Quoting Quiverfull: Love is a Choice?

Quoting Quiverfull: Love is a Choice? March 9, 2013

Voddie Baucham from his book “Family Driven Faith”

Many of us have completely divorced the concept of love from the mind and will. We speak of the heart as though it were the opposite of the mind and the will when in fact the mind and will are precisely where true love resides. I can no more love without my mind than I could speak without my tongue.

Love is a choice. Some people find this statement offensive because it just doesn’t sound “romantic.” That may be true, but our goal here is not romance—it’s love.

Comments open below

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.

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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  • Sometimes I think we are powerless over who we love. I’ve found myself in love with someone who had a heroin addiction and I think that was the first time I realized there was truth to a friend of mine’s frequent quotes, “You can’t choose who you love.” I often didn’t sympathize with women who couldn’t leave abusive husbands because I didn’t realize how love pulls you in so strongly.

    That being said, I don’t mind the belief that love is also a choice. I’ve often heard that said between people who are talking holding together a long-term relationship, but it’s probably something I’ve heard mostly in church circles.

    What I do find interesting is this book you quoted it from. The synopsis on Amazon says this: “More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that 75 to 88 percent of Christian teens walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college. Something must be done.

    Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, antifamily society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multigenerational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children.

    This bold book is an urgent call to parents—and the church—to return to biblical discipleship in and through the home. This paperback edition includes a new preface and a study guide to facilitate interaction in small-group settings and to help parents put principles into practice.”

    It sound scary, written from a place of fear: fear of society, fear of outsiders, fear of non-belief. I was once a minister and am now atheist. For the most part it’s taken two years and a lot of fighting for people to accept my non-belief (though they may not understand it). Having a child walk away from the faith is not that tragic. For example, I’m happier. I don’t have a lot of guilt. I’m free to make decisions. Everyone’s temperament is different; some people can hold on to their faith and be better people.

    I wonder if his statistics on those who walk away from faith are even accurate. This is the same pitch that Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries uses to claim his ministry is VITAL in reaching teens. Teen Mania Ministries now has over 70 claims against it from alumni of the program that the program was violent, coercive, and has elements of torture. Those elements of torture are what Luce uses to disciple teens. The author of the above-mentioned book, Voddie Baucham, uses the term “return to biblical discipleship” which is an extremely dangerous term. There’s a whole movement that started in the 80’s in the US (I can trace it best to the 80’s, though it may extend further back) to disciple and reach lost teens. Groups like Youth With a Mission, Teen Mania Ministries, my own group which I attended for nearly a decade, Master’s Commission, all focus on discipleship. Master’s Commission recruited me in by selling me fear of the outside, secular world and coaching me to believe that I would change the world and be an elite Christian if I attended the program and devoted my life to worship God. How did they do this? Discipleship. Discipleship is authority based and pulls no punches when it comes to punishment, public humiliation, etc. all for the cost of the greater good (serving the Lord). To be discipled is to be disciplined and to beat your mind, body and spirit into submission, to refuse to be yourself, to play thought police over yourself and allow others to play thought police, too.

    Are 75% to 88% of teens really turning away from God during their freshman year of college? Doubtful. If they are, does that mean they’re unreached? No. It means they don’t want whatever form of Christianity they were taught as a kid and as soon-to-be adults, parents should let their teens walk away from it if they want, not coerce them into believing and dominate them with discipline.

  • *It sounds scary, not it sound scary…excuse the typo

  • Excellent comment!!

  • Tori

    Love is not a choice, love is a calling, love is sacrifice. It means all the more when you give it freely, not under dictat.

  • Independent Thinker

    Bias Alert: I live less than ten miles away from Voodie Bachmann and attend church in the same city where he preaches. Voodie Bachmann doesn’t actually have a church himself he simply preaches one service a week at one of the local churches and calls that service “his church”.

    Just wanted to clear the air there. Being romantic is a character trait. Isn’t it wise to look for a partner in life that shares your values? It is very important to my husband and myself to put life on the back burner sometimes and to put the relationship first. I always love him but the romance is the reminder of that love. I am the type of person that needs that reminder and so is he. Looking for love and not romance to me sounds like a bit of an excuse and a cop out. It is a though Voodie is saying “Look ladies don’t have expectations, if you do it’s your fault when the relationship suffers. Love should be enough.” In reality it isn’t. You can love someone but to be happy and committed you need friendship, romance, laughter, companionship, and trust. The goal should be to find a person with that shares your values, that common bond will sustain your love for each other.

    Having read and/or watched Voddie Bachmann on more than one occasion I have always come to the same conclusion with his teachings. He blames expectations as a reason for short comings in marriages and families. Expectations aren’t always bad in relationships.