I just don’t like Above Rubies magazine

I just don’t like Above Rubies magazine October 25, 2012

By Vyckie Garrison

My bulk subscription to Above Rubies recently arrived in the mail. Even though I left my Quiverfull beliefs and lifestyle over five years ago, I never bothered to remove myself from Nancy Campbell’s mailing list – so periodically, I still receive five copies of the magazine which claims to be “Strengthening Families Across The World.”

The lastest issue features a cover photo of Nancy’s daughters, Pearl and Serene making their FAT STRIPPING FRAPPA (even though it’s sweet, frothy, and creamy, it will strip off the pounds!  … find the recipe in their new book, Trim Healthy Mama) and headlines to make a submissive Quiverfull wife drool:

    • We Stopped Our Divorce
    • Return to Common Sense
    • Five Is Not That Many
    • Debunking Overpopulation Myth
    • Our Greatest Building Project
    • Finding My Rest
    • Free from the Curse
    • Trusting the Designer
    • Magic Pill Didn’t Work
    • How to Respect Your Husband

[Insert barfing face here …]

Okay, I’ve been away long enough now that I can barely remember why Above Rubies magazine was so darn appealing to me. But I do remember that whenever that packet containing five copies came in the mail, whatever plans I’d had for that day were usually put on hold while I devoured every word of every article. And the whole time I was reading, I would be thinking about my friends with all their marital struggles … and I’d be so eager to pass around my extra copies so they, too, would have solid biblical solutions to enable all of us to love our husbands graciously with hope in our hearts.

[Insert eye rolling face here … LOL]

Toward the end, I was beginning to see through the unrealistic expectations. Rather than being inspired by Pearl and Serene’s perpetually thin figures and beautiful smiling faces, I was feeling just a little resentful of the constant pressure I felt to always look like a youthful, energetic cover girl rather than the middle-aged, worn out, tired mom of many that I am!

While making a real effort to conceal my discontentment which I feared was due to my waning faith, I managed to get in just a little dig when I posted about my daughter Berea’s reaction to the magazine on our family blog:

I just don’t like that …

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Berea’s been reading the latest issue of Above Rubies ~ Nancy Campbell’s magazine to encourage women in their roles as wives and mothers. The magazine just came in the mail today and already, she told me, she’s read nearly every page ~ every word, in fact.

And what does Berea think? Weird people ~ they think about health, and they all have a bunch of kids (mostly boys). And they think they have to OBEY their husbands ~ “I just don’t like that,” she says.

Well ~ no kidding, ‘Rea. Who would?

With five daughters and a not-exactly-perfect husband, it’s sometimes hard not to sympathize with the feminists. ‹(ô¿ô)›


I’m so grateful now that my daughters never really caught on to the Quiverfull vision. Somehow, in all our diligent “training” we never managed to completely eradicate that little feminist spark that compels girls to recoil from the Above Rubies message of female self-abnegation and say, “I just don’t like that!”

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Read everything by Vyckie Garrison!

Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement. 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 Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

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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  • Saraquill

    Reading the titles of the articles wants my palm to firmly adhere itself to my face. What are the magazine writers’ ideas of what makes a family strong? Does mutual support and acceptance factor into their equation?

  • thalwen

    Of course not, it’s all based on the wife being properly submissive. I actually heard a sermon by a televangelist saying that if a wife doesn’t submit, her husband can’t love her and her kids will be rebellious. Which, even if you follow that interpretation of the Bible doesn’t make sense. It says “husbands love your wives,” not “husbands love your wives but only if they’re properly submissive.” So yeah, their entire recipe for familial success is patriarchal submission. Sure they’ll have an article that is supposed to be directed to husbands every once in a while, but those usually talk about how the husband needs more submission in order to not be a complete jerk.

  • kalim


    Said Nursi had proved the existence of God in his books.
    I want to share some part From Risalei Nur collection by Said Nursi (23th word)

    Man is such an antique work of art of Almighty God. He is a most subtle and graceful miracle of His power whom He created to manifest all his Names and their inscriptions, in the form of a miniature specimen of the universe. If the light of belief enters his being, all the meaningful inscriptions on him may be read. As one who believes, he reads them consciously, and through that relation, causes others to read them. That is to say, the dominical art in man becomes apparent through meanings like, “I am the creature and artefact of the All-Glorious Maker. I manifest His mercy and munificence.” That is, belief, which consists of being connected to the Maker, makes apparent all the works of art in man. Man’s value is in accordance with that dominical art and by virtue of being a mirror to the Eternally Besought One. In this respect insignificant man becomes God’s addressee and a guest of the Sustainer worthy of Paradise superior to all other creatures.
    However, should unbelief, which consists of the severance of the relation, enter man’s being, then all those meaningful inscriptions of the Divine Names are plunged into darkness and become illegible. For if the Maker is forgotten, the spiritual aspects which look to Him will not be comprehended, they will be as though reversed. The majority of those meaningful sublime arts and elevated inscriptions will be hidden. The remainder, those that may be seen with the eye, will be attributed to lowly causes, nature, and chance, and will become utterly devoid of value. While they are all brilliant diamonds, they become dull pieces of glass. His importance looks only to his animal, physical being. And as we said, the aim and fruit of his physical being is only to pass a brief and partial life as the most impotent, needy, and grieving of animals. Then it decays and departs. See how unbelief destroys human nature, and transforms it from diamonds into coal.

  • Lyn

    Flashback, Flashback!!!! Above Rubies takes me back to a time where I was young, with 3 kids, eager to please and never quite measuring up. All of my extended family “did” Above Rubies, home schooled and Quivered and I didn’t but I desperately wanted to be seen as a good Christian mother worthy of “fellowshipping” with. No matter what I did including attending an extremely daggy and ultra conservative , joyless Independent Baptist (American Missionary) Church earnt me any holy points as the fact I was invilved in organised religion and didn’t home school made me extremely suspect: worthy of shunning. Oh how I hated Above Rubies. Thankyou for the walk down memory lane and the new found freedom I have after too many years 🙂

  • mpowrd1

    I was homeschooled in a wish-we-were-QF family (mom had a hysterectomy after I was born because she was so physically damaged after a vaginal breech birth with my older brother… don’t you know that Satan uses rebellious fetuses to destroy their mothers’ reproduction!?!?!). My parents constantly hopped from church to church, getting in arguments with pastors and elders galore and leaving when the church wouldn’t change to match their twisted interpretation of Scripture. We lived by Gothard’s every word and when that started to seem cult-ish, went the independent baptist route (Hyles-Anderson) . Fast forward to my life now where I’m a mother of 3 struggling to find myself, struggling to allow myself the time to heal, struggling still to be okay with the realities of life. My mom “ordered” Above Rubies to be sent to me way back when I was pregnant with my first. I’ve rebelled against them each time they are sent in the mail to me and throw them out immediately. Two days ago, I actually thumbed through it and (proof I’m still raw and wounded) though I wanted to gag as I skimmed through, there was still that part of me that longs for that formulaic fairy tale. Huge red flags. I pulled the magazine out of the trash so I can burn it tonight 🙂
    Thank GOD I am not in a marriage that condones any of those twisted, perverted, complex distortions. I pray for freedom to all those who are still caught in that web of lies.

  • shadowspring

    Isn’t Serena’s real diet the “starving in the freezing cold and running around the house to keep warm because you have no heat” diet?

  • shadowspring

    Wtf? Gimme some ganja first if you’re going to go all irrelevanlty metaphysical on me.

  • mpowrd1


  • madame

    Hahaha, Shadowspring!
    As sad as that is, it made my morning!
    The list of topics would make me throw the magazine into the recycling bin after having a look at the “frappa” recipe, if it’s even featured. Other than that, all the topics are uninspiring.
    I also devoured books about submission and being the perfect wife. Blech!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    “How to respect your husband.”

    Um…marry a man worthy of your respect and then just chill?

    Look, I wrote an article!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Bahahahahahaha, shadowspring, you light up my life!

  • Oh why oh why isn’t there a like button here so I can “Like” PP and SS’s comments??

  • Christian lady

    I don’t see that it is the kind of thing Jesus would do to write unpleasant reviews of Above Rubies. I thank God for Nancy. Without her teaching I would only have 2 children instead of the 6 beautiful blessings I have now. I love Above Rubies and I don’t mind that other people might not like it, that is their choice. Maybe you should cancel your subscription rather than posting rude comments on line. Nancy works really hard to produce Above Rubies, which costs her a lot in time and money, but is provided for the price of a donation to all. She is a most lovely lady, as are all the above rubies ladies I meet.

  • Nea

    Okay, I’ll bite. If you don’t mind that other people might not like Above Rubies, why did you come to a thread half a year later to complain that the blogger doesn’t like it?

  • disqus_jOboOimCOC

    Wow! Some people just can’t accept scripture – like where it says to wives to submit themselves to their husbands. It is really sad that someone is so anti- Bible they need to go attacking others who try to obey it. Tell God your problems and stop complaining about those who do their best to live as they believe God wants them to.

    I would think Nancy’s position is more Biblical than yours. Lot of bitterness and jealousy in this post – and the posts following.

  • Alice

    Jesus was very vocal about religious leaders who were harming their sheep with their teachings.