The Formula Ruled Above All

by ErikaIf you remember from one of my earlier installments, right before we started our first year of homeschooling, I had spent the summer in Uganda on a missions trip with Teen Missions International. It was an amazing summer and everything had seemed normal in my family before I left. I was promised that things wouldn't change much even though we'd be homeschooling. Of course, reading back through my story, you know that things DID change. I enjoyed that summer away so much. I had amazing experiences and the travel bug had officially hit. More than the travel bug, though, I enjoyed the satisfaction of helping others and telling people about my relationship with God. Hearing the … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: “Why do you look that cow in the face?”

By SierraCourtship took my church by storm in the 1990s. While I never read I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I was given a number of books about marriage and intimacy and taught explicitly that dating was preparation for divorce. Having never dated, I was not in a position to protest. I listened patiently to the story of the couple in my church who had married without so much as holding hands. They were the happiest couple after Eamon and Pearl, so clearly they'd done something right. I learned that smitten young Message couples would walk around holding each end of a shared stick, in order to express their affection without risking finger-to-finger contact. I thought to myself that it sounded a … [Read more...]

49 Character Qualities of the Duggars: A Report Card

[Note: The point of this post is not about passing judgment on the Duggar family. The question is, does the lifestyle they endorse actually do what they say it will? Is it the perfect formula for a godly family? Or is what we’re seeing just a set of normal people striving within a very difficult way of living?This post examines the Duggars’ own lives within the paradigm they themselves endorse. Given that we only see what our televisions allow us to-- does what we can see, reflect the image held up to us? And if it does not, how can we be sure about what we can‘t see?No one expects the Duggars to be perfect. But that is not the question. The real question is: are they really showing us t … [Read more...]

Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar: "Experiencing freedom teenagers rarely taste."

by VyckieCharlie Richards ~ the creator of the Christian video series, "Life at the Pond" ~ recently shared on his blog about his experience of working with the Duggar kids ~ particularly the three oldest girls, Jill, Jessa & Jinger, whom he describes as, " sharp, fun and informed." They know what’s going on out there.  But it isn’t at all a part of their every day life. And, to the shock and dismay of so many, they’re okay with that.While, admittedly, I admire the Duggars for much of what they do, I didn’t expect what I saw in these three girls.  The world has yet to beat them into submission.  They don’t watch the Disney Channel, so they’ve yet to learn that adults are buffoons and … [Read more...]

Debt-Free Duggars ~ Pt. 1: How Quiverfull Couples Support All Those Kids!

by HopewellThe Duggar Income Stream [minus TLC] Before TLC and their reality TV show offer came on the scene, Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar were already on their way to financial security—a situation not normally found in homes with no college-educated adult. But, like the people profiled in the book the Millionaire Next Door, Jim-Bob and Michelle have always lived BELOW their means and have always had common sense about purchases. They also share a vision for the type of family life they wanted to lead. While Jim-Bob did hold a job, and a mortgage, at the time they married he soon realized this was not a sensible way to live. His love of buying cars, fixing them up himself, and reselling th … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Sickness ~ Pt 2

by SierraWilliam Branham never claimed to be a faith healer. That is, he claimed that it was the power of the individual's faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that healed their diseases. Christ had finished the work; there was nothing left to do but believe. In a 1955 sermon entitled Jehovah-Jireh, Branham explained that faith was the force that brought healing to the believer: If I could heal anyone, I'd come down here, and go to each one and heal everyone. I would, if I could. But I can't. And there's no other man can. And--and if Jesus was here, He could not, only if you'd believe. Look. That sounds strange, that Jesus could not heal unless you'd believe. When He went to His Own … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Sickness ~ Pt 1

by SierraAs an adolescent girl, growing up under William Branham’s Message of the Hour, I stood poised before a great fall. Sometimes I felt a cold breeze rising from the pit in front of me. I knew that against my will I was edging closer, and would someday have no choice but to jump in. But I looked frantically for an outlet or a bridge, digging in my heels against the edges of the pit. The name of the abyss was womanhood.I was taught that the Bible recognized three classes of people: men, women, and children. In God’s plan for the family, authority descended directly in that order. Men obeyed God, women obeyed men, and children obeyed all three. For those living within this scheme, God … [Read more...]

Quiverfull Daughters: The Making of a Helpmeet

TLC's 19 Kids & Counting: The Duggar Family on How To Prepare For Courtship & Marriageby Hopewell“Helpmeet” is such an odd-sounding word to modern ears! But it resonates well in the lingo of the King James Bible. Girls born to Quiverfull families begin their training for the life’s calling as a Helpmeet [aka wife and homemaker] almost at birth.Girls are born for one and only one reason: to serve a husband. In that capacity, as his helpmeet, she will bear and raise his children, feed as many children as God sends on whatever income he earns, may raise a garden and animals or run a home-based business [with his approval], may home birth and will certainly homeschool all of her ch … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Atheist

by SierraWilla was an atheist. A self-styled “unschooler,” she attended homeschool conventions and activities with her two children, Alexis (9) and Steven (5), and it was there that she met my mother. Willa’s husband worked in a field that I knew only abstractly as something involving computers and sales. He was a passive, taciturn man with whom I never exchanged a single word. Their children were boisterous, especially Alexis. Willa attached herself to my mother very quickly. Since Alexis was my age, we were an automatic source of play dates, which often really amounted to tea parties for our mothers. Common interests seemed to abound at first: homeschooling, books, and bargains. Both ador … [Read more...]

Christian Culture Clash: Fundamentalist Patriarchy and My Father’s Church

Part 1 ~ Our Church: Golgothaby Ex-AdrielSundays were my favorite. Early in the morning, before the sun rose, Father knocked on my bedroom door. I dressed quickly in the pre-dawn dimness, and we drove to church together, just us two. A quick stop for the customary chocolate crème pie from a gas station, and then we would be at Golgotha*, pulling into the empty lot before anyone else arrived for church.Father ran the bus ministry. In that morning stillness, I snuggled into an extra coat of his to protect my church dress, and ‘helped’ him check the fluids and tire pressure on the old school bus. When I was a young child, I rode with him off to the shelters to pick up all of the homeless w … [Read more...]