CTBHHM: Do Women Have Types?

You’re probably wondering where today’s Created To Be His Help Meet post is. I have some sad news—there won’t be one, technically speaking. I cannot find my copy of the book, and believe me, I have looked everywhere! I have ordered a new copy (you can get them cheap if you buy them used) in case I do not find my copy, so your regularly scheduled installment will be back next Friday.

I’m not going to let this break in my review series go to waste, though. I want to take some time to address something that has come up in Aletha’s reviews—the idea that women, too, come in three types. This idea does not appear in Created To Be His Help Meet, which was originally published in 2004, some years before Created To Need a Help Meet or Preparing To Be a Help Meet. These later two books, the first written for husbands and the second written for girls and unmarried young women, state that there are three types of women—the dreamer, the servant, and the go-to gal.

As you’ve probably noticed, the types ascribed to women are parallel to those ascribed for me: the visionary/dreamer, the steady/servant, and the command/go-to gal. But as we shall see, there is a horrible terrible double standard going on here.

The Pearls do not expect men to change their types. Michael spends his book pointing out some of the weaknesses of each type (for example that visionary men may tend to flit from idea to idea and not actually settle down enough to put food on the table), but he doesn’t tell me they need to change their types. He speaks for some balance, but sees a man’s type as part of who he is. Debi, for her part, tells women to accept and support their husbands’ types—to become the wives and supporters their husbands need.

What about women, then? What of them and their types? Debi answers that in her article, Learning to Become a Multi-Colored Girl.

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. God feels, he thinks, and he loves just as does his creation. Just as Eve was created to meet a need in Adam, so we meet a need in God. That is strange to me. We all know that God is three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We learned in Created to Be His Help Meet that, as men were created in God’s image, so each man predominantly expresses one of the three aspects of God’s image.

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.

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.

Men are strongly fixed; women are muted and flexible.

If we were to attach colors to the three types, Command men would be red, the Steady man would be blue, and the Visionary would be yellow. Few men are a 100% pure type/color. Most men are one type with just a touch of another type to mellow him out. But this article is not about men, but rather about us girls and our adaptability of color.

Girls are adaptable.

By the way, this color thing is something Debi has used a lot in her more recent articles, so you might as well memorize them—command man, red; steady man, blue; visionary man, yellow.

This adaptability is making me think of something Michael said in Aletha’s latest review:

Remember, women are moldable; the younger they are, the more moldable they are; and the less experience they have in the world, the easier it is for them to conform to their husband’s needs. Most men get married expecting their wives to know just how to please them.

Anyway, back to Debi. Debi next explains that women have to be a “kaleidoscope,” able to change color—i.e. type—to fit themselves to the men they marry. She explains how her life—and her very type or personality—might have been different had she married any of a number of different types of men.

The woman was called to be her man’s helper, to fashion herself to be what he needs her to be. It is quite a calling. In order to do this a woman needs to be a kaleidoscope, a full array of color. One woman might be strong in red, but she also has all the other colors so that she can blend her life into that of her man. God provides us with all that we need to fulfill our calling. For example, at this time in my life as a Help Meet I am required to be a writer, office director, web planner, wife, grandmother and, last, but certainly not least, a country woman. If I had to give myself a color or type at this time in my life it would be a bright orange: half red, half yellow. I have been put into a role that requires leadership and creativity. As I was growing up my color was blue (servant) so I have had to adapt quite a bit. If I had married a different man I would likely not be a writer, an office director, web planner or a country woman. How different my life would have been!

I might have married a factory worker who lived in the city. I could have lived my whole life in a rented apartment, worked as a domestic for extra income, and had just two children. I would have still loved the Lord because that is who I am, a lover of God. Most everything else in my life would have been different; what I learned, how I dressed, what I enjoyed, and where I went. I think that I would have grown potted plants full of herbs and salads on my balcony. My color would have been green, mostly blue but some yellow so that I might raise children strong in spirit.

It would have been easy for me to have married a committed Southern Baptist minister. My color would have been purple, part blue to serve but part red to lead. It is a queenly color, as Baptists like their pastors’ wives to have dignity. I would have worn simple conservative suits, stockings, and slight heels, kept my hair done prim and proper, and my nails clean and painted. I would have been a Sunday School teacher, planned Vacation Bible Schools, and promoted my husband in his calling. I would have been a lover of God, because I love him. But I would have been a different lady, certainly not the country woman I am today.

But then, I might have married an Amish-type-man, living plain, dressing plain, and speaking German. I would have never touched a computer, but spent my life having 12 children and working the land. You would never know me as me, but I would still be me, only I would be meshing into the man to whom I was a helper. I would still be a lover of God, because I love him, and in loving him I would have put forth an effort to honor God by honoring and reverencing my husband, as God has written in Ephesians 5:33, “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1).

And this last bit ties it together:

When a girl marries a man she becomes a new person. She becomes his bride, his woman, his helper. It is God’s will that her life be fashioned to help him. If a girl comes into marriage knowing that she is equipped and appointed to be this one new person, then she can adapt and find fulfillment in her new self-expression.

. . .

Today’s culture, our own selfishness, and our lack of knowing God’s Word all play a part in making marriages miserable. What you learn as a young unmarried woman can change your life more completely than you can imagine. If you are wise you will learn to become a many-colored girl. Don’t say to yourself, “I am a Go-to Girl and not a Servant.” Rather say, “I am learning to be anything I need to be. I want to be a servant, I need to learn to lead and teach, and I will learn to be creative because my husband may need me to be all of these.” Practice being flexible in your likes and dislikes, how you feel about things, and what you hope to accomplish. Start striving to shape your life to help others, and hide God’s Words in your heart concerning becoming a wife. Lastly, make a written commitment to honor the man God provides for you. Choose a life’s verse that you write down on the cover of your Bible, one that goes along with your commitment. All these things will shape you for your coming marriage, enabling you to avoid the many pitfalls that entangle so many. Making yourself ready for any eventuality in your future marriage demands much practice if you want a glorious marriage.

Do girls and young women have types? Yes. But they shouldn’t focus on developing those types. Instead, they should focus on being flexible so as to fit themselves to the needs of their future husbands. They should be ready to change types over time if needed, to be whatever it is their husbands need. Women can have personalities, then, just so long as they’re not permanent.

And with that, we’ll get back to Created To Be His Help Meet next week!

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.

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