So recently, Debi Pearl (of Created To Be His Helpmeet, Preparing To Be His Helpmeet, and To Train Up A Child fame) posted this post entitled “Learning To Become A Multi-Colored Girl”. (URL below post. I refuse to link to them directly.) The premise is this: How God created women to adapt to their husbands.
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.
First of all, when the Bible says “man” in Genesis 1:27, it means either man, mankind, Adam, or a city in the Jordan valley (Strong’s). I’m pretty sure we can eliminate it meaning a city, and apparently the same word for man, mankind, and Adam is used interchangeably through the Old Testament in the Hebrew, but predominately as “mankind”. Which, if you read it, makes much more sense grammatically when the text is switching back and forth from “man” to “them”.
Secondly, “we meet a need in God” sounds strange because it is. If God is God, he is a complete being in and of himself: he has no “need” for anyone else. If he did, he wouldn’t be God.
Besides that, she really narrows God down to fit in her three boxes (what seems like one of the main points of her Created book — identify what your man is, so you know how to adapt to and manipulate him). “Mr. Command Man” is like God the Father, “Mr. Visionary” is like the Holy Spirit, and “Mr. Steady” is like Jesus. This supposedly makes for a completely rounded person (in other words, God), but that all men are one of the three (with perhaps a couple traits of the others).
She goes on to say:
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.
It does not say that in the Bible!! It says male AND female were created in God’s image. (I prefer the NIV or Message, but check in any translation and it uses the plural. Plus, what I referred to earlier about the word for “man” also meaning “mankind”.) So what if he fashioned Adam out of clay and Eve out of Adam’s rib? That doesn’t mean Eve was created in Adam’s image. It means Eve was created from Adam. Her “chain of command” theory, frankly, I find silly. I mean, if you really want to spiritualize it, you could say Eve was made from Adam’s side to stand beside him, not behind him, under him, etc. There’s absolutely nothing in those verses that indicate the reason Eve was made from Adam was because he was “over” her. More like, that’s just what God chose to do.
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.
Wow, I’d like to know where she gets her info from. So guys can’t change their types easily (why do all her references to men make them sound like dumb oxen?), but women can? I mean, I suppose with enough brainwashing, anything’s possible, but still. I find absolutely no evidence that men are any more stuck in one position/role/type than women. Or that women are any more flexible than men. And certainly not narrowed down to just three types! Some men are laid back. Some women are leaders. Some men are leaders. Some women are laid back. It’s just the way things go.
I’m sort of getting the impression that Debi Pearl needs to find her way out of the woods and among some REAL people so she can see what REAL people are REALLY like.
She goes on to talk about attaching colors to the Holy Three Types, and gives different scenarios as to if she had married such-and-such of guy, her “color” would be thus-and-such (a mix of two of the three Holy Types) because she would have to adapt to his plans for life, and says:
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.
The only time the Bible mentions someone becoming a new man is when he is “in Christ“. Sure, it says a man and woman become one flesh (which happens, by the way, because Eve was made from Adam’s flesh), but that is not the woman becoming a new person — it’s the two bonding together to make a single entity.
Debi uses old-fashioned manipulative techniques/scare tactics:
If you are wise you will learn to become a many colored girl.
Meaning, if you don’t, you’re stupid and your marriage will fail. This is how people are coerced into doing what the Pearls do…they are told they are stupid if they don’t. Nobody wants to be stupid! Besides that, these people are respected. They’ve written books. They’ve been published!!! (Many despicable people have been published. It doesn’t make you automatically more knowledgeable than anyone else!)
Don’t say to yourself, “I am a go-to girl and not a servant.â€ 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.â€
Another classic example of what I believe is called a Straw Man arguement: You state the “other side” as sounding stupid, then knock it down with your own brilliant logic. The biggest problem with that is that people usually cite the extremes (which the Pearls love to do) as The Only Choices. So here, the choice is between a “go-to girl” (sounds like some kind of prostitute) meaning someone your husband ALWAYS has to come to, and an adaptive servant. I don’t think even clothes usually conform to a man’s body like Debi advocates a woman should. (Besides that, spandex isn’t usually the first choice in a man’s wardrobe unless he has a reason. Likewise, I’m not all that sure a doormat is most men’s first choice of in women, unless he has a reason. Such as, they are great for ego-stroking and trophies.)
The next little bit is the most damaging, in my opinion:
Practice being flexible in your likes and dislikes, how you feel about things, and what you hope to accomplish.
Let me try to find the words to explain how wrong this is. Maybe I should go get a glass of wine and finish this later.
Basically, she’s saying “Take the God-given likes, dislikes, and feelings you have, and deny them. Pretend to be someone you’re not, so you can be whatever your husband wants.”
This is a lie. Do not do this.
Sure, I see adapting to his quirks, just as he adapts to yours. But there is nowhere in the Bible that advocates conforming to another human, especially to this degree. What’s next, denying the pain you feel when you are injured, just so you can be more adaptable? Those pain receptors are there for a reason. Feelings, likes, and dislikes are there for a reason — they make YOU, YOU!!!
This isn’t meaning that ALL your feelings, likes, and dislikes come before everyone else’s either…or that they are more important than everyone else’s, merely that it’s what helps make you the person you are. Some likes and dislikes and certainly feelings should adapt to other people, like perhaps sometimes you make something for your husband’s dinner that you don’t like but he does. But really, if you deny all of your feelings, likes, and dislikes, you deny yourself. You deny the very person you were created. In my opinion, that’s worse than using the tired argument that dying your hair is bad because it means you’re unhappy with the color God gave you.
Only one of the comments (the last one by Wendy) disagreed with her, and the gist of what she said is, “My husband married me for me… not for how I can change to fit into his world. I already fit, that is why he married me and that is why I married him.”
I married my husband not because of how I fit into his life, or how he fit into my life, but because our lives are intertwined in a symbiotic relationship. We change and adapt to each other. We grow with and around each other — sort of like those trees whose trunks are braided together. We are two separate personalities and beings who come together out of a want to be together.
I believe that is truly what “becoming one flesh” means.
URL for the article: http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/general-view/archive/2011/august/15/learning-to-become-a-multi-colored-girl/
An extremely concise, detailed review of Created To Be His Helpmeet (recommended): http://createdtobehelpmeet.blogspot.com/2007/09/introduction-main-concerns.html
Some good insights on Debi’s flawed theories: http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2005/07/created-to-be-his-help-meet-part-1.html
Addressing some of the issues with the book, but not an exhaustive list: http://responsivereiding.com/2008/03/01/created-to-be-his-help-meet-a-review-sort-of/
Libby Anne’s take on the article: http://lovejoyfeminism.blogspot.com/2011/09/masters-and-slaves-are-men-and-women.html