by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin of Visionary Daughters article “Why Am I Not Married?” – July 1, 2010
Who is to Blame?
The easiest and most common response is to point our fingers – at the young men, for not getting their act together, or for not being proactive about asking; at our fathers, for being too intimidating or too picky; or at leadership, for not doing something.
Whether or not the young men, fathers, and leadership involved have behaved infallibly is not our place to say; we are here to point out that we girls have no business fixating on anyone’s faults but our own. This is partly a point of Christian charity and proper jurisdiction. It’s also a point of having to be honest with ourselves. After all, in any one of our individual cases, the problem just might be: Us.
Our aspirations to be married to fine husbands are good; but then, that’s an aspiration that the Cinderellas and the ugly stepsisters of the world have always had in common. We need to step outside of our imaginary roles as the heroines of our own personal fairy tales, and ask ourselves: which one am I? Why would the prince choose me?
One of the hallmark verses of waiting daughters is “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is above rubies.” We all love to claim the “above rubies” appellation and the idea that we’re a great prize for a young man to find – but Proverbs 31 places that price tag on a very specific description of a woman, and we all know that it doesn’t describe us. So why do we demand to be treated, and eventually chosen, as though we were that Proverbs 31 woman?
For every girl we know asking why so few young men are “ready,” we know a young man asking where the ready and eligible girls are. Our brothers and their friends have told us that many of the qualities girls have cultivated to make themselves “eligible” are things that won’t come up on young men’s radar screens, and the qualities the young men are most looking for have been neglected.
For example, though many may have mastered skills like sewing and music, they often seem to be living in a hobby world, removed from the concerns of the real world, and lacking a basic understanding of what’s going on. Some may have learned to be “content,” but haven’t learned to be joyful. Some may be sweet girls, but they often communicate stiffness, timidity, aloofness, or coldness in public. Others may be popular and socially active, but haven’t built real relationships with their own family. Some may feel ready to be loved and romanced, but not ready to love sacrificially. Others may be very accomplished in “feminine arts” (cake decorating, flower arranging, scrapbooking), but lacking in practical skills that will recommend them as capable helpers (the kind of skills that would be required to start a business, manage finances, help run a ministry, etc.)
There are many girls who look prepared to be good mothers and good housekeepers, but not to be capable helpmeets. Our brothers and their friends have told us that they’re not looking for mere live-in maids and nannies; they want wives who would be capable of coming alongside them in the rigors of their lives; being engaging, iron-sharpening companions; and assisting them in business, ministry, adventure, risk, conquest, and uncertainty. The young men we know are asking, “Where are those girls?”
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QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce