Last time, we talked about the Command Man's weaknesses. We're still discussing these weaknesses. And through it all, I am so very confused at Michael. It seems like, sometimes, Michael has no idea how he perceived outside of his church circle. Or if he does, he doesn't care. I could give examples, but I'll let him make the point for me. On we go!
Text is in purple
Exhortation to the Command Man
Even though you are a Command Man and think you need no advice, especially from an old geezer with a long beard who cannot pronounce his words with the proper English accent, I am going to tell you what you need to do. Mister, if you don't like it, choose your weapons and name the time and place. This town is not big enough for both of us. (Excuse me, please. I too am a Command Man, but I am old and set in my ways, I have these outbursts.)
You can't see it, but I'm laughing right now. Because, yes, this is truly how he starts off this section. By picking imaginary fights with readers. And then brushing it off, because he's an old Command Man set in his ways. What I'm wondering is, what he would do if he realised his "opponent" is also an old Mr. C.
I have exhorted the Visionaries and the Steady Men to diversify their image expressions. The perfect man is a proper balance of all three, as was Jesus in his humanity. I have said that a strength can become our greatest weakness by its excess and disproportionate application.
This is a good point. Everything should be in balance, especially in personalities. In fact, I could definitely use more patience and compassion when dealing with others. I'll add it to my list.
I am okay with who I am, I like myself well enough. But I know I have glaring deficiencies in my lack of Priestly/Steady expressions. If I arrogantly flaunt my Command/King nature I become offensive in my insensitivity. I must give the greater part of my energies to expressing that side of my humanity that is not natural to me but is extremely valuable to the people whose lives I touch. I must get out of my comfort zone and act the Priest from time to time. I must get down in the ditch and take up a shovel with the Steady Man when I would rather gather a crew and manage the completing the job in record time.
I often wish, while reading Michael's book, that he would give more "how-to's" instead of "what-to-do's". How does Michael overcome his nature and find the motivation to labour as a common man? What is his definition of "arrogantly flaunting" his Command nature? (I could argue the above fight as arrogant flaunting, but what do I know-I'm just a woman)
Though I will say it is healthy that Michael considers the people around him, and how his attitude affects them. Props for that.
So, Mr. Command Man, the most carnal thing you can do is smugly hide behind your image and expect your wife and everybody else to come under your spell. Many grouchy, selfish men like to think their cantankerousness is the expression of a Command Man when it is nothing more than sin.
He really just doesn't get it, does he? Though I would thoroughly hate to be the person to point out to him how hypocritical he is...
There is one Lord and one Master. And we Command Men should be humbled by our callings, using our gifts and abilities to bless the world, not to milk it. Knowing our natures and what makes us feel and think the way we do is not justification for insensitivity or lack of openness and humility; it is a warning, and opportunity to understand our deficiencies and seek the grace of God so we might live as the men God meant for us to be. It is living larger-or smaller-than our natural gifts and inclinations that make us men of character.
There might be one Lord and one Master, but the whole basis of Michael's 3 personality types is that men typify one (maybe 2) aspects of the Holy Trinity. In this case, the Command Man is like God the Father. Who, according to the Bible Michael claims to know isn't humble in the least! He kills people for blasphemy, punishes them for going against his will, and threatens others until he gets his way.
How is a Command Man who is taught from birth that men speak for God (especially in their families), truly going to know the difference between "using" his gifts, and "milking the world"? Because if there's one thing I've learned through many dysfunctional relationships-it's that people will justify ANYTHING to make themselves feel better. I can easily imagine a Command Man saying "It's not like I'm really doing anything wrong by paying my workers less than minimum wage...they need the money, and if these workers quit, there are always others that will step up. If it were that big of a deal, someone would stop me." or "It's not that I'm pushy or demanding, it's just that I'm a leader, and sometimes, people don't like being led!" (Yes, I have used this one on occasion.)
The culture that encourages men to be above reproach gives no motivation or instruction for men to curb their lesser natures! Simply telling them that XYZ is wrong and they shouldn't do it doesn't help. Either they will rationalize, and say, "Well, I do XZY, so it's not the same thing." or tell themselves "I'm really not hurting anyone...that advice is just for people that hurt others." Or simply, not care. And honestly, it's easy not to care when there is no reward for doing "the right thing", especially if the right thing makes one's life less comfortable.
The Command Man Loser
There is a tendency for the Command Man to feel superior just because of his God-given nature, not remembering that "unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask them more. (Luke 12:48)". For that reason, the selfish Command Man will just get mileage out of his personality and social persona and not experience the humility that drives other men to try harder and prove themselves.
I will quote Michael for a moment:
* Are you guilty as charged? I know I am, but I don't feel guilty about the drive, only the use I make of it sometimes. I am a Command Man first and foremost,
* If you are a Command Man, chances are you expect your wife to wait on you hand and foot. By choosing not to comply she may have broken you from your native expectation, but your need for a close subordinate remains. Kings need advisers and heads of state to carry out their wills. The Command/King type just assumes that those within his jurisdiction, especially his wife, are there to assist in his rule. What other purpose could they have...could SHE have?
*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.
* 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.
It seems that the Command Man section is almost nothing BUT ways Commands feel superior. Nowhere in this chapter so far, have we even touched on ways Mr. C could do anything other than get mileage out of his personality. Nowhere. Sure, there's mention of things that would be best not to do (see the section above), but no real reasons for not doing it, nor ways to stop!
There is nothing more pathetic than a loudmouthed, over-confident inept talker trying to lead men where he has never gone. Here we go...this is going to hurt. As a Command Man, you do not develop productive skills and you have no record of personal accomplishment, you may develop a habit of telling exaggerated stories about yourself until people just tune in for fictional entertainment.
I'm wondering how Michael defines "inept". Not doing things according to the prescribed Christian way? Also, I'm curious what he sees as practical skills. Reading is a practical skill. Knowing how to build a spreadsheet or website is a practical skill. Piloting a helicopter, baking bread, pottery, firefighting, medicine, and driving are all practical skills. And personal accomplishment can be defined in so many ways...I guess that's why there's a "personal" attached to it. As someone who suffers from severe mental illness, some days, it's a great personal accomplishment if I get out of bed, get the kids off to school, and microwave dinner.
Another thing that's bugging me about this section is-who is Michael (or anyone) to judge how someone else defines accomplishment? Because it sounds to me like flat out judging people. "Oh, Larry's business failed...he must be a terrible manager." Nevermind that, to Larry, owning his own shop for the 6 months that it was in business taught him a lot about ownership, leadership, and responsibilities-things he needed to learn for his next job. This whole personal accomplishment section really sounds like Michael is saying "If you don't measure up to my standards, then you're nothing!" Which really seems to correlate with his views on Mr. Steady.
Though, to be fair, nobody wants to hear a pile of made up BS stories all the time. If you do that, just stop-please.
If you divorce and lose your children, leaving you with no legitimate "kingdom" of your own, you may become obnoxiously garrulous. Those who know you will have dismissed you as irrelevant years before you were aware of it, for you will still be gaining the attention of bored people with your minstrel tales. Oh, I feel your pain, really I do. Don't give up yet. Later in this book, I will show you a way back to productive humanity an darned honor. For now, let's get back to the heart X-ray.
I have to say, I am very pleased that Michael didn't blame the divorce on the woman. This is really a change! And clearly, Michael has never heard of shared custody, or child support. Just because someone is divorced, does not mean they are cut off from their children (their "kingdom", if you must) forever and ever. Considering that the Pearl's advocate NO DIVORCE even in the case of sexual abuse against children, I'm shocked that he even takes a divorcee into consideration.
After reading this paragraph, I'm wondering if his honeymoon assessment is nothing but a minstrel tale. "See how callous I was! Hahahah!" I can't decide which is worse-if Michael actually treated his wife that way, or if he made up the story to get a reaction.
And I don't know about you, but I am super excited to learn a way back to productive humanity.
You may have slid so far down the slippery slope that you think it is your right to look at pornography. You console yourself with a belief that you are sublimating unfulfilled human need. I have known Command Men preachers who fornicated with half the women in the church. When caught, they admitted to having excused themselves with a belief that they had greater needs than other men and had served God so well that he made allowances for their gratification.
...Was anyone else surprised that suddenly Michael is talking about porn? Because I was blind sighted! There really is something about sex every section, isn't there?
Also note that Michael doesn't condemn the man. Oh, there's a vague "shame on you", but not the scathing insults of previous sections. For example: Hey, Mr. Steady, grow a pair and tell the lady when to cease and desist. She might even begin to find you exciting for a change. (This was in the section about Dominant Mamas) It's as if, in PearlWorld, not steamrolling over your wife is worse than adultery! I haven't memorised the Bible, but I'm fairly certain Michael's God would disagree.
Women are attracted to dominant Command Men and, like Bathsheba, are drawn to his commanding web of authority, yielding their souls and bodies to him as if he were God. They are little twits and sluts and don't even know it, and you, Mister, are a slut maker. "Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death (Proverbs 7:27)".
Here is where I'm confused. If you teach women that they are weak and sinful, and insist they dress a certain way to keep men from temptation, AND instill in them that men speak from God and are naturally to lord over them, as well as demanding absolute submission in everything-how could they have the will to say no? Or even realise that they have the option of saying no? What Michael is talking about is abuse of power-ecclesiastical power even.
While it may look like these women are drawn to power (and maybe some of them are-who can say?), perhaps a lot of it is grooming, and charisma on the abuser's part. But to call these abused women-because there's no consent in a culture like this-sluts and twits is pure evil. If I remember the Bible correctly, Bathsheba took a bath on her roof, David saw her, asked after her. He found out she was married, and then HAD HER HUSBAND KILLED, so he could be with her. How is that her fault? Because she was bathing?
It just goes to show that everything bad that happens in PearlWorld is the woman's fault. Those slutty, tempting women that turn good men into sinners! Never mind that these women have been conditioned from birth to acquiesce to authority. Forget that these women are taught to obey, to submit, to give in. For a culture that preaches men are the ultimate authority, there is a sad lack of oversight. And that hurts everybody.