Quoting Quiverful: Don’t Burden Men?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

Serene Allison “Moanhood or Motherhood”  October 10, 2011

The Proverbs 31 woman “opens her mouth with wisdom and the law of kindness is on her tongue.” As hormonal creatures, we women can sometimes become so emotionally pent up that when our husband comes home we vomit our feelings all over them before they have a chance to take off their coats. We were made to be our husband’s helpmeet. We were made to complete him and enrich his life. God did not create man to be the woman’s emotional counselor or hormonal dartboard. The more we press into God and become positive-thinking women, the less we will be inclined to emotionally regurgitate. Spurting out a bunch of negative goo gah is not opening the mouth in wisdom. Nor is it kind. It is like serving our husband a glass of gravel instead of giving them a refreshing drink of happiness.

Men are not emotional sorts and just don’t get the problem. My friend told me how she told her husband that she was feeling “out of sorts.” He replied, “Don’t feel out of sorts.” This reply was the right answer but not the one she wanted to hear. Men are wired differently so when our skies look gray we need to go to God first and then maybe call a close girlfriend who will lend a listening ear.

Proverbs 31 continues with its description of the “able” woman. “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms… she extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy…strength and dignity are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come… she watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

A hardworking woman doesn’t have time to waste in negative contemplation. She has more important things pressing on her mind. If we are truly busy we won’t have time to stop and moan. I can’t picture Mother Theresa complaining about how tired she was or turning away another child.


Comments open below

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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  • madame

    I agree with the “spirit” or essence of what she is trying to say (in the full article): if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts and can’t see the good in your life, you’ll drain out those around you. But I hate the way she puts it.
    Like many QF writers, indeed, like her mother, she can very sweetly take the Bible and use it to deliver one hard thud on the reader’s head. A woman who is feeling depressed, or who is suffering depression, will walk away from that article in despair. So now not only does she know she is miserable, she also knows she is not a good wife and she ought to pull herself together.
    Perhaps Serene and company should learn to word their lessons in a less demeaning package.
    Take this paragraph:
    “Home should be a solace from the worry and stress with which the world assails him. It should be a place of enriching, a gas station to fill his tank before venturing back into his world of business and stress. Our homes should be an oasis where our husband can take a cool drink of the water of peace, love and laughter. We should meet him at the door with a bright smile, a warm welcome, and with a cheery atmosphere pervading the home.”
    Why “should”? And why is the blame placed on the woman’s shoulders if the home is not the way Above Rubies believes it should be? What if the woman is homeschooling a large brood, living far away from her family, finances are very tight and dear hubby is squandering money on business that never pick up? What if she is greeting creditors at her door on a weekly basis, fighting to keep up their utility payments, and fearing eviction due to late rent payments? Is she still supposed to greet him with a smile and produce an cheery and orderly atmosphere before he arrives?

    I believe it is the homemaker’s job to keep the home reasonably tidy. It is nice to come home to something other than chaos and neglected children. But we can’t always think ourselves out of real worries and plaster a smile on our faces when our days were chaotic and stressful.

  • Rae

    “As hormonal creatures, we women can sometimes become so emotionally pent up that when our husband comes home we vomit our feelings all over them before they have a chance to take off their coats.”

    The author of this piece make women sound like a golden retriever that’s eaten an entire bag of cat treats.

  • Sorry Madame but for me I see it as a two way street. If the husband is frustrated at the end of a long day and wants to talk about what happened at work that made his day go sideways I see nothing wrong with him doing so to his spouse. The same goes for the wife too, be her work outside of the home or inside. Sharing is part of relationships and only sharing pleasant things is unrealistic and leads to people shoving down their emotions and thoughts, which is a dangerous thing indeed.

    Sure, you can focus on what’s positive and shy away from the negative but if you don’t deal with those negative thoughts they tend to fester and manifest later. One of the most harmful points of fundigelical theology is the tendency to say that thoughts and emotions lie to you and just replace them with happy thoughts. That’s such total bullshit. Your feelings, emotions and thoughts are your own, own them, deal with them and move past instead of repressing and denying.

  • fwtbc

    In case you didn’t see my comment last time, you’ve still got a typo in the first paragraph. “aks” instead of “ask”.

    This has been in every quoting quiverful post so far.

  • I didn’t see it but I didn’t write it either. Correcting right now

  • Cheryl Hannah

    Whatever. How about the husband “dwelling with his wife with understanding” that sometimes we do get hormonal and he should be mature enough to get it. I sometimes get that way despite my best intentions, but my husband doesn’t freak and doesn’t feel like I am imposing on him. And I do the same for him when he’s feeling out of sorts.

  • mary

    Oh my gosh. What I would live to tell the quoted author here: Can the ridiculous gender stereotypes, qf’ers! 🙂 For the last time, and I’ll say it slowly, Men.Are.Not.Emotionally.Stunted.Or.Stupid.

    There are way too many issues with her article to do it justice in a short comment, but for starters- 1. I don’t think my role as a wife is that different from my husband’s role; we complete each other mutually. 2. My husband is my best friend, and best friends can talk to each other about anything- indeed, they should. I’m not saying you should be a basket of negativity for no reason, all the time, but if there’s anyone you shouldn’t have to put up a front for it should be your spouse. 3. Working yourself to death with overcomitted busyness didn’t make you more holy.

  • Karen

    The worst thing that I see is implied rather than openly stated: the husband can dump on his wife all he wants becuase her job is to support him, but should never return the favor. The second problem is her instruction that wives should complain to their friends instead of to the source of the problem, who is the worthless husband.

  • madame

    I see it as a two-way-street, too. But it is true that people who are always complaining drain out those around them. Sometimes people DO need to be told that their constant moaning is not fair to those around them.
    Now, is the solution always to “look at the bright side”? What if the wife hates being at home full time? What if she suffers depression? Those are things that QF won’t contemplate, and that’s my issue with the article.

  • Weaker Vessel

    “Men are not emotional sorts and just don’t get the problem. ”
    I get so tired of hearing this – even if the only emotion that the man exhibits is anger – he is still emotional. Just because someone thinks its not “manly” to admit he is sad, frustrated, exhausted, overstimulated, overwhelmed, worried, concerned, etc. doesn’t mean he doesn’t experience them – he is just proud of his non-emotionalism – which in some sense is also an emotion. Some men (and women) only exhibit anger because that is the only emotion they are willing to show – otherwise they would be “weak” in their own eyes. Now of course anger has lots of flavors – but its still an emotion.
    Now as for hormones – testosterone is one of many hormones that men have – which – GASP – fluctuate! Acting like women are the only ones with hormones that effect how they are feeling is ridiculous. This makes even less sense to someone who has has male family members diagnosed with depression caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. But of course – women are the hormonal ones who make decisions based on their emotions rather than reason. That arguement ain’t flying anymore with me. 🙂

  • Rebecca W.

    “My husband is my best friend, and best friends can talk to each other about anything”

    Thank you, Mary. What I wanted to say.

  • Jenny Islander

    THIS, THIS, THIS! It’s the classic double standard. You can see it on the news, in debate, even among elected officials. If a man shouts or gets shiny-eyed or speaks thickly or rapidly, he’s being vehement, passionate, committed. A woman who does the same thing is letting her emotions run away with her. Just another variation on “I am assertive, you are aggressive, she is a bitch.”

  • syncopic rienzi

    So basically:

    Men are non-emotional and not talkative– it’s their natural state!
    Women are naturally emotional and talkative– and they need to suppress that.

    More men = good; women = bad from your friendly neighborhood patriarchs.