About NLQ

Who are we and why are we no longer quivering?

Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement. For many years Vyckie lived the Quiverfull lifestyle, seeking to have as many ‘blessings’ (babies) as the Lord would allow her. Those pregnancies were against medical advice and she nearly lost her life on several occasions. During those years she did it all (or attempted to), all the proper things that fundamental patriarchy deems a righteous quivering woman should do. She home schooled, had a newsletter supporting the principles of the Quiverfull movement, raised obedient Christian children and submitted to her husband. Until she couldn’t any longer, realizing the damage this type of religious lifestyle can bring about. It took a near tragedy for Vyckie to see her way out.

Over time, NLQ has developed into a valuable resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle. Several more former QF adherents are now contributing their stories to NLQ and our collective voice makes these Quiverfull warnings impossible to dismiss or ignore.

The chorus of voices here and on the forum speak of a different reality than those from the pulpit. It’s about kid collecting, self-righteousness, self-sacrifice and control along with a host of other things.

Forum Member Jemand said it best – “What the quiverfull movement doesn’t have is satisfaction. It casts itself as only looking for “blessing” but in many cases it seems to go far beyond that to reach the collectors’ mentality which bespeaks more of greed, grabbing for every child you can, and if you don’t do that, you fail spiritually. It’s an insidious teaching and my only regret in accepting my atheism is knowing that there will be no ultimate reckoning where those who promoted and gained from this teaching do not face what they have created and see it for what it really is. The quiverfull movement claims to welcome every child, but it never allows you to be happy with just what you have already. Satiety and peace are foreign to it.”

NLQ is a gathering place for women escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse. It’s a safe place of mutual understanding and healing. We support one another in our struggles to recover from the spiritual abuse we’ve suffered while trying to be good little Quiverfullers.

Soon we’ll be setting up additional information and help for those seeking to leave behind the spiritual abuse of quiverfull – The NLQ Foundation for Quiverfull Walkaways.  Leaving this movement with a large number of children is a daunting task and here at NLQ we want to provide help and support for those leaving.  NLQ offers several venues of online community support for individuals who are questioning the Quiverfull/Patriarchal worldview and/or are in the process of becoming disentangled from the lifestyle.

For young women and men who have grown up in Quiverfull homes, Libby Anne offers resources, perspective and support at Love, Joy, Feminism.  NLQ offers a private, online support group: Daughters (and Sons) of Christian Patriarchy. – please send an email to CaluluNLQ@gmail.com to ask for inclusion. Quivering Daughters has an active website and Facebook community which is a wonderful source of encouragement from a decidedly Christian perspective.

You can always connect with NLQ on Facebook and Twitter

There is no “You” in Qivering

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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  • Kailynn

    Im so sorry to hear of your bad experience as a quiverfull mother. but you really shouldnt put that burden on anyone else. Some of us love to follow Gods instruction and guidence and arent all quacks like you. Maybe you should get your life right with God and live your life according to Gods will before you go and judge others.

    K

  • Anonymous

    Kailynn,

    It sounds to me as though you are being more judgmental than the author. If Quiverfull works for you and you are happy, that’s wonderful. She was not, and she changed her situation to what worked best for her and her own family. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  • Taz

    Anon .. are you the wife/ mother of a quiver full family ? then what about your children .. ? what strikes me the most about these stories is the real concern for the children.. I am a daughter of a family of 8 children – 6 boys – It was a patriarchal christian family and I, in fact most of us, including our poor mother bear the scars. When my mother finally gave up and joined the “cult” her mind went out to lunch and it was if she was a stepford wife…

    I have no love for my father, believe he is a complete hypocrite and used the veil of christianity to justify bullying misogyny. His controlling behaviour had it’s affects on my brothers as well. I have not had children myself and believe that some people should think hard about having offspring too – you don’t own your children, they have a right to have their own individual identity.

    M

  • Taz

    sorry Anon – I meant to address Kailynn

    M

  • April

    Gee, that’s all it took? The attempted suicide of your eldest daughter FINALLY woke you up to the fact that the life you willingly bought into was insane?

    I’m glad you and your children survived the abuse that is endorsed by the Bible. I hope your children go on to find comfort, if they have to, in the arms of a more mainstream and sane religion.

  • http://technomom.com/ Cynthia Armistead

    Why are you accusing the blog author of being a “quack” and attacking her? You sound like a nutcase, honestly, and coming here to pseudo-anonymously attack someone who is bravely speaking out about her experiences to try to help others shows your own cowardice. Go start your own site and bear your own witness instead of wasting your time and everyone else’s. I don’t recall anything in your supposed holy book that tells you to post nasty messages to unbelievers. In fact, it tells you to avoid us and to say your prayers in a closet, doesn’t it? Back in your closet now, shoo!

  • http://technomom.com/ Cynthia Armistead

    Vyckie, I worked in a business capacity for the Presbyterian Church in America’s foreign missions board for several years, which included quite a few Quiverfull families. I was brought up in a Christian family but was already on the way out of the church when I went to work for the PCA, and what I saw working in the denomination just hurried me the rest of the way out. I know that some of the couples were told straight out that the woman should not attempt to carry any more children, and in at least one case the husband refused to allow his wife further obstetric care as a result, as if that would remove the risk. After I left the organization, I really wondered how long she lived after that. I had heard him say that if God intended her death, “He would call her home and send another mother for (their) children.” (As if mothers are interchangeable, like Lego blocks?) But until that happened, the husband intended to continue “business as usual” with the only change being home births instead of hospital deliveries.

    I was surprised that I didn’t see at least one woman die while I was there, but most of the families in the mission field were fairly young and healthy in the first place (it was a young denomination). I have to believe there are deaths that I didn’t hear about in the movement at large.

    I applaud your courage and wish you the best of luck in founding an organization to support others who share your experiences.

  • http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com Anon

    This site makes me sad.

  • Julie

    What abuse does the Bible endorse?? The Bible requires husbands to LOVE their wives (I Peter, et.al.). Nothing in the Bible requires married couples to have endless amounts of children; people simply interpret scriptures different ways and have different convictions.

  • Rachele Powell

    Vyckie,

    I have enjoyed very much reading your site and your story. I am a mother of eight children and my husband and I have come out of a very religious enviroment. I remember being so angry and thinking “who am I anymore”. My husband kept us out of church for a year and a half and we have just recently found a precious church.

    I am sad though to hear that you left the christian faith. Isn’t it crazy how man can take God’s word and twist it to fit his agenda. The bible says that we, God’s children are the rightiousness of God in Christ Jesus, not because of anything we have done but because of what Christ did for us and that we put our trust in that.

    I rememeber when we first came out of the abuse I was so angry that I could not seperate man from God. Over time the anger subsided and I could finally know that the FQ movement and all it rules was not the voice of our Father in heaven.

    I would like to say so much more but I have suffered all day from a migrane. Thank you for letting me say my peace. Maybe I could write more at a later time.

    Blessings,
    Rachele Powell

    PS forgive my horrible spelling at this hour:)))

  • Rachele Powell

    Kailynn,

    Did Christ show sympathy? Where is yours???? The full quiver movement is man trying to put huge expectations on families that is not ever ordained by God. Show me where in the bible God say this is how many childred thou shalt have??

    Your self- rightious attitude and lack of understanding to others is the very reason why people either walk away from christianity or won’t touch it.

    Another note, please take some time to read who Jesus was harsh with and let me know your answer.

    Rachele Powell

  • Kailynn

    Hello again to all of you,
    Yes you are right there are really bad people out there who try to tweek the Bible to be what they want it to be. That is how all these crazy people out there try to get good God fearing people to follow them. However the Bible does say that we are to not be conformed to this world. We are to be different from others wilst we become like them if we are not. And yes pleanty of times the Bible says and talks about children and how many we should have. Did you not read the scriptures at all! In Gen 38 9-10 Onan was killed by God for spilling his semen on the ground. Also in Psalms 127 3-5 God tells us children are a blessing not a burden. Marriage was instituted by God as a stable environment in which to produce and raise children. Sadly, children have become a burden to many. In no way did God ever tell us have children if you want and if you dont,then go ahead and take birth control. No he says to rely completely on him and he will supply our every need. So to all of you we should follow Gods word his word is perfect not our ways are perfect but his ways.

    k

  • Sarah G

    Kailynn -

    FIRST: Before you start quoting scripture to prove your judgmental points, I think you really need to look at the various VERSIONS of the Bible (there are 50 different English versions alone, and they differ substantially from one another, not to mention how much they differ from Greek, Latin and Aramaic versions).

    SECOND: I don’t think anyone who lives their life in order to please an invisible magic being in the sky should call anyone else ‘crazy’ or a ‘quack’.

  • “Jack”

    Hello,

    I realize that this is a web-page geared toward quiver-full mothers, but I do have something that might be of interest to Kailynn.

    I am the oldest of twelve children, and we followed the “Wisdom Books” and other material recommended by ATIA (later ATI) from the time I was about 4 until I was 17. My mother was forced to stay pregnant by the biblical beliefs that were taught by the orgization. We were detp free but VERY poor because of the “give until you can’t” belief that many member families have.

    In 1997 or 98 while being a “team-leader” at the Santa Anna, CA children seminar, a friend of mine confided in me that she wanted to kill herself. After I asked her why, she told me that her father had been having sex with her since she was 15 (two years). I have since found that this is not an uncommon fact (almost 45%) in ATIA families. Out of 15 people (all different families) that I have talked to that grew up in this environment, 6 were victims. A few years later, I found out that my own father had been having sex with 2 of my five sisters and 1 bother. The last time I saw my father is when the local Police ordered me to get off his chest and told me to take my service pistol out of his mouth.

    My points are these.
    1: Children are supposed to be a GIFT (my two certainly are)… and they are not a commodity that is to be produced en-mass.
    2: The ATIA movement is full (though there are some good intentioned people) of couple’s that “chose” this set of beliefs because the husband is “Led” by God to do so.
    3: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”… due to the enclosed system that is encouraged by the majority of the family’s there is nothing that holds the father’s accountable.
    4: After almost a decade as a Military Police officer, I have found that of the 30 ATI families that I have dealt with on-post… almost half have had cases of abuse of some sort (sexual, mental, physical, ect.) going on in the home, and the wife/mother and the children see nothing wrong because they are brain-washed.

    I relize that you hold you belief dear to your hart (as you should), but just your husband say something, that does NOT make it correct or right. (i.e. I belive that I will live if I jump off the Sear’s towers… or not…lol)

    Check you life against real life sometime.

    Jack

  • Mary

    Hello Rachel!

    You are spot on!

    As Christians, Jesus is to be our model. There was only one group of people who He was harsh with. He interacted with everyone else – the rejected, the lowly, the partiers, the diseased, and those who were looked down on. But the Bible shows us clearly that there was only one group of people He simply could not tolerate – the Pharisees!

    As you imply, these Christians – who have added on to what the Bible says with their own rules about “godly family life” – are the pharisees of our time.

    Just like the pharisees of Jesus’ day, they claim to be speaking for God, yet they have distorted God’s message. And their version pushes people away from the church and from the love of Christ! It is so sad!!

    And then they go around and hurt others with their self-righteousness just like the pharisees of Jesus’ day did. Jesus says “Woe to the pharisees!” Their rules hurt His beloved church and Jesus does not look kindly on that, I am sure.

  • Skye

    Kailynn.. You are everything that is wrong in this world. Who are you to judge and call some a quack, after you just asked someone to stop judging your religion?
    i dont think god put you in charge of making his judgements.
    Hunny.. Half the crazies come from your religion. The incest, the kiddie fiddlers, the people who grow beards, put on a bed sheet and call themselves the next saviour. Your religion is a nothing more than a breeding ground for paedophiles and rapists, all supported by a few crazies worshipping the invisible man up in the sky, because someone for bored a few thousand years ago and wrote some stories.

  • Chris

    I just happened to stumble onto this website. I am a husband, and a father of seven who is discipling my children according to the teachings of the Bible. I have noticed a lot of emotion and name-calling. I understand if I don’t fit in here, but I was wondering if anyone was willing to open a dialogue about the biblical dominion mandate for the sake of those who want to remain faithful to the Bible, and a scriptural defence for why you believe we should not be following it today. From what I see many Christians are not even aware of this controversy.

  • Rosie

    Hi Chris. I love the way men always pop up on feminist blogs, make comments about emotions and name-calling (where?), and then demand that all the existing conversations be halted so that we can get to the “real issue”, which is whatever they decide they want to talk about. It’s really insulting and speaks volumes about your general attitude to women.

    If you want to debate Christian patriarchy there are numerous blogs associated with Christian egalitarianism that you might want to check out instead.

    Vyckie, keep up the good work. I’ve sunk way too many hours into reading this blog already but it’s truly a fantastic resource and you and all the writers here are an inspiration.

  • Chris

    I didn’t know that I gave that impression, Rosie. I only stumbled onto this website because of it’s comments on Vision Forum’s views. I was doing a bit of research and though I would see if the Christians on this site had some substantial arguments for their position. I guess I’ve got my answer. I don’t want to be a bother any more than you want to be bothered.

  • daisy

    Hey ladies!

    I am in love with Jesus!!! I have three kids and one on the way!!! I have home schooled but decided to put my kids in private school and it has been a relief!! I want to have more kids because ….. I want to!!!! MY kids are taught to worship and praise God with their lives with Hyms, With Christian Rock, POP, or RAP!!!!! I may have 20 kids or may have 4!!! I believe in spilling sperm big time because the Bible obviously condemns the reason of the sperm spilling not the method of contraception in Genesis 38!!!! Ladies, please don’t blame the Lord or the BIble!!! God is good and offers freedom forgiveness and restoration!! not legalism!!! He condemns this big time!! Seek Him personally in HIS Word and skip the dirty crap that comes from humans trying to make themselves more holy looking!!!
    Love
    Daisy
    Comment please!!!

  • beth

    Daisy,

    I enjoyed reading your post! How refreshing! I have four kids and one on the way, have also homeschooled in the past, no longer do, and was also relieved when the kids were off to school. We came close to aspiring to the QF ideals not too many years ago until I realized that it just did NOT feel right, it seemed to take all of the joy out of living and seemed to take the power of leadership away from the Holy Spirit. Anyway, we have 4+ kids because we WANT to and love our large happy family, God IS good, he loves freedom, after all He is the one who chose to set us FREE and He loves forgiveness and joyful living…etc. He DOES condemn legalism and I have come to the conclusion that the only way to steer clear of that is to have a personal and individual relationship with Him. Anyway, I just wanted to comment because I agree so thoroughly with your post! God Bless!

  • someone

    Hi, I stumbled on this blog quite by accident. I am a Christian (by choice), an egalitarian wife, mother of only two kids (and my quiver is FULL at just TWO), debt-free, cloth diapererer, homeschooler, Bible study teacher. Might I add, I’m a Bible-believing pastor and I don’t think the Bible teaches husband authority exclusively at the expense of the wife’s voice. Paul mentioned what he did in Ephesians 5, following a verb that in the Greek is “reflexive,” meaning husbands and wives needed to be submitted to each other. Christ taught love and not domination, submission and not slavery, humility and not humiliation. He directly spoke to women and empowered them to serve others where culture would not let men talk to women. He gave them value. Vyckie, I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. Unfortunately, this is one of millions of travesties committed in the name of Christ that I think Christ would not endorse. I hope you’ll give the church another chance, and my family and I are working hard to cause folks in your situation to trust it again. At least Christ Himself is trustworthy, even if we stink at carrying through His commands to love Him and others. Jesus cries at the injustice done in His name against you. I hope I can opt out of receiving updates. I don’t want to see the posts after this one. I just wanted to interject a little hope into a situation.

  • someone

    I had to add because it didn’t come out…I’m a Bible-believing FEMALE pastor, the wife in our family, and I love following Christ.

  • Kimberly

    Rachele:
    I have a few questions about your post if you have a moment to answer them I would be grateful. I am doing some research into the Family Integrated Church. I find some of it is really great but wonder if there isn’t a balance issue with protecting the family versus reaching the lost. It seems like there is a preference to pull inward, even at the expense of the Great commission. Is this a common view or am I off here?
    Thanks,
    Kimberly

  • Annonymous

    One thing that I want women to know is that your baptism story comes with a very big price. The thing that brought you into a relationship with God is the situation in life that you could not handle. It’s the situation that broke you and made you cry out to God. It’s the situation that you asked God to stop, fix, heal or repair. Whenever you tell someone your baptism story, you are giving them the ability to re-break you. You are giving them the ability to re-create that situation so that they can watch you crumble again, and sometimes use to gain control of you.

    Your baptism story is what some pastors use to control you. They know what broke you, how to break you and what God did to make you feel better. This is how pastors take your focus off of God and put it onto them and the church. I know because it’s what happened to me.

    So please, study your baptism story (which is usually the first thing you share with fellow believers), recognize your triggers and what others could do to re-create the same situation in order to bring you down again. This is also a good way to test people’s spirit. Be aware, tell them your baptism story and see what they do. If they re-create it or use it against you, you should probably run (walking makes it less obvious) to the nearest exit.

    Another piece of advice is that it’s a good idea to be in a group outside of your church. One that has people in it that will tell you if you are changing or being manipulated. If you are only in a group at your church, how will they make you accountable to their own flaws and manipulation… they won’t because they don’t want you to see them or know that manipulation is taking place.

    Please remember ladies, God loves you very much. God did not create you because He wants you to be punished or because he is angry with you. He took the time to create you because He knew that the world needed someone like you. You didn’t just get into your mother’s womb. God created every inch of you before you were born. He picked your skin color, your eye color, your personality, what kinds of styles you would come to like, how you would help people, how you would best communicte with others, how He would best communicate with you, what level of strength you would have and what kind of relationship you and He would have together. He knew exactly where every freckle, every hair and every wrinkle would be. He took the time to create you because He loves you. He took the time to come all the way down here, to walk this earth, and to die… for you. He died for you because He wants to have a relationship with you and wants to see you live forever with Him.

    And for the women that have left the church, remember that the only requirement to get to God is a relationship with Jesus. Refusing to follow a person, a denomination, a church, a pastor or a requirement will not make your relationship with Jesus go away. He only wants your heart.

    God will reveal things to you as you need them. Learn to trust what He speaks to your spirit.

    God spoke to me about the baptism issue and it was a huge epiphany and life changing event for me.

    Good luck in all of your healing, I am right there with you.

  • polly raichert

    I was saddened to about all the hard things that so many families have experienced as they sincerely ( I hope) tried to follow what they thought was God’s best for their lives. We started home schooling in 1985 when we only had two children. We knew home schooling was for us because our family needed rebuilding after having “tried” to live the Christian life in our own strength and crashing and burning. We had been separated in 1982 and our family had been slowly working on the painstaking process of rebuilding a family to live in fellowship with God.
    While separated I first heard of the concept of teaching your children at home but thot it would be impossible because I didnt know if my husband and I would ever be reconciled and if I would ever be in a position to be able to build into our children the extra strengthening they would need to not repeat our mistakes. A year later my husband heard about home educating and he immediately said this is what our family needs. It was a new experience to be on the same page:). As I mentioned we started schooling the two boys in 1985. At first I thot literally my head was going to come off. Why i picked that visual i have no idea:) We went from all going our separate ways to the boys and i being together 24/7. It was a huge adjustment. We were learning soooo much and constantly finding things we needed to clear up in our family. We had meany challenging times that’s for sure, but again we learned so much. My husbands heart was turned towards us and the childrens hearts were turned towards him. God changed all of us. Our oldest two sons were born in 1973 and 1975. I had a miscarriage in 1977 then I just didnt get pregnant again. We had decided that we knew God’s plan and that was for us to have two children. Then in 1988 I got the worst “flu” of my life. Two weeks into it and with a 25 pound weight loss, I walked past the calendar and realized that this might not be the flu. And it wasn’t, it was our daughter Anna. We were overjoyed and couldn’t believe that we were being blessed like this. It seemed like God had opened a flood gate of blessing for us. We went on to have 5 more great blessings with the youngest born in 1999. Our youngest child was born one month before our oldest grandchild. I have often reflected that of the things that I have done with my life this is one thing that I will never regret. Our children have grown up to be joyful and well adjusted. Our two oldest have families of their own and they are the most wonderful husbands and fathers that you can imagine. They love their families sacrificially and tenderly and do not lord it over them. I could not be more proud of them. Both of them have been married over ten yrs and have proved to be wonderful examples of what a husband should be. No harm from the full quiver movement there. They have wives that are filled with joy, feel cared for and very fortunate. Anna 22, John 19, Stephen 18. Gabriel 17, Mariah 15 and Phebe 11 are still at home, busy with the things that God has laid upon them to do. We are blessed. I know there were many adjustments we had to make over the years. Times when we came to the end of ourselves and the Lord had to tune and tweak and He was faithful to do it. I remember coming to such a place one Sunday and realizing that having this many children plus some miscarriages had to be my conviction and not Bill Gothards or I would never make it because his convictions just wouldnt give me what I needed to get the task done. Also the realization that I had/ have the Holy Spirit as my helper and He has indeed helped me thru many a hard situation or time. Thank you for allowing me to share my experience. And to also say I have been blessed beyond measure and don’t regret a thing. Our children say the same. I think we were presented with this opportunity in some hard times in church history and it was a way to turn the tide against the direction the church was going. A concern that I have for y’all that see “a full quiver” as a curse is please be careful that your arrows don’t feel like they are a mistake. That strikes at the very center of their being. Thank you and God bless.

  • Steve

    I’ve just been guided towards this site through Twitter and I wanted to comment on the messages posted here. You have no idea how stereotypical those of you who have a religion sound.

    There are a number of “There are so many interpretations of the scripture that are wrong. Here’s my version which is, of course, right” which is a common tenet of all religions. Interpreted properly, the bible is the best cure for religion there is.

    And of course there’s the old favourite, “raising my family in the christian faith” argument. Do you tell your children they must vote republican or support the Lakers? No? Well why tell them they must believe in the invisible man in the sky? If you want to believe in him, that’s fine but don’t force your beliefs on other people even if they are your children. The garden is pretty enough without having to believe there’s fairies at the end of it.

    “He loves you and sent his son to die for you” – the story of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behaviour can be presented to them as reprehensible?

    “I love the way men always pop up on feminist blogs” – yes, I’m a man, married to a feminist. But I’m commenting not on the feminist aspect but the number of Christians who gravitate to these sites to comment on how wrong people are for their apostasy. To quote Sir Stephen Roberts, “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours” – if you took a moment to think about it you would understand people leaving any faith and, moreover, you would let them leave quietly without a fuss. I would suggest the “feminist christians” – women who are christians and for some misguided reason think they’re feminists – go and learn about Margaret Sanger and Elizabeth Cady Stanton amongst others. Feminist atheists whose work still stands today especially in the areas of womens suffrage and family planning. “So long as women mistake superstition for religious revelation, they will be content with the position and opportunities assigned them by scholastic theology. Their religious nature is warped and twisted through generations which fact, by the way, is the greatest stumbling block in the path of equal suffrage today.” – E. C. Stanton.

    I do not believe in God because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years been working to undo the botched job your god has made. I hope you can, because of sites like this, raise your children to believe in human potential, not god.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m so sorry about the terrible things you experienced in Quiverfull. But I beg you to see that it was man who did this to you, not God. Man took God’s words and twisted them to suite his ends. I pray that you find the true God. The One who can heal you from this terrible ordeal and give you a better, brighter future than even you could dream of, Don’t give up on Him.

  • Kristi

    Curious…Which one and how many of your children do you wish you wouldn’t have had?

  • nolongerquivering

    Actually, Kristi ~ that’s a frequently asked question which has already been addressed here: http://nolongerquivering.com/2010/08/10/nlq-faq-which-of-your-kids-would-you-rather-had-never-been-born/ ~ I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

    Vyckie

  • http://susanbarackman.freeservers.com/ susan barackman

    I was reading with interest your comments on quiverful and so sorry you had to go through what you did. Remember, Jesus loves you and has healing for you. I was exposed to the idea of quiverful at one Gothard seminar and came away confused, and full of guilt, because I did measure up, nor did I want to be like a Gothard woman, i.e. perfect house-keeping, having child after child, etc etc (quiverful)..I wanted to teach school, draw and paint and ride horses (Gothard mentioned that females riding horses were bound up with rebellion). Fortunately, I was friends with a very wise Christian lady who had been through much trial and tribulation because her husband survived 12 bullets in a store robbery told me 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 do not always follow closely, sometimes not at all. The problem is that sometimes we think that what God wants in someone else’s life that He must want for us and then we mistakenly try to put those ways of living on
    ourselves as being the only way.
    There was 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, one Abraham who by faith believed God’s promise to make him a nation, one David who using only one stone, brought down a giant. And one Mary who was visited by the one Holy Spirit to become pregnant with 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 or heard a Billy Graham speak and quiverfull 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!

  • C.L.

    It was man who did this to you, not god. Man took Gold’s words and twisted them to suite his ends. bjah, blah, blah, blah.

    Wow, we have never heard that one before, it actually gets nauseating after hearing it so much.

    Problem is, every other crack pot fundy like yourself, and every liberal Christian uses that same statement to justify there beliefs as well. Geeeeeessssssss!!!!!!

  • geoff

    Surprised you dignified that comment with a response. Thats the same question my wife asks me every time I BEG her to use contraception. I try to tell her that having children isnt a contest and that she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone; try to tell her that this QF movement is nothing more than an ancient fertility cult warmed over…but alas, it all falls on deaf ears. Is there a resource/group for men who are bound into this QF life by women who idolize the likes of Nancy Campbell? I feel like I got sucked into this in ignorance and now (sole income provider for large and growing family) there’s no way out.

  • Elissa

    I am sick at heart for you and everyone else who has suffered under a false idea of what a godly family is supposed to be like. I am a homeschooling mother of six, three of my children are adults. I have been homeschooling for 21 years and I have seen it all. I wear dresses all the time. . . because for me, wearing dresses has more scope for the imagination than wearing pants does. I make bread and yogurt because my best friend, who is also my husband really enjoys eating those things. My adult daughter prefers wearing dresses too, she wears pants sometimes. We never had any rules about it. She is a civil War re-enactor. She is married and has a child of her own. I am going to tell her about this website. She will be as sad as I am. Being a woman is fun. Staying home with my children and teaching them myself is fun. Chopping wood to heat our house is fun. This is why I live my life the way I do; because it brings me great enjoyment. I would not choose any other way. I get to pursue every off the wall idea my overactive brain can come up with. So do my children.

    I wish every one of you ladies who have been hurt by abusers who use the Bible as a cover for their evil deeds would get a copy of any book by George MacDonald. I would recommend Sir Gibbie or Alec Forbes.Even his childrens books, the Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie and The Lost Princess would be good. George MacDonald had a beautiful view of what Christianity is about and what it is not about. Two of my best friends have gone through what you ladies describe. I have watched what they had to deal with. I have seen others around me in homeschooling circles. I have seen people who used to be happy adopt the “Gothard” lifestyle and become glum, shadows of their former selves and tell everyone they are happy. It makes me terribly angry. I know it makes my Father in Heaven very angry too. As one of my favorite preachers would say “There is an extra hot place in hell” for men like that (not to mention some of the women who are their enablers). Men who behave this way are turning people away from Jesus. They are a blot on His name. They will have their opportunity to Stand before Jesus Christ and be judged. I hope I get to be there!

    I am a survivor of child abuse and neglect of a rather serious nature. My life was a total mess when I was young. I became a single mother of two children with different fathers. I came to complete emotional and spiritual healing through Jesus Christ. Yes, I went to some “trained professionals” as well but I know Who provided the healing. I met my husband when we were both working as volunteer counselors at a shelter for teenagers who had run away from home. He is a committed Christian who takes his role as the head of our family seriously. What I live every day is the opposite of what the ladies on NLQ describe.

    Again, I know you ladies are telling the truth and I weep for you and your children. What you have seen is a counterfeit of what the Bible describes as an ideal family. A Godly husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved sinners (not a direct quote, a compilation of many verses. . . this is to satisfy the critics. I know you are out there!). There are REAL men out there who live this role. I know a few, I am married to one. They are certainly not the majority, but they do exist.

    If you met me, you might think I am one of the “quivering”. I sometimes get lumped in with the larger movement. I dress a certain way and I do certain things. I do them because I love them. I was actually horrified when I found out that there were people who made a religion out of doing the things I think are fun. I am not going to stop living the way I live because there are those who live a warped version of it. I almost did that a while back but I did not like it. I was not being who I am.

    One of my heroes in life is Tasha Tudor, the illustrator of childrens books. She wore old fashioned clothing, homeschooled her children, made bread, chopped wood, raised Corgi’s and lived in an old house without electricity. She loved that life (unless I missed something, which is quite possible, she still does. . . she would be very old). I love it too. I would not trade it for any other life.

    I wish I could invite every one of you whose story I have read (and the ones I have not) to my house for dinner, or an extended visit. I wish we could be friends and I could have the opportunity to encourage you not to give up on Jesus because of the awful things misguided or evil people do in His name. I promise I would not beat you over the head with any of my collection of Bibles. I think we would have a lot to talk about and some common experiences. You are all in my prayers.

  • Educated

    The best part are the comments from home-school advocating families that cannot spell even basic words.

    You’r kids are definitely gettin edukated!

  • Melissa

    Very well stated!!!

  • Rachel

    For example?

  • Rachel

    Since looking at this website and reading some of the stories my heart is troubled. It is sad that Satan makes these attacks on the home front… :( I have recently read an article online that rejuvenated me. I hope it helps others as well!

    Go to: http://www.home-school.com/Articles/phs89-marypride.html

    Or read it here:

    Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

    By Mary Pride
    Printed in PHS #89, 2009.

    How did this happen? Twenty-five years ago I wrote a book, The Way Home, urging women to rediscover their biblical role, including the blessings of children. The only times the word “patriarch” was even mentioned in The Way Home was in quotes from various feminists agonizing about male oppression.

    Yet somehow today I find myself “credited” as a founder and promoter of the modern Patriarchy movement.

    A new book, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, claims The Way Home “did much to recreate the homeschooling movement along patriarchal… lines.”

    This probably explains why major network producers have been emailing me asking for interviews the last few years. If I had actually responded to any of their emails, instead of concentrating on my family and Practical Homeschooling, they might have enlightened me about the positions I supposedly introduced to the world.

    As it turns out, I do have some interest in the Patriarchy movement. Starting with this:

    Patriarchy Is a Bad Word

    Literally, “patriarchy” means “father-supreme-leadership.” However, in the Christian home (and the Patriarchy movement is a Christian movement), Jesus is Lord, not Dad. So right from the start, the emphasis is in the wrong place.

    This, I believe, is because when rejecting one point of view (feminism), the temptation is to go a bit overboard in the opposite direction. Since feminism glorifies women, the knee-jerk reaction was to glorify men just a teeny bit.

    He Governs Best Who Governs Least

    Let’s move on to the next common concern I’ve heard expressed about Patriarchy: men who micromanage their wives.

    Although I don’t necessarily trust every word in Quiverfull (I found a few inaccuracies in the areas of which I had personal knowledge), the author refers to cases where women felt they had to ask their husband’s permission to do anything, including their daily chores.

    Any of you businessmen reading this should already be shaking your heads. This kind of micromanaging is the sign of a poor leader. After all, it stands to reason that if you are looking over another person’s shoulder, you are not working on your job. If the worker (in this case, Mom), is even mildly competent, it’s a massive waste of Dad’s time (at best) and humiliating to Mom, as well.

    The “Yes Mom”

    Continuing our business analogy, it’s also not a good idea to have Mom always agreeing with Dad-at least, not until they have already argued the issue out! (Or “discussed it thoroughly,” if you prefer a milder expression.)

    As I explained in The Way Home, while Dad may be the family’s commanding officer, Mom is the family’s executive officer: the XO. For you Star Trek fans, that means Dad is Picard and Mom is Riker. Or for Classic Trek fans, Dad is Kirk (though hopefully not in his dealings with the ladies), and Mom is Spock.

    As those of you in the military know, it’s the XO’s job to disagree with the captain when he sees a danger to the ship or the mission. Then, after full and free discussion, the captain has the final word. Unless the captain is absent, incapable of serving, or deliberately sabotaging the mission, in which case the XO takes over.

    The home, of course, is not a military operation. Dad is not supposed to stand around barking out commands. My point is that Mom is not subservient, but an active partner in the operation, with the ability to take it over if needed. She has to be literally able to take charge of the whole family if required, which cannot be accomplished by those who freeze unless they have instructions.

    The “Home Despot”

    Actually, the Bible does say a particular parent is the “home despot.”

    However, it isn’t Dad!

    In I Timothy 5:14, young wives are told to “guide the house.” The word in the Greek is oikodespoteo, which literally means “be a home despot.” Or “home boss” or “matriarch.” Does this sound like an oppressed doormat hanging out by the sink? No way! Mom is the ruler of the house. Or, as I quoted Janet Dittmer in The Way Home as saying, Mom is a manager, not a maid.

    Traditional Christian cultures understood this quite well. Mom had her jobs, and Dad had his. If Dad tried to meddle in Mom’s work, she would shoo him away. Although he could help if she asked for help and no female friend or relative was available (e.g., if she was sick or after giving birth to a child), or he could take over if she was absent or unfit (e.g., crazy due to psychoactive drugs), under normal conditions it was not his job to supervise her job. She was in charge of her area of responsibility.

    Which brings me to my next point:

    Moms, Not Dads, Are Supposed to Teach their Daughters the Womanly Arts

    Many of us have cringed when hearing about such things as:

    * Purity Balls, where dads “date” their daughters and give them a “purity ring”

    * Father-daughter events where daughters are blindfolded (the better to hear and follow their father’s commands) and perform intimate acts of service, such as shaving their fathers (the better to learn to serve their future husbands)

    * Daughters being told to stay home until married (no college) to “serve” their fathers until they get a husband they can “serve” in turn

    I believe this emphasis on dads and daughters started with good, although unbiblical, intentions. It can be traced back to the highly-publicized psychological studies on which Meg Meeker’s 2006 book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, was based.

    In her book, Meeker makes claims like:

    * “You Are the Most Important Man in Your Daughter’s Life” (chapter title)

    * “You Are Her First Love” (chapter title)

    * “Girls with involved fathers wait longer to initiate sex and have lower rates of teen pregnancy.”

    * “Your daughter takes cues from you, her father, on everything from drug use, drinking, delinquency, smoking, and having sex, to self-esteem, moodiness, and seeking attention from boys.”

    * “A daughter’s self-esteem is best predicted by her father’s physical affection.”

    Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the ways Meeker claims (based on psychological studies, not the Bible) that fathers should be involved in all areas of their daughters’ lives.

    It’s only natural for fathers to wish the best for their daughters. However, all the benefits above attributed to “dad influence” were “found” via psychological surveys, not the Bible. And never before in church history did anyone start with the idea “daughters need more fatherly influence” and run with it to come up with cultural oddities such as the Purity Ball.

    Are dads supposed to train their daughters in the womanly arts?

    Who exactly is supposed to teach girls what they need to know to become successful wives and mothers?

    In Titus 2:3-5, the people who are commanded to teach the younger women… to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home… are the older women.

    Not the older men.

    Which parent traditionally passed on jewelry to their daughters?

    Moms.
    Not dads bearing “purity rings.”

    Who biblically is supposed to teach the young women?

    Older women.
    Not dads.

    Single Serving

    Like our sons, our daughters are called to serve the Lord, their future families, and the larger community-not just Dad or the home business.

    This may require college, or it may not. It depends.

    It’s possible to educate yourself in all sorts of humanities with just a library card. And online degrees are extensively available in areas such as business and computer programming.

    On the other hand, my oldest daughter studied humanities at a Christian college. My second oldest is earning three science degrees at a secular college. The three youngest are all pursuing nursing degrees-that’s only possible on campus.

    I’d love to either have them all married to great guys, or have them home forever. But that’s not my choice (or their dad’s choice).

    God is my daughters’ Father and their Husband. He is the One they must serve all their lives. We can’t take His place, and we shouldn’t try.

  • MetalGoddess

    Is this why some of these looney politicians are pushing no abortion for rape and incest victims? I imagine these pigs must find that sort of behavior perfectly acceptable.

  • MetalGoddess

    That’s kind of creepy. One guy is your daughters father and husband? That sounds like incest to me.

  • Reasonable

    K,

    I feel sorry for you, because I think that it is usually those who have suffered the most abuses that cling to the enabling belief most fervently to “justify” their sacrifice.

    I am guessing you originally came here because you wanted to escape the abuse, but found you couldn’t summon the courage, and so like many others of your ilk, switched to ignorant attacks to hide your fear and shame.

    I hope that if I am right here, you find the courage to leave your abuse as well.

  • wargarble

    God is a Man.

  • Michelle

    The Bible in no way endorses abuse…”So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man hath ever yet hated his won flesh; but nourished and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church…” ~Ephesians 5:28 & 29 If a husband is abusing Scripture and forcing his wife to have children, that is not endorsed by Scripture. If a family is in a cult and is abusing the true meaning of scripture to FORCE women to have children this is not right.

    When it all boils down to it according to the Bible God truly loves children, He calls them a blessing and a gift from him, and yes it even talks about a full quiver…but having whatever a MAN may call a full quiver does not somehow make a person more holy (God does not put a number and a 15 passenger van in the text) We know many a family who desired children and their quiver only had two, is that less holy? no! God cares about our hearts in the end and if we are really seeking to live for Him and love him with pure abandonment, not how many children we can produce.

    My husband and I are born again believers ~ and have never heard of this Quiverfull movement until recently ~ for us our individual belief is to have as many as the Lord would will for us, this is our genuine desire, and it was not inspired by anyone but our reading of the Scriptures and our love for children.

    Our marriage comes before our children it always will, and you can judge me and say I am a sad brain washed woman but that is the furthest thing from the truth, when I was a teen i would never have told you that I would have 4 blessings in 5 years and love my job as a SAHM with all my heart ~ I have bad days but I would not trade my life, my husband or my children for the world.

    I am very sorry for the women who are truly forced to have children, for the women who are abused in the real sense of the word. God loves you very much, he does not intend our lives to be easy but He does promise that He will be there for us to help us through the storm. Eternity is coming are you ready? how many children you have will not save you…only Christ can.

    ~ Redeemed and so Happy In Jesus!

  • Michelle

    I am sorry you think that all Christians who believe in God are crazy quacks…I dont think I exactly fit in that category. I may be a little weird, but I think that is my personality. What do you believe in Sarah? If not God then what?

  • Jen

    No. God is an imaginary friend.

  • Joy

    I’m sorry that you were a victim of domestic violence disguised as a valid sect of the Christian faith.
    A godly man cannot claim to be the head of his wife until he humbles himself enough to die for her as Christ did–both a real death and a death to personal choices, desires, and pride. Sounds like the quiverful movement isn’t really getting true messages from God.
    I hope that the reality of who Christ is can speak to your heart one day. Until then, I’m glad that you are taking the time to heal and admire your courage.

  • Joy

    One day I hope you can be welcomed into the Christian faith. I’m sorry you see God as a joke. You really are missing something.

  • Joy

    Human potential. So much potential for evil in humans…

  • Jesus Christ

    1900 – 1.6 Billion People,
    2011 – 6.9 Billion People,
    111 years – 5.3 Billion People,
    2344 – 22.8 Billion People,
    Solution to problem – Stop Creating Babies,
    The life you save just might be the one you don’t create.

  • Angie

    Denial.

  • elty

    Dude, if you don’t want any more kids, get the snip. *EYEROLL*

  • Anonymous

    I have read all of the reply’s on here. I attended a xian university and took the OT, NT, Theology I and Theology II courses at that college. I had fellow students ask me if I was going to become a pastor because of how I did in those courses. I can give you multiple verses which contradict each other in the bible and some of the many ignored things that many xian’s think are great. The bible is filled with a supposed “all loving being” telling his chosen people to kill and he was all about killing himself to appease himself. History can tell you of other all loving god’s who died and rose again and what early xianity did with those teachings and what it does now.

    I have met a few pastors who have left the ministry and one person who after graduating college and before going to the seminary read the bible and then decided not to become a pastor. I now call myself an agnostic as I have read and studied almost everything and have learned there is no way to know if there is a god.

  • anonymous

    Or use a condom.

  • Abbie

    Steve~ A very good debate.
    Abigail

  • Anonymity

    Hi ‘Anonymous’…
    One of my favorite authors is Thomas Moore (the one who is alive)…Who wrote ‘Care of the Soul’, ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ etc…
    My favorite of his, is a small book of essays titled ‘Original Self’…
    He was going to be a priest and then at the very end of ‘training’ changed his mind, and ended up becoming a counselor instead.
    He’s a really cool guy, with some very interesting insight I think.
    Take care.

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  • Maira Carnagey

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  • Josh

    “Mainstream & sane religion” …oxymoron of the week right there.

  • Stu

    Does you god also love the thousands of little children who die in agony of starvation and disease every day? Oh, sorry. Yes of course they are mostly black and somewhere else other than your cosy, stupid, little world.

  • Amos Starkadder

    The earth will burn and we shall quiver!

    They’ll be no butter in hell!

  • http://calulu.blogspot.com Calulu

    *looks in askance* I thought there was no breakfast in hell, not just butter..

  • Megs

    This is the first time I’ve heard of “Quiverfull,” but I’m not surprised by what it involved. I escaped from a fairly extreme fundamentalist upbringing, thankfully renouncing Christianity (and organized religion, period) when I was 23, 7 years after I began to question its validity. I was force fed the Bible and its outdated, outlandish, outrageous ideas from the moment I was born. We went to church all the time, studied the Bible, played Bible Trivia, went to R.C. Sproul theological seminars, read up on Calvin, Aquinas, Luther, St. Augustine, etc., fasted, prayed, ministered to the homeless, etc. My father was very radical, but I was largely unaware of it because, to me, it was normal.

    As I got older, I developed the desire to learn more about Jesus of my own accord. I wasn’t questioning then, I was sincerely eager to know as much as I could about my savior and the teachings of the creator of the entire universe. So I studied the Bible more on my own time, without my dad’s guidance. And the more I read, the more confused and appalled and unsettled I was. I started running across glaring, blatant contradictions that I had previously either overlooked or been intentionally steered away from.

    I started having real questions. I talked to my dad; despite all his knowledge, he didn’t have good answers for what I was asking. After a few minutes, he became agitated and demanded to know why I was asking so many questions, and whether I was “turning into an atheist.” I quickly dispelled the notion and dropped the subject completely, but I was starting to “wake up” and it was the beginning of the end of Christianity for me. I fought it for 7 years with rationalizations and justifications and prayer, but couldn’t ignore reality anymore in the end.

    Popular culture has the Bible as the bastion of truth and light and goodness, but it’s really quite the opposite. That book has God killing millions of innocent people, ordering soldiers to slaughter pregnant women and defenseless children, keep the virgins for themselves to use, trumpeting his “infinite mercy” while purportedly sending the vast majority of his “children” to suffer infinite punishment for finite offenses, giving a thumbs-up to slavery and murder and misogyny, and contradicting his own instructions the whole way through. By comparison, Satan only killed 10 people in the entire Bible, and God helped him do it. I think we might have the protagonist and antagonist switched around in this book.

    For those poor ladies here who are still “clinging to the mercy of Jesus” or whatever….in a world where 26,000 children die of starvation every day, wars rage on around the globe, and rape and torture and child molestation and murder are everyday occurrences…God’s “infinite mercy” sure bears a close resemblance to “no mercy at all,” doesn’t it?

  • Fey Wyndom

    Onan was not killed by god for spilling his seed. He was killed by god for disobedience. God killed his brother (for some reason) then forced Onan to marry his brother’s widow. Then god told Onan to be a stud horse (when Onan did not want to), so Onan pulled out. God was treating both Onan and the widow as sex slaves, neither having control over their choice to procreate or not. Very sad, story, very mean god. But Onan was killed for disobeying a direct order, not for spilling seed.

  • http:///krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

    Um– a brother marrying the widow was a cultural custom, not a command of God. By marrying her, Onan had made a covenant with her, which he then broke. I don’t like the part about them being killed either– but the story should be read in light of the cultural expectations of the time.

  • Larry

    “abused in the real sense of the word”
    is that anything like “legitimate rape” ?


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