Beauty and personal appearance is one area of a girl’s life that many fathers feel unqualified to speak into. However, in this mp3 message, our father Geoffrey Botkin explains a father’s biblical duty to be shepherding his daughter in this crucial area of her life – affecting the way she grows up to see herself, the culture around her, and her role as a woman. Listen to this message along with our mother’s on the same subject, and get a full-orbed picture of how a father and mother work together to prepare their daughters to be “corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.” (Psalm 144:12)
For Christmas 2009, I asked for the new DVD Homeschool Dropouts: Why The Second Generation is now Headed for a Spiritual Wasteland. And I got it! I was so excited to receive this DVD and I watched it that day. I was shocked, convicted, humbled, pricked, challenged, filled with despair, brought to tears, filled with hope, and awakened to a growing movement: Homeschool dropouts.
Why write a review of this product?
First off, I want to say that this DVD will anger and possibly cause division among those who view it. Certainly one of the purposes behind this project was to call the second generation of home educators to a renewed sense of duty and fulfillment. This film is not for the faint hearted.
I believe that this is a much-needed message that is not being widely circulated among the homeschool movement. As I have been a part of this movement for nearly two decades, I have seen major changes in the way people are “doing homeschool” and some of these changes are frankly, frightening!
The time to act is now, the time to keep silent has passed. The Botkin siblings do a gracious job of communicating hard truths to my generation (the second generation) of homeschoolers. A message long overdue.
Movieguide has just posted their recent review of the DVD Return of the Daughters on their website. The DVD received ratings of +4 and 4 stars for content and quality, the highest possible. From the review:
Appealing yet controversial, this manifesto of Christian daughterhood is beautifully produced and sure to provoke families into examining the scriptural and cultural foundations of their ambitions for their daughters.
Read the full review here: http://www.movieguide.org/dvd-releases/8/10035/the-return-of-the-daughters.
Visionary daughter Evangeline McNiel writes an open letter to our readers:
Dear Daughters near or far, at home or abroad,
I want to write to you and share how the simple true message of So Much More changed my life and satisfied my unexplainable longings. A phrase from the book broke my heart and pinpointed my error. The contributor wrote, “I began to understand that my calling was not somewhere out their waiting for me to ‘find it,’ but my calling was to help my dad fulfill his calling.”
As an energetic, go-getter gal, I was always planning projects, taking leadership positions, “making waves” as my seaside university’s motto urged us. But it all left me thinking, “Is this God’s best?”
I come from a homeschool family of six. When my senior year came, our family knew no better course than college. All three of my older siblings attended private Christian colleges, so I when I received an offer for a full-ride scholarship to any university in my state, I counted it a blessing. My father was uneasy, but there was so much hype in the air about my acceptance after months of interviews and essays, I did not seriously consider his premonitions.
My first weeks at the university were fascinating for a people-loving girl who had been homeschooled and homechurched most of her life. Living in the dorms, I had running buddies, surfing friends, a ballroom dance clan, international students—it was exciting. Although many of my friends confessed to be Christians, very few were true followers. I was discouraged by the lack of spiritual and academic seriousness, but I made the best of it. Soon I was class representative, president of the Spanish club, a young women’s Bible study leader, an active member of a local church, part of a Hispanic ministry, a straight A student. It all left me so empty, but the novelty of my new independent life kept me going and my reports home positive. I lived in the “Christian dorm” and had good relationships at church, so I was blind to a lot of what was really going on, until the second year.
My second year I was a house parent (“Resident Assistant”) for 63 students in a co-ed dorm. I am to blame for this ridiculous idea. The summer before, I was doing mission work in Mexico City, so my parents had very little input. My new life was the antithesis of a protected stay-at-home daughter. I had to go on night patrol until 3 o’clock in the morning breaking up drinking parties, and going into the depths of a very dark and depraved world. Around this nightmare of a time, I was chosen to represent the school of education for an “Academic Life” promotional booklet. My plans and smile seem so cool and confident, but behind it all I was the most broken, lost and instable as I have ever been. And it wasn’t just me. I felt it in all the girls — the insecurity…the fruit of an unprotected life. “Her focus is clear,” my bio read. I had no focus. I had no idea how to be a good Christian girl. I was lost.
Meanwhile, I read voraciously in search of a real education and deeper purpose. One day I saw a woman from my church mentoring a friend of mine in a local coffee shop. They were reading So Much More. The attractive cover and the words “Visionary Daughters” caught my eye. I will never forget the night I sat on my bed reading that book until 4 in the morning, weeping over it. My heart had ached for a protected mission, a biblically sound mission, an ancient mission. And here it was! What joy! What relief! I was not designed to be an independent woman, but rather part of a man’s life, a helper. And what better man could I help but my dear father?
That next weekend I drove home to present the idea to my family. At first, my parents were surprised at my desire to move home after recently announcing plans to study abroad in Spain and Chile the next year. But at the end of our few days of sharing and crying and much repentance and prayer, my father would have it no other way. I was to come home as soon as I finished my final exams.
I returned back to school and feared what my scholarship director and friends would think and say. My resolution began to crumble when friends reacted in disapproval and even advised me to see a counselor. One day, I was seriously doubting it all as I drove to class when I spotted two bumper stickers that made me angry. “Nice girls never make history” and “Feminism = No more oppression.” Our cars were on the same road, but I thought, Do I want to be driving the same direction as they?
I have passed a joyous year in my father’s house, and our family of 3 adult children is learning how God can use our unity for his glory. My mother is teaching me how to love our family and make home a wonderful place. I help manage meals and hospitality and am beginning to keep the books for the family. My father sends me out to help homeschool families, mentor young girls and share the Gospel with Hispanic women. Vision Forum’s Father-Daughter Retreat and a recent visit to the —– family’s home and Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston sharpened my vision and joined me to like-minded people. If you are a newly returned daughter or if you want to be but you are afraid—don’t be. Have faith in God; He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than you could ever think or imagine.
Evangeline McNiel (r)
We are proud to announce our family’s latest project: “Father to Son: Manly Conversations That Can Change Culture” — a six-part DVD series on the father-son relationship, coming this Fall.
We’re moving into the post-production process right now. We consider this to be one of the most significant productions our family has ever embarked on. We’d appreciate your help circulating the news about this exciting new series! Please also feel free to send us your marketing ideas. Your prayers, help, support and ideas are always welcome!
Dear Sisters in Christ,
Thank you for your latest posts talking about boy and girl interaction. I am only 14, however, this subject has been the talk between my friends and I as we fight against the demands of this culture. The young women in my church (including myself!) are looking for guidance in this area, and your posts have helped “spread the word”. Just today, my friend was asking if we should pursue “just friends” relationships with young men. I didn’t know, but I asked the Lord for His guidance. Later on, I looked on your website, and right there was the answer for our question. He is faithful! Thank you for all the work you do to build His Kingdom! Your work has changed my life…
In the name of Jesus Christ,
This Mother’s Day we would like to re-post the tribute that I read aloud to our dear mother Victoria Botkin, a true dominion woman, on my 21st birthday:
I would like to take this opportunity to call to your attention the ones that really deserve the credit for my 21 years of life. I had very little hand in it, I can assure you.
First, my Heavenly Father, Who is the author of my existence and my future – my Sustainer and the Giver of Eternal Life.
And my earthly father, my God-ordained authority and protector.
And the woman that I call “blessed.” A woman who lost her life for His sake and found it, who made her husband great, and was subordinate to him in everything, though inferior to him in nothing.
My mother was God’s instrument to teach me what it meant to be a virtuous woman. Partly through her verbal instruction, but mostly through the silent example of her actions and deeds. Most of all, through the way she executed her duty to complement and complete my father. She is his perfect match and the sine qua non of his greatness. She delights him with her company and conversation, sustains him with her strength, stimulates and sharpens him with her wisdom and intelligence, emboldens him with her praise, bolsters him with her cheerfulness, comforts him with her love, and heartens him with her courage.
Maybe the most significant way that she contributed to his success was by instilling his vision into his children. The things she chose for us to study, the things she taught us were important, the projects she encouraged us to pursue, were all in perfect harmony with his objective for our family.
She is uniquely suited to be the teacher of his children because the qualities that our father wants his family to be known for – dominion focus, ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurialism, love of learning, a pioneer spirit – are all qualities that our mother models in every thing that she does.
The most important things I learned come from observing her two greatest strengths. First of all, her Humility.
I see her humility in her willingness to be overshadowed by Dad. She prefers to bask in his shadow than to chase after the fame and adulation that could so easily and rightly be hers. I’ve never known a woman who cared about personal glory less, or who deserved it more. She will be remembered with more respect than her contemporaries, who fought with religious zeal for recognition and prestige, and now have no one to rise up and call them “blessed.”
The other strength I would mention is her Courage.
Like a true pioneer, Mother was never affected by the fact that she was often standing alone, being “the only one” faithful in an entire country, and doing things no one else was doing. She never even considered the wave of disapproval that came from all sides for her decision to follow Scripture instead of modern culture.
At the altar, Mother promised to go wherever our father went, and to gratefully share in whatever Providence had in store for him, sometimes respect and appreciation, sometimes persecution and rejection, sometimes a high station, sometimes a low one. It’s her calm and unquenchable energy, her willingness to forego comfort and stability, her ability to adapt gracefully to any situation, that allows my father’s heart to safely trust in her. When a man’s heart can safely trust in his wife, it allows him to be a visionary, an entrepreneur, who can live boldly and dare to do great things.
He knew, as I did, that whenever times were the toughest, that’s when Mother is the strongest. That’s why, seven years ago, Dad was not nervous about asking her to leave her country that she loved, to follow him to the ends of the earth.
Last but not least, I appreciate her courage to go through painful labor to bring me into the world. The fact that I’m here to stand before you now is a testimony to that courage. It’s that courage that I especially would like to honor today.
A musical celebration of vibrant family culture, this energetic soundtrack takes you through the messages of the film in a sweeping panorama of emotions, themes and ethnic flavors. Composed and arranged by our 18-year-old brother, Benjamin, an essential part of our team.
Ben is entirely self-taught, grounding his philosophy of music in his personal study of Scripture.
Three Botkins improvising in harmony. One piano, six hands.