Friday, February 18, 2011

Created to be His Help Meet

By Debbi Pearl

It's done! It's done! It's done! As someone who is engaged and never married before, this book was a little out of my league as I couldn't relate to many of the discussions...yet. However I'm sure my time will come.

I fought myself throughout these entire twenty-four chapters. Many times I threw the book down in annoyance vowing to be done with it. But there was something in me that wouldn't let me quit. I'm not sure if it's just my stubbornness telling me not to be a quitter or if God really did want me to see this through.

I wasn't so much frustrated with the concepts of the book, but with the condemning tone. At some points, it was if she was trying to say, "It's this way or the highway." While that may be true (I'm talking about when we look at what God's Word says about an issue), it's God who needs to convict us. The author used some personal experiences, but mostly she used letters written to her and her husband about marriages that were spiraling downward. Although I appreciated the authenticity of real life examples, I would say about 75% of the letters and personal illustrations used were unhappy ones; but maybe that's what this book needs.

The author goes into detail about how, as a wife, I should react and treat my husband in varying situations. I found myself annoyed and disappointed at constantly seeing pain and turmoil within these marriages. Some might say I am now "prepared" for some of the struggles in marriage. But quite frankly, I don't care to be bombarded with how often marriages have problems. Although it's wise to have the information, I also enjoy and appreciate stories that will excite me for marriage. Because of this, I read the surface of the book. Everything written was supported with scripture, however it was from the King James Version. Every "homework assignment" at the end of a chapter was assuming I had a KJV. I do not. So I tended to skip over the verses, because I really just wanted to get a general overview of the what this author had to say.

There is not doubt that much of what is in this book is hard to hear and to personally understand. However I do believe that the author makes clear that this book was written for women. She does not talk about how the men are supposed to be because what matters is what we women do in response to our men. I'm very interested to see what happens in real life when the ideas of this book are put into practice. I imagine that in a few years I will onc again pick this up from my bookshelf and find new meaning within the pages.

I discovered many concepts on how to be a Godly wife. The author discusses the dangers of being "overly spiritual" quite a bit. She also discusses issues such as how do you react when you discover your husband has a porn addiction? What happens when he confesses he cheated? How do you draw the line between obeying your husband and obeying God? Are you supposed to sit back and let him walk all over you or can you take a stand for what you believe is right? One of my favorite chapters was the discussion about the basic three types of men. It was fun learning about all types and figuring out where Jon fit. I aslo enjoyed learning how to love Jon better because of the kind of man he is.

The tone of this book is at times disconcerting, irritating, and contains cut-throat honesty. But I trust the concepts and heart behind the purpose this book. I do not recommend this book to new Christians, maybe not even to new wives because of how often this book left a sour taste in my mouth. However I do recommend reading it at some point and I don't believe there is a place where you are too far along in your marriage to not gain anything from this book. When you do read it I recommend going through it with a partner (not your husband), or a women's Bible study. It seems this book is much easier to get through when you have someone to discuss these concepts with and someone you can compare notes with as you put new ideas into practice.

I hope I didn't scare anyone away from reading "Created To Be His Help Meet." Like every other piece of literature that is not God breathed, this must taken as a grain of salt - although it's up to you how big that grain of salt is! Reading this book has led to deep and interesting conversations with friends as well as my fiance. I am looking forward to reading "Preparing To Be A Help Meet" with a good friend soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Love Letter (It's not what you think!)

Good morning! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I miss you ever moment we are not together. Muaw! I am writing you this now because, well, I am so in love with you! Sometimes, I just don't know what else to do but tell you all the reasons I think you are wonderful. Are you ready?? Hehehe Let's go!

I love the way you kiss me, hold me and make me feel cherished and loved. Each kiss is different and unique. I can almost read your mind when I feel your lips against mine. I sense when you are tired, upset, happy. And then, with every kiss, I get to look into your beautiful eyes. I am so happy I get to spend the rest of my life figuring out the depths of love you hold back there. Your soft eyes already give you away, even more than your kisses do.

There are so many ways you make me feel like a beautiful woman cherished like a sparkling diamond. You do so many things for me. Do I say thank you enough? I hope I do! Every note, every letter, I cherish. Each surprise, big and small, makes me feel soft and squishy inside my chest. I adore the way you take care of me and the kids. You are so careful, always directing us towards right and good decisions.

There is much wisdom and honor inside you that spills into me and will continue to trickle down to the children. You are honest, true and always there for me. Any moment of the day, any time of night, I can call you and you will hear me. Sometimes you may not answer right away, but you hear me and I feel safe in that knowledge.

You are my protector and my prince. I honor you because you are so good. You have all the right answers even when I don't understand them in the moment. I know to trust you above all else. My purpose here on earth is to lift you up with my words, my actions and the praises within my heart. Many times I hold these things back. But now, it's time to let them all out.

I exalt you, praise you, worship you. Above everything else on this earth, you are mine and I am yours. You have seen me through every affliction. I have turned my back on you and been selfish, rude, even downright mean. Still, you chase after my heart because you love me so much. What else can compare to this love?


Well, now I'm stuck. What do I say next? I'm not sure if you've caught on yet, but there is a question on the recipient of this letter. Isn't there? Or is there? Now I know that I am making zero sense.

A few days ago I was writing a love letter to Jon on his V -Day card. Of course it was ultra-long and full of mushy-gooey-ewiness. I started telling him I loved how he takes care of us, his family. I love seeing him be a father. I then started praising him for his intelligence, wisdom and honor. Within in two sentences of passionately exalting him, I stopped. Who the heck was I writing to? I never used the word "praise," "exalt," or "adore." But it's almost like I might as well have. My love letter was almost complete and as I sat with my pen relaxed between my right thumb and fore finger I read through the purple marks I made and stopped when the white space interrupted.

I was stunned at the seemingly new condition of my heart. Was I really in the process of worshipping Jon? Or was I simply worshipping the love we have for each other? Simple, really? Is any of this "simple?" I thought back to my many written prayers in my prayer journal. Each one felt forced, well thought out so it looked good on paper. I guess I thought that with practice, I could feel deep love and adoration for my Creator.

Jon wooed me into this disgusting mushiness we have created together. He brought me flowers, wrote me love letters and cute notes. He creates romantic environments with candle light and sweet songs in my living room. He held me when there were tears and anger that made my body shake. He held my hand when I was scared and comforted me with soft words only I could hear.

But wait, hasn't God already done these things for me? Hasn't he been doing this my whole life? He blesses me every day with sunshine, joy, the sweet taste of chocolate and smell of coffee. He wrote me a love letter full of cute notes. I read it every day - my Bible. He creates romantic environments for me because he wants to hold me and talk with me. But I have learned to ignore his promptings for stillness in my days. I don't allow Him the time to speak to me through my music anymore.

I have felt God's Presence before. My knees were shaking and my stomache was doing flip flops and my heart was full of Godly sorrow. This is how He led me to Him. From that moment on at twelve years old, I've had the Holy Spirit inside me ready to comfort me, soothe me and rejoice with me.

So why aren't I so in love with Him? Will my love for Jon wither away as well? Jon says he will spend the rest of his life wooing me to fall in love with him. God says he does the same thing.

I have a feeling that Jon will always be able to woo me and I will always see it and accept it and love him in return. But I feel that I have also created a habit of ignoring the God that has pursued me since I was born. So what now?

This is an unfinished and ongoing thought process. Thanks for taking the ride with me. :)