Quoting Quiverfull: Why is it Always About Sex?

by Vaughn Ohlman from True Love Doesn’t Wait – If Courtship Were Honest

The other day I was speaking to a courtship advocate and he called my definition of marriage ‘shortsighted’. What was my definition? Well, it was just a partial definition but it was ‘a lifelong sexual relationship’, basically. My interlocutor didn’t like that, since he was trying to say that, in a courtship done well, there was no possibility for the young man to ‘lust’ after the woman he was courting. That he could continue to treat her as a ‘sister’ and denied they had a ‘quasi-covenant’.

 

Anyway, so I thought this might be a fun opportunity to create a list of… ‘things you will never hear a courting young man say.’ Although Doug Wilson (a courtship advocate) admits that courting is a ‘volatile sexual relationship’ most people involved in courting manage to deny the entire sexual nature of the courting couple.

So I thought I would try to make a very real, very Scriptural, point while poking a little fun at the courtship people. What would courtship look like if it was done honestly, and (more) Scripturally:

Proverbs 5:Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth…19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

So the young man comes to the father of the daughter and says, “Sir. I read in Proverbs 5 that, in to keep me from a strange woman, I should have a wife of my youth, and that I should rejoice in her breasts continually. Your daughter has really nice breasts, and I think I would enjoy rejoicing in them for the rest of my life, so…”

I Cor 7:2-5 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

“Sir, I read in I Cor 7:2 that a young man should marry to avoid fornication. And it verses 3-5 it says that I should have a woman whose body I will possess, and who shouldn’t defraud me of my sexual rights to her body except for short, agreed upon, periods of prayer and fasting. You have a beautiful daughter, and I think I would enjoy possessing her body. Would you mind if we courted?”

1Co 7:8-9 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

“Sir, I have read in I Cor 7:9 that a young man is supposed to marry if he cannot sexually contain. I will freely confess that I have that problem. Is your daughter available to help me in that area?”

Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

“Sir, we read in Titus 2 that a young woman should be loving her husband, loving her children, and keeping the house. I see you have a daughter who is currently not doing those things, being unmarried. I was wondering if, you know, you would mind if she started doing them? With me, I mean. Just a thought…”

If courtship were honest it would recognize the fundamental contradictions in courtship. A young man cannot treat all of the young women in his church as sister in all purity if he is supposed to be checking them out to see which one of them he would like for his wife. And, contrariwise, he cannot be courting a young woman and, at the same time, treating her like a sister. We don’t court our sisters.

If courtship were honest it wouldn’t try to maintain, simultaneously, the idea that Scripture really doesn’t tell us how to do this, that there are a  variety of different ways that are Ok… but that we must read their book, their blog, or their article to find out exactly how God wants us to do it. We wouldn’t be told, time and time again, that we need to look to Scripture as to how to do this… and that we need to ignore every single example of people getting married in Scripture.

If courtship were honest it would acknowledge (as a few do) that the word ‘courtship’ comes from medieval knights running around trying to get each others wives to commit adultery with them. That the word root ‘court’ comes from a kings court, and the behavior of ‘courtiers’ in that court. Flowers, songs, poetry, late night trysts… how do they pretend that any of that relates to anything in Scripture?

If courtship were honest it would return to the Scriptures and see that what they are teaching in courtship they didn’t find in God’s Word.

Comments open below

 

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

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • Dana

    The weird part is I agree with everything he said. It *is* impossible to both be looking for a wife while also looking at every woman totally asexually.

    THe trouble is I think that leads me to a different conclusion than it leads him.

    To me that says: Yeah, God doesn’t expect young men and women to look at each other with a complete lack of sexual interest. That’s crazy. So whatever “don’t lust after other people” means, it doesn’t mean you have to look at even potential future partners with a total lack of sexual interest.

    Unfortunately I think he’s gonna go in some other direction, which is to say that this proves that no one can ever have any say in who they’re choosing for a spouse, and need to get married as early as possible before they start hunting for one?

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha Faurie

    “1Co 7:8-9 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

    “Sir, I have read in I Cor 7:9 that a young man is supposed to marry if he cannot sexually contain. I will freely confess that I have that problem. Is your daughter available to help me in that area?” “-V.O.

    Possible answer from father: The text say “if they cannot contain, let them marry.” My daughter is capable of containing, so there is no reason to let her marry.”

    “Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

    Tit 2:5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    “Sir, we read in Titus 2 that a young woman should be loving her husband, loving her children, and keeping the house. I see you have a daughter who is currently not doing those things, being unmarried. I was wondering if, you know, you would mind if she started doing them? With me, I mean. Just a thought…” “-V.O.

    Possible answer from father: No, it never say she should do those things. She should be taught those things, for if or when she needs to start doing them. But since she can contain herself, scripture does not tell her to marry.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/ Retha Faurie

    I Cor 7:2-5 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

    “Sir, I read in I Cor 7:2 that a young man should marry to avoid fornication. And it verses 3-5 it says that I should have a woman whose body I will possess, and who shouldn’t defraud me of my sexual rights to her body except for short, agreed upon, periods of prayer and fasting. You have a beautiful daughter, and I think I would enjoy possessing her body. Would you mind if we courted?” – V.O.

    Possible answer from father: Your self-centered way of thinking is a good reason why you should not marry my daughter. You never mention how she will equally much possess your body, according to the text, and how you should never defraud her of her rights, or how you care that she can avoid fornication. And you do not understand the defrauding thing – your words are defrauding her out of the truth that she equally possess you, and you sound like you want to defraud her of due benevolence- goodness – by treating her as no more than a one-sided possession. http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/benevolence-in-the-christian-bedroom-its-not-all-about-sex/

  • Brennan

    Are we sure that Von is a real person, as opposed to a performance art piece? Like, does he have a congregation that knows him? Does he do interviews and speaking gigs and conferences, or is he primarily an internet person? Because . . . wow, does he come across as a troll.

    • Madame

      You can look him up on Facebook. He appears to be a real person.

  • Trollface McGee

    Thanks to the Ohlman Diet I’m losing pounds and inches.. because each column is guaranteed to suppress my appetite.
    Although he does do a good job in this one explaining why his betrothal ideas are ridiculous and loathsome. Yes, sex is a part of marriage.. which should be worked out between the married parties, not as part of a purchase contract between a woman’s current and future owners.

  • Saraquill

    Why is Mrs. Ohlman still married to him?

    • persephone

      Von has, paraphrasing a bit, described her as second rate, trailer trash, desperate for a man to marry. The perfect spouse for a sex-obsessed, narcissistic, fundagelical, legend in his own mind loser.

      • Madame

        Where did he describe her like that? I missed it.

        • persephone

          In one of his postings he talked about this perfect girl he was hot for but her father turned him down. Von’s father suggested he approach another girl who wasn’t as special, and the way it was phrased Von was able to score low-hanging fruit. The girl’s family was described as low class, partiers, and the girl as desperate to get out.
          Since that posting, it’s become pretty clear that Von has a lot of anger and resentment still toward the girl that got away and her father, and he never writes about his wife, so I kind of filled on the blanks.

          Personally, if I were the girl that got away, I would be thanking my dad regularly for turning Von the psycho away.

          • Madame

            What an awful thing to say about your own wife (or husband).

            Sadly, most men and women marrying the way Von advocates will be the ones who can’t find a mate any other way, or who have been raised to belive that is the only way to find one.

  • Madame

    This article is really disgusting, but it serves the purpose of shedding light on what marriage is all about for Mr. Ohlman: possessing a woman’s body.
    Women are to be given away as prostitutes to young men who can’t contain themselves and who want to have their “right to sex” taken care of. This is so sickening!
    I know he’s deliberately trying to make it sound ridiculous, but in doing so, he’s exposed his thinking more clearly than ever. Sick.

  • Theo Darling

    Wow, vomit time