It’s Not That Complicated: Part 8 – The Boys

It’s Not That Complicated: Part 8 – The Boys November 21, 2016

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

All quotes from the book in blue text.

In our latest installment of “The Boys of Botkin”, we get to hear the Botkin Sisters’ male friends views on pitfalls in guy-girl relationships.  After transcribing the quotations, I am extremely doubtful that any of the guys (including their married brother Ben) have actually had a relationship with a woman.

Overarching Theme: Girls are TERRIFYING!  I’m so afraid!

Jack, inventor, says …
Guys appreciate a girl who is emotionally stable and exhibits self-control. We can have actual friendships with girls who don’t jump to conclusions and misconstrue small acts of kindness as signs of love and devotion. Presumptuous girls can create situations that are painful for us, but we are also concerned about their feelings. As frustrating as it can be to receive unwanted attention, it’s far worse to be the cause of a disastrous heartbreak, even when it’s no fault of your own.
It can feel like you’re walking on eggshells when we’re trying to be brothers in Christ to unpredictably hot-headed girls, never knowing whether the slightest word or gesture might start an emotional roller-coaster and misery for our sisters in Christ. Our gratitude for the more self-possessed girls who refused to indulge in every dreamy  whim cannot be overstated. (pg. 194)
  • Jack, I’m going to level with you.  Your subculture has created these “unstable, hot-headed” girls.  Young women are raised to believe their entire worth in divinely created cosmos is to get married, stay married and breed prolifically.  With that piece of information, can you blame overly sheltered bored young women from hanging on any scrap of male attention they can get?
  • I do want to give you credit, Jack, for some smooth humble-brag.  You are allegedly worried about the feelings of girls, but you are more than willing to imply that girls are going bat-shit crazy over your smooth ways.
  • My cynical tip for you, Jack: Enjoy the frenzy of your “sisters-in-Christ” and marry one of them; you won’t do so well on the open market.

Overarching Theme: My habit of hanging out with the men and not the girls of the congregation is a sign of moral superiority, you perverts.

Robert, entrepreneur, says…
Wolves go for the sheep farthest from the shepherd. One simple way to filter out men is being around your father. Wolves will avoid the shepherd as much as they possibly can, and go for the easier sheep, while the good, honorable young men will be trying to spend time with the older men and fathers in their community to get their wisdom, insight, and guidance. Young men who would rather hang out with the girls than with the men are predators, even though they may seem far from predatory (often may not be so consciously). But a dog that just “really likes his sheep buddies! He can’t help when he gets hungry and eats one of them…”is a wolf. (pg. 200)
  • Wow.  My initial take – supported by my long-suffering husband who listened to me read this section into the transcription software – was that Robert is more sexually attracted to older men than girls his own age and is frantically trying to hide that fact.
  • I’ve never bought the argument that home schooling teaches people to “really enjoy” being trapped in mixed age groups all the time.  I do like having friendships across age classes – but there is something really pleasant about times spent with people within your own generation.
  • Since the divine plan for everyone (as described by the Botkin Family) is to marry, why is the idea of young men and young women hanging out so terrifying?
  • I do agree on one fact: hanging out with your father is a highly effective way to prevent young men from interacting with you if you are a young woman.
Overarching Theme: Not only have I never met a girl, I’m so afraid of her emotional needs that I’ve created a whole new level of crazy to avoid a crush from developing.
Rex, reformer, says…
Written correspondence, unlike a personal conversation, leaves a permanent record that can be referenced again and again. If not curtailed and kept to a minimum, personal missives between members of the opposite sex tend to foster increasingly close ties and even dependency on the other person that can lead to emotional defrauding.
With this in mind, I have made it a point to keep email conversations with unmarried young woman to a minimum to avoid emotional entanglement. And if I have need to add have any substantial communication with an unmarried woman  related to a business concern, I typically CC: one or both of her parents. While this may sound prudish, it’s a helpful safeguard for all involved as it keeps everything aboveboard and more properly in its place.
In my view, written communication through email and social networking forums should be approached with prudence and be done sparingly. This approach shows that you care enough about those of the opposite sex to act with nobility and courtesy for their well-being and yours. (pg. 201)
  • I think Rex is the modern day equivalent of Mr. Collins from “Pride and Prejudice”.  You can feel the prissy self-righteousness oozing from his pores.
  • Rex believes that memories of a spoken conversation are less likely to be misconstrued than a business email between unmarried persons.  I don’t even know where to go with that level of denial.
  • Where does Rex work? He can’t possibly work at a real public or private company of any sort; you can’t just attach business emails to the parents of a coworker in the real world.  (This is one of the same problems I have with “share all your email accounts with your spouse!” as a defense against affairs.  There’s no way I could defend giving my husband my password to my district email when I taught; that’s a massive violation of FERPA for starters.)

Overarching Theme: Ladies, when it comes to interacting with men, just say no!

Ben, composer, says …
A young man does not need a girl who’s not his wife to be his closest confident, counselor, companion, and friend. If a young woman really wants to encourage and strengthen her brother in Christ (for real), then her true heart’s desire is not to see him pull closer to her, but to see him pull closer to God. If God’s earthly duties for him are first to his parents (or if he is married, to his wife), then a godly woman only do, think, or say that which would help him obey God in that respect …which sometimes will be doing or saying very little at all. (pg. 205)
  • According to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth, this IS Ben Botkin who is married.
  • Note the running theme that enforces “right thinking” at all times.  Women can’t even get a moment of relief by thinking something off-color in their heads.
  • Interestingly, Christian theology is pretty clear that a person’s obligation to their parents is minimal once the offspring is independent and the parents are healthy.  Geoffrey Botkin likes having his grown children available to answer his every whim – I mean, to support his “ministry” – but the Biblical support for that idea is very slim and non-existent in the New Testament.
  • Parties at the Botkin’s House must be a ton of fun.  Everyone is supposed to be helping everyone else to be closer to God – and DON’T talk to non-relatives of the opposite sex.
Ah, the end of Chapter 11.  We have two – only two! – chapters left in this book.  In the next chapter, the Botkin Sisters let us know what men want in a woman who will be their wife….and why they can totes judge any other woman they want because Jesus.

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.

It’s (Not That) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way

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