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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

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  • I am so sorry you and your children had to endure under the lies of quiverful. But regardless of what life brings God offers healing. Grace is always available and we do not have to do anything nor can we do anything to earn His grace, love and favor.

    But for the grace of God, there go I. It is so true for had I given in to quiverful I might have been another Andrea Yates.

    As a young married woman I did not want to have children. I wanted to teach school, be an artist and ride horses and have cats and dogs as pets. I carried lots of guilt for my choices due to having been to a Bill Gothard seminar where they taught wifely submission and other legalistic and quiverful rules. Animals were NOT part of the formula for christian life. Gothard said for girls to ride horses, or girls who liked horses were rebellious and if a family were to have a pet it should be a small dog and be sure not not show it much love. Large pets might require too much time.

    Fortunately, I was friends with a very wise Christian lady who had been through much trial and growth because her husband survived 12 bullets in a store robbery told me God does NOT make cookie cutter christians. After fasting, meeting God one on one, He told me my only sin was not having faith to follow His plan for my life, and that he had given me my quirky personality, love of animals and art talent and that I would be able to reach those that normal people could not. I never had children, have horses, cats and dogs, 27 years of teaching in public school and one very remarkable and husband who has had illness after illness.

    Christians should be careful following God’s will and plan for their life. Too many christians get tricked into following what someone else claims is “God’s only way.” Only Jesus claimed to be the only way and He left 2 commands to follow…love God and love your neighbor. The details of how a christian should live their life, marriage, numer of kids if any, birth control or not is left up to the christian spouses and their relationship with God.

    God does not make “cookie cutter Christians”, meaning each Christian has to follow the individual path God has laid out for them….It is a personal relationship and we often miss the mark. Good thing our salvation cannot be earned or we would all fail.

    It is a mistake to think that what God wants in one person’s life is what He must want for ALL and then mistakenly try to put those ways of living on all christians as being the only way. What if ALL christians felt they should only go to Africa as missionaries? Who would go to the other countries? What if ALL christians felt that God’s best plan for them was to live a monk’s life of silence? Then who would tell the gospel? Or that higher education is not godly or needed? I am so glad my doctor is Christian and that he prayed over me before surgery.

    And the results of following God’s will for other people can often have bad results.

    I.e. Andrea Yates (both her and husband followed quiverful blindly) who drowned her 5 children. Her doctor told her to take more time between children so she could mentally/physically and emotionally heal. They did not listen and she went off the deep end, now the woman is in jail, her children dead, her husband divorced her and remarried and now has a child. Where were the blessings promised by following quiverful for them?

    In the mid 20th century, dedicated American missionaries chose to have only a few children and often left them behind for others to raise as they went into sometimes dangerous mission fields. That was considered truly following God to give up your children for the mission field. When did that stop becoming “God’s way”. How did those missionaries, seeking out the will of God, miss out on the message of quiverful?

    Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, Peter Marshall, had only one child. Was he not following God? Was he wrong for only preaching following God through a relationship with Jesus Christ ? How did he miss out on the message of having large large families?

    Quiverful also is closely linked to Bill Gothard, who has a reputation for putting legalism (following lots and lots of so called rules to earn God’s favor. But no one can follow all those rules which has left many feeling they have failed and are worthless. Gothard has redefined many scriptures to say what they were not meant to say. See for more info on the man and his mistakes and the stories of those hurt by his theology.

    Isn’t it interesting how God does not repeat Himself? Here are a few examples of the many One-Time-Only Wonders….There was only one Abraham who by faith believed God’s promise to make him a nation (and he had only one son from Sarah), only one Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt and witnessed the one and only parting of the Red Sea, only one Noah who rode out the flood with all the animals on the one and only ark, just one David who using only one stone, brought down a giant. And one Mary who was visited by the one Holy Spirit to become mother of the one and only Jesus who proclaims that HE is the only One by whom salvation can be had. None of them attended any Gothard seminars and large home taught families was their only way of life because there was no birth-control. Nor were there cars nor electric lights back then but we use them now without feeling sinful. And God has made only one YOU and one ME…an incredible distinct personality found lost and wandering that He will paint and frame into one masterpiece! And that masterpiece will look like no oth

  • martha

    Wonderful post!