It's been over a year since I finally read this book, so I can look back and say it has made a big difference in my marriage! Created to be His Help Meet by Deb Pearl is a hard-hitter, pulling no punches when it comes to confronting the most common excuses we come up with as wives to justify our poor attitudes towards our husbands.
The most impacting statement in the book that has stuck with me is "You are not your husband's conscience!" That was like a sword to my heart. Here all along I thought I was his conscience, and didn't realize it! That realization alone helped me to back way off on pronouncements about my husband's plans, his time management, etc. I realize they are not for me to correct or change. He is following the Lord, and the Lord will lead him or not, but it's not my game.
I have often tried to protect our family from lack of attention and time on his part, to a fault. Rather than ask questions, I have made pronouncements and judgements. Of course they were not well-received due to the spirit with which I made them. While there are some things I would still like to change, I am so deeply in love with my husband, who for 27 years has faithfully provided for me and has never been at lack for a well-paying job; who has stood by my side through 20 years of illness; who has aggressively led our family in spiritual endeavors and fun-filled adventures. Who am I to complain?
Deb Pearl has pointed out that a man's basic needs really are not so much to whine about. He just wants warm food for his belly, warm clothes for his back, and a warm partner in bed. Is it really so much to ask?
Pearl also addresses the hyper-spiritualizing trends among women today which are not grounded in scripture, calling it the spirit of Jezebel. She paints our lives as women in very practical, down-to-earth terms. Those women who aspire to great heights of spirituality are causing their own discontentment, when a few minutes a day of prayer and Bible study should be sufficient. Grow up, move on, give your man good sex, he's not a pervert. (She also addresses perversion where it is real.) What is the essence of being a true helpmeet if it is not to actually help?
There is one caveat I would offer. Some of her micro-descriptions of male types don't quite ring true. Take them for what they're worth. Her general observations on types are helpful if you don't carry them too far; they are, after all, generalizations.
There is more excellent advice on modesty, childcare, cooking, etc. On the whole, Created to Be His Help Meet is a keeper worth multiple frequent readings and may in time be regarded as a classic in Christian literature. While the issues addressed are especially relevant to our day, those issues have tempted and plagued women throughout history.