Quoting Quiverfull: Parents Choosing Spouses For Adult Children?

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.

Martin Bucer (1491 – 1551) as it appears in Dennis Gundersen’s book “Courtship or Dating” and on Doug Phillips Vision Forum Blog January 26, 2005

 For when parents themselves find husbands for their daughters and accept wives for their sons, if indeed they do this in the Lord, they provide for themselves sons-in-law and daughters-in-law who will be like sons and daughters to them. Thus when they give their children in matrimony, they do not so much alienate them from themselves or lose their services as they receive a filial son-in-law when they give their daughter, and when they receive a wife for their son, they get a daughter in their daughter-in-law along with their son, and the double for themselves the services of sons and daughters. And this is far different from what happens if they get married without the consent of their parents.

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About Suzanne Calulu
  • texcee

    I have had a problem with women being “given” in marriage ever since I came of age back in the early 70′s. My father didn’t “give” me away to my husband. I walked down the aisle by myself. “Giving” away a daughter says that she is property to be handed over to another owner, and this is one of the things to which I object strenuously in fundamentalist religion. I am not chattel. Arranged marriages are also anathema, implying that a women isn’t intelligent enough to choose a mate on her own. This is the 21st century, fergahdsake. Stop trying to return to the Middle Ages!

  • Sarah

    “For when parents *themselves* find husbands for their daughters and accept wives for their sons, if indeed they do this in the Lord, *they provide for themselves* sons-in-law and daughters-in-law who will be like sons and daughters *to them*. Thus when they give their children in matrimony, *they do not so much alienate them from themselves or lose their services as they receive* a filial son-in-law when they give their daughter, and when *they receive* a wife for their son, *they get* a daughter in their daughter-in-law along with their son, and the double *for themselve*s the services of sons and daughters. And this is far different from what happens if they get married without the consent of their parents.”

    Marriage can hardly keep from involving the families of the two parties. But God help us if we make marriage *about* the parents of the bride and groom rather than about the bride and groom themselves.

  • http://alisoncummins.com Alison Cummins

    The easiest way to make this come about is for the parents to consent to the marriage. Bingo, they’re done!

  • suzannecalulu

    I don’t have an issue with Martin Bucer writing that back in the 1400s-1500s because in that time frame the church was still debating if women actually had souls. For Bucer to say ‘parents’ instead of ‘father’ is pretty forward thinking for that time frame.

    But what is right or normal for those years just does not translate to today’s understanding of men and women as equals. Women were considered ‘chattel’ back then, but not now. So Doug Phillips is having to reach all the way back to the Reformation to justify his backwards ideas.

  • Red

    This sets up a strange false dichotomy. Either the parents have chosen the spouse FOR their kid, or the parents object to the marriage.

    Are those really the only two things that ever happen in the history of human marriage?

    In reality, I know tons of people who chose their own spouses, and their parents were pleased with their choice, and everyone got along. Even in instances where parents initially didn’t like the son/daugher-in-law, if we all act like adults and learn to show love, strong family ties can still happen.

    The bottom line is that it’s more important for the husband and wife to be happy with each other than it is for the parents to be happy with their son/daughter-in-law.

  • Rebecca W.

    Two things.

    1. God forbid that children should LEAVE their parents and cling to their spouse! Oh, wait. God recommends it.

    2. How much more obviously selfish could you get? Some of these quotes I can see where they’re coming from, at least. Not here.

  • texcee

    It never fails to boggle the mind that in the year 2012 (soon to be 2013), in the United States of America and other developed countries, there are large groups of people who are insisting that the proper method of living should be based on laws that were in effect 2,000 to 6,000 years ago in a Middle Eastern culture that doesn’t exist anymore and hasn’t for several millennia. Could this be why it doesn’t quite work in actual practice in contemporary culture?

  • BB/VA

    So it is more important for the parents to love their sons and daughters in law than it is for the sons and daughters to love their spouses? Yeesh.

    BTW, who gave this guy the idea he knew how to write? (not saying that I am any better, but at least I know it)

  • madame

    Exactly!
    It’s so selfish thinking!
    They can’t deny it’s all about the parents (well, the father….).

  • Persephone

    I don’t know anything about Martin Bucer, but most people chose spouses for their children to make sure that a man could support his wife and children financially, and a woman was properly trained to care for a household and have children. They didn’t want their daughters running off with an attractive ne’er do well, or a son marrying a flighty, immature girl.

    They were also concerned about how a marriage would affect their standing in their community, and any ties that could be sealed with a joining of two families.


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