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Excerpt from Chapter 8 – Wisdom to Understand Your Man

Three Kinds of Men Men are not all the same. I have become aware that there are basically three types of men. The different types are just as marked in one-year-olds as they are in adult men. It seems that God made each male to express one side of his triad nature. No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God. If a man were all three types at the same time, he would be the perfect man, but I have never met, heard of, or read in a book of history or fiction of a man who is a proper balance of all three. Certainly Jesus was the perfect balance. Most men are a little of all three, but tend to be dominant in one. And all the training and experiences of life will never successfully make a man into a different type of man. There is nothing clumsier and more pathetic than a man trying to act differently from who he is. Picture John Wayne and Mr. Rogers trying to trade places. As we review the types, you will probably readily identify your husband and be able to see where you have been a curse or a blessing to him.

By the time a young woman gets married, she has developed a composite image of what her husband ought to be like. The men she has known and the characters in books and movies provide each woman with a concept of the perfect man. Poor guys! Our preconceived ideas make it tough on them. They are never perfect—far from it. God gave each one a nature that, in part, is like himself, but never complete. When you add in the factor that all men are fallen creatures, it makes a girl wonder why she would ever want to tie her life to one of these sons of Adam. But God made us ladies to have this unreasonable desire to be needed by a man, and our hormones are working strenuously to bring us together. When a girl suddenly finds herself permanently wed to a man who is not like she thinks he ought to be, rather than adapt to him, she usually spends the rest of their marriage—which may not be very long—trying to change him into what she thinks her man ought to be. Most young girls are married only a short time when they make the awful discovery that they may have gotten a lemon. Rather than to bemoan your “fate,” ask God for wisdom. Wisdom is knowing what you “bought” when you married that man, and learning to adapt to him as he is, not as you want him to be.

Men are not alike. Your husband most likely will not be like your father or brother or the man in your favorite romance novel. Our husbands are created in the image of God, and it takes all kinds of men to even come close to completing that image. No man is a perfect balance; if he were, he would be too divine to need you. God gives imperfect women to imperfect men so they can be heirs together of the grace of life and become something more together than either one of them would ever be alone. If you fight his inadequacies or seek to be dominant where he is not, both of you will fail. If you love him and support him with his inadequacies and without taking charge, both of you will succeed and grow.

Mr. Command Man

God is dominant–a sovereign and all-powerful God. He is also visionary–omniscient and desirous of carrying out his plans. And, God is steady–the same yesterday, and today, and forever, our faithful high priest. Most men epitomize one of these three aspects of God.

A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. They often end up in positions that command other men. We will call them Command Men. They are born leaders. They are chosen by other men to be military commanders, politicians, preachers, heads of corporations, and managers of businesses. Winston Churchill, George Patton, and Ronald Reagan are examples of dominant men. Since our world needs only a few leaders, God seems to limit the number of these dominant men. They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. Most of them do not want their wives involved in any project that prevents them from serving him. If you are blessed to be married to a strong, forceful, bossy man, as I am, then it is very important for you learn how to make an appeal without challenging his authority. We will discuss how to make an appeal later in this book.

We receive very few letters from wives of Command Men. These men have less tolerance, so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage. By the time she realizes that there is a serious problem, she is already a divorced mother seeking help in how to raise her children alone. A woman can fight until she is blue in the face, yet the Command Man will not yield. He is not as intimate or vulnerable as are other men in sharing his personal feelings or vocation with his wife. He seems to be sufficient unto himself. It is awful being shut out. A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme.

She is on call every minute of her day. Her man wants to know where she is, what she is doing, and why she is doing it. He corrects her without thought. For better or for worse, it is his nature to control. A woman married to a Command Man wears a heavier yoke than most women, but it can be a very rewarding yoke. In a way, her walk as his help meet is easier because there is never any possibility of her being in control. There are no gray areas; she always knows exactly what is required of her, therefore she has a calm sense of safety and rest.

The Command Man feels it is his duty and responsibility to lead people, and so he does, whether they think they want him to lead or not. Amazingly, this is what the public is most comfortable with. Very few people have enough confidence to strike out on their own, plus, the feeling of being blamed for mistakes holds them back. The Command Man is willing to take the chance, and for that purpose God created these king-like men. Their road is not easy, for James said, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1).

On 9-11, when the World Trade Center was destroyed, another plane flying over Pennsylvania was being highjacked by other terrorists. Mr. Todd Beamer was on that plane. It was his voice we all heard saying the now-famous line, “Let’s roll.” He must have been a strong Mr. Command Man. He and others like him took control of a desperate situation and saved many other lives while sacrificing their own. It could have been a terrible mistake, but Mr. Beamer evaluated the situation, made a decision, and then acted upon it. He knew the lives of all those people were in his hands. It was a heavy responsibility, yet he was “willing to do what a man’s gotta do.”

You will remember how strong and queenly his young widow seemed to be when we watched her on TV after the attacks. A good Mr. Command sees the bigger picture and strives to help the greatest number, even if it costs him his life and the lives of those he loves. If he is an honest man, he will take financial loss in order to help lead those who need him, but in the end he will usually come out on top. If he is not an honest man, he will be selfish and use the resources of others to further his own interests.

A King wants a Queen, which is why a man in command wants a faithful wife to share his fame and glory. Without a woman’s admiration, his victories are muted. If a wife learns early to enjoy the benefits of taking the second seat, and if she does not take offense to his headstrong aggressiveness, she will be the one sitting at his right side being adored, because this kind of man will totally adore his woman and exalt her. She will be his closest and sometimes his only confidante. Over the years, the Command Man can become more yielding and gentle. His wife will discover secret portals to his heart.

If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong and fulfilled man of God. He has the potential to become an amazing leader. Never shame him, and do not belittle him or ignore his accomplishments.

If the wife of a Command Man resists his control, he will readily move forward without her. If he is not a principled Christian, he will allow the marriage to come to divorce. Like King Ahasuerus of Persia, if she defies him, he will replace her and not look back. If his Christian convictions prevent him from divorcing, he will remain stubbornly in command, and she will be known as a miserable old wench.

If a Command Man has not developed working skills and thus accomplishes little, he will have the tendency to tell stories about himself and brag until people are sick of him. If he has left his wife and lost his children, thus has no legitimate “kingdom” of his own, he will be obnoxiously garrulous.

A Command Man who has gone bad is likely to be abusive. It is important to remember that much of how a Command man reacts depends on his wife’s reverence toward him. When a Command Man (lost or saved) is treated with honor and reverence, a good help meet will find that her man will be wonderfully protective and supportive. In most marriages, the strife is not because the man is cruel or evil; it is because he expects obedience, honor, and reverence, and is not getting it, and thus he reacts badly. When a wife plays her part as a help meet, the Command Man will respond differently. Of course, there are a few men who are so cruel and violent that even when the wife is a proper help meet, he will still physically abuse her or the children. In such cases, it would be the duty of the wife to alert the authorities so that they might become the arm of the Lord to do justice.

* Mr. Command will not take the trash out, as a general rule, and he will not clean up the mess at the trash area. He may organize and command someone else to do it. Any woman trying to force Mr. Command into becoming a nice trash man will likely end up alone, trashed by her man.

* Mr. Command will want to talk about his plans, ideas, and finished projects. He will be very objective, very unemotional, and he will not enjoy small talk. His vision is like a man looking from a high mountain; he sees the distant goal. He will expect his wife to help him remember individuals’ needs.

* Mr. Command Man will be most uncomfortable and at a loss when dealing with the sick, helpless and dying. Where there is no hope, there will be no need for a Command Man.

* A born leader is a man who can, when necessary, adapt principles or rules to circumstances, for the greater good of the greatest number of people.

Mr. Visionary

God is a Visionary, like the Holy Spirit. He made some men in the image of that part of his nature. Prophets, be they true or false, are usually of this type. Some of you are married to men who are shakers, changers, and dreamers. These men get the entire family upset about peripheral issues, such as: do we believe in Christmas, should we use state marriage licenses, why a Christian should opt out of the Social Security system, etc. The issues may be serious and worthy of one’s commitment, but, in varying degrees, these men have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues. They will easily pick up and relocate without any idea of what they are going to do for a living at their new location. They are often the church splitters and the ones who demand doctrinal purity, and proper dress and conduct. Like a prophet, they call people to task for their inconsistencies. If they are not wise, they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way. One Visionary will campaign for the legalization of pot, while another will be an activist to make abortions illegal. Most will just sit around the house and complain, but in their souls they are Visionaries.

They are often gifted men or inventors, and I am sure it was men of this caliber that conquered the Wild West, though they would not have been the farmers who settled it. Today, Visionary men are street preachers, political activists, organizers and instigators of any front-line social issue. They love confrontation, and hate status quo. “Why leave it the way it is when you can change it?” They are the men who keep the rest of the world from getting stagnant or dull. The Visionary is consumed with a need to communicate with his words, music, writing, voice, or actions. He is the “Voice Crying out in the Wilderness” striving to change the way humanity is behaving or thinking. Good intentions don’t always keep Visionaries from causing great harm. They can stir up pudding and end up with toxic waste if they are not wise. An unwise wife can add to the poison with negative words, or she can, with simple words of caution, bring attention to the goodness of the pudding and the wisdom in leaving it alone. Every Mr.Visionary needs a good, wise, prudent, stable wife who has a positive outlook on life.

If you are married to one of these fellows, expect to be rich, or poor, rarely middle class. He may invest everything in a chance, lose it all, or make a fortune, but he will not do well working 8-5 in the same place for 30 years, and retire to live the good life. If he works a regular job, he may either not show up half the time or he will work like a maniac 80 hours a week and love every minute. He may purchase an alligator farm in Florida or a ski resort in Colorado, or he may buy an old house trailer for $150.00 with hopes of fixing it up and selling it for $10,000.00, only to find out that it is so deteriorated that it can’t be moved. He will then have the wife and all the kids help him tear the top off and carry the scraps to the dump, saving the appliances in the already crowded garage, and then making a farm trailer out of the axles. Now that he has a farm trailer and no animals, expect him to get a deal on three old sick cows, and… He may never be rich in money, but he will be rich in experience.

Come to think of it, maybe my husband is not a 100% Mr. Command Man, because he seems quite a bit like this Mr. Visionary. I remember on more than one occasion helping him tear down someone’s old barn in order to drag the junk home to fill up our old barn. Remember, most men are a mixture of types, but usually stronger in one.

The wife of Mr.Visionary should be just a little bit reckless and blind in one eye if she is going to enjoy the ride. If this is your man, you need to learn two very important things (beyond how to make an appeal). Learn how to be flexible, and learn how to always be loyal to your man. You will be amazed at how much happier you will be and how much fun life can be if you learn to just go with the flow–his flow. Life will become an adventure. You will actually begin to feel sorry for the gals married to the stick-in-the-mud, steady type. And once you get it into your head that your husband does not have to be “right” for you to follow him, you will FINALLY be able to say, “bye bye” to your overwrought parents, even when they are screaming that you are married to a crazy man. People looking on will marvel that you are able to love and appreciate your husband, but you will know better because you will see his greatness.

Greatness is a state of soul, not certain accomplishments. Thomas Edison, though not recognized as such, was great after his 999th failure to make a light bulb. Were the Wright brothers great when they neglected their lucrative occupation of fixing bicycles and “wasted time” trying to make one of them fly? If the light bulb had never worked and the plane had never flown, and no one remembered their names today; they would have been the same men, and their lives would have still been just as full and their days just as challenging. Did their wives think them great when they used their last dime on another failed idea? If they didn’t, just think what they missed.

The Visionary man needs his woman’s support, and he will appreciate it when it is freely given. Without her, he feels alone. This guy will be a little hard to live with at first. Big, wild fights are the usual beginnings, if a nice normal girl (who had a Mr. Steady daddy) marries one of “the weird ones”. They will either have a bitter divorce (she divorces him) in the first few years, or she will decide to learn to appreciate him, because he is really rather lovable. I get very few letters from wives married to these high-strung, going-to-reinvent-the-wheel men. I do get lots of letters from their mothers-in-law, asking us to write and straighten out their sons-in-law.

Some of these guys talk with glowing enthusiasm and animation. If you are married to one, he loves to tell you about his newest idea, and he wants your enthusiastic support, not a critique of his idea. He will look at his idea more critically later, but for the moment, the idea itself is invigorating to him. He will have a thousand ideas for every project he attempts, and he will try many that he will never finish, and he will finish some that are worthless, and you “knew it all along”. Remind him of that the next time he has an idea, and you will destroy your marriage, but you won’t change him. He will share his “dumb ideas” with someone else.

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