Quoting Quiverfull: Is Maternalness Everything?

Quoting Quiverfull: Is Maternalness Everything? December 2, 2012

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.

Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies March 8, 2011

The ultimate glory and beauty of the female is her maternalness. This is who God created her to be—a nurturer, nourisher and nest-builder. This is the greatest anointing that we are to walk in as women. It is more than what we do;  it is who we are. The most female thing that we can do is to embrace our maternalness and live it to the full. It is not insignificant. Motherhood originates in the very heart of God. One of the names of God, Almighty is translated El Shaddai in the Hebrew and means “the breasted one.”

Every female has maternal emotions, whether she has children or not. If God has blessed you with children, pour out your motherly affections upon them. You are doing what you were born to do. This is the glory of your femininity. If you have not been blessed with children, ask God who He wants you to pour out your motherly hormones upon. There are so many hurting in our world today—orphans, widows, single mothers, the elderly and the poor and the needy. This is how you will fulfill your destiny.

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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  • Jennifer

    I don’t think “maternalness” is a real word.

  • suzannecalulu

    It’s not but it is one that Nancy Campbell loves to use…

  • Persephone

    Nancy doesn’t seem to believe that a dictionary or encyclopedia are necessary because her made-up definitions are waaaaaaaaaaaay out there.

    El Shaddai does not refer to breasts. It may refer to a city, or it may refer to mountains. While the Grand Tetons may be a tribute to a woman, most mountains are not thought of as breasts.

    Also, her translation of woman just leaves me groaning in its punniness.

  • Saraquill

    Pouring “motherly hormones upon” others provides for a rather disgusting mental image. Also, I don’t think biochemistry works in the sense that substances in the body turns you into a mother or parent.

  • The name “El Shaddai” predates the Hebrews as a socio-political group. The Ugarites used what is effectively the same term for the head of their pantheon (also named El, or possibly Ilu, given that their script had no vowels), and it clearly meant “God of the mountains,” where El made his home. Breasts were the provenance of his wife, Atherat (aka Asherah); there are multiple references to her nursing young gods and young kings alike.

  • motherly hormones. LOL.

  • There is certainly some merit to the idea that “Shaddai” could contain “breasts” as one of its meanings.

    In any event, whether it does or not, I have no quarrel with the idea that the nature of God encompasses motherhood as well as fatherhood. There are certainly many maternal metaphors in both Testaments describing God as nursing, as giving birth, etc. In fact, I’m surprised to hear DeMoss say this, since most Quiverfull/patriarchalists I’ve talked to insist that it’s wrong to consider God as Mother– that God should be viewed and spoken of only as Father.

    The problem I have is that DeMoss has no basis for the claim that motherhood is “more than what we do; it’s who we are,” in the sense that motherhood is a woman’s chief design and “greatest anointing.” According to the Bible, our chief design and greatest anointing as Christians is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. And that goes for both men and women.

  • Sarah-Sophia

    I find it odd that she describes caring for children or helping the unfortunate as pouring out “motherly hormones.” What does she call it when men do these things?

  • Rae

    I almost spit out my mac and cheese at “motherly hormones”.

  • Marie

    As with most QF notions, this leaves no room for the variety of humanity God has put on this earth. Some women DON’T have maternal feelings, and that doesn’t make them an abomination or aberration. Motherhood is not all that a woman is–we have more worth than that.

  • Rebecca W.

    IF El Shaddai means ‘the breasted one’ then I think it must be perfectly acceptable to refer to God as ‘She’.

    I am nothing if not consistent. 😉