122 thoughts on “Betrothal”

    1. From their blog under the “Keep Thy Heart” tab (glad to see their sticking with the KJV personal pronouns), “it wasn’t until about a month to go before the wedding that I told Samantha the words she longed to hear (I love you).” He didn’t want to “emotionally defraud” her. I just figured my wife wanted to know my level of commitment.

        1. Yeah, that doesn’t seem to square too well with the whole God-is-Love theme of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Obviously, Love Doesn’t Win.

        2. Again, they seem to think that if you give love to people you’ll run out, because you only have a very small supply to begin with, and no way to replenish it. When, in fact, the opposite is true: Use it or lose it.

          AS Malvina Reynolds sang,

          Love is something if you give it away
          Give it away, give it away
          Love is something if you give it away
          You end up having more.

          It’s just like a magic penny
          Hold it tight & you won’t have any
          Lend it, spend it & you’ll have so many
          They’ll roll all over the floor.

      1. Their blog is about to make my head explode! “The truth is this, I love Samantha, and have loved her for a long time, but in not telling her I loved her proved just how much I love her.” Huh? And the picture of her lassoed with some sort of rope that he’s dragging behind him? I can’t believe people use God to justify this stuff.

    2. What I find kind of poignant is looking through the pictures on the blog, seeing them having fun at a museum and stuff, and realizing this all came about through betrothal. I’m thinking, “This couple deserves more. They should have had a proper, healthy pre-marriage relationship. They should’ve been free to explore and to love and to hold each other.” I’m glad that they’re happy (or at least that’s the way it looks in the pics), but just imagine how much healthier their relationship would be if fundamentalism was taken out of the equation.

    3. The bio on their page says he’s an Independant Baptist Preacher and she’s a graduate of the church Christian academy. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who bothered mentioning they were a high school grad in their bio before. Why not just say, “And I’m married to my beautiful wife from -“.
      And either he’s a lot older than her and already went to a Christian College or he was ordained by the good ‘ole boy Ordination Council.

        1. I think he (she?) is desperately trying to demonstrate that I used to be a Baptist. If they dig REALLY deep they might even discover that I’m still *gasp* a registered Republican.

          Which isn’t really a secret but hey, if they want to dig through all my rambling writings from years ago on positions that have probably changed since then they can feel free.

          I’ve got nothing to hide. πŸ™‚

        2. @ Darrell, Exactly, which makes whatever this person is doing pointless. If you don’t care, then they aren’t going to get a reaction out of you. So, why do it then? But, hey, if that’s how they get their kicks go for it.

          Personally, there are far bigger secrets that I’ve told people about myself than the fact that I’m no longer a Baptist. If I don’t have a problem sharing the big secrets, who gives a crap about the incidentals?

        3. Well I hope he or she is having fun. I really wouldn’t wish my early attempts at writing on anybody these days.

        4. I think I was already aware that Darrell used to be a Baptist, since he says that at least once a week on this blog.
          Don’t ever say I can’t take a hint!

  1. I remember the guideline for dating (sorry, “betrothed”) fundies was always “leave room for Jesus,” but there’s enough room between these two for the whole Fundy Trinity: the mog, the KJV, and America.

  2. I would have liked to see a clip of the groom’s parents giving the bride’s family the livestock. Or whatever was negotiated. Maybe I am just old-fashioned that way.

    1. Lol!

      My cousin did something really funny at her wedding. She’s an MK and grew up in a culture that traded livestock for brides. She’s a HUGE oragami enthusiast, so she and her now-husband made up about a dozen tiny oragami goats and THAT was the dowry. I laughed SO HARD when I saw it was brought out.

      And then my aunt and uncle forgot it at the church. Hello, you’re minus one daughter and NOW you lost your dowry! There are many pics of me playing with those goats. And yes, I gave it back to my aunt and uncle…eventually. πŸ˜›

      1. Hmmm, my wife came with a dowry of cats. She had three of ’em living at her parents’ house in another city, but when we got hitched they all came to live with us. We’ve got six cats now, so I guess our household has prospered, in an animal husbandry sort of way.

  3. Can I vomit now? This is why I made sure to find my own husband even if it meant we were both shunned–a husband of my ex-pastor’s choosing would undoubtedly have involved some sort of nauseating display like this. =P

    Also, they’re building a bridge across a chasm…what??

      1. Totally missed that! I love the idea that the pastor had never heard the word chasm before trying to use it publicly and called it a soft CH “Chaz-em”! Will have to go listen again for a good laugh!

  4. My marriage was arranged without my knowledge when I was 15… We were married when we were 17…

    We have been married now for 28 years.

    We were allowed to hold hands anytime, and we were allowed to kiss in her home or mine.

    We have 4 children and 3 grandchildren… so far, so good.

  5. Betrothal was practiced at the IFB church that I grew up in. It was interesting to watch, to say the least. The pastor’s son was one of the first to be betrothed. The son had once dared to like a girl in the church and when the pastor found out about it he conducted a massive investigation which led to the son tearfully standing up in front of the youth group and proclaiming that he never liked this girl because he was patiently waiting for his dad to find his betrothed. A year or two later, the pastor proudly announced from the pulpit that his son (now aged 19 or 20) was now betrothed to a girl who had yet to graduate high school. No one had ever seen the 2 talk or spend any time together. And so it went for the next couple of years as one by one, parents would announce that their child had betrothed someone who they just met and/or had never had any interaction with before. I’m sure some of the marriages have worked out just fine, but the manner in which they are arranged is quite disturbing. If you are a teenage girl and your dad comes to you and announces that he thinks it is god’s will for you to marry the 20 year old boy you once talked to during youth group, how much freedom do you really have to say no in that situation?

    1. When I kissed a boy at 18 and my dad found out, he immediately thought I was a raging “whorelot.” This started his plan of getting me betrothed before I could get pregnant through kissing!*sarcasm He got so angry when I absolutely refused to give any of them a chance or even talk to them. I remember telling my dad “Doesn’t attraction count for anything? I’m not going to put a paper bag on his head for the rest of his life.” πŸ™‚

      1. You had a stronger attitude than most of the teenage girls in my IFB church. That type of attitude would instantly cause you to be labeled rebellious and/or bitter toward the MOG and your parents (bitterness was the catchall sin). Rumors would also start circulating that you enjoyed kissing guys. *Gasp!!*

        1. not to mention, having that attitude will also you labelled a “rebel” and sent to a place like hephzaba house to get the ungoldy whore like attitude beaten out of you.

          interestig note: sm davis who promotes betrothing and courtship, and denouces dating as wicked and ungodly, also serves on the board of directors of the hephzaba house, and has a big series of tapes, on how to deal with child “rebels”

  6. Gosh. I just don’t know what to say. That will never be me, thank God. I’m *so* glad I didn’t do any serious dating in the Fundy world. I mean, it was surreal listening to the church clap and seeing those kids smile up there like this pastoral interference (ball will be marked at the spot of the foul, automatic FIRST DOWN!) was a good thing…just made it so much more bizarre. Who in their right mind hears that and thinks, “Oh, good! I’m so glad they won’t be allowed to be affectionate until it’s too late!”

  7. I couldn’t watch it all. I just kept thinking how sorry for them I feel. And this is supposed to be a time in their lives when people are HAPPY for them, yet I feel just the opposite. I know they think they know what is in store, and I know the mog there thinks he is doing the right thing (interfering with this couple’s most personal part of their lives) but I just see it so opposite now. I am finding more and more I am aghast at what people will put up with if they are conditioned to do so. And all with a smile on the face as if the mog is doing them a FAVOR “holding them accountable” and all.

    1. Yeah, in many ways it seems like hooking up. He didn’t even tell her he loved her until a few weeks before the wedding. So now it’s a 40 minute ceremony and they’ve gone from don’t touch ever to do touch and often.

    2. Given the toxic levels of shame about the body and sex directed especially at young women, but also at young men too; I am going to say the chances are no they will not.

      Also, let’s not assume they actually understand how sex works.

      1. Per their (HIS) blog, she got pregnant but miscarried around 10 weeks. He posted a picture of her smiling in a hospital bed after it πŸ™„ . I assume he ordered her to smile.

  8. All I can say is thank god I grew up before this bulls&$t became common in fundy churches! The very idea of giving someone outside of the couple and their families that much control over the most important earthly relationship we’ll ever have is disgusting. All I can feel for this couple is pity.

  9. When I first saw this I thought that it was a new fundy version of reading the Banns.

    But from the comments I see that it is even more bizarre. The mog set them up? Does Fundy U now offer courses in “selecting a helpmeet for your congregation”?

    And is it a 2 credit course or a 3 credit course?

      1. I knew it! I knew it was SM Davis. My parents made us watch his sermons on vhs when I was thirteen. As I recall, we spent most of the time ridiculing his god-awful illustrations.
        And learned nothing else πŸ˜›

    1. I really didn’t hear about it until I watched the Duggars talk about it. I’ve been out of fundyland so long and when I was in it, that wasn’t taught.

      But, I saw the Duggar thing and was like, what the ….?

  10. Okay, I was finally able to get this to play. Yuck. Every time I read about betrothal, or see something like this, it’s always about the families of the kids involved, and about the church. The kids, or at least the woman, involved has very little say. Setup for an abusive marriage. 😯

    1. They say in several different posts that the decision for a betrothal was theirs and theirs alone. He was raised by a single Mom in a non religious home, not becoming a Christian til he was 18. She was raised by both parents who might or might not be members of that church.

  11. This is good. Now instead of a church sidebar ad, I have a sidebar ad for a little robotic cleaner, “I robot scoopa”. It has a picture of the little cleaner next to … a toilet. Very fitting, in a twisted sort of way. πŸ˜†

  12. I haven’t watched the video yet, but I did inflict the website upon my brain. Yipes. Just yipes. I see a future disillusionment for those two when everything isn’t butterflies and rosebuds. How much more damaging will human disagreements be when you’ve been taught that having God “arrange” your marriage, being “emotionally pure” (whatever that means), and keeping all those unrenwable puzzle-shaped heart pieces together is the spiritual apex of relationships and marriage–that you’ve done everything “right,” and your marriage is heaven blessed because of it? Ugh.

    Also, the spelling and grammar errors on the website don’t speak well of whatever IFB school they attended….

  13. It would be so lonely to never be able to touch my significant other. It’s like not being able to hug my mother or my father or my sister. It’s like not being able to pet my dogs. It’s like not being able to hug my friends. Human beings find a special connection through touch. If we can feel something, it makes it more real. It makes it closer to us. Now, I GUESS I can understand if you’re not comfortable with the whole kissing thing. It’s weird to me, but whatever. But to be barred from holding someone’s hand or embracing them, despite that intimate emotional connection you share with them, seems cruel and inhuman. And on your wedding night, when, for the first time, you’re allowed to finally touch the one you love, what is that going to be like? Tell me, is all that waiting worth it? Or does it make your intimate moments uncomfortable, awkward, or even shameful? Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m a VERY affectionate person (truth be told, I’m the more sexually aggressive one in a relationship), but the thought of never feeling my man’s arms around me is a terribly lonely and painful thought.

  14. My first kiss went a little like this…

    Darrell, I don’t know if it was intentional, but thanks a lot for getting that song stuck in my head! Now I’m going to be singing it for the rest of the day! 😈

  15. I’m reading through the Old Testament lately and quite frankly I haven’t seen a wedding yet, what I see is so and so lay with her and she became his wife. Since fundies love to go to the old testament to proof text stuff it’s just interesting or nauseating, where did they get all this stuff? I agree, it is very, very weird to marry someone you have never kissed before let alone hold hands!! They are perverting nature, humans are affectionate beings, withholding affection is cruel.

    1. The same people who were supposed to be impressed watching us as we headed out to church dressed in our Sunday best every Sunday AM to go to Sunday School and who noticed that we didn’t mow our lawns or play basketball in the driveway Sunday afternoon.

  16. As Fundamentalist Believers dig ever-deeper into their Bibles in search of the truly β€œbiblical model” for godly marriage, ideas about courtship and β€œbetrothal” are becoming increasingly savage and brutish. It would seem unlikely that Courtship standards could get even more oppressive considering that Christian notions of β€œbiblical match-making” have already been taken to outrageous extremes.

    The latest trend follows the OT example of “Taking a Wife” ~ an arrangement between the girl’s father and the young man who has “selected” her ~ the girl’s consent is inconsequential:

    http://nolongerquivering.com/2011/09/10/taking-her-myself-a-new-trend-in-quiverfull-courtshipbetrothal/

    1. “… we believe that a woman has no right to select a husband for herself, but that she is to be chosen by a man and marriage is to be an unbreakable arrangement between the man and her father.” 😯

      I’m beginning to see why these people are so offended by fundamentalist Muslims: The Muslims are way too liberal for their taste.

  17. So is this a new thing in the IFB? Has it been around as long as the movement? Grew up KJV-only, Baptist Christian Baptist Independent Baptist Christian School, church 4-5 times a week, BJU, but I never heard a lot about this. I don’t think I knew anyone that got betrothed. If this is a NEW thing, or a burgeoning thing, man they are really off the reservation now!

    1. I think it is a new way to “separate” made up by some guy named Pastor Yenta to assure his control, er I mean concern for his flock of poor ignorant sheep.
      I grew up in serious Fundyland, and am still too close for comfort, and see this as a newer trend. It is quite likely that I will observe it very closely as a niece ages. Maybe in a few years we will read that Darrell has posted her and her betrothed. Or, maybe she will escape.

    2. The whole courtship/betrothal thing has really caught on in the religious homeschool circles, that’s where I first encountered it about 15 yrs ago and was already pretty popular then. It seems to have spread into the non-homeschool religious community over the past 5 yrs or so.

      1. WOW–my wife and I really goofed. We have homeschooled for almost 20 years, and let our daughters pick their mates themselves. (one married over a year, the other marrying next year.) I was even planning to let my high school senior son do his own choosing.

        I guess I just figured if I trained up a child in the way he should go, then he/she will pick a mate with similar values. But then, in choosing to homeschool, we neglected the part about closing off the world. We even let them hang out with public school kids. (They seemed better influences than the local Fundy school kids)

  18. I really can not fathom going from “Don’t kiss, don’t touch, and completely desexualize your fiance(e)” to “it’s your wedding night, get completely naked in front of each other for the very fist time and be the most intimate you have ever been in your entire life”

    I really can’t get my brain around that one.

  19. I find the most sickening is these 2 yahoos holding out their sexual abstinence as public display of their moral superiority, and just beaming at the praise & adoration they get for doing so.

    I assume that if you have to announce like they did on the video caption that you weren’t in any way, shape, or form coerced that you were definitely coerced, but the immeasurable amount of pride to coordinate your pastor telling everyone of your sexual purity & superiority to the rest of the congregation (let alone anyone outside that church), is just staggering. Anything “points” you get for your abstinence you’ve 10x surrendered in pride.

  20. Or perhaps something more sinister is happening here. Perhaps that alien of a flower arrangement has decided to take over the brains within that congregation. Perhaps it will choose another victim to turn into ivy and wrap around that unfinished, splinter-haven of a cross behind the pulpit.

  21. What I didn’t realize was that biblical betrothal or courtship or whatever completely erases your sin nature! If only I had known that I could have been completely free of bringing in anger, lust, pride, selfishness into my marriage by not dating.

  22. I wonder how much jerking off he did before he was married. Would he stand up before the church and announce that? Because I don’t care how “pure” and “holy” he is. He ain’t that good.

    This is just a show of self righteousness. I suppose we should be glad they aren’t following in David’s footsteps.

  23. Also, after reading through his blog, I would like to say

    of != have

    I don’t even care about your and you’re. But of and have are my pet peeve.

    It’s “I would have” or “I would’ve” (if you are particularly lazy typist), not “I would of”.

    Homeschoolers πŸ˜†

  24. I’m confused. Biblical Courtship was a bit more than courtship right? They went and lived with each other and were considered man and wife even before they “knew” each other.

    Remember Joseph was betrothed to Mary and considered divorcing her. They traveled together to Bethlehem -betrothed.

      1. I don’t know where you will be in five years, either, Darrell; but my guess is, you will still be imbibing thirstily the truth that God has for us. This site is a blessing to me, and so. very. therapeutic. May He richly bless you today, and I do thank you. πŸ™‚

    1. i have such a chip on my shoulder towards these people and the closed minded way I way raised! I feel like I missed out on a normal childhood because I couldnt just be a real kid!! ugh! Yes, they they their way is the only right way! They put God in such a small box!

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