Saturday, July 4, 2015

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Power of Stinking Thinking - Part One

Only two more chapters left!  *happy dance*

Debi ends the last chapter with an apology for the sad, depressing, scary story that follows because a woman didn't respect her husband.

I've found all of her stories so far terrifying or boring so I'm excited about this one.

He came at a moment in my life where I was really lonely.  I had moved to a college town to be a volunteer for a thriving ministry.  We were busy with lots of Bible studies, meetings, memorizing Scripture, conferences and friends eating together and talking.  Then, one day, out of the blue, I was dismissed from the ministry.  I was several hours from home, had expenses to pay, and a job I had just begun so I decided to stay put for a while to get my bearings and give myself time to decide how to move forward.  I was more than just a little lonely; I had a great big need to be needed.

Those are some huge red flags, kiddo.

First, I've been involved as a volunteer in many secular and sacred ministries - but none of them have ever asked me to move to a different city.

Second, how do you get dismissed out of the blue?  Either you are not being truthful about your actions (ie, I was starting internecine warfare between my housemates between prayer meetings) or you got yourself into a cult or cult-like group.

Third, loneliness can blind you to the flaws of potential friends and lovers.  I've been there; done that; lived to regret it.

I thought a lot about the kind of man I wanted to marry.  I knew he would have to be real, not a Christian automation.  Being outside my group now, alone in the world, I wondered how I would meet him.

Worrying about meeting someone is oddly counterproductive.  Ask someone to set you up. 

Then one day it happened while I was running an errand.  On impulse I shot into the coffee shop, ordered a latte, and sat down by a friend who was having lunch.  She poked me in the ribs, "Don't turn around now, but you should know that a gorgeous man sitting at your right is checking you out.  He looks Middle-Eastern or something, but I've seen him in church, so he must be a Christian.

*rolls eyes*

Glad we've decided he's a Christian.  That's so important if the person is not clearly a WASP.  Also, since he's a Christian, there's no way he's an axe murderer.....

When she gave me the word I turned to look.  He was beautiful with black curly hair and a big moustache.

I'm not that to moustaches so this section made me giggle like a teenager because I kept visualizing Ned Flanders from the Simpsons.

  He suddenly turned my way so our eyes met.  I could feel my face blushing.  I saw him grin before I dropped my eyes.

A couple of days later I was running another errand when suddenly he was right there in front of me.  It was one heart-stopping magnificent moment.  We both just stared into each other's eyes and laughed.  It was one of those moments when it seems something was meant to be.

You say magnificent; I say bit creepy.  How big is this college town? 

Jude started dropping by work, we took walks, ate ice cream, or visited some out of the way restaurant.  I loved his voice.  He was charming, spontaneous,  people-orientated, fun and independent, which balanced my methodical, steadfast personality.

That's nice if vague...

This type of thing goes on for awhile so I'm gonna summarize.
  •  The author mentions her depression lifted when she was with Jude. 
  • Her parents met him twice before he proposed after several months of dating. 
  • They got married. 
  •  Early married life was nice in the goofy way early married life often is.

It happened so slowly I never even noticed until one day, it seems out of nowhere, fiery darts started flying at my soul, like a bad dream from who-knows-where; accusing thoughts, irritated feelings, doubt and insecurity nibbled at my soul.  Things in our courtship I could overlook now invaded my mind, not allowing me to think clearly.  Baggage from my youth clouded my soul like a foul odor.

You may not know this, but after the honeymoon - which traditionally also described the early part of a marriage where both partners are still being overly deferential to their spouse - comes the adjustment period.  

The point where you start noticing that when your spouse adds seasonings to a dish you were finished cooking that you feel angry because you didn't want that spice on the dish.

Don't get me started on chores, finances, or who voted which way on which Proposal.....

My point is that these rubs and annoyances are happening because you are seeing clearly how your life as a couple is unfolding.

If you need proof that Debi wrote this section, look no farther than the last sentence of the section above.

Being taught to submit as a wife, I knew there was no way out except to obey, but it was with a heavy heart and a bitter grudge.

No.  Talking is always an option - a great option if you want to have a healthy marriage.

  Then my Prophet-type Jude decided to go to Bible college 3,500 miles another country!  His grand ideas were foreign to me.  I harbored continual disapproval of him.  I began to question his motives.  I talked down to him because I felt he was stupid in the way he handled our money.  He seemed to lack spiritual clarity.  I wanted to start a family; Jude wanted to wait five years before having children!  Why should he be the one to decide?  I have my convictions.  I have to do as I know God says, not him.
Those are some huge differences in life choices.  With the exception of "lacking spiritual clarity", each of the other choices Jude made should be a joint decision by both spouses.  Moving to another country - whether it's one spouse or both spouses- is such a big decision that both people need to be on board.  Waiting 5 years before having children is a big commitment that runs the risk of potentially not having children (although most Pearlites seem to marry really young).  Not being able to handle money is very problematic for both members of the family.

I'd question his motives, too.  He's spending recklessly, wants to move to another country to pursue a "Bible College " degree while being spiritually flaky, and doesn't want to have kids for the next half-decade.

IMHO, Jude sounds like he's having an affair.

AntiPearl: I think this quote explains a lot of CP/QF...


  1. I really don't understand the attitude that you shouldn't talk to your spouse when you have concerns. I grew up with my parents modeling that marriage was a partnership. Even with the couples I know who lean more complementarian in their views, the wife definitely has a say and the husband usually pays attention. Marriage is not a fiefdom (at least, not these days).

  2. I agree. I don't believe that marriage was generally a fiefdom during most of history, either, simply because both partners were critical for having a functional household. While a lot of the CP/QF commentators recommend having the husband micromanage the wife, that wasn't practical at all.

    If my husband and I had to run our farm by hand - God forbid - he'd be busy for 16 hours a day milking cows, cutting hay, planting crops and caring for fences. He wouldn't have time to tell me exactly how to plant a vegetable garden, preserve the food for the winter, make cheese, clean the house and make clothes/bedding for the winter.

    This is all a conceit made up by men who want to be in charge and women who are afraid of making decisions.