Quoting Quiverfull: Glorified Divorce Practice?

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.

Voddie Baucham  (no date, place or quote reference.)

“Modern American dating is no more than glorified divorce practice. Young people are learning how to give themselves away in exclusive, romantic, highly committed (at times sexual) relationships, only to break up and do it all over again.”

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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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  • Dating is a lot more than that. It’s learning about oneself, one’s sexuality, personal boundaries, requirements in a partner and communication skills. It’s building confidence that one can be single and that it’s preferable to being in a bad relationship. It’s learning what the costs of a bad relationship are and why holding out for the right partner makes sense. It’s learning what it means to take responsibility for one’s own decisons and to own the consequences. It’s going around the block enough times that when you meet the right partner you can recognize them right away.

    It may be learning that one is not partner material or that one doesn’t want a permanent partner. This is crucial information to have before getting married and there aren’t a lot of ways of learning it without attempting to engage in a partnership.

    Perhaps most importantly, it allows delaying investments in childbearing and homebuilding until after investments in education and professional development are well underway.

    I remember a radio interview with a young muslim woman who married in high school. She wanted to be able to go to movies with her friends, which she couldn’t do as an unmarried woman, and she had a particular man in mind. Her parents were very much against it: Be like your cousins, they waited! Her reply was, My cousins date: is that what you want me to do? Since dating was not an option they finally gave in and consented to the marriage. The couple had two children while living with her parents. I’m pretty sure she completed university but this is not what her parents had in mind for her. Ideally, she would have remained a virgin living with her parents until her late twenties and then married. But that’s not what healthy young people do.

  • Merbie

    Well-spoken. When dating is forbidden, the learning about oneself is often done after marriage…and regrets may follow.

  • Andrew

    How does Voddie expect a man to cleave unto his wife? Dating was the best way to find out expectations of the other person.

  • Courtship! Which is practically marriage in some circles.

  • mary

    Ummm…also, since when is dating ” highly committed”? If you make a serious commitment to a person, wouldn’t that be engagement or a at the very least a recognized, long-term partnership? Dating would be divorce practice if you married every guy you went out with and then ditched him when you got tired. However, I’ve never actually seen saying done that way. (sarcasm intended)

  • Kimberly

    My husband and I have been married for 28 years, and we lived together before we were married, a fact of which I’m not proud. I only mention it to show that dating, and even “worse” pre-marital sex, and worse still “living together” aren’t necessarily causative factors in divorce. I know of quite a few kids from our church who were home-schooled and encouraged not to date and never developed the interpersonal skills to feel comfortable with the opposite sex. Some are still single as they approach thirty.