It’s Not That Complicated: Part 3 The Boys

It’s Not That Complicated: Part 3 The Boys April 22, 2016

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

All quotations from the book will be in blue text

Let’s start with a quick review of the themes of Chapter 6 +7 before looking at the quotes from the “guys”.

Chapter 6: Don’t be a whore like the woman in Proverbs 7.  Remember, you can totally tell people from what they look like on the outside.

Chapter 7: Guard your heart – but don’t make guys feel bad.

From Chas, networking guru:
Chapter 7:

“If this person has previously passed up the opportunity to pursue you, it is self-deception to believe against all reality that this person is eventually going to change their mind and love you, or that you can make them interested in you.  Once you realize that they don’t desire you back, holding a flame for an unrequited love is making an idol of your desires rather than accepting God’s sovereignty.  The idol needs to be burned ASAP, and that means self-mortification – dying to yourself.  If you really loved the object of your desire instead of yourself, you would honor your their non-desire for you and extinguish your flame.  Holding onto a flame when the clear answer of “no” has already been given is almost a guaranteed way to make the object of your desire hate you – especially, if you are friends with someone the object of your desire IS interested in.  Because now you are running interference.  For a man nothing is more irritating than a pushy girl with a crush who never gives up – especially if she is competitive or manipulative of another woman that he is interested in.” (pg. 123)
  • Holy mixed metaphors Batman!  Let’s see if I can unpack the basics.
    • I agree that once someone has made it clear that they are NOT interested in you, the best, neatest and most sensible option is to accept and respect the other person’s feelings about you.
    • I disagree that Chas is helping his point by dragging a bunch of side issues in.
      • Wishing and hoping for a person to fall in love with you is counterproductive certainly, but not idolatry.  The Botkin Buddies are more willing to pull the idolatry card than the Bible is.
      • Yes, being obsessed with another person is a good way to make them hate you.  Asking the person who has just been disappointed to determine if the guy is interested in one of her friends….that’s tacky.
      • Getting in the way of a budding relationship is tacky as well.
  • Writing up this section has already made me feel – AGAIN – that the guys who are supposed to be future spiritual leaders are wimps.  Chas’ overall theme is “If a girl I like doesn’t like me, she must be being interfered with by a meddling, scorned girl” instead of “You win some; you lose some.”

From David, defense analyst:
Chapter 7:

“Good men are raised to protect women – and this includes their hearts and emotions.  Which is why it’s a relief to talk with a girl that doesn’t appear to be planning a wedding after a few minutes of chat or the opening of a door.  If there’s a danger that a girl might misconstrue the guy’s purpose of in asking how she’s doing then the guy will probably never ask how she’s doing.  Or anything else.  Good men are relieved to meet and talk to girls that seems interested in the conversation and not in them.  We feel more comfortable talking to girls who seem in control of their hearts because it means we aren’t as likely to hurt them.” (pg. 127)
  • I agree that no one wants people to misread simple, day-to-day actions.
  • The problem, though, is far larger than unmarried girls not controlling their hearts.  The amount of angst, hand-wringing, and emotional energy expended in guy-girl relationships in CP/QF cliques is absurd and much higher than the same amount given by teenagers outside of the movement.  I think the problem lies in trying to reconcile a parent-led courtship with romantic dreams and desires.
    • Parent-led courtships are much closer to an arranged marriage than the individual choice marriage of modern Western civilization.  For arranged marriages to work, the parents involved must have a strong understanding of the characteristics that actually lead to strong relationships like activity level, intelligence level, sense of humor, similar long-term goals, comparable experiences in their family of origin, level of religious practice and similar social class.  In these societies, love between spouses grows over time; people are not expected to be passionately in love at the wedding.  If everyone is on-board, an arranged marriage (or parent-led courtship) has some risks, but so do individual choice marriages.
    • CP/QF runs into problems because a) parents who married through individual choice marriages are completely inexperienced in arranging someone else’s marriage and b) the courtship model expects romantic love to rapidly follow an arranged courtship.

From Paul, missionary:
Chapter 6:

 “All that is in this world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is assaulting us, just like it’s assaulting you.  The strange woman that Proverbs 5-7 talks about is prowling for our lives.  When our ostensible sisters in Christ try to appeal to our flesh – by the way they flatter our vanity or glance at us or carry themselves – they are acting like the enemy and that puts our mental and spiritual defenses on alert.  Men who are walking in the Spirit feel this very intensely.  You might think, “It’s not that serious”, but flirtatiousness flows from a selfish mindset that is trying to please itself, and “to set the mind on the flesh is death.” (Rom. 8:6)” (pg. 101)
  • The first list is a hoot!  The only vice that the Botkin family cares about is lust.  The entire book reeks of pride on the part of the authors.
  • Hell, this entire paragraph reeks of pride.  Notice that Paul believes that glances and the posture of a girl are specifically designed to tempt him.  That’s a whole level of self-centered crazy.
  • Remember that Proverbs is about a woman who is going to commit adultery.  There’s a huge difference between how a teenage girl “flatters” a guy and having sex outside of marriage.
“Some girls are afraid that if they pursue purity and modesty in their relationships with young men as far as they should, they will become invisible to us, or at least less noticeable than the flashy, gregarious, shallow girls who circle around us with their endless stream of compliments and teasing remarks.  They could not be more wrong.  The girls we notice are the girls who are more interested in doing right than being noticed.  Men who love God admire girls who are pursuing Him rather than girls who are pursuing us.  We really value girls who have a deep desire to know God better and dig into His Word.  When we see a girls really pursuing holiness, it inspires us to want to be pure and righteous ourselves and worthy of leading a woman like that.”  (pg. 109)
  • Paul can’t seem to figure out why girls would think that guys prefer outgoing girls to quiet girls who are chasing God.  Yet, according to Paul himself:
    • Girls who dress attractively and talk on light subjects –> approach guys –> flirt –> get the attention and interaction of the guys.
    • Girls who are “pursuing God” —> are valued by guys –> get invisible attention and no interaction with guys.
    • In other words, the guys reward the behavior that Paul swears guys don’t like.  I think Paul should do more missionary work with young men before complaining about young women.

From Rex, a reformer:
Chapter 6

“There are few things that a woman can do to more frustrate good men and set relationships on edge than dress immodestly.  If a young woman dresses sensually, she, whether wittingly or not, makes her attire the focal point of the interaction with the opposite sex.  A man who may genuinely care about her as a friend will find himself distracted by her dress.  When he sees her, he will be wrestling with his thoughts, endeavoring to appropriately deal with the inappropriateness of her clothing, rather than having a relaxed interchange that would normally occur if she was dressed modestly.
Women are worthy of respect, yet they disrespect themselves and invite further disrespect from men when they dress immodestly.  When women present themselves as an object of desire rather than a woman of modest dignity, they should not be surprised when men take the cues they give them.  While nothing excuses a man’s lust, if a woman dresses herself as a temptress, men will be tempted to think of her wrongly.  If a woman wants to be thought of with respect, she should dress accordingly.” (pg. 104)
  • The Botkin Sisters don’t know any real men.  They know plenty of hyper-sexualized teenaged boys but no real men.
  • Rex never seems to realize that if he’s offended or -gasp!- aroused by someone’s dress, he is free to leave.  Literally.  Rex could excuse himself from the conversation and go away.  I know that that requires actual sacrifice on Rex’s part – but reformers need to be willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
  • Likewise, Rex seems oblivious to the fact that women may WANT to be attractive to men.  After all, a temptress will scare Rex into lust-filled silence saving the girl hours of listening to childish pontificating.

From Timothy, shepherd:
Chapter 6

“We guys want to talk about important things – discipling our siblings, starting businesses, fighting the Lord’s battles – with our sisters in Christ (though we don’t always know how).  When a girl tries to appeal to our flesh, it’s pretty much impossible to go deeper, or frankly, to even want to.  We’d rather find someone who views us, not as a mindless animal to snare (Prov. 7:22-23), but as a human being created in God’s image with the same purpose in life, weaknesses, and battles for holiness that she has.” (pg.  103)
  • I don’t think that girls are any better off at starting conversations about discipling siblings than guys are.  Equally important: shouldn’t anyone who is old enough to read this book be old enough to “disciple” outside of their home?
  • At least Timmy was willing to admit that being attracted to someone is more fun than talking about fighting the Lord’s battles.

Total Quote Count by psuedonym:
Chas – 1
David – 1
Jack – 2
James – 3
Edward – 1
Paul – 5
Philip – 1
Rex – 1
Robert – 3
Timothy – 3

Next Post: Chapter 8 – All about Parents!


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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