by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
All quotes from the book in blue text
Chapter seven ends with a short list of tips to keep in mind to prevent….falling in love?….having romantic relationships?
When the focus of our life is the real adventure of the Great Commission, then boys will fall back into a much healthier and more biblical place. But if we and our relationships are our biggest adventure, our biggest drama, then, well, it’s going to be an all-consuming drama. And if our hearts are firmly fixed on the “marriage” setting – a life of submission, commitment, and self-sacrifice – the next potential flash-in-the-pan romantic thrill ride just won’t pique our interest. And neither will the kinds of young men who are clearly in it for the ride, but not for life. Of all the girls we’ve known over the years, the ones who were the most focused and productive, and who had the least emotional angst and boy trouble, were the ones who were thinking in terms of marriage. They had the mindset that if God had ordained a husband for them, they should be busily working on doing that husband good. They didn’t have time to be boy-crazy. (pg. 125-126)
- I grew up with the idea that a paragraph had to have at least 5 sentences drilled into my brain. This makes the Botkin Sisters writing style of short paragraphs grate on my nerves. Part of the problem is that one of the sisters – I don’t know which – doesn’t believe in complete sentences. In the sample above, two paragraphs are made of 6 sentences and one sentence fragment.
- The “Great Commission” adventure doesn’t seem to be working well for the Botkin family as a whole. Out of seven kids, they’ve produced three small production books, two documentary dramas and a bunch of podcasts.
- The problem with determining if a relationship is a “flash-in-the-pan” or “marriage-driven” is that the categories are based on an unforeseeable future outcome. Yes, there are some relationships that were clearly not going anywhere – but I find that easier to determine in hindsight than in the first few meetings. Of course, I’m jumping the gun again; this chapter isn’t about real relationships. The chapter is about guarding your mind from the possibility of wanting a real relationship with a person you met.
- I’ve known a lot of women who managed to be focused, productive and emotionally angst free while NOT thinking in terms of marriage. When I was around Anna Sofia and Elizabeth’s age (23-25), I did not have marriage as the first goal in my life. I was very busy finishing the end of my undergraduate studies, beginning my career as a teacher and living on my own.
- Perhaps Anna Sofia and Elizabeth and I are coming at a similar point from different directions. We all agree that having the first goal in life as “GET MARRIED. NOW!” is very counterproductive and likely to end in angst. We disagree in how to do that. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth want girls to do that by embedding themselves in their family and running around furthering the family/cult goals. I want girls to do that by living their lives as they see best.
- Honestly, thinking of all young men as married to prevent romantic thoughts is daft. Completely daft. If you must hold back on romantic thoughts, a simple “Well, I don’t know him very well yet” or “I like him, but I don’t know if he like me” is more honest than “Pretend he’s married! Act like he’s married!”
- The first sentence makes the girl who is writing for advice sound like an airhead who falls for millions of guys a year or even a “floozy”. A more fair question would be “How many new available guys does she meet on a regular basis?”. During my late 20’s, I was a high school teacher. Even with enjoyable hobbies, I met around three young guys within who were available per year. I was generally romantically inclined toward all of them when I first met them because I had few other options available. My options opened up widely when I started meeting guys through eHarmony, but that’s not an option for this young lady.
- I doubt God has planned out exactly who is going to marry whom.
- The real message: “Flirting with boys is EXACTLY the same as having an affair with a married man in front of his wife.”
- The part I can’t wrap my head around is how this advice works when a girl following this advice meets the guy she actually marries. After all, you should be charming, cute, flirty, and sexy towards your husband.
- Well, you did have that “friend” who had a psychotic break and decided that a man engaged to someone else was supposed to marry her, so I’m thinking this paragraph was based in the reality of that situation.
- On the flip side, woe to the poor guy who is trying to get your attention. He hurries in front of you to open doors – you smile, say thanks, and fail to see this as anything. He waits for you after church for a detailed talk about your shared opinions on orthodoxy and orthopraxy – you have a delightful chat and think nothing of it.
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.