Quoting Quiverfull: Respecting Your Father?

Quoting Quiverfull: Respecting Your Father? June 7, 2013

by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin of Visionary Daughters –But My Father Isn’t Like Your Father

You close by saying that you desire to “treat my father with respect, no matter how little I respect him in so many issues these days…” and perhaps you believe this will fulfill your obligation to honor him. But the Bible is clear that mere lip-service doesn’t count as honor: “…not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” (Colossians 3:22)

We are going to be most blunt on this fourth point, as this is the most serious of all our concerns. Throughout your email you betrayed the state of your heart in statements like these: “…he does not know how to utilize my energies…he does not breath life and vision into our family!”,”he failed to breath life into what I was doing,” “he repeatedly hurt me by seeming to discount my efforts for him,” “he failed in bringing this into our home,” “he allows life’s cares to choke what his dreams and visions are,” “he is not providing the vision and structure that I need,” “my father does not provide it,” “his way makes absolutely NO SENSE,” “I cannot MAKE my father do what your father does for you all!” “I am angry at my father for not providing it for me, as yours has for you.” etc.

We fear for you, that you have been desensitized and seared your conscience to the point that you think this derision is acceptable. When Scripture commands that we honor and obey our parents, it doesn’t give any conditions and provisos in case our fathers don’t seem respectable to us. It’s not an option. To make the statements above, you clearly do not honor him in thought, and you did not honor him in deed (your object was not to cover for your father’s supposed weaknesses, like Shem and Japheth did for Noah, but to expose them.) You say you love him, but you talk as though you despise him. Don’t let anyone make you think that that is normal or acceptable – Scripture calls this attitude accursed. “Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deu 27:16)

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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  • Cathy W

    What if your father is genuinely despicable, though? Comes home drunk, blows his paycheck on the lottery, kicks the puppy on the way in the door, slaps Mom around when she doesn’t bring his sammitch fast enough? You’re not allowed to even *feel* disrespect towards him?

  • Lolly

    There is so much that could be said here, the promotion of dishonest and possibly dangerous relationships, the reasons why this person would even write these things to the Botkins, what answer other than sit down and shut up did she expect? But it seems to tie in so well to Vyckie’s recent post on the will to matter:

    “Kids who have been raised in this very situation are coming of age, and they’re feeling like maybe they are mere cogs in the wheels of the “biblical family” institutions which we’ve established. Now they want to know, “Do WE matter?””

    I think this is a good illustration, in that one party, the father, is dismissed from ever having to hold up his end of the bargain, even though he is supposedly the “head of the household”, while the other side is commanded to hold up their end. That’s not an honest relationship. It all comes down to Who Matters? The childrens’ needs never seem to.

  • Nightshade

    So you’re supposed to honor and obey your father no matter what, even if he seems to not care at all about you (whether that’s truly the case or not), when his actions make no sense to you, when he is not providing for your needs as a parent is supposed to do…sounds suspiciously like blind worship to me.

  • lodrelhai

    You know, if they’re going to toss about scriptures concerning unquestioning obedience, they could at least get them RIGHT.

    Colossians 3:22 up there? That is addressed to SERVANTS, not children. Not that I think servants should have to obey out of fear either, but the full dedication is instructed to working adults.

    The children are instructed in 3:20 to obey because it pleases the Lord, but there’s no word on attitude. I think that’s partially because the author knows children have less self-control than adults, so getting them to do something they don’t want to is struggle enough. But I also think it’s because of verse 3:21, which is the admonishment to FATHERS to not provoke their children to wrath. lest they be discouraged.

    Sounds to me like “provoking to wrath” is exactly what that father did, and he got the result that was promised.

  • Jesus tied honouring your parents, as an adult, not even to respecting them, but to be willing to provide for them financially. (Mat 15:4-6)

    Do any SAHD ever honour her father the way Jesus said?
    What is more, the Botkins’s are constantly taking “honor your father” out of the simple context of “honor your father and mother”. Both always go together in the Bible! That just shows who is actually worshipped in patriarchy. (Hint: NOT God.)

  • Madame

    Where’s Von (The Real Man) when we need him?

  • Saraquill

    My advice would be to not listen to these sisters.

  • Margaret Marquez

    the patriarchy movement is about man-worship, plain and simple—they can dress it up all they like, its still what it boils down to

  • Even the name say it. It is not the God-rule movement, but the patriarchy (father-rule) movement.

  • No. You and mom need to sacrifice yourselves and then jebus will magically change dad into the perfect father.

  • Nonsense on stilts.

  • Cathy W

    And the impossibility of regulating your emotions – because it’s not enough to act respectfully in spite of your feelings, you have to feel respect in your heart, too! – will either just take care of itself or else become a sign that you’re a terrible daughter and you’re doomed to hell. Nope, not spiritually abusive at all…