Quoting Quiverfull: Two Hours?

Quoting Quiverfull: Two Hours? September 21, 2013

by Vaughn Ohlman from the blog True Love Doesn’t Wait – Two Hours

My interlocutors on ‘Quoting Quiverful’ have been having a field day with Joshua and Laura’s betrothal. Mostly at my expense. I think they feel more sorry than anything for the young couple. Funny how Joshua and Laura don’t feel sorry for themselves.
But, that aside, there is something they don’t understand (OK, there’s a lot of things they don’t understand, but one can only focus on one thing at a time) and I thought I would address it.

Enough of the betrothal story got out so that her readers understand that Joshua and Laura met two hours before the betrothal. But somehow they got the impression that the two were given this as some sort of time limit, during which they were supposed to figure out if they wanted to be betrothed. This idea is false in several ways, and I thought I would set the record straight.

First of all, we didn’t set the two hours as some sort of time limit. If it had been up to the young couple the two would have been betrothed two minutes, not two hours, later. And certainly not two days or two weeks or whatever the QQ readers think they wanted.

But, secondly, this wasn’t a time where they were checking each other out. First of all, because they were shyly avoiding each other. But, secondly, that wasn’t the point of the time. It was just a logistics time while Andrew and I figured out how we would arrange things, what we would say, etc.

Since [Abraham’s servant does not object that Isaac might reject the wife he would be bringing], we may conjecture that [the servant] was so fully persuaded of [Isaac’s] integrity as to have no doubt of his acquiescence in his father’s will.

-John Calvin

Joshua and Laura had, years before, already ‘decided’. Or, rather, they had left the decision up to us, to their fathers. Together with the various counselors we sought we did all of the ‘checking out’ while our children waited, anxiously and eagerly, for us to find someone. While I’m sure they had their anxieties, from what they tell me neither one were particularly worried that we would pick a ‘bad’ spouse for them… they were just worried it was taking so long!

So the point of the story wasn’t that ‘Joshua and Laura got betrothed after only knowing each other for two hours’; it was ‘Joshua and Laura trusted, indeed desired, their fathers to find spouses for them.’. Neither Joshua nor Laura wanted to spend time ‘checking out’ potential spouses. They only wanted to ‘check out’ their real spouse.
Which, for the curious, is what they have been doing ever since. They have been on the phone almost incessantly, constantly Skyping, texting, and the like. They are counting the days, impatiently, to their wedding day.

And Isaac brought her into his mother’s … tent — thus establishing her at once in the rights and honors of a wife before he had seen her features. Disappointments often take place, but when Isaac saw his wife, “he loved her.” JFB

Mind you it wasn’t exactly our plan, or our desire, that we betroth our children to someone who they, or we, had never met. That was just how it happened. We both would have been perfectly good betrothing them to someone we, and they, had known their whole lives. The point of the betrothal process was that they would be able to treat each other as brothers and sisters, all unknowing, until the day when they were bound in covenant. They would never be entreated to ‘check out’ people in the church and form quasi-covenant relationships.

I ‘checked out’ a book by a courtship advocate the other day and he talked about how the dads needed to get more involved in courtship so that the church will have fewer ‘mini-divorces’. I guess it never occurred to him (or, if it did, he didn’t know what to do about it) that in order to have ‘mini-divorces’ one must be running around making ‘mini-marriages’.

So our point, Joshua and Laura’s point, was that they never wanted a ‘mini-marriage’. That they wanted a full blown covenant marriage. Bill Clinton was famous for saying that he did not ‘have sex’ with Monica Lewinsky. We all know the deception he was trying to pull. There is a definition for ‘full blown’ sex, and they didn’t go ‘that far’. In my generation we expressed the same thing with baseball analogies: first base, second base, third base, home base. Our point is that we only want our children playing one game, with one person. That they shouldn’t even be on the field unless it is the right field.

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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