kind of woman a good man will need to help him in all things."

No one human being can supply the ALL the needs for another.

I don't know what emptiness was in Michael Pearl's heart before he met Debi, but there still seems to be a gaping hole in there.


There is no way a wife can be saddled with the  entire responsibility of making her husband successful.  If the husband wants to be successful, HE needs to make sensible choices about his activities.  A wife can help her husband sometimes, but his success or failure is his own  responsibility.

Satan could have tempted this lonely man at any time, but the Deceiver waited for the creation of the weaker vessel.  "For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:13-14). Satan knew that the man could not be easily deceived, but the woman could.

Why pick a quote from 1 Timothy when the story is from Genesis?  

Because Genesis never discusses why Satan tempted Eve rather than Adam. Genesis 2:6 notes that Adam was with Eve when she was tempted so it was more of an epic fail for men and women together.

The very first command God ever gave to a woman was, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)   God then goes on to tell us "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body" (Eph. 5:23)

*Giggles* 

So God didn't talk to anyone for over 2,000 years!?  Yup.  There are three books sequentially in the Bible: Genesis, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians.  Nothing else.  

Pretty sure the next  two paragraphs with Bible quotes were written/chosen by Michael Pearl, not Debi.  The voice of the author changes abruptly especially if you read the section aloud. There is a brash militaristic tone that often appears in Michael's writing that is absent in Debi's.  Plus, Debi talked about 1 Corinthians 11: already...and yet the verse is quoted AGAIN.  Who edited this book?

God gave man the kind of nature that would be suitable to hold the superior office in the chain of command.  A wife's position under her husband is where God put her for her own spiritual, emotional, and physical safety.  It is the only position where a wife will find real fulfillment as a woman.

Except for Debi.  Michael was physically brutal with her during their honeymoon - and has shown no signs of repentance or awareness since.

If Debi is a fulfilled woman, may God let me always be unfulfilled.

God is not impressed by our gifts, our types or our strengths.  He is impressed by our willingness to abide by and appreciate his program by conforming to the needs of our man.  God calls married women help meets.  He NEVER called a man a help meet to his wife.  This is not a two-way street.  God commanded us wives to submit to, obey and even reverence our husbands.  He also tells us why we are assigned the role of helper. 
"For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.  For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Corinthians 11:7-9).
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3)"

Or more accurately: Why women should wear head coverings......

"This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church... and the wife see that she reverences her husband" (Eph. 5: 32-33)

No, the original verse does not have an ellipse in the middle.
 

The bit left out is :
" This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church.33 Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband"

Which is a point Michael Pearl could work on.  

Anyone else notice the conspicuous lack of quotes from any of the Gospels?  Seems like Jesus (and his biographers) were not as hung up on the topic as Paul was...and even Paul spent most of his writings on other matters.

At this point, Debi launches into eight pages of how to tell if a guy is a Prophet, Priest or King - in the middle of the chapter titled "Three Types of Women".  I'm skipping those pages.  (Seriously, do not hire their editor(s).  They are not very good....)

AntiPearl: The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Three Types of Women - Part 5

We've finished the three types of women, so the chapter should end now....right?

Nope.

A man has a natural need to protect, defend, and cherish, therefore he is drawn toward a weaker vessel.  A woman's need to be cared for causes her to be drawn to a man who makes her feel secure. These natural need help us to find life mates that best fit our abilities and drives.  But power struggles still arise especially when a girl has not been taught what God says concerning her husband.

I don't like where this is going.  Also, I am confident that God has not told Debi anything about my husband.  

Some of you who have strong gifts might ask, "Well, what about my God-given gifts and drives?  Are women just supposed to lay down their abilities and let the man do his thing, even when she may be more gifted and capable than he is?"

No.

Yes! That is exactly the way it is, and no, not at all.

That makes no sense.  

The key is to recognize your natural type, not so you can take the lead, but so you can understand how it might weaken or aid your service to your first-in-command - your husband (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Yes, Ephesians 5:22-24 does tell wives to submit to their husbands. Nowhere, however, does the Bible tell wives that their husband is first-in-command.  That honor always go to the Creator God.  

Do the Pearls realize that they are advocating a (pathetic) form of idolatry?


God knew we would complain, so he gave us a careful, logical answer.  Now for you girls who live by your feelings (like me), I know it is painful, but try think logically for just a moment.  The answer lies in the very nature of a man and the nature of a woman.  Understanding and appreciating these Biblical realities is the foundation of all that makes a cherished help meet.

I don't know how to think like Debi, but I imagine it is quite painful.  I'm a woman and have NO problem using logic.

Shouldn't this "divine" answer be obvious?


Man's Nature: God did not create man with a knowledge of good and evil.  He was created to develop into a higher plane of wisdom and character.  God knew that this growth process would be challenged by the devil and by man's own propensity to advance himself.  There was a problem with creating a man with autonomy, as evidenced by the perpetual failures of the male gender.  But God in his wisdom created the male with an innate caution and natural skepticism rooted in his cold logic and unemotional responses.  Granted, that which guards him against believing a lie can be twisted to become the basis of rejecting the truth, as history demonstrates.  The devil is the master of deceit.  He is the father of lies (John 8:44)  So God created man with extreme resistance, reluctance, stubbornness and with a skeptical mind.

*Rubs at forehead*

So many problems in one paragraph... I don't know where to start.

First, I don't think this section was written by Debi.  The voice of the writer is completely different than the rest of the book.  I suspect this section was ghost written by Michael...but I can't prove that.

Let's wade into the theological morass.  MikeDebi's God is constrained by both the devil and by man.  If MikeDebi's God is constrained, then God is not omnipotent - a characteristic claimed by the Creator God of the Abrahamic religions.  

Equally importantly, the only sentence in the whole paragraph about human nature that is supported by the Bible is "God did not create man with a knowledge of good and evil."  The rest of the paragraph is a bunch of random suppositions lumped together.

Why did she / he insult the entire male gender?  Women screw up, too.

And does this mean men who are sensible, active participants in life, agreeable, and not generally paranoid are not actually men?

(Side note from my goofy husband: ALL men who help out around the house, care for children, interact with other human beings respectfully, and smile regularly have been planted by the Devil to make women put their guards down and not submit to their husbands.  It's all so clear now....)

Female's Nature: God created the female to express in excess a narrower band of the image of God.  She is the softer, kinder, believing side.  God designed the woman to be sensitive and vulnerable for the sake of the little ones whom she must nurture.  The soul of a mother must be quick to feel, to hurt, to love, to have compassion, to take in the broken, and to believe the best.  Vulnerability is both a woman's greatest natural asset and the point of her greatest weakness.  Our very nature makes us susceptible to being tricked.  We were created to be protected by our men while we nurture the family and maintain a connection with the emotional side of God.

If God created women with certain traits, there is no way those traits are "excessive."  (I try not to judge others religious beliefs, but the Pearls get under my skin AND blatantly stray into weird, selfish heresies.)

Women are created to raise children as a sole purpose.  God must be agonizingly bad at math.  Assume that women start having children at age 20 and produce 1 child a year until age 45 in the Quiverfull ideal.  This means women are raising kids for at most 43 years out of a 85-year life span.  Why not just have women start breeding at age 12 and stop at 67 years old?  Women would still have 18 years to raise the last baby before dying.  

How exactly did Jael's driving a tent peg through Sisera's skull fit in the child-rearing paradigm outlined by the Pearls?  I mean, I can see how it fits with a cow protecting her baby - but not the wussy, push-over woman of PearlLand....

Male and female together complete the image of our Creator, but we are vastly different.   We each carry a strength and a weakness.  Our roles were designed around these strengths and weaknesses.  Neither can perform the role of the other well.

According to whom?  Michael Pearl isn't very good at being a human being, so I wouldn't use him as an example of men and caring.  Debi apparently can't use logic, but many women can.

In the next section, Debi launches into a detailed explanation of the Biblical support for her worldview.  It's...something.

AntiPearl: “Nothing which implies contradiction falls under the omnipotence of God.” 
― Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica, 5 Vols