It’s Not That Complicated: Part 2 The Boys

It’s Not That Complicated: Part 2 The Boys March 25, 2016

itsnotthatcomplicatedby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

Quotes from the book in blue text.

Quick refresher before we hit the boys.  According to the Botkin Sisters, girls should:

  • Treat all young guys as they would treat their brother…kind of.
  • Don’t flirt, joke, tease, or have deeply personal conversations with boys.
  • Be more reserved around guys than girls.
  • Realize guys are imperfect and treat them with understanding and charity.
  • Have “family friends” rather than individual guy friends.
Here are the guys:

From James, producer:

 “I have a number of close friendships with sisters in Christ, and each of them is unique.  Two things are consistent, though: First, my relationship with them is in the context of my relationship with their family, or their relationship with my family, and second, our relationships are based on a shared labor for the kingdom of Christ.  While we certainly enjoy time together with each other’s families, our relationships are not simply based on having fun together.   We talk, we laugh, we play games – but we also discuss theology, work on large projects together, serve others in our communities and develop businesses.” (pg. 81)
  • I find the Botkin disapproval of “having fun” annoying as hell.
  • I’m curious about the large projects that are neither community-based nor businesses.  Are they starting a cult?  Creating their own arsenal?
  • I call a bullshit on “starting businesses”.  Show me one business that the Botkins have successfully run with a woman outside of the family.  (Yes, I know that requires showing a successfully run business first; I think TRex Arms is the only one that’s actually gotten off the ground.)

From Paul, missionary:

“My flesh-and-blood sisters stir me up to know God better by the desire they show for Him.  They help me learn to communicate better by talking with me.  Their perspectives on people help me understand others better.  Studying them helps me understand how women think and feel.  When they ask my advice, it spurs me to seek wisdom more intensely.  When they confide in me, it inspires me to greater care, protection, and tenderness towards them.  Because they behave like women, they remind me that I need to be a man” (pg. 63).
  • I can work with most of this quote.
  • The only weird bit is that he studies his flesh-and-blood sisters.  That’s an odd way of describing interacting with family.
“When shyness comes from nervousness, which I think it usually does, it shows a lack of Christian love.  A girl’s complete confidence is grounded entirely in her relationship with God.  When God saves us He makes us His children.  If God has made her His daughter, then she should not fear me.  In fact, she should love me, desiring whatever is best for me, just as I do for her, since we are siblings in Christ.  If she’s primarily concerned with what I’m thinking about her, she’ll be nervous.  What a girl should be concerned with is what the Lord thinks of her at that moment.  Most relational problems ultimately stem from a lack of love.” (pg. 83)
  • Ah….now the crazy comes out.  Remember how girls are supposed to interact with gentleness and charity towards imperfect guys?  Clearly, this guy doesn’t believe that goes both ways.
  • I’m guessing that the “shyness” that Paul finds in girls is probably closer to “Oh, shit.  Make this self-righteous ass go away.”
  • This does not bode well for his “missionary” career.  (Aren’t the Botkin Family anti-missionary to start with?)
“Relationships between brothers and sisters in Christ can be incredibly sharpening, challenging, and healthy.  Of course, for these relationships to be fruitful instead of destructive, maturity is required and needs to be continuously cultivated.  The ultimate safeguard is a mature walk with God.  Each party must own the truth that true joy and satisfaction only flow from God Himself and that any relationship engaged in for our own pleasure rather than His sake is soul-destroying idolatry.  As Augustine put it, “He loves Thee too little, O God, who loves anything beside Thee which he loves not for Thy sake.” (pg. 87)
  • Yeesh.  My bet is that Paul is between 17 and 23 years of age and unmarried.  This entire quote reeks of self-important theology mixed with no life experience.

From Philip, chef:

“Many sisters underestimate or fail to realize the tremendous influence they have over their brothers.  Younger brothers especially watch and learn from their sisters’ attitudes and example.  Your annoying little brother may be sinning against you to in order to feel powerful by getting a reaction out of you, but deep down what he wants is your attention and friendship.  You can help him by not being overcome by  evil, but overcoming evil with good in the way you treat him (Rom. 12:21). When we do act in more godly ways, thank us and encourage us with Scripture to strive to be more godly men and seek to please the Lord in everything.
Pray for us.  Ask the Lord to make us mighty men of faith who will trust and obey Him in all things.  We really appreciate when you talk to us, ask us questions, and are willing to patiently listen to us.  This shows us you care about us and what we think.  Hearing a woman’s perspective is so valuable to us.  Your friendship helps us understand how to relate to other girls as your sisters in Christ in all purity (1 Tim. 5:2).  Your respect and encouragement inspires us with confidence to be the humble servant-leaders we need to be.  And they encourage us to treat you as we ought with more kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, affection and understanding.” (pg 60).
  • Phillip was either a hellion as a child or had some messed up younger brothers.  If a child is behaving “evilly”, do not pander to their bad behavior.  You will be doing him a favor by teaching him that women deserve respect as men do.
  • On the flip side, if your younger brother is doing well at a behavior that he’s struggled with, do not start quoting Scripture at him as a reward.  I’d recommend a comic book or a small toy if you want to reward him. (My husband opines that you could stop quoting Scripture at him as a reward for good behavior.)
  • The second paragraph is the first portion of any quote that shows genuine respect for women.

From Robert, entrepreneur:

“How a woman builds or breaks the relationships in her life is the surest sign of her salvation, her character and her calling.  This is why, I believe, the Proverbs spend so much time discussing the end effects of sin or righteousness in a woman’s life on the house in which she resides.  It’s mission critical for a woman to be a relationship builder.  The reason it’s important for men to see if a girl has strong relationships with her family is that the man who marries her will become her family.  Before we would consider being her family, we first consider her family.  If she makes their lives better by manifesting fruits of righteousness every day, then we can have confidence she will do the same for whoever she marries.
But though men will judge her on these relationships, it’s not for marriage that she should have strong relationships.  Marriage isn’t enough to motivate a girl to long-term sanctification.  While marriage can be a motivator, it shouldn’t be the motivator, and it will not be a redeemer.” (pg. 57)
  • I can see how a woman acts in relationships could be a sign of character – as long as she can act unconstrained by societal pressures.  I have no idea how that would show if she’s saved or what her calling is.  Wait, I thought all women were called to be wives and mothers so what else could she be?
  • The fruits of righteousness are knowledge and full insight according to Philippians 1.  That feels a bit forced in a family situation.  Perhaps he meant “fruits of the Spirit” and got confused.
  • The last paragraph is a Bapto-Calvinist mad-lib.  The words have meaning and the sentences have syntax, but the net outcome has no cogent meaning.
“It’s so much easier for me to have real, diverse, meaningful conversations with a girl if we’re working on something.  A conversation for the sake of conversation is painfully self-aware and unsubstantial.  It’s like the candy of social interaction – it’s not the meat of real relationships.  Friendships built on work, centered on the calling of the gospel, and focused on eternity and the glory of God, will have a depth, maturity and significance to them unparalleled by any other relationship that can be built.  You’ll see much more mature relationships fostered and built through work, than through charm and relatively insignificant social niceties.  As one man put it, “You’ll get to know people a lot better by going hungry with them than going to dinner with them.” (pg. 77)
  • Slate magazine recently published an article that was originally titled “If you don’t like small talk, you’re probably bad at it.  Robert should read it.
  • You will generally see a different side of people who are hungry than well-fed – but that’s not an excuse for passing up social niceties either.  Jane Austen said it best:
Caroline Bingley in the film 'Pride and Prejudice'
Caroline Bingley in the film ‘Pride and Prejudice’
    • “I should like balls infinitely better,’ [Caroline Bingly] replied, ‘if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing were made the order of the day.’
      ‘Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball.”

From Timothy, shepherd:

“If a girl is the right sort of girl, she’s not being a better sister to guys by ignoring us.  The truth is, young men can be really sharpened by interactions with young women.  When girls want to talk to us about important things (things that will still matter five years from now, or even 200), it calls us to put away silliness and focus on those things.  I’m encouraged by girls who converse intelligently about history, theology, business, orthopraxy, and discipleship because they genuinely care about those things (not because they want to impress me). It spurs me to think about what spiritual battles I need to be fighting.  When a girl asks my opinion about something in the sermon that was just preached or that was reported in the news, it makes me think more seriously and study more diligently.  When a girl thinks I got something wrong, it’s great if she respectfully asks how I got that from Scripture or gently offers an alternate opinion.  Young women’s perspectives on people and situations are especially helpful.  They have a lot of power to sharpen my perspective, because they notice different things than I do and have different insights into human character.  All of these topics are things that guys should and do talk about with other guys, but there’s something unique about women’s ability to propel us in the right direction with their comradeship.” (pg. 79)
  • Query: Do men have any responsibility for being good brothers who sharpen women?  Do women merely exist as tools for men’s spiritual advancement.  Geez, I forgot what book I was reading, didn’t I…..
  • Isn’t orthopraxy a sub-discipline of theology?
  • God knows that when I want to impress a guy I read up on history to blow his mind…..
  • The number of businesses started by “girls” and “boys” that exist 5 years after starting the business is around 50% according to the  US government.
  • Well, he does seem to kind of appreciate women’s viewpoints.
  • I wonder if the Botkins mean Timothy is a shepherd as in a tender of sheep and/or goats or shepherd as in spiritual leader.
“My truly helpful sisters in Christ have pointed me toward Christ’s priorities by the things they choose to talk about.  They’ve been a sounding board for my ideas and shaped my vision by the things they think interesting or don’t.  They’ve pointed out areas where I was blind.  Maybe most important of all, they’ve encouraged me in my relationships with my flesh-and-blood siblings – because they’re not just my friends; their families are friends of my whole family.  And somehow it’s different from the way my male friends encourage me.  Something about a woman believing I can do something makes me believe I really can.  Something about a woman watching makes me realize how important it is that I lead in the right direction by doing what is right. (pg. 85)
  • Dude, you are setting up some agonizingly boring conversations.  “So, Timothy, how do you feel about healing lepers?”  “I’m glad you asked, Peggy Sue…….”
  • It’s really strange to me that your sisters in Christ encourage you to be better friends with your siblings when you are presumably old enough to figure that out on your own.
My takeaway:
  • The purpose of a conversation between non-related men and women are for the women to act as meek sounding boards for the men’s ideas.
  • The woman should say “God” or “Jesus” a lot and try to keep conversations as high-minded – a fancy term for stilted and boring – as possible.  Conversations should occur while surrounded by your family members and working on a massive project of long-term importance.
  • Women might feel self-conscious about being judged by men.  Feeling self-conscious about male judgement is a sign of a weak relationship with God on the part of the woman – not immaturity on the part of the man.

Total Quote Count by pseudonym:
Jack – 2
James – 3
Edward – 1
Paul – 3
Philip – 1
Robert – 3
Timothy – 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.


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