july 22 podcast: patriarchy/patriocentricity two, part five ~ Hillary McFarland interview part one

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This week I continue my series on the subject of patriarchy/patriocentricity with my special guest, Hillary McFarland, author of the book Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy. I will be giving away a copy of Hillary’s book each week so if you leave a comment, I will add your name to the drawing!

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  1. Michelle M. says


    Thank you so much for doing these podcasts with Hillary. I very much enjoyed listening to this first installment, and look forward to the others as well. I did not grow up in this environment, but my husband and I (a military family) have met many people like this. Some became friends before we completely understood what they were all about, and it has been quite challenging at times. At one particular church, we fell into a bunch of theonomists/patriarchalists/agrarians/Quiverfullers (what a mouthful!)… However, the Lord has certainly used those experiences to grow us and stretch us and make us dig deeper into the Bible to see if what our friends kept telling us was true. We’ve felt the pressure to perform and conform to a bunch of manmade ideals. Thankfully, the churches we’ve attended along the way have never pushed the patriarchy idea on us. It has always been a small segment of the congregation, which we can now spot a mile away.

    Thank you again and keep up the good work! 🙂

  2. Heather says

    I love Hilary’s blog, and she is such a sweet young woman. She is an encouragement to me as well. I really look forward to reading her book. I have been waiting for paydays, and paying bills to be able to order it, so I would love to have a chance to win.
    And it was great to “hear” Hillary’s voice. I’ll share this on my facebook page. 🙂

  3. says

    Karen, I am really enjoying this latest series. It’s really nice to have a voice to put with Hillary’s picture too. Please enter me in your drawing too!

    Michelle M., I’m not familiar with the term “theonomist”. Perhaps you could fill me in.

  4. says

    This was so good! It was lovely to hear Hillary’s voice after reading her blog for the past year.

    I loved this–“God is not threatened by questions.”

    And I also thought it was so important that you pointed out how the Bible is twisted to fit the patriocentric system (again, going back to TulipGirl’s post on hermeneutics)

    (short and gritty definition of theonomy: a movement that wants to move America in the direction of Old Testament Israel, a theocracy ruled by Old Testament standards/commands as part of the civil law, some even wanting to return to such things as stonings)

  5. says

    Thanks Johannabug. I’m familiar with that concept, but hadn’t heard that name for it. It makes me shudder to think of it – forcing O.T. Law on anyone, let alone unregenerate people….and in light of the Sermon on the Mount which teaches how we are all guilty of breaking the Law at the heart level….oh how that troubles me.

  6. Marlana says

    I agree. It was lovely to hear Hilary’s voice. BTW, I’m enjoying this entire series so much as its the circle I grew up in.

  7. says

    Thanks for the great interview, Karen and Hillary. I appreciate the spirit in which you’re presenting these concerns, with gentleness but with honesty.

  8. Debra says

    Count me in on the drawing! Thanks for doing this series. Can’t wait to listen to it!

  9. Grace says

    So so glad you are doing these podcasts w Hillary! She has a humble, mature confidence that I believe will give even more credence to her insights. You also made a great point when you talked about how patriocentric parents undermine the whole authority of God’s Word when they so grossly twist scripture to support their pet doctrines. I’ve seen this. “If mom and dad said dating is sin (or girls wearing jeans, going to college, etc) then how can I trust anything else they taught me about the bible?”. We have such a responsibility as parents to handle the Word with integrity before our children!

  10. Michelle says

    Karen & Hillary, thanks so much for doing these podcasts. My husband and I had some close friends, a couple who became part of the Quiverfull movement, and they ended our friendship when we did not jump on board with them about everything they were learning from Above Rubies and Vision Forum. I came across your blogs after researching the Quiverfull movement and what it’s all about, and now read both of your blogs on a regular basis. Although I was not raised in a patriocentric home or quiverfull home, reading your blogs has given me a deeper understanding of God’s grace as a woman and as a mother.

  11. says

    Please add me to the drawing. I am downloading the podcasts now on itunes. This series is so timely as we are healing from wounds inflicted by this movement. May Christ be exalted and glorified in these messages!

  12. says

    I have been so inspired by Hillary, the pain that is felt deep inside. I found her website through my own quest of leaving my church and it is heartbreaking to know that someone else went through this. It is also encouraging to know that if she went on to feel whole, that one day I too I will feel better about this situation.

    Thank you for providing this interview with her.

  13. Cheryl Ann Hannah says

    I have come to really love Hillary’s perspective. It gives me hope for my sons and daughters.

  14. Michelle says

    Karen thanks again so much for doing this! I too, loved hearing Hillary’s voice after reading her blog for so long.

  15. says

    Great interview–lots of good stuff in here for, especially, Christian parents to consider. I look forward to the next part.

  16. Kristen says

    Enter me in the drawing, please! I am so thankful for those who share about these “movements” – it really helps to understand why some families we’ve met and fellowshipped with just seemed a bit “off”. I tend to think it’s just me, but now I really see where some are way off on the simple truth of God’s message. So thankful for those who still turn to Him even when they turn from the “movement” that used His name.

  17. Jo says

    Can you download and listen to a podcast without an MP3 player? I’m technologically challenged! lol

  18. Mary says

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts for a while, and would love to be entered in the drawing!

  19. ShannonK says

    I came a cross your original podcast series this Spring when we were leaving a church and struggling with issues with my oldest three children. It helped so much to hear your message! Then the links to Hillary’s blog were incredibly helpful. As a mother of 7 who has been in the patriocentric movement for the last six years, I really had no clue how harmful and toxic our parenting towards this false gospel of the utopian family had become. God has used both of your articles/ podcasts to give me amazing(though painful!) insight in to my daughter’s hearts and the damage we have unintentionally caused. Thank you for doing this!! Praise God in His mercy He has allowed us to see it all for what it really is and all while we still have time with our oldest children still being in their early teens. Can’t wait to read Hillary’s book! I will be ordering it if I don’t win 🙂

  20. Joy says

    Hillary and Karen, thank you. This cycle keeps repeating itself and the hurt is so great. While I know God is using you both to bring freedom and healing to many, I am trusting that this ongoing conversation will catch many who might be tempted to dive into this movement right now. Bandwagon mentality takes many homeschool moms by storm. They do not realize what they are doing until it damage is done. God, give us all wisdom and grace to walk after You!

  21. says

    I would love to win the book! I am so confused right now on this topic. I have no clue what to think. Thanks so much for doing the giveaway and this series.

  22. says

    I don’t need to be in on the drawing as I’ve already got her book. BUT, this interview was awesome. I can really hear and feel the concern that BOTH Karen and Hillary feel towards the girls trapped in this movement. I know that your ministries will help and heal.

  23. says

    If you have speakers on your computer, you should be able to click the “play” symbol on this post and listen to it right here. That’s what I do.

    I’m sure that Karen or Hillary would be glad to answer your questions and talk with you. I know you don’t know me, but I’d be happy to talk with you too, if you’re interested. Just leave a comment on my blog if you are.

    Thanks again, ladies, for what you’re doing!! Keep up the good work!

  24. aj says

    i would like to win a copy of this book. i am not quiverfull, but a friend that i love is…i pray for her and her family all the time.

  25. Lois Brown Loar says

    It’s been great listening to Hillary’s voice, and the way she reflects the love of Jesus as she speaks! As an older homeschool mom, also with a quiverfull(perhaps a double quiver since 6 equals one quiver? lol!), I am running into more and more of my generation of moms who are questioning their own child-rearing as they watch their children struggle with not fitting in well with the rest of the world, not meeting possible marriage partners, and just feeling “lost” in their young adult lives.

    God bless you both, Karen and Hillary!

  26. says

    Joannabug, good and brief explanation of theonomy! One aspect of reconstructionism that bothers me is that the emphasis is on politics or on building an earthly kingdom rather than fulfilling the great commission of preaching the Gospel and seeing the Lord change hearts and thus lives. Scripture tells us that even Christ doesn’t know the day or the hour when He will return but left us with instructions to preach the Good News and to concentrate on His kingdom.

  27. says

    Laurie said:
    “It makes me shudder to think of it – forcing O.T. Law on anyone, let alone unregenerate people….and in light of the Sermon on the Mount which teaches how we are all guilty of breaking the Law at the heart level….oh how that troubles me.”

    Laurie, it makes be shudder, too, because I would never want any of these people who are so strident about church discipline to be in charge of the civil courts! How many times have I heard of adult daughters who wanted to leave home be threatened with excommunication if they did, as if not agreeing with a father’s belief system makes them nonbelievers. When they advocate for stoning rebellious children, they are not talking about children but adult children. What they don’t say is what “sins” constitute rebellion. If an adult child could be excommunicated for leaving home, what about also being stoned? These most definitely are scary scenarios but ones I don’t believe would ever really happen, thankfully. I do think, though, that any time we see a political candidate being endorsed and promoted by someone in these camps, we ought to pay attention and ask lots of questions.

  28. says

    “Although I was not raised in a patriocentric home or quiverfull home, reading your blogs has given me a deeper understanding of God’s grace as a woman and as a mother.”

    Michelle, thank you so much for this encouragement! It is all about God’s grace and how desperately we all need it as women and and moms, every single day! I often remember Matthew 9:36: “When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.” How important it is to see our brothers and sisters in Christ, including our children, in this light. Grace IS seeing with compassion!

  29. says

    “As a mother of 7 who has been in the patriocentric movement for the last six years, I really had no clue how harmful and toxic our parenting towards this false gospel of the utopian family had become. God has used both of your articles/ podcasts to give me amazing(though painful!) insight in to my daughter’s hearts and the damage we have unintentionally caused.”

    Shannon, God’s grace is sufficient for all things and realizing the truth about utopian family life is the first step toward embracing that grace in our families. This past week my daughter celebrated her 35th birthday and I decided to put a picture album of her on Facebook. As my son and I sorted through and scanned about 4 dozen pictures, it was painful for me to see all of us in the various stages of patriocentricity. I was so thankful when I saw the pictures of my beautiful and talented daughter at her college piano recital and I remembered how close we came to falling for the daughters must stay at home nonsense. God is so good.

    For the record, I don’t have any issues with daughters staying at home or even sons if this is what they choose to do. Our oldest son lived at home until his last year of law school and it was great for all of us and I missed those wonderful, long conversations around the dinner table with him when he moved out. Our daughter was 20 when she went to college and she needed to move on and study music somewhere else and we didn’t the options for her near to home. What does concern me, as I pointed out in podcast #4 in this series, is when someone uses the Scripture to say that being a homemaker is the ONLY option for a woman and thus a girls MUST learn those skills and forsake other interests to be godly.

  30. says

    Joy said “Bandwagon mentality takes many homeschool moms by storm. ”

    Oh, Joy, so so true! I remember being a a homeschool convention a few years ago and watched a mom like this in action. She would look at a table full of curriculum and, after listening to the vendor, say “I will most definitely be back to buy this.” She would then see someone she knew and say “I have decided to use such and such for math this year. What do you use?” And if that friend named another product, she would immediately feel conflicted and the next thing you knew, she was off to ask other friends. She did this repeatedly with subject after subject, thinking that she was doing the best she could for her children when, in reality, she never thought of them once, never took into consideration their needs, learning styles, interests, etc. I was sad. Unfortunately, this is also the way this family operates with their now older children, wandering from conference to conference across the country, following guru after guru, using no discernment at all. They are sheep who are vulnerable to all sorts of shepherds and all sorts of messages and I often wonder where those children will end up.

  31. says

    Jo, just click on the arrow and listen to the current podcast or to this page and click on the arrow on each podcast you want to hear:


    Also, by clicking on “podcasts” on the menu bar on the top of the home page, there is a pull down menu for other series, including the first one on this subject. If you have any problems, just let me know!

  32. says

    Grace, I am so happy that you are listening and thinking through this topic! The greatest encouragement I can share is to listen or read the patriocentric teachers with your Bible open. As they seek to define godly womanhood for you, read through the Gospels and the book of Acts, then move on through the epistles. Keep a journal handy and pay special attention to what Jesus said and to whom. Note the women who surrounded Him and what he told them. I am happy to e-mail with you any time you would like! And I will be praying that the Lord will reveal Himself to you through the pages of His Word!

  33. says

    I want to make one more comment about daughters staying at home…

    If a young woman decides that she does want to stay home until marriage, it should be a time she spends being productive and in ministry, developing her own individual gifts and talents to be used for others. One thing that has really bugged me about many of the blogs that are owned by these daughters is how they all pursue the same interests, wear the same styles, and how much focus is on themselves. Even those who are responsible for helping in large families often spend hours sewing what I think are costumes for the fantasy Jane Austen life etc. and going from one church party to another. Almost never (if ever) have I seen pictures of real work in service outside their homes. This is troubling to me. Preparing to be a mom sure ought to involve these sorts of things, too.

  34. says

    I just recently heard about the “Quivering Daughters” blog from a friend and would really love to read this book! I look forward to listening to the interviews as well. Thanks!

  35. HoppyTheToad says

    1 Timothy 5:11-15

    As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

    Karen noted, “Almost never (if ever) have I seen pictures of real work in service outside their homes. This is troubling to me.”

    Although this passage in 1 Timothy is about the problems that occur when the church supports young widows, the same problems may occur with young women staying home after high school. We have several young women in our church that have been out of high school for 1-4 years. One has decided she wants to be a nurse. A few others eventually decided to go to college – as far as I can tell because they didn’t know what else to do. I admit that I don’t know most of them very well, but I get the impression that they are just “sitting around” waiting to get married.

    I told one young woman that she’ll never again have as much free time as she does now, so now’s the time to use it to build her skills and serve God in ways she may not be able to once married.

  36. HoppyTheToad says

    I just realized that I never finished making my point. While I haven’t noticed these young women being gossips, I do sometimes wonder if their lives make it too easy to be idle. Or at the very least, not grow and instead stagnate as they become “mom’s helpmeet.”

    Why is it that so many large families use their oldest girls as “mom’s helpmeet?” I was happy to overhear one mother of nine say today that she doesn’t do that because she knows her babies and toddlers need their mommy, not their sister. Many of these large families say their kids need the influence of their parents, not their peers, thus they homeschool. But if you have a huge family and your sisters are really the ones raising you, what’s the difference?

  37. says

    The comment above mine takes the needs of the little ones into account but I notice a lack of interest (not just this post, I’m not picking on the author,) of what this is doing to the older sister.

    I found myself relying on my older daughters just a little too much (much less than most qf families but still too much.) I believe this needs to be addressed and corrected (and the world is watching the Duggars doing this with their jaws hanging open.)

    And the lack of autonomy and the devaluation of female education is shocking; simply shocking to me.

    I have eight children five of whom are girls. They are pursuing a wide variety of educational and career paths.I am actually quite proud of them and wouldn’t know what to do with one that wanted to hang out at home and wait for a man to come along and court her.

  38. HoppyTheToad says


    Are you wondering of that mother of 9 realizes how much the sister needs her attention, too?

  39. says

    Not only does she need her mother’s attention, she needs time to be a child.

    The teenaged girls of the patriarchy have all the consequences of teenaged motherhood without having the fun (if you know what I mean.)

    Think about the time you had to just be a kid, to read, to play with your friends, to just spend time dreaming, these girls have the weight of adult responsibilities on their backs.

  40. HoppyTheToad says

    Think about the time you had to just be a kid, to read, to play with your friends, to just spend time dreaming, these girls have the weight of adult responsibilities on their backs.

    In my church, at least one of the elders (the one supportive of patriarchy) likes to talk about someone who was a ship captain at 12 and someone (John Quincy Adams?) who was the ambassador to Russia at 14. While I agree that our society doesn’t think teenagers can accomplish much or be responsible, I wonder if it has occurred to him that 12 and 14 year old boys didn’t normally have those kinds of jobs.

    It’s kind of funny, actually. We have many families that do these “welcome to manhood/womanhood” parties or ceremonies when their children turn 12 or 13. They talk about their children now being men/women, just from what I can tell, the children are still seen as too young to drive at 16. We have the glorification of women who used to marry at 14-16, yet many of these fathers think it’s too dangerous for their kids to drive until 17-19. (We do live in a high traffic metro area.)

    If they really think their children are men or women at 13, why aren’t they allowed to make all their own decisions?

  41. HoppyTheToad says

    How can homeschooling mothers of large families give each child enough attention and not expect the daughters to raise the babies and toddlers? Can they do it without getting totally burned out themselves?

    I’m not trying to be snarky. I want to hear how others have done it so I can have suggestions when I see my friends struggling. One of my friends has 6 kids (ages 1-10) and already doesn’t have enough time to help her oldest two with the school subject they struggle most with. She is only really doing school with three out of six of them. What will she do when she gets pregnant again?

    It seems like taking care of even just two kids and a house is a full time job. Schooling several kids could also be a full time job. Is that why these moms wind up using their oldest daughters as “free daycare?” What is the realistic solution?

  42. says

    The brain doesn’t stop developing in the males until the early to mid 20’s.

    There are dramatic changes that go on neurologically between the age of 13 and the mid 20’s. It makes no sense to treat young teens as though they’re adults when they are unable to function as adults. The last thing to mature is the prefrontal cortex which is the executive decision-making region of the brain.

    In ancient times, the average life span was about 35 years so people started to marry and reproduce at a younger age. Now, our life spans are much longer and we can take the time to allow our children to mature all the way before we expect them to behave in adult positions.

    I realze you aren’t being snarky and I hope you don’t think I am, but if a mother can’t handle the children she has, she shouldn’t have any more childran. A child or teen shouldn’t be free daycare. Normal chores are fine but the older children in a large family deserve to enjoy their childhood.

  43. says

    I’ve just got a second, but wanted to share this little blog with you and your readers. This young lady is the unmarried daughter of a Canadian Mennonite family. Her story is rather amazing as she moved to Costa Rica – ALONE, rented a room with another woman she’d never met and proceeded to find God’s work to do. If I remember correctly her parents escorted her there, and left her there alone with their blessing. She is now involved in ministry more hours than there are in a day, serving the poor, teaching, and doing whatever her hand finds to do. Do pay her blog a visit. I think any young Christian lady, and maybe some parents too, will be inspired by her devotion to Christ and her commitment to His kingdom. http://clayinthemakershand.blogspot.com/

  44. Michelle says

    Hoppy and DB these are all excellent points you are making that are just plain common sense! I have thought these things for years but I would just brush off these nagging feelings and thoughts and chalk it upto me not being as spiritual as everyone else. Thank you for speaking up!

  45. HoppyTheToad says

    …but if a mother can’t handle the children she has, she shouldn’t have any more childran

    I agree with this. Unfortunately, the quiverfull promoters say things like “If you ever try to prevent conception, it’s because you don’t believe the Bible when it says children are a blessing.”

    I know one woman who’s had multiple high risk pregnancies that required bedrest for six months at a time. (She’s fine in between babies.) She seems content. I feel like a wimp for not wanting to endure more borderline HG (hyperemesis gravidarum). Twice was enough. Not to mention, I haven’t been well since my first child was born. If I compare myself to her, which I shouldn’t, I come across as a big wimp.

  46. says


    So you’re a big wimp. I had severe hyperemesis and I don’t blame you for not wanting to go there again. You, in your wimpy glory, are doing these women a service by modeling some common sense.

  47. says

    And, my own pet peeve (related to DB talking about “If you can’t handle more. . .”) is that many QF types also promote early sleeping-through-the-night for infants. If you are going to trust God’s design for fertility — go ahead, nurse at night, allow the body to work as designed to delay fertility. . . let those babies be spaced out by breastfeeding at night and throughout the day. Let the baby be the baby. . . enjoy the babyhood. . . enjoy motherhood. . . don’t rush. . . Sure, welcome more children as they come, but it isn’t a competition to have the most. (Though, sometimes, it seems as if it is. . .)

  48. says

    (Of course, insert disclaimer for living in a fallen world in which sometimes night-nursing and cue-feeding still does not delay fertility and babies are spaced close in spite of ecological breastfeeding. I have some friends that fall into that category… still, the exception, not the rule or way the design of God usually works.)

  49. says

    Yes, TG, I have noticed the tendency.

    People ask how I could have eight children and take care of them by myself without outside help or turning my daughters into handmaidens.

    Well, my oldest and youngest were born exactly twenty years and one week apart. A few years ago, I was able to brag that I had a child in nursery school, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and grad school.

    I nursed on cue and slept with the baby and generally had fertility return at about 18ish months.

  50. says

    This comment was posted over on True Womanhood last night and I thought it should be placed here so no one misses it and someone can respond here since that blog is on hold for the time being:

    (BTW, there are several threads full of helpful insight and tons of quotes and information on this subject if anyone wants further study. We warned, there are over 25,000 comments on the blog, most of them relating to patriarchy/patriocentricity. The quote below is found in the Visionary Daughters 3 thread:

    This is a sadly old thread 😛 but here goes.
    I’m almost 18. Two years ago I watched Return of the Daughters as per my mom’s desire and it was the most hurtful and disturbing message I can remember hearing [which may only say that I’ve been sheltered, but oh well].
    At the time I had just spent the summer directing, filming and editing a movie with some homeschool friends. I was also in the early stages of planning another, more ambitious film project to be made over the course of the next year with my [at the time] homeschool co-op group.

    There were a few phrases which I remember still [after one viewing]. Voddie Baucham’s daughter’s testimony for one. I recall that she said she had previously planned to be a film-maker. After being convicted, she decided to stay home. It was not obvious, and I believe not the case, that this was after she became a Christian: it did not seem to imply that she was aspiring to be a secular film-maker and thus it was her Christianity that convicted her…rather that she, like me, was already a Christian but then found that it was wrong to do so. [Erh, is this making sense? anyways…]

    The other thing was [I think] one of the Botkin sisters stating that ‘we are not all at home pursuing our own selfish interests’. I was able to make ‘selfish interests’ into anything that I enjoyed. This may not have been what was meant, but for an over-emotional teen, it was painful. In someone a little more zealous and with a little less sense of humor, I can easily imagine it leading to self-destructive behaviors.

    A little background here. I’ve been homeschooled all my life until last year, when I took a few classes at a local high school. I am an only child and a perfectionist. Until I became more comfortable with who I am [ergh. That does sound like secular psychology doesn’t it…] I struggled with extreme perfectionism in all aspects of my life, especially scholastically.

    Some books which my mom also required that I read influenced me in a similar way [Raising Maidens of Virtue, Beautiful Girlhood and to a lesser degree Before You Meet Prince Charming…..the first is also by Stacy McDonald] but RotD hit me hard where I felt it…I was feeling pretty good about myself after finishing making that film, excited about the possibilities of the next one, and happy about my life in general. Probably self-satisfied.

    I cried harder after watching RotD than I ever remember doing before or since. And the thing was, it wouldn’t have affected me if I hadn’t felt in some way convicted by it. Convicted enough to hate myself, not convicted enough to change……which is right there an unpleasant place to be.

    For a while that fall, I seriously considered scratching the idea of making my next film. In the end I went forward with it, because ‘I hated to back out on my friends’…it was really because I still wanted to continue with it. A year and a half later, my film Road to Freedom was shown at a local film festival after favorable reviews on the festival’s blog. [It was a historical fiction work, set in the American Revolution.] I cannot say that anyone has come to Christ because of that film. On the other hand, a lot of homeschool teenagers were involved in various ways and made friendships and had experiences that have lasted up til now.

    I did send an email to the Botkin sisters soon after watching their film, with a lot of questions and concerns. They never replied, I don’t know if it was because of sheer volume of responses or just them getting the feeling that despite my polite phrasing I was angry and maybe not wanting to hear the truth as they saw it.

    I haven’t read Passionate Housewives. I fear that it would cause further self-criticism on my part…
    In perhaps the unusual place of being extremely self motivated, fairly hard-working, and so on, I often feel upset by calls by Christians to do more, harder things in all areas. I am the sort of person who will kill herself working for something she believes in…the same thing happens with school…top grades, and yet my parents keep pressing for MORE. [Incidentally, this is becoming a rant….I’m sorry.] That sort of thing hurts.

    Also the college issue! I am grateful that I no longer am very much affected by the no-college movement, because if I were the decisions would wrack my world [not to get too dramatic 😛 ] Actually when I watched RotD I was not really planning on college, because I just didn’t want to do [I wanted to be an organic farmer and housewife at the time…] but there is a difference between not wanting to do something, and being told that you shouldn’t. Sin nature I guess. Well that riled me…I know the Botkin sisters have publicly stated that they do not say that all women who go to college are harlots. In the very next sentence [somewhere on visionarydaughters.com] they turn around and bring out a Bible verse about a harlot’s feet ‘abiding not in her house’. This seems to me like making the Bible say what they believe…except for the fact that the Bible is talking about a harlot there! Not someone who leaves her house! All harlots leave the house –> all women who leave the house
    must be harlots. Classic fallacy there…wish I could remember the name of that one! 😛
    Yes well college. Now I am planning on majoring in Computer Science in college. I am even considering attending a very exclusive game design and computer engineering college [funding being the issue]. There is no way they could condone that…if I believed they were right, I would be about killing myself right now.

    I think the biggest danger from this movement is actually to the ‘good’ people. The girls [there are a FEW. Our culture is mostly rather apathetic. As you know.] who really care about doing the right thing, and hear constant reminders to not conform to the world’s standards of ‘good enough’, will be affected. The pendulum argument, that our culture has swung far enough away from truth that an equal or greater effort in the opposite direction is needed, is very true I think. However it is very hard on the people who ARE trying. Even as I’m typing this I find myself thinking that maybe they are right, maybe I should be doing more and trying harder, and taking less ‘me time’. If it weren’t for my sense of humor, and some rather large blessings God has given me, I could slide back into self-hate [which I am told is really self-centeredness. So I am selfish…and I hate the thought of being selfish…and that means I hate myself which means…okay, finishing now.]

    I’m going to wind up this insanely long post which will probably never be read. Thank you, to those of you who discoursed reasonably and in a Christ-seeking way, on this issue. If I hadn’t found this and related sites, I might never have known that there are not-feminists and not-Botkins.
    And in excuse or explanation for this post which is horribly much about me, thank you for listening to that too. This is an issue which has bubbled under the surface in life-shaping ways for the past three or four years and I may have finally gotten it out of my system.

    And can I just say as a word of encouragement to any young women out there who are having difficulty being the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’, you may be closer than you think, despite the Botkin sisters’ recent post on how unpleasant many unmarried women are […I guess I still feel hurt and angered by them…rats. http://visionarydaughters.com/2010/07/why-am-i-not-married ]
    No matter how much you fault yourself, or feel convicted by others, chances are other people look up to you. We are all our own worse villain. Don’t stop striving…but don’t kill yourself in the process.

    Thanks all, and blessings. [And I apologize for any typos or confusions, I am not going to read this over again and I need to get to sleep 😛 ]

  51. says

    Laurie, thanks for that blog link. What an encouraging read!! We had missions week at our church last week and I loved the presentations and the preaching, encouraging us to look beyond our four walls.

  52. says

    I,too, have been concerned about the emotional as well as physical and spiritual needs of young women being met in homes where there are many children. While I love large families and would encourage couples to consider having them, I think that the needs of daughters (and moms) are far too often ignored and if they do express a need for time apart from children, it is condemned. In Passionate Housewives it is labeled “meology.” I personally know women who don’t believe in going anywhere whatsoever without their children and to offer activities like a mom’s night out is tantamount to breaking apart the family. But didn’t we see Jesus purposing to take time away from others to spend time alone with His heavenly father? Didn’t he take a rest from ministry now and then? What if we told our husbands that they should never take vacation time from their jobs? What if they weren’t allowed to have any personal interests?

    Looking back to when our older children were in the teen years and we had little ones at home, it could be tricky to find time to spend one on one with everyone but we did it. I can remember many a late night talking to one of the kids, even knowing that I would need to be up to nurse a baby in a few hours. But you just do what you must be done and, frankly, I cherish those times and still remember some of those conversations!

    Also, our husbands need to have us alone sometimes as much if not more than we need them. All too quickly, believe me, the children are grown and you want that relationship to be one that has grown together through the years so you can be a couple again.

  53. says

    TG, I know what you mean about the race to have babies. I overheard one of these conversations once. It was appalling. Sadly, one of the women experienced more than a half dozen miscarriages and was in poor health for a number of years as a result of this mentality.

  54. says

    Hell, wrt college, if their theories are correct, my family is on the highway to hell because, our of the four daughters that are adults, three of them are not only out of the house, they are pursuing non-traditional careers or degrees.

    I must brag: my one traditional daughter just got her BA in History and Education but, she’s in a heavy metal band so, oh-well. Second born is in her last year of pediatric residency and will be matched to a neonatology fellowship next month. When they are blessed with children, her husband will be the primary caretaker. He also does all the cookinng and most of the housekeeping. Thirdborn is an estimator for the commercial division of a construction company. Fourthborn daughter is a civil engineering major at Carnegie Mellon. Likely, the fifth daughter will follow in her sister’s footsteps because she is into robotics and wants to go to CMU. I just received my BS in Biology and am in a Master’s program, so I’m a bad role model.

    The Bible says to not hide your light under a basket. I wonder how many shining lights are being hidden (dare I suggest smothered) under the basket of the patriarchy.

  55. says

    DB wrote:
    “The Bible says to not hide your light under a basket. I wonder how many shining lights are being hidden (dare I suggest smothered) under the basket of the patriarchy.”

    I’ve been thinking about this and have a similar idea on my list of blogposts to write. The other day I was reading Acts 2 and this really struck me:

    “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams.”

    I know this isn’t directly related to patriocentricity…and then again, maybe it is. I find it interesting that when God pours out His spirit, He includes daughters with the sons and says that they will prophesy which means they will be speaking, hearing FROM HIM. I believe that one of the gravest dangers in the modern patriarchy movement is a quenching of God’s Spirit.

  56. says

    I think about that Acts 2 passage a lot. Coming from a Reformed background I’ve heard a lot done with the concept of “prophesy” since some Reformed are cessationists and some are not. But, no matter which view they happen to take they cannot (in my opinion) really seem to make it fly in the presence of “prophetesses” like the four daughters of Philip the evangelist in Acts 21. I’ve heard cessationists redefine prophecy as the ministry of preaching…hmmm…Would that mean Philips four girls were preachers? (I kind of don’t think so.) I’ve heard charistmatics change the meaning of prophecy to mean something less than it was in the O.T. – something more fallible (hmmm…does that mean it’s less authoritative? How can we know?). But if a woman has a word from God, as these prophetesses clearly had, or they would not have been characterized as such, well, what are they going to do with that? What IF God chooses to speak to His people through a woman as He has done many times in the past?

    Just a couple of thoughts.

  57. HoppyTheToad says

    One thing I don’t like about the quiverfull movement is that it encourages people to not think about if having another baby is the best thing for ALL family members or not. Even some who don’t believe contraception is necessarily wrong seem to put more effort into deciding what restaurant to go to than if they should have another baby at that time.

  58. says

    Here is another thoughtful comment from a daughter who suggested I post it for you all. Lots of good thinking here:

    I was required to read this book (Before You Meet Prince Charming), as well as Beautiful Girlhood [by Karen Andreola, I believe? Or edited by her?] and Raising Maidens of Virtue [Stacy McDonald] in my early teens. If anything, these books alienated me somewhat from Christianity, and from the courtship movement, something I deeply regret. Only in the past two years or so have I more fully embraced God and the idea of a courtship-based approach to marriage [and I still consider that the last needs to be carefully handled, a la Josh Harris].

    I found myself continually taking issue with the points raised, probably because I felt convicted of my own failings [and of their truth? I’m still not sure]. For a girl who has always been over-fond of the company of boys, almost everything that I read in these books felt as though it was aimed at me.

    My mom realized that I would probably never fully embrace all the philosophies in Before You Meet Prince Charming, and sold the book at a homeschool book sale last year, so I unfortunately do not have it to refer to here. But I remember arguing [in my own head] with the idea that if girls live outside of the home [i.e. college], they will become used to independence and feel stifled when it comes time for them to marry. The idea was that this would be prevented by a girl’s living under her father’s roof until marriage.

    My arguments were 1) that if a girl feels [and probably knows she will feel] ‘stifled’ by marriage, it is not yet TIME to get married! There comes a time when a woman [or anyone, IMO] becomes lonely with a solitary life, and I think that maybe one cannot appreciate the companionship of marriage without a previous time of ‘freedom’. What would be more submissive than a woman entering into a marriage contract when both she and her husband know she is giving up what the world calls freedom FOR this one man?

    and 2) that if one is afraid that a girl will become used to feeling independent and enjoy it, how fragile must be the ‘benefits’ of eschewing that independence! ‘The truth needs no strength to sustain it’ [probably a mis-quote on my part…]

    There is, in all three of the books I mentioned, a concern with girls guarding the hearts of the young men around them, something I heartily endorse. [I personally am enraged at some girls’ careless and selfish behavior with young Christian men.] However there is always mention of some behaviors as incorrect or even sinful, which I have indulged in and hope to be innocent.

    The most hurtful thing I ever remember one of my girl friends saying to me was at the age of 12 or so, in a tone of disgust at what she must have thought to be my purposeful attention-getting: ‘Bethany, why do you always make such a show of yourself?’ It so happened that at the time I had NO idea I was ‘making a show of myself’, but it certainly looked that way, I will admit. I was also once nicknamed ‘Peacock’ for a [short] while. All of this going on in a small Christian homeschool co-op group… Anyways, my point is that some girls feel horribly offended and hurt if they are told they are trying to get attention. Books [Beautiful Girlhood, which I know is not the topic of this post] often mention girls who ‘do their hair in new and daring styles’ [that IS a quote, at the time I read that I was about 11 and enjoyed braiding my hair in new styles and so on…I memorized that darn phrase] or are fond of being in town, in negative lights [usually the harlot’s-feet-abiding-not-in-her-house comes up].

    My other major concern is with the concept of courtship, only as portrayed by Sarah Mally in this book.

    Please correct me if I am wrong on this though! 🙂

    At least in the allegorical story which is woven through the book, the Princess finally marries a Prince who approaches her [or rather her FATHER] in the appropriate way, and who is also a courageous and caring young man. BUT BUT BUT…I can recall little or no time with the young couple shown getting to know each other! Did I just miss this? It certainly was not harped upon in the accompanying text. How did they know that they shared the same interests? Ideals? Did they at least know where the other stood on important issues, even if they didn’t agree? Just because a person is ‘good’, even just because they are a strong Christian, does not mean that they will automatically make YOU a good marriage partner.

    I do not consider that dating is a good choice for most people, certainly not in any form of ‘dating around’ just for fun. But on the other hand, surely getting to know members of the opposite gender, however little dating actually performs that task, is preferable to being close friends with NO ONE! I recall now another book [Emotional Purity, by Heather Paulsen I believe] which made the case that it is dangerous to be close friends with anyone of the opposite gender. It referred to ’emotional fornication’ which, if I recall correctly, was not lust as we would think of it, but instead the sharing of one’s MIND with another person. Having in-depth talks about one’s faith were to be avoided. There was something to the effect of, you only want to share your spiritual life with your spouse, isn’t it emotional fornication to do anything else?

    My main concern is that young people may wind up marrying each other without knowing each other very well. Sure, they may get better acquainted during courtship and engagement, but isn’t it a little late to be finding out important stuff about your significant other at that point?

    I am amazed and thankful to find that this view of courtship is not the only one. Josh Harris’ is, I think, much better. One of my very close Christian friends ascribes to a courtship ideal which I consider extremely sensible. It involves being very clear with people on where your relationship with them stands, and not dating just for fun. The plan is to be allowed to get to know lots of people very well, but be open and honest with all of them. When you know who the best choice for marriage is, you hopefully already know a LOT about them…and one would hope that one of the first criteria is being compatible in faith, interests, and personality.

    It seems that girls who follow some of BYMPC’s guidelines will miss out on many good and innocent relationships. Friendships that is. [for me personally at least. Some girls do connect well with other girls, I tend to have trouble doing so with all but a few. In addition, my scholastic/career interests put me in contact with chiefly guys. While I would hate to appear to undervalue female companionship, I also frequently find it easier to give and receive help in spiritual and faith-based areas with young men.]

    I know this is getting long, so I will wind up after just one more [heh heh] personal testimony. Had I followed some of BYMPC and Emotional Purity’s guidelines, I am pretty sure I would have missed out on one of my deepest friendships: more importantly, I very well might still be in the fairly lukewarm Christianity that I was a few months ago. Conversing with a young man who deeply loves God helped me in so many ways that I hate to think of the sort of person I was even a few months ago. That provided a sort of springboard to pursuing God more strongly than I have in all my years of being a Christian. While God might very well have opened my heart in other or better ways, the fact remains that whenever purity has been a focus of my friendships with young men, nothing but good has resulted.

    Hum. Almost done now. I would like to say that I highly support many of the principles outlined in Sarah Mally’s book. Purity before marriage is a very important topic but I feel that this book has some worrying ideas and perhaps fallacies in it.

  59. says

    I’m going to finally chime in in person on this site 🙂 I wrote the two posts which Karen mentioned and reposted above.

    Thank you all, for what seems to be a mostly thoughtful and Christ-seeking discussion on these matters. So often the patriocentric movement describes all who oppose it as bitter ranting from rebelling youths, and I am glad to find this is not the case.

    Also, DB, thanks for the link. I read the reams of comments thereon, interesting perspectives. I personally think Josh Harris presents a fairly reasonable plan, but that is in comparison to such hard-liners as the Vision Forum/patriocentric group. I am thankful that the young man I have come to care very deeply for is dedicated to a [again] REASONABLE courtship paradigm. I really don’t know how he came up with it, it sure wasn’t from sources such as the mainstream courtship movement or even Harris.

  60. says

    I wrote a review of the Botkin’s latest article on my blog you might be interested in. (Click on my name to get there. It’s titled “Just try harder and do better”.)

  61. Queen of The Roses says

    I really enjoyed this podcast where you had the interview with Hillary. It was quite an eye-opener for me. I look forward to hearing the next interview in this series.

  62. says

    Thank you everyone for posting links to articles you have written or to ones that are helpful. It really is a blessing to share resources especially when so much is now being written about this topic.


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