Quoting Quiverfull: Marriage Crisis Part 1?

Quoting Quiverfull: Marriage Crisis Part 1? February 22, 2013

By Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin of Visionary Daughters article “Why Am I Not Married?” – July 1, 2010

Is There a Problem?

If there is a problem, we believe it’s not that so many young people are not married – it’s that so many young people are not ready to be married. The capper is that we have such low standards for ourselves that we don’t even realize it.

Let’s be honest with ourselves about the ways we’ve been compromised by our society, usually without knowing it. We are still swaying to the beat of our culture’s drum, in many of our attitudes, our affections, our expectations, and our actions. Many of us have picked up Hollywood ideas about what men should be like, and what makes a good match. We’re often double-minded, with our convictions and our affections running in two different directions, looking for a man that will somehow gratify both. Many of us claim to be preparing for godly wifehood, but actually are doing so with a narcissistic and feministic self-focus. We often have lofty demands for suitors (well, not that lofty – just that they be Jonathan Edwards in Edward Cullen’s body), but love ourselves just the way we are. So the men we want to marry often don’t really exist – and if they did… well… why would they want to marry us?

Now that we’ve drunk from our culture’s well, we shouldn’t be surprised to be feeling some of the same symptoms. Thanks to cultural confusion, personal baggage, or pendulum swings, guys and girls are can have a hard time knowing how to have relationships with each other. Some of us girls still have weak relationships and poor communication with our fathers, which makes everything surrounding courtship difficult. Some of us still have traces of our feminist culture or our Barbie culture in our personalities and character, which make us unappealing to young men who share our convictions on biblical femininity. Fear of responsibility, confusion about love and attraction, selfish attitudes towards relationships, entitlement syndrome – we’re as likely to pick these up from Hollywood as the girl next door… and they’re just as likely to affect our matrimonial futures.

There are, by the way, plenty of people who have maturely avoided these mistakes, or repented of them. Among our friends, they are getting married. (If panicky singles would start looking outside of their own situations, they might notice all of the wonderful marriages taking place.)

But insofar as a problem exists, it should be identified as a maturity crisis – not a marriage crisis.

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


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  • Fledgling Feminist

    I feel so sad when I read this…there was and is so much emphasis placed on marriage for girls. If it doesn’t happen, bring on the shame and self-loathing. Instead of questioning the messed up teaching/lifestyle that leaves so many young adults unable to communicate honestly, and even MEET each other in person, let’s make women feel un-spiritual for hoping to marry someone they find attractive. Let’s drive them back to “communicating with father,” even as we insist that communication protect Father’s ego at all costs. Let’s promise that you “will” get married, if you just figure out what’s wrong with you and repent.

    If you are reading this, and you’ve been impacted by that kind of teaching, so was I. The best thing I ever did was start reading books like “Boundaries” and learning what it really looked like to communicate honestly and set healthy boundaries. It is painful to feel your feelings for the first time…I’m not gonna lie. People around you freak out when you upset their patterns. Find some support. Find some help. Freedom is worth it. I am happily married now, but it was in spite of courtship teaching, not because of it. And I don’t idolize marriage anymore, or judge anyone who feels marriage and/or children is just not for them.

  • Nea

    The pressure has got to be high on the Botkin girls especially – they themselves promised that if you just did things the right way, you’d be married and living happily ever after. And they *did* do things the right way… and it’s not working out. They can’t attack the system, they can’t attack Daddy, so all they can do is turn on themselves.

  • How I would love to see them turn on the system. I wonder if and how their tune will change if they are still single in another decade?

  • validated

    Whenever I need to induce nausea, I jump on over to the Botkin ladies site. Sometimes what I read makes me really, really angry because it reminds me of so so many girls at my evangelical college: both in “know-it-all”ness and utter cluelessness. I vacillate between despising them and feeling sad for them because they are but products of their upbringing.

  • The Graduate

    They certainly haven’t changed either. Their Valentine’s Day entry was really depressing and manipulative. Basically, if you aren’t married yet, you aren’t godly enough: http://visionarydaughters.com/2013/02/all-i-want-for-valentines-day

  • Karen

    I was a senior in college (yes! college! studying engineering!) when the guy in the front row who was quick to correct the professor invited me to lunch. I said yes. We’re on the way to our 33rd anniversary of a marriage of equals. The people who don’t believe such a marriage can be happy can go pound sand.

  • thursey

    My question is, “How mature is mature enough?” My husband and I are going on 30 years and we were young and just new Christians when we got married ~ we definitely weren’t “ready” by their standards! Sure it’s been a roller coaster, but to think that you have to have it all together ~ “ready”~ is just naive. Have a little faith in what God can do and will do in your lives as you both grow older. To think that you need to “arrive” at a certain level of maturity, even the idea that you can “arrive” is a bit arrogant.