by Libby Anne cross posted from her blog Love Joy Feminism
Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 110-111
Debi has previously said that God creates men with armor and women without, so that mean can use their reason to stand against Satan’s temptations and make sound decisions while women use their feelings to tenderly care for their children and keep the home. Women, Debi says, are to stand behind the armor of their men, and thus be protected. The reason Eve at the apple, Debi says, is that she stepped out from Adam’s armor and was thus vulnerable. Some of you readers raised a question: If this is so, why did Adam also eat the apple? Why didn’t his armor protect him and keep him from doing so? In this section, Debi answers that question.
God had instructed Adam, and Adam had instructed Eve. Adam clearly understood that Satan’s promise of spiritual enlightenment was a diabolical lie against God. The natural armor God had given Adam granted him enough understanding to doubt the Devil and resist his lies. But Adam’s armor had one small weak spot.
I bet you all know what’s coming next.
He was not ruled by his feelings except where it concerned his woman.
Yep. We get to blame Adam’s sin on eve. Surprise surprise.
Adam’s soul was exposed and vulnerable to the woman he loved. He wanted her happy, even if it meant disobeying God and going against his natural understanding of truth. He was willing to set aside reason for his woman. Even’s influence over Adam changed the course of history.
All the evil in the world is a result of women’s innate influence over men, apparently. As I read this, I kept asking myself where I’d heard this before. And then I realized. The idea that when men are around women, their natural reason disappears—the idea that women need to cover up and not show skin because otherwise men won’t be able to restrain themselves. This idea that women are men’s downfall is pervasive in this subculture. Indeed, I sometimes wonder if the patriarchal insistence on controlling women stems from some sort of deep fear of women’s supposed power over men.
We need to be aware of the power we have to seduce our husbands into following us into disregarding the clear, objective works of God. Adam, the first man, Samson, the strongest man, Solomon, the wisest man, and even David, the man listed as being after God’s own heart, were all brought down by the woman they loved. When a man loves a woman and wants to make her happy, he will often acquiesce in spiritual matters because of the affection he holds for her in his heart. Your husband may set aside reason and good judgement if you pressure him and let him feel your displeasure and unhappiness.
Wait. Wait. Adam ate the fruit after Eve simply offered it to him, no seduction involved. Delilah was indeed a seductress and did indeed portray Samson, but that was central to her character as a person, not something that stemmed from her identity as a woman. Solomon married 700 wives and took 300 concubine, cementing alliances right and left. This is women’s fault how? Solomon choose to marry those women, they didn’t come dance naked in front of him demanding a marriage certificate. I’m seriously not seeing this as an example of women seducing their husbands. Finally, all Bathsheba did was take a bath on her roof. David is the one who was looking at her and he is the one who summoned her and he is the one who had Uriah killed. Apparently women seduce men by, like, existing—which ties pretty well into my previous paragraph.
Do you know what I’m seeing here? I’m seeing an inability to assign any form of personal responsibility to men. And once again, I was wondering where I’d seen this before and then I remembered. There’s this idea within fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism that if a man cheats on his wife, it’s probably partially or even totally his wife’s fault. In fact, sometimes this is so extreme that everything—and I do mean everything—is blamed on the wife. The husband is failing in business? His wife must not be supporting him. The husband isn’t being a good spiritual leader? His wife must be tearing him down at home. The husband leaves his wife and children? His wife must have been a nag. And this isn’t done the other way around. If a wife is a nag, no one says her husband must be so slow to do household repairs that her only recourse is to nag him. When are held personally responsible; men get off the hook.
In a man’s heart, the place a woman holds will lead him into great strength or great weakness, depending on the woman and the man. It is there that men rise to great glory with their women, or they are dragged into shame and disgrace by them, or worse yet, are left unused by God.
Here we go again.
Remember the crazy lady who drove her family to financial ruin because she felt led of God to move and change her husband’s business? Her husband KNEW it would not work, but he could not stand against her constant pleading and her spiritual intensity.
So the husband knew that the financial plan the wife was urging him to follow would end up being an utter failure, but he followed it anyway and it’s all his wife’s fault because he couldn’t help it? I mean, really?
Let’s imagine for a moment that there are two investment bankers, partners in business. Their names are Judy and Bob. Judy pushes for a daring business plan that Bob knows for certain—and it’s not just a hunch—can only end in failure, utter ruin, and the lost of all of their clients funds. But Judy just keeps pushing, so Bob finally just gives in and all of the money is lost. Who would we blame for losing the clients’ funds? I’m thinking that we would put the blame on both of them, but perhaps especially Bob since Bob knew that the actions he took would result in losing all of his clients funds while Judy honestly thought it would work out. But Debi doesn’t see things that way. In Debi’s world, Bob would be absolved of all blame because Judy had boobs, which clearly made it so that Bob couldn’t do anything but give in. A man cannot, apparently, stand up under a woman’s constant nagging. Because, boobs. Or something.
Look, if a wife is advising her husband to follow an unwise financial plan and won’t listen to the facts or look at the data or consider that she might be wrong about it, that’s obviously wrong. But that does not absolve her husband from any responsibility for choosing, of his own volition, to heed her urging and follow her bad financial plan. We are all responsible for our own actions, including men, yes, even when women are present and involved. Once again I’m hearkening back to the idea that women need to dress modestly because men just can’t help themselves.
Men are still allowing women to take the spiritual lead, and women are confidently leading just as Eve did. They believe they are doing what is good for the family. It is not an act of carnal lust. It is a religious act driven by rebellion. Women are simply deceived.
This whole time Debi has been granting women agency while removing it from men, but now she appears to take that agency away from women too—women are simply deceived when they step out as spiritual leaders, but they honestly think that what they are doing is right and good. So, apparently, it goes like this: Satan deceives woman, woman is weak spot in man’s armor, bringing man down as well. This sounds to me like a colossally bad setup. Why would you, if you were God, create women without armor and thus fully susceptible to temptation and deception, and create men such that anything concerning women is a weak spot in their armor? Who thought that was a good idea?
This is why God has so carefully taught us ladies to observe and maintain our roles as help meets. It is why we must implicitly trust God’s judgement as to our duties, regardless of how we “feel.”
Note, once again, the gaslighting and poisoning of the well going on here. Debi is telling women, for the millionth time, that they must not pay any mind to how they “feel.” Instead, they have to just trust what God has said in his Word (aka what Debi has said in her book). This strikes me as similar to telling the manager of a nuclear power plant to ignore the readers that tell things like the different chambers heat or pressure levels and instead to always keep the switches locked a certain way, because that’s what is illustrated on the front of the manual. Temperature readings? Come on! The front of the manual clearly shows the switches positioned just so! Ignore those silly temperature readings. Somehow, I don’t see that ending well.
God gave us a careful and stern warning as to what women would become in the last days. The prophetic picture of this woman is now in full array. It is the spiritual Jezebel, who is the exact opposite of a help meet, that is the death knell of the most noble institution on the earth—the family.
And this is why I generally distrust any organization that has the word “family” in the title. I’m pretty sure the Family Research Council and the American Family Association mean something very different when they say the word “family” than I mean when I say the word “family”—and I’m pretty sure that’s the case here too. See, in my book, a woman who displays leadership characteristics or takes her place as the spiritual leader of the family does absolutely nothing to threaten “the family.” So clearly, when Debi says “the family” she actually means “the traditional, patriarchal family.”
The next sections deal with Jezebel and then Ruth, Esther, and the Proverbs 31 woman. But for now, I just want to finish this post by emphasizing the extent to which Debi’s writing is anti-man in addition to being anti-woman. Debi doesn’t just erase women’s agency, she erases men’s agency as well. In Debi’s world, men can’t help but acquiesce to women’s doe eyed looks, are “ruled by their feelings” when it comes to women, and literally lose control of their own actions when faced with an attractive and endearing woman. Honestly, to me Debi’s entire book reads like an attempt to ruin relationship by giving such twisted advice that husbands and wives will be rendered incapable of actually sitting down face to face and communicating and unable to discuss issues and make plans like two competent adults.
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Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Libby Anne blogs at Love, Joy, Feminism
Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the religious right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving fundamentalist and evangelical religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the problems with the “purity culture,” the intricacies of conservative and religious right politics, and the importance of feminism. Her blog is Love, Joy, Feminism
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce