by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows & Kids Collide
Quoted text from the book in blue text.
Chapter 12 is titled “What a Man Needs at His Side: How to Become a Girl a Man Would Want as a Wife as Well as a Friend. Ironically, I can start by parsing the problems with the title of the chapter.
- The first word of the chapter title is an interesting Freudian slip. The Botkin Sisters use “What” – a term used to designate an object in English – instead of “Who”. A man apparently doesn’t need a woman; he needs a tool.
- Girls shouldn’t marry. Girls are by definition immature and still growing. A man who is looking for a wife is looking for a woman or a lady. (If a man is looking to marry a girl, he’s not going to be a good husband.)
- A healthy friendship is the cornerstone of a marriage. CP/QF bloggers and talking heads get all wound up about sex and raising children – and forget the basics. The tools used to keep a long-term friendship going are the same tools that are used in a marriage.
We knew from the beginning that this could not be a book about how to get married, as neither of us have had any personal experience doing that. However, in writing about how to be the kind of woman that the men around us need us to be, we knew that we couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room: girls want to know what young men need in the one woman that is going to stand by them for the rest of their lives. What do they need in their best friend? What do they need their helpmeet? (pg.209)
- I appreciate the Botkin Sisters cop to their complete ignorance of how to write this chapter. It’s true; they’ve never been married. Likewise, they are not single or married men. What I don’t understand – and the Sisters never clarify this point – is what they cobbled together to write this chapter.
- They do pull in an overarching theme: “All men need the same thing in a wife.” That’s a very misleading theme; different couples need different things. My husband and I complement each other nicely as do my husband’s brother and his wife. This doesn’t mean, however, that having my sister-in-law and I switch husband would lead to two equally happy marriages. (In my opinion, that would lead to bloodshed in about 20 minutes…..)
(…)we need to ask ourselves and even more important question. Why do we want to know? Why exactly do we care what they want?
Do we care because we want to be doing our husbands good all the days of their lives? Or because we want to be human bait? Do we want to know because we want to help a man? Or because we want to catch one? (pg 210).
- I’ve realized what the Botkin Sisters – and probably some other unfortunate stay-at-home daughters – do all day. They ruminate about their thought process.
- As a pragmatist, these questions are absurd outside of an actual relationship between two people. You can’t suss out the difference between “wanting to do good” and “wanting to catch a man – ANY MAN” until you are moving in a relationship and looking at how you are acting.
- Again, wanting to be married or even “catch a man” is not a sin in Christian religion that is currently existing. Mentally castigating yourself for wanting to be attractive or find someone attractive is a waste of time and energy.
The bad news is, none of us are naturally likable, desirable, or eligible. Because of sin, we all start out as ugly stepsisters, and we don’t automatically become Cinderella upon reaching adulthood.
Sometimes, we’re the Proverbs 7 woman. Sometimes we are gossips and meddlers. Sometimes we’re bad sisters. Sometimes we’re dishonoring daughters. Sometimes we’re kissing enemies. Sometimes we’re rude, foolish, cold, or cruel to the brethren. And sometimes we have a really inflated view of her own worth and virtue. Maybe we’re the heroine of our own life story, but the villain of someone else’s. Who would we really be in a man’s life story? (pg. 214).
- I do not like the worldview of the Botkin family at all. Humans were created in the image and likeness of God according to Genesis 1:27. As such, we are naturally likable, desirable and eligible.
- Living with someone who is constantly writing their personal version of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” must be exhausting; obsessive focus on personal faults isn’t healthy and it’s not attractive to partners.
- Besides, I think the Botkin Sisters are cued in on the wrong fairy tale. They aren’t Cinderella; they are Sleeping Beauty. Lured into a blissful fantasy world by their parents, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth are being carefully cultivated in a bubble while the rest of the world moves on.
Let’s also be honest with ourselves about the way we’ve been compromised by society, usually without knowing it. We are still swaying to the beat of our culture’s drum in many of our attitudes, our affections, our expectations, and our actions. Many of us have picked up Hollywood ideas about what men should be like, and what makes a good match. We are often double-minded, with our convictions and our affections running in two different directions (I want Johnathon Edwards and Edward Cullen), looking for a man that will somehow gratify both. Many of us claim to be preparing for Godly wifehood, but are actually doing so with a narcissistic and feminist self-focus (he’s got to be pretty amazing to deserve me!). Some of us still have traces of feminist culture or Barbie culture in our personalities and characters, which makes us unappealing to young men who share our convictions on biblical femininity. (If we’re hoping to marry a man who wants to marry a Godly lady, and we’re basically Hillary Clinton in an apron or Sorority Girl Barbie with more modest clothes, we shouldn’t be surprised if he looks right on past us). (pg. 214-215)
- Hold the presses! The Botkin Sisters have managed to write a REAL paragraph. It has a topic, examples of the topic and a conclusion.
- In my humble opinion, a woman in CP/QF culture sure as hell better be way more picky about their spouse than a woman in the real world. In CP/QF, women are signing their rights away for the REST OF THEIR LIFE. A woman will follow her husband on whatever his life path is with no recourse.
- I wonder how much it burns the Botkin Sisters to see their fellow “Hillary Clinton in an apron” and “Sorority Girl Barbie” friends get married before either of them are married…
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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