First they claim:
If there is a problem, we believe it’s not that so many young people are not married – it’s that so many young people are not ready to be married. The capper is that we have such low standards for ourselves that we don’t even realize it.
Let’s be honest with ourselves about the ways we’ve been compromised by our 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’re often double-minded, with our convictions and our affections running in two different directions, looking for a man that will somehow gratify both. Many of us claim to be preparing for godly wifehood, but actually are doing so with a narcissistic and feministic self-focus. We often have lofty demands for suitors (well, not that lofty – just that they be Jonathan Edwards in Edward Cullen’s body), but love ourselves just the way we are. So the men we want to marry often don’t really exist – and if they did… well… why would they want to marry us?
How can they be serious? They are insulting every sincere, Godly young lady I know. Oh yeah, and the feminists, of course. Seriously, I don't know any girl who wants only "Johnathan Edwards in Edward Cullen's body".
Thanks to cultural confusion, personal baggage, or pendulum swings, guys and girls are can have a hard time knowing how to have relationships with each other.
Unbelieveable. So instead of laying the blame for dysfuntional opposite-sex relationships where it belongs, which is squarely on the sholders of people who teach what they and other ultra-conservative teachers proclaim, they lay it on the feminists, the culture, and the girls themselves. What?!?! This is so absurd. The reason that homeschoolers of my generation have skewed ideas about guy-girl relationships is admitted far and wide by we and our parents who are honest enough. Because, as a result of a pendulum swing against the culture, our parents were a little too over-zealous about promoting ideas such as courtship, betrothal, and "emotional purity", to the point that girls are afraid of speaking to guys and guys are scared to death of even looking at a girl. We bought hook, line, and sinker that if we "gave away pieces of our hearts" that we would have nothing left to give The One someday. And, thanks to a certain author that wears a fedora and will remain nameless, we had nightmares of all our "crushes" standing at our marriage alter claiming us for their own. Is it any wonder that we can't have normal, healthy relationships with each other??
There are, by the way, plenty of people who have maturely avoided these mistakes, or repented of them. Among our friends, they are getting married. (If panicky singles would start looking outside of their own situations, they might notice all of the wonderful marriages taking place.)
Right. All you "panicky" single girls should forget your own fears and notice that I, Darcy, am married. Then you won't feel so bad. Yeah, that's helpful. This is like putting salt in the wound of so many girls who want to be married and aren't. I'm married, and I'm insulted.
Whether or not the young men, fathers, and leadership involved have behaved infallibly is not our place to say; we are here to point out that we girls have no business fixating on anyone’s faults but our own. This is partly a point of Christian charity and proper jurisdiction. It’s also a point of having to be honest with ourselves. After all, in any one of our individual cases, the problem just might be: Us.
While I agree that blame-shifting isn't helpful, they then go on to do just that: Blame the single girls for being undesireable marriage material. It's painful to read.
This next section completely blew me away:
For every girl we know asking why so few young men are “ready,” we know a young man asking where the ready and eligible girls are. Our brothers and their friends have told us that many of the qualities girls have cultivated to make themselves “eligible” are things that won’t come up on young men’s radar screens, and the qualities the young men are most looking for have been neglected.
There are many girls who look prepared to be good mothers and good housekeepers, but not to be capable helpmeets. Our brothers and their friends have told us that they’re not looking for mere live-in maids and nannies; they want wives who would be capable of coming alongside them in the rigors of their lives; being engaging, iron-sharpening companions; and assisting them in business, ministry, adventure, risk, conquest, and uncertainty. The young men we know are asking, “Where are those girls?”
Where are THOSE girls?? Those are the girls who these people label as feminists because they dare to believe that God has gifted and called them too, not just the men, and they are the ones living out those callings. They are the girls who aren't staying home practicing to be Daddy's helpmeet and learning for years on end how to cook and clean and tend babies. They are the girls who are living for Christ, some inside and some outside their parent's homes, who have been sent into the world to fulfill their callings as daughters of God. They are the ones who have been ignored, looked down on, and labeled rebellious feminists and "harlots" for leaving their father's "protection" and learning how to live life and walk with Jesus. This is amazing. These people preach for years what a "Godly young woman" should do and be and now the guys want something else!!! And they blame the poor girls?!?!
The rest of the article is nothing but "try harder, do more, be better" and other such shame-heaping tactics. The messeges that I see loud and clear are "You aren't measuring up; you need to try harder; there is something wrong with you and that's why you aren't married yet; here's 4 steps to ensuring you are marriagable material". Then they contradict themselves by saying that God is actually the One in control of when you marry so try not to fret. But, in the meantime, you aren't good enough, you need to do better.
Girls, if any of you are single and have read this, please, don't believe it. You aren't "the ugly step-sister". You are a beautiful princess of the Most High God. These messeges of "try harder" will only break an already hurting heart. This is a burden that is way too much for you to bear. You are "accepted in the Beloved" and no amount of trying harder is going to make you better or ensure that someone will love you. The Botkins were right about one thing: God is writing your story. I don't have answers for you. I can't tell you what to do to fulfill your heart's desire for marriage. I don't know why God gave me my husband at such a young age while others are still waiting. And I don't pretend to know the ache you have for love. But this I do know: you are so loved! You are worthy because God made you so, not because you did everything right. Dear sisters, don't listen to the lies that tell you you don't measure up. You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are blessed, wherever you are, in whatever season you're in.
I speak out against such lies as this article because I see the damage that they do and I ache for the ones whose hearts are weighted down by them. Listen to the words of the One who made you:
"Fear not, for I have redemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine...Since you have been precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you."
"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformedl And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them. How precious are your thoughts toward me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them!"
This is the truth and don't you ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Oh yeah, as a parting shot, the girls that wrote the article said this:
People sometimes ask why we, at the ages of 22 and 24, are not yet married. The only answer we can give is that God has not ordained for us to be married yet, and that is, like all His other works, “very good”; we are enjoying the extra time to labor with our family, to prepare ourselves more fully, and to “occupy until ‘he’ comes.” As much as we pray for godly marriages, there is much to rejoice about in the calling of visionary daughterhood.
So, every other girl isn't married because they aren't ready or good enough, but these girls are still single because "God has ordained" it?? This should be enough to negate the rest of this ridiculous, unhelpful, and burdensome article in the minds of every thinking woman who read it.