Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 1: Sincerity

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.]
by Vyckie

Stacey McDonald, author of “Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters,” has set up a new website devoted to responding to Hillary McFarland’s “Quivering Daughters” book and website.

As one who embraced the idea of trusting the Lord with my family planning and devoted myself to raising up polished “arrows” fit for the Lord’s service ~ “Raising Maidens of Virtue” was a much-referenced book in my large collection of “biblical family” materials. I loved the title. The words “Feminine Loveliness” filled my imagination with visions of my five lovely daughters whom I wanted above all to be wholesome, carefree, healthy-minded, devoted, steadfast, and full of joy ~ secure in my love and in the love of the Lord.

The reason I was so enamored of Stacey’s writings is because, like Stacey, I had experienced a less-than-ideal childhood ~ a broken family, abuse, insecurity ~ and I wanted to spare my own children as much of that sort of pain as possible. I believe that’s the motivation for the majority of parents ~ and especially Christian parents who adopt the Quiverfull ideals ~ homeschooling, courtship, sheltering children, stay-at-home daughters, etc.

On her Steadfast Daughters site, Stacey shares some very painful memories of her own agonizing childhood ~ reading her account, my heart went out to Stacey. All those feelings of intensely desiring to protect my children from all the hurt, the uncertainty, the cruelty and the indifference of “this world” ~ my determination that things would be different for me and my children overwhelmed me and for a moment, I was back in my old Quiverfull reality.

So I will admit to feeling nostalgic and surprisingly sympathetic to the mother’s-heart senitment which I read on the Steadfast Daughters website. I believe Stacey and the other SD contributors when they repeatedly claim to love the Lord and their children ~ I believe as parents, they have the best of intentions ~ they are intelligent, kind-hearted, caring Christians who only desire to give their ALL for the sake of bringing up a quiver full of children for the glory of the Lord.

I think Hillary ~ whose Quivering Daughters outreach is proving to be a considerable challenge, bringing much-needed balance and perspective to the “Virtuous Daughters” ideal ~ would agree that Quiverfull mothers such as Stacey have noble motives. They certainly have not chosen these incredibly grand ideas and the demanding lifestyle for the sake of their own convenience or from lazy, ignorant, or selfish hearts. They’re not doing it because it’s fun ~ or because it is their first preference or only alternative. These moms are sincerely convinced that they are doing the Lord’s absolute best for their families. Hillary understands and recognizes that QF parents do love their children ~ and for that reason, the tone of her book is incredibly gentle and her accounts of abuse are often understated.

It’s a dilemma which all survivors wrestle with when we write about mental, emotional, and spritual abuse ~ certainly we want to expose the harm in order to warn others and provide refuge for those who are seeking support and comfort ~ but at the same time, we do not want to lash out in bitterness and anger against those who, despite our hurt and suffering, we know to be good people at heart.

That’s why most of the NLQ guest writers share their stories using a pseudonym ~ they leave out identifying details ~ they desire to protect the identity of their family. Quivering Daughters walk a fine line between honoring parents and telling the truth about their experience of the QF/P family life.

One theme which pervades the Steadfast Daughters website could be summarized this way:

We, your parents, mean well. We love God and we love our children. We strive to do our very best ~ but we are not perfect ~ sometimes we mess up and we unintentionally hurt our children. Please don’t let our mistakes lead you to bitterness and hatred ~ hold fast to the Lord ~ forgive and forebear.

What makes the Quiverfull teachings especially pernicious is the unlikely, but unmistakable combination of very good intentions and really, really bad ideas.

Since “waking up” from the Quiverfull dream world ~ I’ve spent a lot of time and brain power puzzling over this: Sincerity and good intentions should count for something.

How many times as a fundamentalist Believer did I hear a preacher or teacher say, “It’s possible to be sincerely wrong!!”?

I do not want that to be true.

Of all the teachings which I no longer believe ~ this is the one I’d most like to be a complete and total lie.
[Read more...]

Visionary daughters quiz

Over on the NLQ forum, we’ve all been taking Visionary Daughter’s “Are You A Fool?” quiz ~ it’s annoyingly hilarious ~ and I thought No Longer Quivering readers who aren’t on the forum might like the chance to join in on the fun.

Here’s question #1:

How do you respond when criticized/corrected?

1) I hate it! I get angry and defensive.

2) I usually laugh it off. (Sometimes I roll my eyes.)

3) If I get criticized for the same thing enough times, I usually start to take it seriously..

4) I’m thankful for the smallest hint of reproof and take it very seriously.

Take the Quiz!!

What do you think? [Read more...]

Created To Be His Help Meet ~ An Open Letter to Debi Pearl

by Africaturtle

Dear Debi,

It’s been a few years now since I read your book Created to be His Help Meet for the first time.

I am married to a Mr. Command Man, as per your book’s description. My mom gave me your book for Christmas the first year I was married (six years ago now). She told me it was the best book she had read on the subject, and after reading it I was convinced it was too. (I had already read many other Christian books and periodicals on godly womanhood, including those of Mary Pride, Nancy Campbell, and a few from Vision Forum.) As a new wife and soon-to-be mother (I was pregnant within the first month after our wedding) I soaked up all of your stories and advice, expecting wholeheartedly to put these lessons into action and experience the heavenly marriage I was destined for!

May I also note that I had been very careful in choosing a godly, Christian man. Someone who welcomed the idea of children as a “blessing”, that served God wholeheartedly (we were involved in campus ministry together) and who respected my ideas and encouraged me to be a “keeper at home”, as described in Titus 2. I was sure we were destined for something great and unique as a family, and that our lives would be a testimony of faith and God’s greatness in a place that was in dire need of the light of the Gospel (we were living in Europe, not the US).

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Reflections on what went wrong

by Jo @ Woman Reclaimed

We’re rapidly approaching the anniversary of when I lost my life as I knew it. I’m finally to a point where I feel strong enough to boldly face where we went, what went wrong and what we messed up so very badly. We fell down the rabbit hole of Patriarchal matrimony. We didn’t necessarily mean to do so. Certainly, we never thought we were down so far as we truly were. We thought we didn’t fully believe in wife-only submission. We thought we never believed that the wife’s salvation is based upon the Husband’s favor. In more ways than I ever understood until the journey of this last year, we did fall into the trap.

Just in case anyone is wondering what my opinion on Patriarchal marriage is now, let me make it VERY clear what my opinion is and why.

Patriarchal marriage is dangerous. First, there is NO accountability to the husband. If the husband is ungodly or inappropriate, then you are to wait for God to deal with him. So basically, a husband can tell his wife to do ANYTHING he wants. The potential to abuse this authority with NO consequences is massive and scary. Only a very few men would not become abusive in some manner or another. There is no safety for a wife if her husband becomes abusive. There is no real accountability for men.

Patriarchal leaders are very open that a wife should never, ever concern herself with what accountability or oversight might exist for a husband, because that would be dishonoring his godhead in her life to do so. [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 10: It's in the Lord's Hands

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow

by Shelly Cruz

I walked over to the phone, and dialed Cecilia’s number. My first thought was that it would possibly be disconnected, but who knows, maybe they finally moved. Cecilia always talked about how the time would come, and their house would be demolished, and then they would have to move. They were living rent-free in an old farmhouse. Someone had blessed them years ago with a property. They had to care for it, and in return they could live there for free, but once the owner passed away, they’d have to move.

They were even given a 15-passenger van as a blessing too! Regardless of their ways, the Lord always saw fit to bless them, in abundance, too. Oftentimes, I wonder why all the big families always get so many blessings? If being Quiverfull, is an Old Testament mandate, why does it seem like extra-large families always get extra-large blessings?

I have seen this in church many times, the family with the 8+ kids, receive box loads of children’s clothing for their children. They get free food dropped to their doorsteps, their mortgage paid for them, or they get a blessing of not having any mortgage at all. Do people feel sorry for them, or are they really the “chosen ones”? I know I should not be questioning these things, but sometimes I do. It seems, to me, like the most legalistic people I know are the ones who get enormous blessings.

Anyway, the phone rang three times, and then someone picked up, ”Hello, whom may you wish to correspond with please?” [Read more...]