by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
Quoted text from the book is in blue.
How to put out a fire
However, if you’re dealing with a fire someone else has started, there’s still things you can do.
When other people are having a gossip festival, just remember that the best way to put out a fire is to be a wet blanket. Don’t be afraid to put a damper on things by saying, “I really don’t think we should be talking about this.” “Do you know this for a fact?” “Have you consulted your parents about this?” “Have you talked to the people involved?” (pg. 188)
- Yes! Everyone loves a wet blanket! Simply by following this advice you can look both immature and self-important in a few short sentences.
- Most adults – and teenagers, actually – can change the subject in a conversation without putting another person down. And honestly, these ideas are borderline rude. The last three sentences imply that the speaker is either immature, lying, or spreading gossip.
- As an adult woman, I am certain that my parents do not want me to consult them on every conversation about a romantic interlude between two other people that I hear about. This was true even when I was 12.
When you see a genuinely bad situation that requires intervention – for example, if two young people are doing things their parents don’t know about that – there are appropriate channels (your parents, and maybe theirs) to go through to the address the problem. Your girlfriends are not one of these channels. But talking to parents is different from gossip and inappropriate meddling. (pg 189)
- is your friend in danger? Is your friend in an abusive relationship? If she is, by all means intervene. If she is not in danger, tread carefully.
- How certain are you that your friend’s parents are sane? Are you able and ready to deal with the outcome of your friend being kicked out parents who are unduly controlling? If not, mind your own business.
- How certain are you that you know exactly what one of your friends’ parents is comfortable with their daughter doing in terms of a romantic relationship? If you are wrong, you will manage to embarrass your friend slightly and yourself immensely.
- How many friends do you have? How many friends do you want to have? Following this advice is an excellent way to destroy a friendship so if you have too many friends follow the advice. If not. disregard this advice.
When you’re the one being gossiped about, don’t respond emotionally or immaturely. Take this is an opportunity to examine yourself and your conduct – have you been giving people a reason to talk? If you and your parents are sure you haven’t, then don’t stress out about it, and don’t take it personally. When people talk about you, it means they’re watching you – be sure that you are modeling conduct that’s irreproachable. Give them a reason to whisper excitedly about how well you’ve been behaving.
When we discover that people are making things up behind our backs -“I bet they’re not allowed to talk to boys.” ” Look at who she’s talking to again! ” ” What horrible thing do you suppose Anna Sofia did to make her father force her to be single forever?” “Between Tom, Dick, and Harry, I’m betting Elizabeth marries Harry.” “Anna Sophia and Alfred would make a great couple. I think I’ll go tell her!” – we don’t need to let it get to us. This is the sort of thing that can bring comedy to our lives.(pg. 189)
- Skip the self-reflection. People will gossip. it’s not worth living your life based on what will give them the most minimal amount of gossip.
- No one is ever going to whisper excitedly about how well you’ve been behaving. I am speaking from years of experience; no one gives a shit about people behaving well.
- in all fairness to the gossips, when your father has spent years telling people that you and your sister has been raised specifically for the purpose of being wives and mothers, do not be surprised when people ask why you are neither a wife nor a mother when approaching 30. And if you think it’s bad now, wait until you turn 35.
- I don’t see what’s so wrong about telling an adult that you think they would make a nice couple with another adult. Not a great idea if they’re both 10, but I don’t think 10 year-olds should be reading this book either…
When people are prodding and prying, give an answer for the hope that is within you.With nearly fifty years of life between the two of us, we have had our share of encounters with both the well-meaning and the snoops who mistook our business for their business, asking everything from “why aren’t you married yet?” “So, are you interested in boys yet?” “So, when are you going to get married?” “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” “So…wedding plans?” “Is something going on between you and Harry?” “Is it hard not being married?” “You do know you’re getting older, right?” “Why won’t you consider polygamy?” “Can I give your number to a friend of mine?” “Have you met Algernon? He’s really cute and good with kids!” “So, who would you like to marry?” (pg. 189)
- So, I’m just spitballing here, but I’m willing to bet that Elizabeth and Anna Sophia have had a lot more of these conversations now that they are approaching 50 years of life between the two of them than they had when this book was written.
- I find it interesting how the questions are a mix of outright rude, standard curiosity, and well-meaning advice. I wonder how many of their friends suspect that one or both of the sisters are lesbians and are asking the question about interest in boys to open a difficult conversation topic.
- I would recommend that if a friend offered to give your number to a guy they know – take them up on it. Likewise, if they know a guy they are willing to introduce you to who is cute and good with kids, say “Yes, I would love that.”
Instead of dreading these questions, we should embrace the opportunity to tell them why we do have hope and not despair; why we’re not boy-crazy; why we trust the Lord with the future; how we guard our hearts and minds; how much fruit God is bringing from our single years; and how all the ways we are trying to serve the Lord now. These are the god-given opportunity is to show people a glimmer of hope, a bigger vision, giving them a reason to trust in God too. (pg 189)
- These are some of the worst conversation topics I’ve ever heard of.I can’t believe it actually think someone who asked the question quote do you have a boyfriend? Quote is interested in a discussion about how big are their hearts and Minds.
- presumably the Botkin Sisters have been sharing this conversation topics with their friends since the book was written. I also Imagine for most of the people who their friends with these topics of conversation has become stale. it’s one thing to have a conversation with your friend who is 23 about how trust the Lord with their future and another thing to have the same conversation when their friend is now 30.
- Expecting your personal story to give people a glimmer of hope for a reason to trust in God can blow up in your face. After all, the Botkin Sisters have been telling these stories to their friends and conference attendees for the better part of ten years now.
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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