Recently I stumbled upon this book extract from a friend. It’s from Debi Pearl’s Created to Be His Help Meet.
When it comes to romantic relationships, I still very much consider myself a traditionalist. While I believe that women, like men, are created with an equally independent streak, I also believe that a committed woman has to adjust to her man and his needs, the man who’s going to stand by her side for the long haul. It’s not supposed to be hard, as women generally fare better at compromising than men.
Suffice it to say that I haven’t read the book, or that I’m not yet a married woman, but I think it’s wise to get myself prepared for the role I’m going to play in my S.O.’s life.
Ladies, just read on. I’m sure you’re going to recognize every men you’ve met, dated, or secretly pictured yourself dating, as one of these types.
Mr. Command Man
God is dominant — a sovereign and all-powerful God. He is also visionary— omniscient and desirous of carrying out his plans. And, God is steady — the same yesterday, and today, and forever, our faithful High Priest. Most men epitomize one of these three aspects of God. No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God.
A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. They often end up in positions that command other men. We will call them Command Men. They are born leaders. They are often chosen by other men to be military commanders, politicians, preachers, heads of corporations, and managers of businesses. Winston Churchill, George Patton, and Ronald Reagan are examples of dominant men. Since our world needs only a few leaders, God seems to limit the number of these Command Men. These men see life as if they are looking from a high mountain, they see the big picture rather than individual needs.
They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. A Command Man does not want his wife involved in any project that prevents her from serving him. If you are blessed to be married to a strong, forceful, bossy man, as I am, then it is very important for you learn how to make an appeal without challenging his authority. We will discuss how to make an appeal later in this book.
Command Men have less tolerance, so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage. By the time she realizes that there is a serious problem, she is already a divorced mother seeking help in how to raise her children alone. A woman can fight until she is blue in the face, yet the Command Man will not yield. Yielding would be against his personhood. He is not as intimate or vulnerable as are other men in sharing hi s personal feelings or vocation with his wife. He seems to be sufficient unto himself. It is awful being shut out. A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme.
A King wants a Queen, which is why a man in command wants a faithful wife to share his fame and glory. Without a woman’s admiration, his victories are muted. If a wife learns early to enjoy the benefits of taking the second seat, and if she does not take offense to his headstrong aggressiveness, she will be the one sitting at his right side being adored, because this kind of man will totally adore his woman and exalt her. She will be his closest, and sometimes his only, confidante. Over the years, the Command Man can become more yielding and gentle. His wife will discover secret portals to his heart.
If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong, and fulfilled man of God. He has the potential to become an amazing leader. Never shame him, and do not belittle him or ignore his accomplishments. Make it your life’s goal to become his queen.
God is a Visionary as seen in his person, the Holy Spirit. He made some men in the image of that part of his nature. Prophets, be they true or false, are usually of this type. Some of you are married to men who are shakers, changers, and dreamers. These men get the entire family upset about peripheral issues, such as: do we believe in Christmas? Should we use state marriage licenses? Should a Christian opt out of the Social Security system? The issues may be serious and worthy of one’s commitment, but, in varying degrees, these men have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues. They are often the church splitters and the ones who demand doctrinal purity and proper dress and conduct. Like a prophet, they call people to task for their inconsistencies. If they are not wise, they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way.
Visionaries are often gifted men or inventors, and I am sure it was men of this caliber that conquered the Wild West, though they would not have been the farmers who settled it. Today, Visionary men are street preachers, political activists, organizers and instigators of any front-line social issue. They love confrontation, and hate the status quo. “Why leave it the way it is when you can change it?” They are the men who keep the rest of the world from getting stagnant or dull. The Visionary is consumed with a need to communicate with his words, music, writing, voice, art, or actions. He is the “voice crying out in the wilderness” striving to change the way humanity is behaving or thinking. Good intentions don’t always keep Visionaries from causing great harm. They can stir up pudding and end up with toxic waste if they are not wise. An unwise wife can add to the poison with negative words, or she can, with simple words of caution, bring attention to the goodness of the pudding and the wisdom in leaving it alone. Every Mr. Visionary needs a good, wise, prudent, stable wife who has a positive outlook on life.
The wife of Mr. Visionary should be just a little bit reckless and blind in one eye if she is going to enjoy the ride. If this is your man, you need to learn two very important things (beyond how to make an appeal). Learn how to be flexible, and learn how to always be loyal to your man. You will be amazed at how much happier you will be and how much fun life can be if you learn to just go with the flow — his flow. Life will become an adventure. You will actually begin to feel sorry for the gals married to the stick-in-the-mud, steady type. And once you get it into your head that your husband does not have to be “right” for you to follow him, you will finally be able to say bye bye to your overwrought parents, even when they are screaming that you are married to a crazy man. People looking on will marvel that you are able to love and appreciate your husband, but you will know better because you will see his greatness.
Greatness is a state of soul, not certain accomplishments. Over time, this type of man will become more practical. If you are a young wife married to a man whom your mama thinks is totally crazy — then you may be married to Mr. Visionary. Right now, purpose in your heart to be loyal to him, and to be flexible; then, let your dreamer dream. Lean back and enjoy the ride; it should prove interesting. Visionary Man will talk and talk and talk to his honey if she approves of him. He will be subjective, thinking about feelings, moods, and spiritual insights. One of his greatest needs will be for his wife to think objectively (proven truth) and use common sense, which will help keep his feet from flying too far from solid ground. He spends his life looking through a telescope or microscope, and he will be stunned that what he sees (or thinks he sees), others do not seem to notice or care about.
God is as steady as an eternal rock, caring, providing, and faithful, like a priest like Jesus Christ. He created many men in that image. We will call him Mr. Steady — “in the middle, not given to extremes.” The Steady Man does not make snap decisions or spend his last dime on a new idea, and he doesn’t try to tell other people what to do. He avoids controversy.
Being married to a Steady Man has its rewards and its trials. On the good side, your husband never puts undue pressure on you to perform miracles. He doesn’t expect you to be his servant. You do not spend your days putting out emotional fires, because he doesn’t create tension in the family. You rarely feel hurried, pushed, pressured, or forced. The women married to Visionary Men look at you in wonder that your husband seems so balanced and stable. The wife of Command Man marvels at the free time you seem to have. If your dad happened to be a Steady Man, then chances are you will appreciate your husband’s down-to-earth, practical life for the wonderful treasure it is.
When you are married to a man who is steady and cautious, and you have a bit of the impatient romantic in you, you may not see his worth and readily honor him. You may be discontent because he is slow and cautious to take authority or make quick decisions. A bossy woman sees her husband’s lack of hasty judgment and calls her Steady husband “wishy-washy.” His steadiness makes him the last to change, so he seems to be a follower because he is seldom out front forming up the troops. There is no exciting rush in him, just a slow, steady climb with no bells or whistles. You wish he would just make up his mind, and that he would take a stand in the church. He seems to just let people use him. There are times you wish he would boldly tell you what to do so you would not have to carry all the burden of decision-making.
Some women equate their husband’s wise caution and lack of open passion as being unspiritual. His lack of spontaneity and open boldness may look like indifference to spiritual things. However, he is like deep, deep water. The very depth makes the movement almost imperceptible, but it is, nevertheless, very strong.
He will be confused with your unhappiness and try to serve you more, which may further diminish your respect for his masculinity. Disappointment and unthankfulness can make you wearier than any amount of duties. His very steadiness keeps him on his middle-of-the-road course, and it will drive a controlling woman crazy.
This is why many disgruntled ladies married to Mr. Steadys fall victim to hormonal imbalance, physical illness, or emotional problems.
Know your man
Wives are very much flesh and blood, and as young women, we don’t come to marriage with all the skills needed to make it start out good, let alone perfect. When you come to know your man for whom God created him to be, you will stop trying to change him into what you think he should be. The key is to know your man. If he is Mr. Steady, you need to learn to be thankful and to honor him as the one created for you in the image of God. Your husband’s gentleness is not a weakness; it is his strength. Your husband’s hesitation is not indecision; it is cautious wisdom. Your husband’s lack of deep spiritual conversation is not a lack of caring; it is simply the cap on a mountain of intense emotions.
If this describes your man, you need to learn how to stand still and listen; then let God move your husband in his own good time. Ask God for wisdom and patience. Seek to always have a gentle spirit. Stop expecting him to perform for you, to pray with the family, to speak out in witnessing, or to take a bold stand at church. Stop trying to stir him up to anger toward the children in order to get him to feel as though he understands how badly you are being treated. Let him be the one God made him to be: a still, quiet, thoughtful presence — for you!
A Steady Man likes a woman to walk beside him, yet grow in her own right before God and him.
He needs a resourceful, hardworking woman with dignity and honor. It is important to Mr. Steady that his wife is able to be self-sufficient in all the mundane tasks of daily living.
These men can be some of the most important men in the church, because their steadfastness is sure, and their loyalty is strong. They make wise, well-thought-out decisions.
Typically, Steady Men do not become as well known as Command or Visionary Men. They are not odd or stand-out men. They are not loud. They are neither irritating nor particularly magnificent. Women and men alike envy and desire a Command Man. People are often drawn and compelled by the Visionary. But the Steady Man is taken for granted.
Much of this book has been written to help young wives learn to honor, obey, and appreciate the Steady Man just as he is.
Mr. Steady will enjoy the company of others and be most comfortable spending time in small talk with whoever is around. Of the three types, he is the one that will be most liked by everyone. Mr. Steady is always in demand. He belongs to people. He does not focus on the eternal picture like Mr. Command, nor is he looking through a microscope as Mr. Visionary, but he does respect both views as important. His vision is as a man seeing life just as it is. He can shift his sights to the sky and know there is more up there than he can see, and he wonders about it. Or, he can stare into a muddy pond and appreciate that there is a whole world in there that he knows nothing about. In most of life, he is a bridge between the other two types of men. He is a very necessary expression of God’s image. Of the three different kinds of men, it is more important that Mr. Steady have a help meet who likes him just as he is.
Which one of these godly types sounds most like your man? More importantly, are you ready to be his help mate? (I know I don’t. At least not yet :p)