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Poor Miss Loveless & Her Sister

June 15, 2010
Crying young woman, disgruntled man with topknot, and praying young woman

Question:

Dear Mrs. Debi,

I love your new book, Preparing to Be a Help Meet. I was deeply affected by the phrase, “I can think of nothing I want more than someone to truly love me.” I am a 27-year-old homeschooled girl. My older sister and I have no reason to believe marriage is in sight.

Mom is a wonderful person, but still believes it is her total responsibility to guide and protect us as if we were still children. This might be fine and good, but the years have passed and Mom is so much in our faces and controlling toward the few Possibilities that have come our way that if things continue status quo I suspect we will remain old maids.

Mom doesn’t see this as bad. “After all,” she says, “it is better to remain a vessel for God than to marry an unrighteous man.” That is easy for her to say. Mom’s spiritual talk is her way of reminding us what a loser Dad is. Dad is a long way from being the Apostle Paul, but then Mom is no ministering angel toward him. That is another subject and their problem…unless mine and my sister’s loveless and childless fate is perpetuated by their sin.

My question is this: What can we do? Are we really rebellious when we want to be adults making our own decisions? Can a saved parent hold a grown child back from having a life that God would freely give? What does the Bible say? If we are free, then how do we find these Possibilities? Or have them find us?  ~Just call me Miss Loveless

Answer:

Dear Miss Loveless and her Loveless Sister,

What a sad state you find yourself in. Maybe a little Bible information will shed some light on your plight.

God clearly reveals the age when one becomes an autonomous adult. Is this the age of accountability? It is far more than that.

The phrase “twenty years old and upward” appears 132 times in the Scripture. God gives twenty years old as being the beginning of a man’s independent responsibilities toward Him in worship: Exodus 30:14, “Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.” The twenty-year-old was no longer covered by his family’s sacrifice.

In Numbers chapters 1–3, God says many times, “number the names of every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war:”

It is most significant that when a man reached the age of twenty, he was counted as an independent family separate from his father. Number 1:18 says, “And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty-years-old and upward by their polls.”

You will note all these Old Testament passages refer to a man’s age, not a female’s. Some will argue that females have no independent standing before God, that they must relate to God and society in subjection to a man—either their father or a husband. In the New Testament we find no such rigid cultural standards. God clarified this point through his dealings with Mary. The Holy Ghost approached Mary about becoming the mother of Jesus without going through either her parents or her betrothed husband. And she made her decision on her own.

Furthermore, overly protective parents are handicapping their adult children spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Young adults need to be tested so they can gain wisdom. A parent’s instruction concerning life is not sufficient; there comes a time when we must stand alone before God in regard to the choices we make if we are to grow to maturity before God. Some will fail; some will be wounded; but that is life. It is God’s testing ground to prove who and what we are. When our adult children leave home and grow into wise sons and daughters of the living God, sacrificing their life for righteousness, it brings great glory to God. A cloistered adult kid is a glory only to a needy parent.

You as a single woman, far past the age of twenty, will stand before God for your own decisions. (Of course, everyone living in the house should follow house rules.)

How can you safeguard yourself against making unwise decisions? We all think we are wise, but it is so easy to be deceived. A wise daughter should continue to seek her parents’ counsel as well as the counsel of any and all wise people in her life, especially concerning the most important decision of your life. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” Then Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” But know that the final decisions are yours to live with.

Now your second question: How can you meet Possibilities? You can ask your dad, an older brother, a man in the Church who walks upright and is happily wed, or your pastor to introduce you to young men who might need a wife. Men know what men are “up to” better than females, so it is wise to meet a “Possibility” through a man who regards your well-being as important. Even if your mom and dad were divorced, I would think your dad would be the first place to seek help. Dads naturally tend to be protective of their own flesh and blood, so even if he doesn’t live righteously, he will want your husband to be a good man.

It is possible that your dad would soberly take on the task. Usually dads, even lost ones, are more emotionally-balanced than moms who often thrive on controlling in an invasive way. When I asked the local men their thoughts on approaching a parent concerning getting to know a girl for marriage, they agreed that having to approach a girl’s father would be scary, but having to deal with the older woman about her daughters would be humiliating. They all agreed that they would give up pursuing a good woman as a possible wife to avoid being under the scrutiny (authority) of the girl’s mom.

Be ready for an emotional storm. Kindly let Mom know of your decision to act autonomously as a grown woman. Chances are she will see you choosing your dad over her and it will stir up an old personal hurt. She might tell some ugly stories, but in every bad marriage there are two sides, and both are usually greatly exaggerated. Refuse to listen, as she will regret the telling later. Be patient, wise, discerning, and reassuring toward her.

Now, if Dad or another trusted man does help find you a husband, I want you to know this important detail. You are your mother’s daughter. She loves you and has given her life for you. Honor her. Give her space and let her be a part of your new family.

Also, remember that she, as a woman in sourness toward her husband, is probably judgmental toward men in general, and thus a lingering spirit of criticism will most likely be an evil stronghold in your own life. Start now reading all the stories in the Old Testament of men God chose to use as his messengers. Learning how God loved and dealt with different people brings you to know the mind of God; this will renew your mind. There were Adam, Samson, David, Jonah, and Solomon. Become acquainted with these men of God. See their ups and downs. Read the story of the prophet Elijah who had a nervous breakdown; of Ezekiel who had strange visions, and laid on his side and ate dung while prophesying; Jeremiah the weeping prophet; and a crowd of other eccentric men God chose to honor as his special men.

If you are really blessed you will marry one of the sons of Adam, and you will be judgmental toward him because he will be a jerk. But sweetie, so are you; only you will not see the beam in your own eye. Be sure to read Created to Be His Help Meet when you find yourself irritated with your man. Don’t let what happened to your mama happen to you and your daughters. If we are not ever vigilant, sin has a way of being passed down through the generations. It is a robber of love, joy, and peace—and marriages.

In the end, a Possibility is just that: a Possibility. You will need to seek God’s will and have peace that this is the man you want to honor and obey all the days of your life, and the one you want to be the daddy to your children. It is a sobering thought. Once you are put to the test you might start agreeing with your mom and decide to stay single. But you need the opportunity to decide.

God tells us his will in I Timothy 5:14: “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The Scripture also says, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:34a). I would encourage you to pour your life into the ministry until such time God blesses you with a man. Read Preparing to Be a Help Meet.

Some naysayers will point out that this verse says women, not girls. We already covered the age of an adult found in the Old Testament (20 years old). What does “younger” refer to? Twenty? Twenty-five? Thirty? Well, younger is definitely not older. Keep in mind that the best, safest and  healthiest childbearing age is from twenty to thirty.

May God’s blessing be on you and your sister, and may both of you soon have someone to truly love you.

Friend, Debi

 

Leave a Reply

26 comments on “Poor Miss Loveless & Her Sister”

  1. I have to totally agree about the sins being passed down. Being critical seems to be a hard one to shake. I continully read Created to be His Help Meet and pray for help with that one.

  2. I agree with all Debi has said. Please read the Help Meet book!!! In my own experience, it is easy to wallow in self-pity and blame others for our plight. Reading the book has changed all that for me, praise God! Take control of your life by living for God, join a ministry,live to the fullest, and HE will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.

  3. Absolutely. We had a music minister that is a Pearl follower that for years that proclaimed that a woman was always under her father's authority if she was not married and I am so glad you have shown in the scriptures how true it is that "even" girls become adults who can make their own decisions. Thank you.

  4. I've never commented before, but something took my attention.

    You mentioned that Jeremiah ate dung while prophesying.

    Could I have have the scripture reference for that please, as I don't remember ever reading that.

    Thanks.

  5. Debi, I want to thank you for a beautiful letter. I wept as I read it. I have not been in the young womans shoes but, to have someone with such wisdom as you to give her those words, I do pray she will open her heart to your words. They are from the Lord.

  6. I am 22 years old and have lived on my own for over 4 years but I still have a very strong desire to not do anything that would displease my parents. If my parents have an opinion on something, automatically, I want to drop everything and do or believe like they do. But lately God has shown me the same thing, He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me Matthew 10:37. I now answer to the Lord first as my Father!

  7. Once again I am blessed by the simplicity and wisdom of your articles. I consider it my job to prepare my 14 & 15 year old daughters for the future the Lord has planned for them. I don't know what that is yet, but I want them to be educated and prepared to do whatever it is. I homeschool them and my 15 year old is finishing up her first two college classes with A's! I see so many homeschooled girls in our area (women actually) well into their 20's whose only jobs are being nannies for other families. They seem to have no vision for higher education or careers. I wonder how they are ever going to get out there and find their own husbands or if they will have the skills to be a good homemaker and mother if they are not investing in themselves at all. I did not come from a godly home, but did get saved in my teens. Yet, I didn't get married until I was 31. You never know what the Lord has for his daughters, but we must seriously do our best to equip them to live a full life that is pleasing to Him.

  8. Thank you Debi for your wisdom on this subject. We have three daughters and one son. Our oldest daughter just turned 14 and I plan on getting a copy of your Planning To Be
    A Helpmeet for her. I have the Help Meet book for myself and found it very useful. God is still dealing with me on some issues, but I am determined to crucify my critical flesh and letting God have His way with both my husband and myself..I want my daughters to have a Godly husband and the fruitful marriage that God intends for each of them..Thanks again for your wisdom and may God continue to bless you and your family..

  9. Dear Miss Loveless and Sister. I have a message of hope for you. And be sure our hope is in Jesus. I always was fearing that I was going to be an old maid. I felt not worthy to be desired by a lovely man. But one day I prayed in unision with my two girlfriends for godly husbands. After that I just put my trust in God, I stopped looking for a man and started seeking Jesus, His kingdom and its' righteousness. Very soon afterwards I met the man of my life. And believe me or not he is the best husband in the world.
    Put your trust in Jesus, think of Him, work for Him and He will take you to he right place in your life. Just depend on Him and do not sit waiting for a husband. Follow Jesus - there is plenty of wonderfull things to do for His kingdom. God bless you,
    Magdalena

  10. Using Mary as an example has its faults. Mary would have had to tell her parents who in turn,had they not agreed with her decision, could have had her stoned. Obviously Joseph knew because he was pondering putting her away until the angel spoke to him. She made her decision but she was still subject to the authority in her life.

    Encouraging young ladies to go beyond their parents to others for help finding a spouse can be both good and bad. Good if her motive is right and her parents are in agreeance with this.

    On the flip side I personally know a young lady (she married my brother) who went beyond her parents, brothers and pastor counsel to marry a man that she was told would not be a wise choice. Claiming that she was 23 and could do what she wanted, she kept going until she found people in the church to support her adult postion and she not only married him, but caused lots of division in the church by going around asking trusted people for their advice.

    While I'm not for crippling my children or holding them back I think it would be wise for this daughter to seek her fathers counsel and above all honor him in his decisions.

  11. I want to thank you for including this question & reply in your list of articles. I hope that parents of all the wonderful home-school girls out there will read the comments & think ahead, making an effort to meet & associate with other home-school/ believer families so their daughters, as they grow, may have hope for love & a family of their own.
    Attention from mainstream men with honorable intentions is always available to an attractive girl & it is so very hard to say "no" to the opportunity to be a wife and mother because of a difference in lifestyle or religious beliefs. Parents, please think of putting effort into making friendships with like minded people for your children's sake.
    Being home-schooled & brought up in a remote location is wonderful but at a certain age you realize you have grown up & are now an adult & you don't know anyone who your parents consider marriageable. I am 33 years old, home-schooled, brought up in a very conservative family, and was blessed with wonderful childhood & young adult years. I have been very busy and happy, but as 30 neared I have felt a loneliness that all my animals and business projects couldn't fill.
    I have told my parents; Mom says the Lord has everything in his plan, Dad says the time isn't yet, the lord will have a husband for you in the future & right now we need to focus on making a living for this family. I am a person of action & setting still/ just praying & and not doing anything on your own side doesn't seem right (we Bible study at home & don't go anywhere except with our livestock business). I want to ask everyone who reads this, how can we come up with a way to network/meet other young single people who have the Bible as the most important focus in their lives and want to raise a family of their own home schooled & brought up according to the Lord's will?
    Thank you everyone who reads this & thinks on a way to help.

  12. Hey~
    I just want to say that I so appreciate Michael and Debi's "Pearls" of Wisdom that they so generously share with one and all.
    I am a single woman, in my mid-twenties, still living under my parents' protection. I just want to point out that, yes, God DOES have a plan for each and every one of us, and it is not the same for anyone. I do believe that we should be living our lives to the fullest, not spurning opportunities the Lord brings us to "get out" and "live." However, I do NOT think that just because a woman is single she must therefore leave her home and "be busy" so she'll meet a singe man. God has a perfect timing for everyone, and even if you think you're "rotting away" in home, if it's His will you are there and not your own, He will guide you the way He has planned. Do not put God in a box and assume that you must follow an equation to get the appropriate answer. God's ways are NOT our ways and His understanding is better than our own. Trust in God and follow His leading in your life and He will direct you in EVERYTHING. That includes finding a husband.
    Thanks for your encouragement, Mike and Debi!
    ~Lela~

  13. Why hasn't anyone addressed Doreen's correction/understanding of the scripture?

    The Pearl's seem to have a bit of trouble in misquoting and misunderstanding the scriptures. I respectfully ask that they research/remember a bit more carefully in the future, to keep this problem to a minimum.

    Thank you.

  14. just.me, I appreciate your concern, but I don't think that what Ezekiel did was misquoted or misunderstood. Read Matthew Henry's commentary on Ezekiel 4, which is readily available online. When you grill meat over mesquite, the meat is infused with the flavor of the mesquite wood, if you are burning brush and happen to burn poison ivy you can get horribly sick. When Ezekiel baked his bread over human dung, it would to some extent infuse it with the dung. It was a picture of what was to come for the people. Just because Mrs. Pearl didn't go into detail about this, doesn't mean she was wrong or misquoting anything. I think people need to look at things through an open door instead of a little peephole. The Pearls have used their extensive knowledge of the Bible and their deep love for the Lord with as many people as possible, in an effort to help others experience the profound love of their Savior, and enjoy the happiness that we can all have while here on earth. I, for one, am so thankful for this.

  15. I do enjoy your articles. Even though my husband and I do not agree with your theology we still regard you as brothers and sisters in Christ. We have gracefully come to understand that agreements are not neccesarialy important in all aspects of the great walk of following Christ our Lord. Anyways, I would like to comment on some of the statements made by Debi, please give a listening ear to my thoughts. I really think Debi seems to give a much needed but harsh view on wives, mothers, and women in general, with no Grace attatched. i see it as a new form of Christian feminism. I am not saying this to condemn or slander but to just bring to the table the very valid thoughts,and conerns of many families caught up in the NGJ posts and theology. I am very aware of your devout study of the Word, your sincere desire to please our Great Lord. But many times there is an under current of disdain for women in general. Women were precious to our Lord, He made us and created us. Did we forget that Mary Magdelene was the first one to "Scream" about His resurrection, she was sovereingly given that chance. He has care and concern for us women, and that is what women need, bc that is how we were created, with a need for care and concern. I really do love how you give it to women point blank, but you have to admit that you still have to nuture that which our Lord created, and that is the womans emotional makeup. The womans emotional makeup is not sinful, as you guys have said, but it was created. It was created by a Great Jesus Christ that loves the women He created, dearly. I have gotten that many times. I was actually told by my husband that I could not read or listen to any of your teachings bc of the harshness you display towards women, Even though it is very passive agressive. Patrick did a very extensive study of your theology and beliefs, with much prayer, Biblical studies over the last 6 months, and --no blog posts--, he didnt need that prideful boost. My husband and I got down on our knees and read the Word for ourselves to decide what Christ had for us. We stopped asking Mike and Debi Pearl, we stopped asking JAmes Dobson, we stopped asking 700 club, we stopped asking Vision forum, and the list goes on and on.... But what a great thing happened! God answered us bc He is a Faithful and all knowing Lord, and allowed us to decide what was right for our family, what was right for each unique creation that He created ( each child). It wasnt nicley packaged in a parenting book, labeled ---From God our Father---. I know you DO NOT say that on your books , we all know you definately imply it. We are all different and all need a different touch. Just like we give each of our children, The God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, gives that same but different touch to us, according to His Word. i have not benefited from the TTUaC bc my children were harmed by that theology and also many other things that the Pearls teach. I assume by now that you will decline my post bc truth is truth. But honesty is not allowed. Our family put alot of stock into your products and ways of life that has cost of tens of thousands of dollars to recoup the emotional and spiritual damage done. Please dont mention the time it has taken to recoup from such teachings as yours. Just as Christ asks us to ask forgiveness for our sins, I believe you guys have many sins against many parents , families, fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, and children. But your ministry refuses to bring to the table all the concerns of real christians and ask for forgiveness. We understand that you guys believe that you no longer sin, but I will warn you of the scripture verse of 1John, Im sure we all know it. Especially a man of your studied stature, "whoever claims to be without sin" etc... The questions of your pridefullness about how you have lifes problems solved, all the while claiming Chrsit as your source! What if you just said this is what worked for your family without saying that it is Biblical. That would be great, bc your books are not "hands down Biblical, or even extra Biblical, that is for the catholics. Many times you guys claim that your teachings are some extra biblical teachings that if you do not follow you will be cursed for life. Believe me i know you do not say that word for word, but you guys definately make many familes feel that way. You guys make families feel like you guys have some wisdom from God that He was not able to give them Himself. Personally I think that is very prideful, but generally I think you guys need to clarify for those "weak christians" that you guys are only a guide to Christ Himself and not in the end all be all. Bc if what you guys had to say was sooo important that people would not of survived without it, Im sure Christ Himself would have posted it in HIS WORD! Michael and Debi Pearl come verrrrry close to presuming they are next to Christ. I say this bc they say that if you dont train your children like I we say in our books, then you will have rebellious children that go to hell. well sorry Mr. Pearl youve only been a parent 5 times in 1-2 generations, our Christ has been a parent for many mor egenerations than you. You seem to think you have a hands down knowledge of parenting, husbandism, christianism, wifeism, and Christism. This is a very harsh declaration wqithout acknowleging that Christ gave you the ability to live free, bc He fulfilled the for YOU, but only Christ has everything Hands Down.

  16. I admit, I used to think of you Pearls as repressive woman-haters. But looking deeper into your words for wives and articles, I've been so blessed! You have not at all been blinded by oppressive views, unlike many in the Vision Forum groupthink, for ex, but instead have encouraged young adults to BE young adults-responsible, smart, loving, and answering only to God as authority now. God bless you!! Well done!

  17. I was so blessed by the insights Mrs. Pearl shared in this article! I wish all mothers could read it. My best friend's family cut her off in bitterness and hurt, because her husband respectfully led his family and refused to be controlled by his mother in law. Please, PLEASE all you mothers who read this, love your daughters and grandchildren MORE than your own convictions and opinions!!!

  18. Wow! I don't feel at all disdained as a woman by any of the Pearl's writings or teaching. I actually feel liberated to be a woman and to be the woman, wife and mother God has called me to be.

  19. Debi, this is a wonderful response. Thank you so much for sharing. Would you and Michael have advice for young men as well? My son is a 19yo college student living at home, working almost full time. He is lonely and believes he will never find a nice young girl to date. And he has to endure constant barrage of 'well-meaning' people wondering when he will get a girlfriend (or boyfriend, gasp!), and it wears on him.Thank you both for such Godly advice and wisdom on so many subjects.

  20. Love this article! Such wisdom here, even for a woman who’s been married 11 years! If I could add here, the time of singleness feels like an eternity when you are praying and hoping for a husband and a family, but it is a very short time in the grand scheme of life. Trust the Lord, remember that you are still quite young, and know that marriage will present tremendous challenges that you can’t even fathom today! Every season of life in christ requires sacrifice, and your husband and children will be a source of refining!