CTBHHM: Created in the Image of Man

Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 75-76

In this section Debi argues that there are three basic “types” of men, but that women, unlike men, are fluid and flexible, able to become the “composite” of any of those three types depending on who they marry. But Debi says that teenage girls and young women generally fix on an ideal male type, whether it is that of their father or that of a character in a book or movie, and go about making themselves into composites of this type. This creates problems when they marry, as they set about trying to change their husbands into their images of an ideal man. But men are fixed, so they fail—and quickly end up divorced. The key, Debi says, is to understand the type your man is and be ready to change yourself to fit your man’s needs rather than trying to change your man to fit your own needs.

So let’s get started:

Men are not all the same. I have become aware that there are basically three types of men. The different types are just as marked in one-year-olds as they are in adult men.

Call me skeptical. But I am. According to Debi, then, male infants have set and fixed types while female infants are some sort of fluid blank slates. I have a male baby who is fast approaching one, and I have a little girl who was a baby not so very long ago, and you know what? I don’t see it. They both have strong personalities, and have since they started sitting up and smiling. If my little Bobby is already a fixed type while my Sally is flexible, that’s news to me!

It seems that God made each male to express one side of his triad nature. No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God.

Annnnnnnnnnd call me more skeptical. You would think that if God intentionally designed men to each express one side of the trinity, there would be something about that in the Bible. Or, you know, someone before Debi would have come up with it. You would think that Debi wouldn’t be the first one discovering this tidy divine truth! Note again that Debi is only talking about men. Men express sides of God’s nature. Women? Nah.

And all the training and experiences of life will never successfully make a man into a different type of man. There is nothing clumsier or more pathetic than a man trying to act differently from who he is.

Debi is ready to jump all over women trying to get them to change who they are, but she’s so opposed to men even trying to change themselves that she calls any such man “pathetic.” In all Christ-like love, of course.

As we review the types, you will probably readily identify your husband and be able to see where you have been a curse or blessing to him.

Because that, ladies, is how we score your life—whether you’re a curse or a blessing to your husband. Just while we’re talking about priorities and all.

By the time a young woman gets married, she has developed a composite image of what her husband ought to be like. The men she has known and the characters in books and movies provide each woman with a concept of the perfect man.

Here I think we need to take a quick detour. In an article I wrote about a year and a half ago, Debi penned some advice to teenage girls and unmarried women. She told them that they are each able to be the composite of any of the three types of men, and that it is their job to fit themselves to the man they someday marry.

God did not create women as he did men, strongly fixed in one type or another. Being created in the image of man, we are more muted and flexible in our types. If a woman were a strong Command type married to Mr. Steady, that would cause terrible conflict in the marital relationship.

What Debi is saying here, then, is that young women are flexible and don’t have set personalities and temperaments. This is so that they can mold themselves to the image of the man they someday marry, becoming a “composite” of his type. But as Debi said above, sometimes young women develop into the composite of their ideal husband before they meet and marry.

Poor guys! Our preconceived ideas make it tough on them. They are never perfect—far from it. God gave each one a nature that in part is like himself, but never complete. When you add in the factor that all men are fallen creatures, it makes a girl wonder why she would ever want to tie her life to one of these sons of Adam.

Given Debi’s descriptions of men thus far, I’m going with yes, yes it does. And given how she’s writing this, Debi seems to agree with her rhetorical question. In Debi’s world, men are miserable louts and no woman in her right mind would want to find herself chained to one. So then, why do women sign up for this?

But God made us ladies to have this unreasonable desire to be needed by a man, and our hormones are working strenuously to bring us together.

Oh. Right. That’s why.

Hey ladies! Did you know that you have an unreasonable desire to be needed by a man? No? Me neither!

Look, it’s only normal for people to want to have people around them who love them and value them, people they love and value in return. But that’s not what Debi is talking about here.

In any case, Debi says it’s because of this unreasonable desire to be needed by a man, in combination with our hormones, that women choose to chain themselves to men. But what happens after they put on the shackles?

When a girl suddenly finds herself permanently wed to a man who is not like she thinks he ought to be, rather than adapt to him, she usually spends the rest of their marriage—which may not be very long—trying to change him into what she thinks her man ought to be.

Wisdom is knowing what you “bought” when you married that man, and learning to adapt to him as he is, not as you want him to be.

Women are supposed to adapt themselves to the men they marry, and not expect him to change. As with much of the advice Debi gives, there’s a grain of truth here—a grain that Debi has completely pulverized and then mixed with excrement. It is true that you cannot change someone, and that you should not go through marriage wishing your husband (or wife) would be somehow transformed into your perfect ideal. But the trouble is that adapting goes both ways. A marriage ought to be about a husband and a wife coming together as two individuals with their own personalities and temperaments and learning to live with each other, as they are. Yes, some rough edges will ideally get ground off in the process. Over time, both partners will change. But marriage shouldn’t be about one partner stubbornly refusing to change a thing or adapt one iota while the other partner does all the changing and adapting around him (or her). Marriage ought to be about communication, compromise, and cooperation. But in Debi’s world, these things are utterly absent.

Men are not alike. … Our husbands are created in the image of God, and it takes all kinds of men to even come close to completing that image. No man is a perfect balance; if he were, he would be too divine to need you.

Debi seems to suggest that if we were to expect men to achieve some balance in their lives, men would become too “divine” to have any need for simple women. It is almost as though Debi is suggesting that we must humor men’s imperfections or else he will suddenly grow a halo and emanate divine light, frying us mere mortals.

But also, this reminds me of something Debi had to say in the article I quoted from earlier:

Men were created in God’s image. God breathed the breath of life straight into Adam. It is mind-boggling to think that mere man is in God’s own image. In effect, man is in the likeness of God. . . .

As Adam was created in God’s image, Eve was created in Adam’s image. God could have shaped two clay figures and breathed life into both, but he chose to take the woman from the man’s own flesh and bone. I have come to see that tiered process as very significant, making it consistent with nature that the woman should be the helper in the chain of command.

*pulls out hair*

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem the creation story in Genesis 2. In it, God created man. Woman was an afterthought, created out of Adam’s rib because Adam was lonely. All Debi is doing is taking this story painfully, painfully literally. Man created for God, woman created for man. But the thing is, Genesis has two creation stories, and it’s the first one that mentions the whole “in the image of God” thing, not the second one.

Genesis 1: 26-28

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The problem isn’t simply that Debi is taking the Bible painfully literally and not looking into things like context, the problem is bigger than that. The problem is that Debi gets the very text of the Bible itself wrong. But given how Debi lays it out, it’s easy to see why she gives much of the advice that she does. Debi believes that men are created in God’s image, but women are not. Women are created in men’s image. Men have an obligation to fulfill God’s needs and desires, and women have an obligation to fulfill men’s needs and desires. Too bad we women don’t have something out there to fulfill our needs and desires! Or is that what children are supposed to do?

One thing I will say for Debi is that she’s not subtle.

Thing is, not only is Debi suggesting that women give up existing as their own personalities and instead simply shape themselves into shadows of their husbands’, she’s also setting up a system wherein women are to essentially worship men in the same sort of way men are supposed to worship God. And yet somehow, she still throws in egalitarian-sounding language:

God gives imperfect women to imperfect men so that they can be heirs together of the grace of life and become something more together than either one of them would ever be alone.

When it’s men who are made in God’s image and women who function as their mere support staff, I’m not sure where the “together” really is.

Debi finishes with this:

If you fight your husband’s inadequacies or seek to be dominant where he is not, both of you will fail. If you love him and support him with his inadequacies and without taking charge, both of you will succeed and grow.

Let’s imagine that you are good at finances, but your husband is not. As I see it, you have three basic options: 1) help your husband become better at finances; 2) be the one in charge of finances, since you’re good at it; or 3) let your husband be in charge of finances and do a horrible job of it while you stand by watching mutely. In a healthy relationship, the answer is generally some combination of options 1 and 2. Debi, it seems, would go with option 3: Embrace your husband’s bad skills with money and let him spend you to oblivion. Fun times!

I just keep rereading those last two sentences of Debi’s and I keep coming up with “Don’t try to get your husband to address areas where he is weak or compensate for his weaknesses by taking up the slack in those areas. Instead, celebrate his weaknesses and the result will be rainbows and sparkles and purple unicorns.”

So, next week we delve into the first of the three male types. First is Mr. Command Man, followed by Mr. Visionary and Mr. Steady. Would any of you male readers like to take a stab at which one Debi would peg you as?

Oh, and ladies, get busy on the bit where you forget you have personhood and, like, your own personality. Remember, Debi says you’re really just a blank slate waiting to be drawn on by your husband. Thoughts and needs of your own? Pshaw!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://brokendaughters.wordpress.com Lisa

    I don’t want to give out any spoilers for the next part on the three natures (cause that’ll be a fun read!) but I want to ask:
    IF, by Debbi’s logic, no man possesses all three natures and is therefore not divine, would it not make more sense to choose a spouse which is actually complementary, as in a woman who is NOT the same type as her husband? Because, you know, if she’s supposed to be the helper, wouldn’t it be smart to marry someone who can actually do things I can’t do (or don’t like to do)?

    I think what Debbi suggests here is not that women complete men or merely add additional help for a man where he needs it, what Debbi suggests is that men need followers. Not even helpers – followers and slaves. I think she turns the whole helper-notion upside down with this part of the book. Because to me, personally, a helper is STILL someone whom I need because I can’t do the things he/she can do. Like when I ask someone to help me fix a car. I don’t ask because I enjoy the company while being perfectly able to do it on my own – I ask because I can’t do it by myself.

    • Cathy W

      would it not make more sense to choose a spouse which is actually complementary, as in a woman who is NOT the same type as her husband?

      That also struck me… Debbie refers to the woman as the “complement” of the husband, which says that between the two of them they should have all the bases covered. But then she tells women “If you fight your husband’s inadequacies or seek to be dominant where he is not, both of you will fail.” – so you’re not supposed to make up for his weaknesses? If what I’m doing is simply helping him do better what he already does well, without in any way trying to compensate for things he doesn’t do well, that’s not a “complement”; at best, that’s a secretary.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      She’s playing language games. “Helper” sounds soooo much better than “slave.”

  • BringTheNoise

    Hmmm, “Visionary”, “Command Man” or “Steady” – which am I? On the grounds, that I don’t spend my time ordering my girlfriend around (CM*) or throwing all our resources at projects without first thinking them through (V*), I’ll go with with “Mr Steady”. I’m sure this will prove I’m not Godly enough or somesuch, but I need to be treated as Solomon II anyway because… PENIS!

    * These are guesses, based on Debi’s Pearls (ISWIDT!) of Wisdom about TEH MENZ so far.

    • ako

      If I was allowed to have a personality type, I’m pretty sure I’d qualify as a Visionary. I’m drawn to passion, intensity, and grand, amazing ideas. Command doesn’t appeal to me, and I’m not what anyone would describe as Steady.

      But I’m a woman, so I’m not allowed to have strong tendencies, or possibly obliged by divine authority to eradicate them.

  • ako

    She taking one bit of truth and splitting it into two opposite extremes, which are unreasonable, unhealthy, and untrue.

    The sensible truth is this – people can change, if they’re willing, up to a point. It’s not healthy for a person to sit around in perpetual fixed state of “This is my type, and I will change nothing, no matter how difficult or inconvenient it is!” or to completely disregard their natural tendencies and personality in favor of molding themselves into a perfect vision. This does mean that women shouldn’t expect their husbands to be completely malleable and capable of being turned into some idealized vision, and that women have an ability to choose (up to a point) to change their behavior patterns and adapt themselves to a relationship. It also means men have some ability to choose to be flexible and adapt themselves to their spouse, and it’s unreasonable for a man to expect a woman to be a lump of wax that can be molded into whatever shape he finds most convenient.

    Of course, acknowledging that would mean treating both men and women as not fundamentally opposite in nature, but fundamentally human, not dumping all the work on women, and giving men some degree of responsibility for the state of their relationships. All of which is completely unacceptable according to the philosophy of CTBHHM. I mean if you start telling a woman that men aren’t an alien species, it’s possible to know better than male authority figures, and she might have inherent natural qualities that are neither totally generic and homogenous nor all about enabling her to serve men, then you can get chaos and feminism and all kinds of scary things!

    • Niveau

      You can get chaos and feminism and all kinds of scary things, including the most terrifying thing of all: a duplex! Oh, the horror!

  • Nea

    The problem is that Debi gets the very text of the Bible itself wrong.

    I know I say this every Friday but: Debi… or Michael? I can’t imagine a better beginning to groom for abuse than to convince your smitten new wife that your Fancy Bible Learnin’ proves that she was made Just For Him and then using that welcome message to rapidly ramp up to the horrible message that she is merely his appendage and that not just her life but her very salvation depends on continuing to worship the ground he strews with trash.

    Listening to her describe their courtship and early hours of marriage is like reading down a checklist for abusers. Is she already doing the heavy lifting by having fallen in love with him? Check. Does she wildly overreact positively to the slightest touch? Check. Will she keep quiet and patient while he does a completely bizarre action rather than answer her question? Check. Does she ask any practical questions about what a life together would entail? No. Will she push back or take it quietly when he reacts badly to the most innocent (and obvious) of statements immediately after their marriage?

    • Stony

      And I agree with you every Friday! Don’t forget her admonition to women to FEAR god. And who is a wife’s god on earth?

      • Nea

        Exactly!

        And although she never says it, I can’t help but think that someone who thinks it’s so right to abuse children wouldn’t blink at abusing a spouse either. Even if Michael never rasied a hand to her, notice how she talks about all women? Telling your spouse she’s stupid, controlled by Satan, and easily replaced with a better version is emotional abuse, plain and simple.

    • saraquill

      (Mock horror) But-but Michael can’t be getting the Bible wrong. He reads GREEK!

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon

    Where’s the Man Type that changes into the Woman Type? :p

    Transgender women and men probably break poor Debi’s brain.

    • ako

      I think so. Lesbians only come into the picture as the Dire Fate women suffer if they’re insufficiently subservient, and therefore divorced. I’m pretty sure her response to trans people would be “That can’t be true! It’s Satan! Pray to God until the feelings go away!”, consider how that’s her approach to pretty much everything that doesn’t fit her worldview.

  • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

    “If you love him and support him with his inadequacies”

    You know, if you put just this part with your finances hypothetical, I come up with the same answer you do–take care of them yourself or give him help. But the next part–”or taking charge” along with the rest of the book don’t leave room for this answer, unless maybe he tells you to do so. She’s not telling women to support their husbands’ inadequacies but to enable them, and that’s something entirely different.

  • AnonaMiss

    What boggles my mind here is that Debi seems to think it is the natural order of things to marry for lust.

    We all know that a strict prohibition on premarital sex will tend to encourage marrying for lust, but generally those against it encourage restraint and letting the mind/soul/heart/will/spirit rule over the “flesh”. Marriage for lust is, in the prevailing abstinence narrative, unfortunate and due to an understandable, but undesirable, weakness of will. (Or so I’ve always interpreted the abstinence narrative).

    Debi writes as though marriage for lust is a feature, not a bug. Marriage for lust is the Natural Order. This is how men and women always get married! So there’s no way she made a horrible mistake!

    • Cathy W

      That’s actually in the Bible – Paul wrote something about how ideally no one should marry, but it’s better to marry than burn… all well and good if the Rapture really is coming next week, but not really a good recipe for long-term success.

      • http://wideopenground.com Lana

        Exactly, and Paul also thought Jesus was soon to return.

      • Judy L.

        Yeah, Paul encourages celibacy for Christians (the world was going to end soon, so there was no point in having babies) but said that those who are unable to abstain should marry, for being tormented with lust is bad. Paul seems to have been rather preoccupied with lust and its ill effects.

        The Christian ideal of celibacy seems rather inconsistent with Quiverfull Evangelical Christianity.

    • Nea

      Of course she thinks it’s natural – it’s what she did, after all. Look at how overwhelmed she got when he just touched her hand, how she brags about “winning” in the bedroom, about her fixation on being “properly bedded” on her wedding night. The one honest thing in all of her stories is how much she wants to have sex with Michael Pearl.

      • Staceyjw

        I do wonder if her attitude towards sex w Michael is actually due to real desire, or is something she convinced herself to act like, because she truly believes to be a good wife, she must submit to him sexually, always with a smile. Or it could be a mixture of both- but which came first?

        If she really feels lust (I hope she does!), I could see her needing religious beliefs that support the idea that a woman should always be ready give sex happily, since it would make her sexual desires godly and blessed, instead of “dirty”. I cannot imagine just plain female sexual desire would be acceptable to her otherwise, married or not. It would need to be in service of a man to have value.

        OTOH, her belief that being a good wife means being eager, excited, and always sexually available, could have made her cultivate the appearance of lust, regardless of whether it’s there or not. I have seen this attitude among another group of women who need to appear eager, excited and sexually available- sex workers. They know they have to make their johns feel like they can’t wait to have sex w them, even if its the very last thing they want to do. Their livelihood (and sometimes their lives) depend on this act. They often talk it up, really to keep themselves going. I can see any submissive wife, that thinks her job is sexually satisfying the man that supports her, acting the very same way.

        I would love if they just enjoyed having sex, but it could never be so easy.

        sure hope

      • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

        It reminds me of Goreans and how impossible it is to tell the difference between a woman who really, genuinely desires her man whenever he feels like it and a woman who is just tremendously brainwashed.

        I do imagine that Debi doesn’t wear proper Gorean women-wear around the home, though…

      • Nea

        Staceyjw –

        It’s hard to tell how much she wants. Some of it is honest desire (if uncontrolled, considering her response to having her hand touched was “LET ME GIVE YOU BABIES!”) She certainly triumphs in Michael’s cave-man bedroom routine.

        On the other hand, I also know that there’s an upcoming line about how women shouldn’t say if sex is painful because sex is what they’re made for. I can’t tell if that’s her telling women to put on a happy face or Michael telling her to STFU (or both.)

        But if you look at her advice, really look at it – there’s more sex than Peyton Place. It’s 50 Shades of Debi in that book – telling women to act hypersexual so their men won’t stray, and (if that doesn’t work) rattling on and on about all the sex surrounding divorced women: their babysitters being boned (on the job and in the woman’s own bed!); their ex-husbands rogering their replacements, even the women themselves being lost to lesbian lusts.

        I’m running out of alliterations, but my point remains: sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, all over that book. If it’s not what she’s having or telling other people to have, it’s what she’s imagining other people will have.

  • Karen

    First of all, this reminds me of a Star Trek: TNG episode where an alien woman grows up able to assume any role to complement any man; she’s put aboard the Enterprise in stasis as cargo, but the Federation doesn’t accept humans kept in stasis as cargo, so she’s revived. The great fear of her people is that she’ll get “fixed” in her role before she meets her assigned mate, the ruler of a neighboring star system. They’re right — in the end she gets “fixed” in the role of helpmeet to the captain, which gives her the courage and determination to carry out her role as helpmeet for the ruler, because duty and responsibility are so important to the captain. Then they get to the destination planet and the ruler couldn’t care less about her.

    • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

      I remember this episode! :) Star Trek is the best.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      I love that episode!

  • Angela

    So if your husband isn’t the “command” type then you really shouldn’t expect him to take charge, right? I mean, wouldn’t that be forcing him to assume more than one personality?

    • Beutelratti

      What if your husband commands you to command him?

      • Cathy W

        “I command you to stop submitting to me…” I remember someone had an anecdote about an absurd situation where the women at their church decided to wear head coverings as a sign of submission to their husbands, but some of the husbands didn’t want their wives to wear head coverings…

  • http://www.wayofcats.com WereBear

    I swear, I would be so messed up if I had been reading Debi Pearl back in my adolescence. It’s just an accident of timing I did not; my parents were going to a Baptist church then, but this was before it was completely off the rails.

    I saw middle-aged ladies in that church who had been told, over and over, that being a quiet cleaning machine would make them happy. I saw the realization sink in that they were not… and would never be… and their bitter, angry, despairing faces would be my future… if I did not leave.

    Fortunately, I figured out my own spiritual path, and found another refugee who had wound up on the same one. We have a partnership of equals… and this makes him happier too!

    One of the awful things about the Pearl’s marriage is that the husband is alone in his decision making. If there are screwups, sure he will blame his wife. But deep down, he has to know it’s HIM.

    It’s a very lonely way to be married, isn’t it?

  • J-Rex

    Why does she even bother explaining that men are not perfect, just to say that we should treat them like they’re perfect anyways?

    • Kodie

      She gets a lot of letters about how imperfect men are and gives advice how to deal with it, essentially. I don’t think she’s going to fool even the women who swallow her advice that men are perfect. Men will fall apart if they find out from their wives they aren’t, that’s all. Men will fall apart, this is basically how to avoid ruining your marriage because the man will decide that it’s over if he finds out he’s not perfect and women will turn into a homeless lesbian, so all this book is how to keep the illusion for the man intact. I have been following most of this series of posts and there is nowhere Debi claims that men are perfect, but instead, appealing to women who can see with their own damn eyes their husbands aren’t perfect and need help squashing the urge to criticize or even offer suggestions.

  • Cathy W

    You know, at some point, you have to ask: Even if the worst, direst, most outrageous of Debi’s predictions come true and you do end up an ugly lesbian* in a crappy duplex hoping against all hope that the ex pays the child support this month instead of spending the money on the younger, hotter new wife – is that actually worse than staying married to the overgrown toddler on these terms?

    *yes, I know getting divorced will not make you a lesbian if you weren’t one already….

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    Love the fact that you caught the mis-reference to Genesis. Those two competing creating stories ought to be really problematic for Christians who take the bible as literal. But you get taught how to read something and somehow you just never catch the discrepancies. And Debi never seems to catch any of her own discrepancies. Its like she’s doublethinking. Her brain must get so tired.

    • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

      Pfft. Womenbrainz aren’t for thinking! They’re for reciting what your husband/father/God tells you. Or, in the case of Debi, what Michael tells you.

  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    I think the problem here is the Debi has watched too much Star Trek, specifically the episode about the alien woman who was being sent as a gift to someone to cement an alliance. She imprints on that person and becomes the perfect companion/lover/wife/whatnot. Except she imprints on the wrong person and is basically screwed for life.

    Wait! Did that just describe Debi’s entire worldview?

    • Beth Connell

      I know this was 3 months ago, but that was EXACTLY my thought!! I watched that when I was a kid and I never forgot that episode or the tribble episode!!! HAA HAAA too funny.

  • wanderer

    What an elaborate mindfuck she has created to cope with her own life.

    • Staceyjw

      Too bad she didn’t use that creativity and drive to get away!

  • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

    How about Mr. Televisionary? The guy who parks himself in front of the tube every night from dinner until bed time, and all weekend when there’s sports to watch.
    (Which isn’t me, by a long shot).

    • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

      Um…. pretty sure he only watches tv because 1. His wife criticized him once, 2. He isn’t getting enough sex, or 3. His wife isn’t being subservient enough. Barring that, he’s probably messed up because his mom failed in some way? (sarcasm alert)

  • el

    Cathy W, I think Debi would say that that might feel better, but you’ll go to hell if you don’t put yourself through that torture.

  • Jasen

    I’ll guess she’d label me a Mr. Steady since I’m comfortable with routines, reliable, and (perhaps too) punctual.

  • http://www.wayofcats.com WereBear

    ~What an elaborate mindfuck she has created to cope with her own life.~

    It is a chilling reminder that she not only beats her own children to cope with her frustration, she encourages others to do so.

  • John Small Berries

    I wonder, which part of God’s tripartite “triad” nature is reflected by the man who gets drunk and beats his wife and/or kids?

    Would any of you male readers like to take a stab at which one Debi would peg you as?

    I presume she’d claim that I’m not really a man at all, since I treat my wife as an equal instead of a servant, happily share the decisionmaking process with her, encouraged her to go to grad school so she could change her career to one that she wanted to pursue, and don’t demand that she have children.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      All of them? Jesus came to bring the sword, God created tsunamis, and the Holy Spirit inspired the Crusades. I’d say that the rollercoaster ride of intimate abuse fits right in with most dominant conceptions of the Christian godhead.

  • ScottInOH

    I’m too confused about the 3 types–each of which is 1/3 of God–to guess which one is me. Are Command, Visionary, and Steady supposed to correlate with the 3 persons of the Trinity? I don’t see it. I’ll have to tune in next week!

    • Jasen

      Command would be for the Father I assume. I’d guess visionary for the Son and steady for the Spirit, but I suppose it could go the other way just as “well.”‘

    • Pauline

      Yeah, that’s a good point. Jesus doesn’t seem all that “steady” in the Gospels… but I can’t say I’d naturally associate that word with the Spirit either!

  • http://sylvia-rachel.livejournal.com sylvia_rachel

    Is she getting the marrying-for-lust thing from “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” in Gen 3:16? (That’s the early-20th-century Jewish Publication Society translation, but I think it’s essentially the same as the KJV in this case.)

    People who attempt to read the biblical creation stories literally kind of scare me, because how can you? Apart from the fact that they are clearly story or allegory, and not reportage or history or whatever other genre would permit such a reading, there are TWO STORIES and they are CONTRADICTORY. It’s funny how the “literalists” always seem to gloss over the “male and female he created them” part. Almost like they’re reading with a particular agenda in mind and disregarding the bits of the text that don’t fit that agenda …

    …there’s a grain of truth here—a grain that Debi has completely pulverized and then mixed with excrement.

    Exactly!! There is no room for nuance, negotiation, or shades of grey in this worldview, it seems — no way to understand “don’t marry someone in the belief that you will then be able to remodel him/her into your ideal spouse” (very good advice, which I got from my own mother and am grateful for) except as “don’t you dare even suggest that your husband might ever need to do anything differently”.

    I have to wonder, how many men can there be (other than my late father…) who actually want their wives to be this sycophantic and subservient?

  • smrnda

    I really get sick of ‘there are X kinds of’ talk when it comes to people. Nothing like finding more labels and narrow little boxes to cram people in, so you can simply approach people as examples of a type rather than actual people.

    • James Yakura

      Beyond, of course, the tired computer joke about 10 kinds of people.

      • Leigha7

        I like this one: There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand trinary, those who don’t, and those who mistake it for binary.

  • John Evans

    By this logic shouldn’t men be hooking up in triads to become more god-like?

    • wanderer

      wow, great point!

    • Rae

      I nearly spit out my drink all over my laptop when I read this.

    • http://sylvia-rachel.livejournal.com sylvia_rachel

      Have an Internet, sir. :D

    • Judy L.

      No, it means that each woman gets three husbands, so she’s got all of God facets represented in her marriage. ;)

      • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

        Oh my goodness… The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the Church…. I kinda feel like this needs to be a new cult…

  • http://wideopenground.com Lana

    My mother still agrees with Debi on the different types of men. I’ve always taken offense to being told I was made in man’s image. Guess I’m plato’s copy of a copy. But then if I’m made in man’s image, I guess it gives me a darn good excuse for being a tomboy.

  • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

    Well, I haven’t read the book, but I have a question: if a woman emulates the man she marries, and she marries Command Man, shouldn’t she become some kind of “Command Woman?” And thus unlovable and doomed to die alone?

    I don’t know which category I’d be; as I say, I haven’t read the book. Besides, I have an admittedly short patience with these personality profile concepts, even the ones that claim scientific validity, like the Enneagram people.

    From the sound of it:

    Command Man: Well, I teach school, so I have to have a Command Voice . . . and I organize political volunteers, which involves giving some orders. I guess?

    Mr. Steady: Well, I’m a family man, father and husband, and I’ve had to make sacrifices along the way. I work a job instead of going freelance or drifting around the country . . . is that what we’re talking about?

    Mr. Visionary: Probably the least likely. . . but then again, I’ve had a hand in creating some pretty ambitious things. We’re pretty close to a goal that people told us was impossible ten years ago. Does that make you a visionary? I dunno.

    • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

      Now, my wife . . .

      I don’t think she’d describe herself as visionary, but I don’t know.

      I think she’d call herself “steady” in a heartbeat. And like me, she needs the ability to command (she’s also a teacher with challenging students) and take control of a situation, but it might not be her favorite thing to do (also like me.)

  • Anonymous

    “There is nothing clumsier or more pathetic than a man trying to act differently from who he is.”

    Unless he happens to be gay, transgender or into traditionally feminine things and denying it because his culture says who he is isnt okay?

    • Leigha7

      Obviously what she meant to say is that there’s nothing more pathetic than a man trying to act differently from who he SHOULD be, and of course no man should ever be gay or feminine (and being transgender is a myth, don’t be so worldly and gullible!).

      That’s what I imagine her response to be.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Right when we all think this book can’t get any more appalling, Debi surprises us…

  • Jessica

    One of my facebook friends from the homeschool years posted a picture this morning, the “Homemakers’ Creed.” It included the statement, “I believe I was created to be my husband’s help meet” and a tagline, “Share if you pledge to joyfully serve!” She has a kind husband and loves her many children (roughly one each year and a half of her marriage), but it was a stark reminder of how different our lives are. And it brought up a question to me — how do you tell if someone is living this life because they truly want it, or because they act happy because joyful obedience is the only legitimate option?

    • Jitterbits

      I know this is ages late, but I think you touched on something important here. I think the misery these women on the whole tend to feel is *why* Debi and so many other Christian leaders make life any other way seem so horrid and lonely and even when it *looks* super happy, it’s still really misery and a ticket to hell. The only way they can keep women choosing this role is by making the alternative look like it’s far, far worse than anything they might be enduring.

      • http://yllommormon.blogspot.com/ aletha

        Also, I think that’s why women flock in droves to homeschooling conventions and Above Rubies retreats. That way they can pretend to be happier (and better! and with more kids! and more godly!) than the other women (who are trying to do the same thing). I kind of get the feeling that’s why so many Quiverfull women write books and blogs about how great life is. To prove to themselves and other that they are really happy.

  • http://sidhe3141.blogspot.com sidhe3141

    But Debi says that teenage girls and young women generally fix on an ideal male type, whether it is that of their father or that of a character in a book or movie, and go about making themselves into composites of this type.

    Paging Dr. Freud…

  • http://LyricalPolyphony.blogspot.com mary

    The ” woman was made in the image of man” heresy takes the cake. I know a lot of ultra- conservative proponents of neo-patriarchy who know that that’s a total crock. I mean, you really have to eschew ANY responsible exegesis, literalist or not, to get there.

  • sylvia

    Re: women being an afterthought because they were created after men, my mom showed me a poem years ago. I’m afraid I don’t have it, and even if I did, it wasn’t in English, but the basic gist of it was that God created man, didn’t get things quite right, so he created woman, his masterpiece. I think it’s a much better interpretation–what artist doesn’t do sketches first, after all? :)

  • Teshumai

    I’m most curious to see which of the three types Adam is supposed to be. If God made Adam with just 1 type, and then all women came out of Adam’s rib, shouldn’t we women all be the same type as Adam? (Out of curiosity, where do strict biblical literalists think Cain’s wife came from? Was she A&E’s daughter?)

    • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

      You’re flirting with very dangerous beliefs in heretical concepts, mainly the one we call “genetics.” Each human being is lovingly hand-crafted from scratch in The Almighty’s workshop, like a toy from Santa Claus or a Sunrise Biscuit from Hardee’s. If they descended one from the next, with genes carrying the information that determines their traits, errors and changes would inevitably occur. If that happened, then some of the changes would inevitably bestow advantages and others disadvantages, and over time, species would gradually change until they were no longer even recognizable as the same species again. It would be some sort of process of . . . I don’t know, I guess evolution or something?
      It wouldn’t be Godly, that’s for sure.

  • Rebecca

    I never read CTBHHM – our mother thought it inappropriate for unmarried women but we were to read when we became engaged (thank goodness I wasn’t married off to some man who would expect such treatment of wife before seeing the light). She did tell us girls about three types of men and that was a frequent topic of conversation amongst us and our friends – we diagnosed all the men in the church, haha – plenty of commanders!

    • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

      The rule was that you can read the manual that tells you what’s expected of you in marriage, but only after you agree to marry the guy? Yikes.

      “All right, Ms. Watterson, if you’ll sign here, we’ll get you prepped for surgery.”
      “Well, OK, but this says I’ve been advised of the risks of anesthesia and surgery and waived some important legal rights. Nobody’s done that, yet.”
      “Oh, the explanations and such? We do that part after you sign.”

  • Noelle

    Reminds me of those quizzes I used to take in Cosmo magazine when I was a teen on what kind of woman I was. It was pretty easy to skew your answers to get the most likable response. It also reminds me of pick up artist material on the types of women (4,7,11,?) to pick up.

    Sigh, dividing people into types is never a good place to start.

    • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

      The parallels between the Debi-style CP culture and the Cosmo culture are astounding. I like to read the Cosmocking series over at the Pervocracy blog and it’s just insane how similar it all sounds to CTBHHM and similar books.

      It’s really just two sides of the same coin. Women are shallow and silly and their worth is derived from the sort of man they’re able to “catch.”

      • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

        HA! Yes, I also am to enjoy the Cosmockings! Greetings, comrade.

    • Leigha7

      I’ve always loved quizzes, but I stopped even looking at Cosmo’s (well before I stopped reading Cosmo entirely) because most of the time none of the answers even remotely resembled anything I’d ever consider doing. It wasn’t, “Well this one’s kind of like me,” it was, “I would absolutely never, under any circumstance, react in any of these ways. Ever.” So I gave up.

  • Rae

    “God did not create women as he did men, strongly fixed in one type or another. Being created in the image of man, we are more muted and flexible in our types. If a woman were a strong Command type married to Mr. Steady, that would cause terrible conflict in the marital relationship.”

    But if God is as omniscient and wise as Debi says, then why can’t women have “types” too and simply trust that God will prompt the appropriately compatible “type” of man to ask them to marry him?

    Incidentally, I’ve got Star Trek:TNG on BBC America playing in the background right now, and so now I’m imagining all the men in Debi’s world walking around with color-coded shirts…

    • Rae

      On that note, if the three different “types” represent the Trinity, then shouldn’t young women be lauded for making a composite “type” in their head, because that means they’re wanting a husband that’s more like God?

  • Juggler_Dave

    3 quick thoughts/comments:

    you quote Debi as saying “…and it takes all kinds of men to even come close to completing that image. ” but here I thought there were only 3 kinds of men.

    Anyone else confused on Debi’s use of the word “composite”? I could see “complement” but I don’t understand “composite” at all. We Steadys aren’t as good at English, perhaps.

    And finally, I know I’ve changed quite a bit over the years and I’m much different than I was when I got married. Perhaps I’ve been sliding from one type to another over the years. Or perhaps there’s less to the notion of 3 types than she thinks.

  • Judy L.

    Ummm, the Pearls aren’t Catholic, so isn’t this God-as-Trinity thing a little heretical?

    Here’s my favourite bit of her toxic nonsense: “Wisdom is knowing what you “bought” when you married that man.” And if you follow Debi’s example, you have about a week to figure out what you’re buying. Sounds like more than enough time to learn about the personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, needs and desires, and living habits of a man you’re not supposed to live with or sleep with (or sometimes even be alone with, unchaperoned) until you’re properly wedded. And I guess that a man doesn’t have to take a potential wife’s personality, needs and desires, or living habits into consideration before proposing, because women have an instinct and duty to be human chameleons and she’s just going to adapt to him anyway. This is probably the most perverted alternative lifestyle I’ve ever had the displeasure to learn about.

    • Pauline

      Um, other Christians besides Catholics believe in the Trinity. Lots of them. Almost all Protestant denominations, for one thing.

      Or is that maybe not what you meant?

      • Judy L.

        No, that’s what I meant. I was under the impression that most American Protestant faiths rejected the holy trinity (and lots of them do) but I thought that Evangelicals were among them, hence my attempt at making a joke of Debi Pearl’s assertion that God has three facets that are expressed as distinct types of human men.

      • Jitterbits

        I have never heard of the Trinity not being part of denomination’s beliefs. I’m sure they exist, because everything does. I just don’t think it’s as common as you seem to think.*

        *I do admit that I might be totally wrong, and am open to new information.

    • Leigha7

      I’ve never heard of a single denomination of Christianity that didn’t believe in the trinity. They have different VIEWS of the trinity, but they ALL believe in it (as far as I know). It’s one of the core beliefs of Christianity, along with Jesus dying on the cross.

      I’m willing to concede there may be some denominations that don’t believe in the trinity, and would love to know what they are if they exist, but I’ve never heard of it, not even when we were being taught in church why Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t Real Christians(TM).

  • http://www.carpescriptura.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    When I met my husband, he was homophobic, socially conservative, a litterer, a smoker, a drinker, thought that stealing was okay, and was the most stubborn person I’d ever met. I was pretty awful, too.

    But we worked together, exploring our core values and trying to actually live by them, and now my husband is the most fantastic, honourable person I know. He’s compassionate, he listens and really tries to understand people’s points of view before passing judgement or coming to a conclusion, and he refuses to ever miss a pride parade in our city.

    Men definitely do/can change. Debi’s just married a jerk.

  • http://pushthepulldoor.blogspot.com Don Gwinn

    OK, one more thing is nagging at me.

    If the only way to be a good man is to be a good father and husband . . . and they only way to be a good father and husband is to rule the household like a mixture of Solomon and Jesus . . . then don’t all men either have to be “Commanders” or make with the make-believe? I mean, you’ve got to give orders and you’ve got to get them obeyed, right? If your wife and your kids aren’t obeying your commands, you’ve got trouble, right?

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  • Georgina

    Genesis 1: Jahwe creates Adam and Lilith. (Lilith becomes Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam.)

    Genesis 2: because Lilith refuses to be a Debi type wife, Jahwe subsequently creates Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.

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