Quoting Quiverfull: Raising Kids the World Will Hate?

by Adam Griffin of  The Village Church Flower Mound “Raising Kids the World Will Hate”

Trigger warning – This is one with the type of abusive views that might trigger some.

I have a strong, and certainly not uncommon, desire for my child to be validated by the love of other people. Most parents want their son or daughter to be a lovable person, and it’s that desire that makes John 15:19 so important and so transformative when it comes to the way we prepare our children for the future. Christ tells His disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” It’s not just John 15:19, either. There are many Scriptures that describe the adversarial relationship that God’s followers will have with those who are not believers.

Reading this, I realized that if God answers my prayer for my son to be a follower of Christ, people will hate him. People will absolutely, unquestionably be repulsed by my son.

If God graciously saves my Oscar, people will call him a bigot and a homophobe. Some will ridicule him as a male chauvinist as they scorn his “sexist” beliefs. He’ll be despised as closed-minded for saying that Jesus Christ is not only God but the only God. He will probably meet a girl who insults his manhood or considers him old fashioned for waiting until marriage to have sex. His peers will think him a prude. Bullies will call him a coward. His integrity will draw insults like “goody two shoes” (I don’t even know what that means).

Teachers will think that that my son ignores scientific facts about our origins, prompting his classmates to mark him an idiot. People will tell him he has been led astray by his parents down an ancient path of misguided morality masked as a relationship with God. Financial advisors will think he’s irresponsibly generous. When he takes a stand, there will be those who will not tolerate his intolerance. He will be judged as judgmental. He will have enemies, and I’ll be asking him to love them, and even for that he’ll look foolish.

If you’re like me and hope for your kids to be fully devoted followers of Christ, then we need to be raising up a generation who is ready to be distinctly different from their peers. In a lot of ways, that’s the opposite of my natural inclination in how to raise my son. Raising kids who are ready to be hated means raising kids who unashamedly love God even in the face of loathing and alienation. Regardless if the insults of the world are naive or legitimate, I pray our children will be ready to stand firm in the midst of a world that hates them.

Comments open below

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.

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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  • texcee

    Christianity is a very sick belief system, as the author above demonstrates. It is the same mindset that causes other religious extremists to fly planes into buildings and blow themselves up. Throughout the centuries, Christianity has been the cause of crusades, massacres, progroms, burnings, torture, ostracism, bigotry, intolerance, and militant ignorance, all in the name of Jesus. Yes, absolutely, there are great and wonderful ideas that have been generated by Christianity, but for the most part, it’s been disasterous. Raising your children to be actively hated by the “world” is child abuse and your children are going to be scarred for life because of it.

  • OregonianWinter

    Apparently, he also thinks loving his son for who he is and not for what he does is evil. Conditional parenting, wanting specific behaviors instead of love, will probably end up killing that child. He’s advocating child abuse under the guise of “proper Christian” parenting. Nobody is a robot. Somebody’s been reading Pearl and the like and other garbage instead of recognizing that his son is a human being.

  • Raoulduck

    I grew up as an Evangelical Christian and stunted my emotional and intellectual growth by fanatical adherence to obsolete memes. I got better, but I robbed my young adult years of normal relationships, social growth, and personal development.
    I’m an atheist now, but my wife and I took our child to Sunday School at a mainstream denomination. My son has been exposed to, but not indoctrinated with religion. I felt he needed to be inoculated with a relatively benign form of religion.
    As a result, he’s agnostic, intelligent, well-spoken, and bullshit proof. Did the church teach him about ethics and morality? No. He learned that at home by being treated with respect, love, and disciplined without violence or bullying. Seeing the disordered lives of his teen-aged peers, even now at the age of eighteen, he appreciates his upbringing. He has the same ethical framework I’ve lived by, but without the fear and paralysis that religion burdened me with.
    I’m very proud of my young man and I’m certain he’ll be successful in life. He’s been accepted to college next fall for pre-med/public health to be able to one day serve his fellow man with science and compassion. He will already have an edge in his biology and immunology classes from the fanatical religious kids because he hasn’t been brainwashed with lies about “intelligent design”.

  • madame

    What was Jesus hated for? Who did Jesus hang out with? What did Jesus speak against most of the time? Who did he insult the most? Jesus fit into the society he was born into. He observed the customs and celebrated the feasts; he ate with rich men and poor men; he spoke up for the unfairly condemened and stepped in for those who couldn’t help themselves; he rewarded faith and boldness; he uncovered lies. Jesus was hated by religious leaders more than anyone else. The people liked him!
    I think if we raise our children to love others as they love themselves, giving all humans equal value regardless of their beliefs or sexual inclinations, to know who they are and live by their convictions, and to fit into the society they live in unafraid to speak truth in the face of lies, they won’t be loved by everyone, but the sort of hatred they may provoke will be of those who would like to go on lying and being considered “righteous” and “good”. They may not be popular with everyone, but who wants to raise a people pleaser? They will probably be hated by abusers, patriarchal religious leaders and other such establishments. They may not be liked that much by middle or upper-class people who think “the poor” brought it on themselves, but…. who tends to think that way and condescend or ignore the poor? Are those people we want our children to be like?

  • Betty Crux

    “…people will call him a bigot and a homophobe. Some will ridicule him as a male chauvinist as they scorn his “sexist” beliefs.”


    My favorite part about this is that the writer is not lamenting the fate of their child, they’re reveling in it. People like this *live* for the chance to be a martyr. It’s intoxicating and validating for them.

  • saraquill

    I notice how the writer didn’t say anything about becoming a hated one himself. Is he too good to practice what he preaches?

  • Well, I think he’s right about wanting to raise kids who are different from their peers, if their peers are selfish, entitled, hating kids. But I don’t think that’s what he means…

    He really should look back at John 15:12, which was a repetition of John 13:34. If John thought this command, to love one another as Jesus loved us, was so important he put it in twice, I think he meant to emphasise it more than anything else.

  • teasugarsalt

    How are you supposed to learn to love others as God commands when you grow up with everyone hating you?

  • Fledgling Feminist

    You hit right on my first thought:

    WHO actually hated Jesus? Religious leaders.

    WHO loved Jesus? Sinners. Traitors to nationalism. Sex workers. The sick. The poor. Outcasts.

    Jesus wasn’t hated by “The Sinful Culture” and He completely refused to take up arms with “The Godly Culture Warriors.” He was loved by everyone but those who were threatened by His influence.

  • Fledgling Feminist

    I am still struggling through the implications of all of the cognitive dissonance. Whenever I was uncomfortable with the “Godly stand” required of me, I was taught that “Real Love” means speaking the truth no matter what, truth of course being one narrow interpretation of certain Scripture passages. You end up splitting yourself in half trying to speak “hard truth” to a friend, even though your heart hurts and something seems “off” with what you have been taught to say. I think that’s why there is so much emphasis on your emotions being untrustworthy. Emotions are one of the few flashing red lights left when your mind has been indoctrinated.

    Reading this guy hurt. It hurt because I have said ignorant things to hurting Christians who came to me for advice. I have parroted teachings about things I did not understand. I have dismissed people who disagreed as “not submitting to clear Scripture.” I have done all of these things while trying to be “known by my love” and look like Jesus.

  • Persephone

    They love to be thought of as martyrs, but if they actually faced dying for what they believe, they’d turn tail and run, recanting on the way.

  • Sal

    I see a fundamental problem here: he wants to raise a child who is independent-minded when it comes to the “worldly” influences he’ll face, but completely credulous when it comes to religion.

    You can’t have it both ways. My parents raised me to disregard my peers’ judgments and think for myself, which they loved . . . until I started thinking for myself and disregarding stuff *they* said. Then suddenly I was a villain for not caring enough how they felt about such-and-such. Alternatively, a child who works hard to be liked by and acceptable to everybody is going to want, sooner or later, to be acceptable and liked to somebody in the world.

    Either way, the only means to secure the level of control you want is to threaten total, utterly abusive rejection, which will probably be easier on the more independent-minded child . . . but it’s still hella difficult to handle and causes a lot of suffering.

  • Jenny Islander

    Except that that’s not in the Bible at all. “You, adult, if you are crapped on by decent right-thinking Romans because they think you’re a weird cult that eats babies or the current Emperor needs somebody to blame for social unrest, count this a victory.” “You, adult, if your own family thinks you’re nuts or an apostate, persevere.” But “Raise your kids to think of their life as a high and lonely destiny” isn’t a paraphrase that can be wrung out of the text without a lot of assumptions being made first. The one that probably motivates a lot of this garbage is, “Life has to be a drama with good guys and bad guys, pure black and white, and we are of course the good guys. Anybody who opposes us must be the bad guys. And if nobody even notices us, then we have to make ourselves into obnoxious asses so that they do. And then they tell us to bug off–hey presto, bad guys!”

  • Jenny Islander

    You never find these people giving a cent or a second of their time to the Christians in Iraq or Sudan, countries in which martyrdom is not a metaphor.