Quoting Quiverfull: What Boys Like?

Quoting Quiverfull: What Boys Like? July 4, 2013

by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin of Visionary Daughters – Brothers and Sisters in Christ: How to Think About Young Men

A number of young women have asked us about relationships with young men. They want to know how a young woman should interact with those of the opposite sex, or should she at all?


Note: Every daughter should look to the guidance of her parents on this. She should know what her father (and mother) think about conversations with strangers, friends, suitors, and potential suitors. The advice in this article presupposes that your father approves of pure conversations and interaction with young men, and that our suggestions would only be applied in the situations and manner he has approved. If the thoughts below represent a different practice than what your father or elders have prescribed for you, continue to follow the direction you have been given by those in jurisdictional authority over you.


The issue of how eligible young people can interact in a pure and comfortable way has been considered by wiser and more mature minds than ours. However, we would like to submit a few thoughts as two young people currently navigating these waters ourselves, and having listened to the perspectives of many friends, both male and female, on this issue.


In this post we will be offering some collected observations from the most mature young people we know (with a heavy dose of advice from the older and married, our parents most of all).


It is generally known that Christians are supposed to interact as brothers and sisters in Christ, but during the highly-charged season of eligibility, young people in the typical church are not sure how to do this.


Even in family-integrated churches, guys and girls often don’t know how to interact comfortably as brothers and sisters. We usually see this expressed in one of two ways: either flirting and posturing, or shying demurely away from any interaction with the other sex. These two symptoms may seem opposites, but they both stem from the same root problem: a failure to think of the other as “[brothers or] sisters, with all purity” (1 Tim. 5:2)


In other words: thinking of the other sex chiefly as marriage material. This problem can be intensified by the fact that most of us don’t know what a real brother-sister relationship looks like, thus having no foundation or framework to transfer over to our spiritual brothers. Our father has always taught us that understanding the fraternal relationship can help us understand why men and women in the Body of Christ are referred to as brother and sister, and give us the wisdom to gracefully maneuver a season so (potentially) fraught with complexity.


Obviously, there must be some distinctions between how we treat family members and young people outside the family. Because this “eligibility” phase can be volatile, young people need to be extra thoughtful in how they deal with these relationships – not excessively worried about convention, but always thinking carefully about how to love the people around them, considering what is appropriate for the situation, and submitting to the guidelines set by their parents.


In this article, we will not attempt to set forth a code of conduct, or rules of “engagement” between the sexes – rules and safeguards are for your own family to determine as you seek the Scriptures. What we want to explore here is a sisterly attitude toward young men. Remember, our patterns of conduct begin in the heart and mind. We cannot treat young men as brothers until we think of them as brothers. It does not follow that we should throw propriety to the wind and embrace all young men with unconstrained sibling familiarity, but we can identify and follow many of the same principles that we do with our own brothers, without the same level of intimacy.


What does it mean to think of young men as brothers?


What principles of sisterly love are applicable to other young men?


A sister should be looking out for her brother’s best interests. Of course she doesn’t want to see him get hurt, defrauded, or painfully disappointed.


She prays for him, for his future wife and family.


She understands that he is an imperfect human being, with flaws and weaknesses that should be viewed with charity, patience and understanding.


She views him as a fellow human made in the image of God – neither more nor less.


A sister should realize that her brother will answer to God for every word he says, every thought he has, every deed he does – including in his dealings with women. This should put the fear of God into her to not want to see stumbling blocks put before him.


A sister should realize that young men are supposed to be seeking the Kingdom first (as are we! Matt. 6:23). We should not willfully distract them. Ours should be the kind of relationship that will encourage them in their focus on serving God, in their manly endeavors, rather than the kind of relationship that would feed their weaknesses and vanity. Young women can fuel or even ignite a man’s penchant for mere “interaction” – bantering, toying, dallying, trivial exchanges about nothings — a shallow (and selfish) substitute for hearty friendship and substantial conversation.


What the young men say


We have an advantage many girls would love to have – we have five brothers, who all talk openly with us about what they do and do not appreciate in the conduct of young women toward them and their friends. Our brothers have told us they find it easier to think of and treat a young lady as a sister in Christ, when she acts like a sister in Christ. Solid young men can usually discern fairly quickly whether a girl is unselfishly looking out for the best interests of her Christian brothers, or views them simply as prospective marriage material – or worse, as objects to sport with. They’re inclined to feel more comfortable around a girl who clearly has no designs or expectations, and uneasy speaking to a girl who seems focused on her eligibility, the matrimonial possibilities, the deep significance of their interaction… (Among other things, the guys can be concerned that their brotherly friendliness will be misconstrued as a mark of intention.)

According to our brothers, they appreciate it when:


A girl seems comfortable and at ease.


A girl talks to them in the same spirit that their sisters do.


A girl is a good conversationalist, well educated and with interesting things to say. (Able to speak intelligently on subjects that will be of general interest to a mixed audience – e.g., topics other than sewing, fad diets, clothes, chick flicks, themselves, etc.)


A girl has a genuine interest in the things of God, and an eagerness to speak of them and discuss them.


They do not appreciate it when:


A girl seems excessively self-conscious and distracted by the fact that AN ELIGIBLE YOUNG MAN IS TALKING TO HER!


A girl exhibits leech-like behavior – however flattering it was intended to be.


A girl is over-aggressively friendly.


A girl demonstrates a Deliberate Shunning of Young Men, complete with avoiding eye contact and hiding behind human shields.


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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  • Madame

    This is just ridiculous!
    Single young men and women have a very natural desire to find someone to interact romantically with, even if they may never marry that person. It’s natural not to feel “like oneself” when an attractive, available person of the opposite sex is around. Goodness! these girls are so against anything NORMAL and NATURAL! As awful as I may sound saying this, no wonder they are still single!!!!!!!

  • teaisbetterthanthis

    So, the very behaviors that girls are being shoehorned into (such as avoiding boys and treating every interaction as though their words, clothing choices, and actions could incite a frenzy of lust) are considered unattractive by the same boys these girls are told are the only potential options for marriage? Girls who are told not to talk to or interact with anyone who they wouldn’t marry, and react to male attention as one would expect, aren’t the girls these boys want to spend time with?

    I am SHOCKED.

  • persephone

    Now I’ve got that song “I know what boys like” stuck in my head.

  • Lolly

    In summary, girls you cannot win. Boys like girls who are confident, educated and interesting, girls you are all shallow, and selfish and you don’t make eye contact because your parents raised you not to do that, raised you to stay at home, change diapers, clean and cook, remain uneducated and never talk to boys ever. You can’t walk that fine, fine line between obeying your parents and God and catching a boy’s eye? It’s your fault and you suck.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    It is always the vagina-possessors fault.

    Stumbled across an archive there filled with why waiting for Dad to pick Mr. Right for you is a big honor and should not be rushed. Will be posting it soon.

    Does anyone here think that there is any possibility of the Botkin sisters ever marrying?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Only if Daddy finds someone who could keep the money flowing the way the girls are with their “ministry” now.

    Disclaimer: I don’t actually know much about the Botkins. When I was growing up fundie, Josh McDowell was the book everyone read.

  • a-mckeown

    Never say never but the odds are not in the Botkin sisters favor

  • aim2misbehave

    “What does it mean to think of young men as brothers?”

    That tackling, wrestling, and other forms of apparent physical violence are OK as long as you know how not to actually hurt each other? That you’re going to keep leaving spy novels on top of his video game console, and occasionally hiding his video games and replacing them with said spy novels, in hopes of getting him to read ~anything~ at all? That you’re going to get into extensive arguments with him about what kinds of alcohol are acceptable to consume and what kinds are just gross? That you sometimes threaten to cook your favorite food yourself (and probably set the kitchen on fire) in order to have him cook it for you?

    Meh, they probably wouldn’t be very happy with that…

  • Holly

    So men want an educated woman but parents do not believe in educating daughters because their highest calling is to get married and shoot out lots of arrows. No wonder they need a book like CTBHHM to instruct them in how to stay in a marriage where the two parties hate each other.

  • Independent Thinker

    It’s probably a blessing they are still single. The therapy bills later in life are going to be quite expensive.

  • Independent Thinker

    I bet they have never heard the song. Reminds me of when the Duggars met Dolly Parton and didn’t have a clue who she was.

  • Bryony

    Haha, I was thinking something similar…”Hmmm, so I should geek out over shared fandoms and have deeply silly conversations that make our parents shake their heads in confusion? That…actually sounds a lot like how I interact with my friends. I’m doing something these people approve of! How unexpected.”

  • Lucreza Borgia

    We’re supposed to believe that these brothers aren’t also parroting what daddy Botkin says?