Monday, December 9, 2013

CTNAHM-Mr. Command Part 5 (Surprising Introspection From Michael-Sort Of)

p 116-117

Today we are talking about the Command Man's greatest weakness. And I have to say, I'm surprised at what Michael thinks it is. Does he handle the subject well? Does he offer feasible techniques for overcoming said weakness? Hahaha. I'll let you guess.
Text is in purple.

The Command Man's Greatest Weakness
The Command Man's greatest weakness is confidence in his hormones-in his innate nature. He trusts his own judgement above others'.  He is often accused of being proud, arrogant even. Of course, pride comes readily to the one in command. That is why the Apostle Paul warned that in selecting leaders to "rule" the church, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil (1 Tim 3:6)" A novice Command Man, one that has no history of humble leadership, is in danger of being carried away with pride.
   I think it's interesting how much Michael dogs on women's hormones, but men's hormones seem to be OK-as long as there's not TOO much trust in them. (And who judges that, exactly?)  Also, the way Michael describes Mr. C-arrogant, not trusting anyone but himself, does not really lend itself to practicing self-restraint. If "pride comes readily", then why not spend a few paragraphs discussing humble leadership? Or at the very least, defining it!
Being created with the nature to lead does not qualify one to lead anymore than being born a man qualifies one to parent.
  I'm really surprised by this line. Because it is 100% true. And yet, no matter how much lip service Michael may pay to this idea, in practice, and in most of the rest of this book, he disagrees with this. He flat out says, Command Men are leaders, and people follow them. He argues that having kids is the only way of a Godly marriage. So while he might write this line, and while it is true, it would probably mean more if his entire ministry echoed this, instead of "Mighty Man, you are called to lead! Your judgments are right, because you speak for God!"
The will to lead is not the same as the wisdom to lead. The ability to persuade others to follow does not mean one is going to lead them in the right direction. So the greatest weakness of a Command Man is his stubborn assumption of his own superiority.
   Oh. I get it now. He's talking about OTHER Command Men. Because Michael is righteous and just in all things. I mean, he doesn't even have to apologise! Clearly he has the wisdom to lead, and is obviously leading others in the right direction. I'm going to stop before I use all my sarcasm in this one paragraph.
This is expressed in marriage by his presumption that his wife should joyfully support him without questioning the wisdom of his actions. He is often surprised at his own failures and does not easily take the blame for his presumptuous mistakes. He seldom apologizes. Of the three types of men, the Command Man is the most prone to think he could manage just fine without a wife...if ONLY he could have sex three times a week and have a cook and housekeeper who mind her own business!
   I am having a hard time seeing how knowing the difference between ability and correctness of leadership translates to marriage. And nowhere does Michael say "This is not a healthy attitude! Your wife is a person with her own needs!" I also think it's weird that Michael tends to boil wives down into little more than serving automatons, and yet he (jokingly?) says Mr. C doesn't think he needs a wife-as long as all his needs get met. One question I have is how is Mr. C going to get sex (in this culture) without marriage, and when masturbation is a sin? The nookie-fairy?

Commanding Hope
Don't despiar, Mr. Command Man; you can have an amazing marriage. I know because I am this type, and my marriage has been exceedingly rich and rewarding. More importantly, it has been rich and rewarding for my wife.
   I'm calling bananas on this. All one has to do is read Debi's book, and see how much self-loathing she has, and what little respect she has for her husband. But, again, the culture of the target demographic does not allow for women to express anything other than contentment. The saddest part is, how are women supposed to realise they are unhappy if they are told anything other than submissive joy is unacceptable (from childhood)?
You may be uncomfortable sharing your personal feelings with anyone, even your wife. Command is a lonely thing. The sanctity of one's command must be protected from the public. It takes awhile for a wife to raise her clearance level so as to be admitted to the inner sanctum of strategy and power. All this changes as a man learns to really love his wife and she learns to appreciate her husband's strengths and virtues, and accepts him on his terms.
   I might have had an idealistic dating relationship, but isn't "clearance level" something that should come during dating? If you don't think your SO accepts you, and you don't trust them, WHY MARRY THEM? Why turn marriage into the CIA? Here's a tip to those of you dating. If you don't trust your partner enough to share your feelings (and I'm not talking about those who have difficulty understanding their feelings-let alone sharing them), if there is no level of trust, you should either break up or seek help. Because a relationship without trust is unhealthy.
   Oh, and I think it's insulting that man only has to "love" his wife (with no explanation as to how this happens), and the wife has to appreciate her husband's strengths, and accept him on his terms. Nothing mutual about this, folks; walk on...other things to see.
As time passes, the King-type man will become more vulnerable to his woman then will the other two types. Because of his self-imposed remoteness he will pour all of his personal intimacy into the one person on the whole earth whom he dare trust. It is this act of becoming one flesh and one heart that is the essence of marriage. It is more than physical, more than emotional; it is the act of becoming soul mates. It is what God created marriage to be. It is worth any sacrifice to get to this place in your marriage. And it will be a sacrifice. Marriage in its highest form takes a great deal of giving over, especially for a Command Man.
   I'm amazed how how often in this marriage-help book, Michael makes marriage sound unappealing. If becoming one heart and one flesh means 1/2 the partnership (the half with women hormones, of course) being "on-call" and "joyfully submitting" to the other, I'll pass. I also am really irritated at the phrase "as time passes". Yes, I believe that relationships can get closer and/or better over time. But to set up marriage as "Well, it'll be hard and require sacrifice, but eventually it'll be worth it!" seems a bit...odd to me. Especially in a culture that marriage is the ultimate achievement.
   Why not talk about the little ways that marriage is delightful, even when their are differences of opinion? What about discussing strategies to keep the love alive, despite illness, poverty, or distress? Why not provide concrete examples and options, instead of making the entire relationship sound like a drudgery?
   For people that purportedly are fans of marriage, their idea of it sounds unhealthy and awful. Honestly, I am so glad I married a man who loved me for who I was at the time (undiagnosed and unmedicated, even), instead of a man who loved me for who I would become once I submitted, and accepted him on his terms.


  1. These are the people who regularly talk about how hard and difficult and sacrificial marriage is. A fundagelical friend of mine very gently said to me around the 4 month mark of my marriage: "Is it awful yet?" Then she launched into a confession about how she hated the entire first year of her marriage because "subordinating" her opinions, likes and dislikes to her husband was so difficult to learn. Usually this sort of stuff ends with some preaching about how marriage is like Christ and the Church and Christ had to suffer and die for the church so of course marriage is HARD.

    Short version: you hit it on the head when you said that they are not allowed to admit to anything but contentment. My friend ended all of this by assuring me it was fantastic ten years later (presumably now that she has conquered her entire personality in order to take on his).


    1. Poor friend! I know people like that, too. "Oh, marriage is wonderful-now that I let my husband be the priesthood leader he's supposed to be!"
      I guess that's the Mormon version. Same song, different verse, I expect.

  2. You are misunderstanding him on a fundamental level. Since you are misunderstanding him so severely your mind is picking out problems with out understanding the context.
    I used to do this. I did it to the preacher at the church i go to now on my first day there. I walked in thinking "now i want to make sure i dont find a backwards church where they believe women are objects and hate everyone different" I went in there ready to pick apart everything he said to find any possible negative meaning so that i could "protect my Children"
    Because i was thinking like that I went in to the auditorium with the wrong attitude. Nothing he could have said during that sermon would have hit me right and it didnt. I almost walked out half way through because of all the people he "insulted" but didnt out of respect for the congregation. At the end of service "I called him on his insults" privately. I then went to get my son from Sunday school with the intent to never come back. When I got to the Sunday school room my Son was excited and happy. He had loved his Sunday school teacher and really enjoyed himself. I had tried several other churches since moving to the area and He had not had anywhere near that reaction at any of them. I decided his spiritual growth, with a teacher who came off as a very strong woman, was more important then me disliking the pastor and i would give it another month or two. The church i go to has a co pastor set up. Every other week he gives the sermon. He was much younger, and therefore had a way of talking to those of us in his age group that we identified with. Where as the first pastor was older and used to talking to people who appreciated his "humor". You ask anyone at the church and most of them will tell you they would rather hear the younger one give a message. I was also in the Head pastor's wives sunday school class during sunday school hour. I realized through getting to know her that the man up on that pulpit was not the man i originally thought him to be. That I had gone into that church trying to make sure not to bring my children to an over judgmental church that judged harshly and had in turn judged harshly. I still prefer the younger pastors sermons but now when the Older pastor gives his sermon i listen with the help of the Holy spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit I listen to what he means and not what words he uses. I have now been attending this Church for almost 2 years. I love it and I am so glad that I stayed. I have made wonderful friends and learned a new outlook on life. It helps me look at the positive instead of the negative.

    1. I am not sure what here but there is something you are misunderstanding on a fundamental level if you can look at Debi's book and think she is miserable. When I read the book I got the direct impression she is quite spirited. She is a bit wayward on her reasoning, She is QUITE OBVIOUSLY human and not God, as she did misuse a few scriptures, but miserable? No. If this is not the life style for you, that is fine. Continue your happy marriage. I am assuming both you and your husband are happy if you are criticizing another couple for being different and giving different advise. For the record, There is lots of good, sound advice, that can be used and manipulated to endorse abuse and make an abused woman submit to further abuse. That doesnt mean it shouldnt be said.
      Could telling a man to use a condom be bad. He may be a rapist and you may have just told him how he can get away with his crime and leave no/less evidence. especially if its a date rape and she doesnt get a kit done in time.
      What debi says is not to get bent out of shape if your man doesnt take the trash out. Why spend your life being miserable at that. why even waste energy being sad about that. It is a waste of energy. And that is something I understood long before I ever read her book. I grew up understanding that. When I watched both of my mother's marriages end because she got upset over the stupidest stuff. Dont get me wrong, every once in a while, it would peeve me off. i could never understand it why but about once a month it would just aggravate me. And then i would ask myself. Why are you going to let one bag of trash and a twenty foot walk upset you that much? and i would be better. I want to be happy, not sad. And being happy is a choice. For most people. I have two children. I could choose to be livid when my son is disrespectful, or i can choose to see the humor in some of the things he says and, after seriously making it clear why he cant behave that way, go to the bedroom and laugh my head off. he gets set straight, but i still get a laugh out of it. I am so glad that God gave me Joy instead of bitterness.

    2. some of the most Joyful moments of my life were when i was up late at night with a baby who didnt want to sleep. I know may women who complain and fuss all day at having had to be awake with children who were either, not feeling well or just wide awake. Complain is not even a strong enough word to describe what they do. I can't understand it. Literally I CANT. dont get me wrong, I like my sleep. But that time i get with my children, even if they are not feeling well, is irreplaceable. I will never get it back by complaining and being miserable that i have to be up.
      Baring extreme circumstances, you choose to be Joyous or bitter. it is a choice you make.