Quoting Quiverfull: Betrothal Contracts?

Quoting Quiverfull: Betrothal Contracts? August 29, 2013

by Vaughn Ohlman from True Love Doesn’t Wait – The Betrothal of Joshua and Laura

Congratulations to Joshua and Laura on their upcoming nuptials

It is with great joy in the mighty blessing of the Lord that we, the undersigned, in obedience to God do Covenant or Witness thereto that:


Joshua Phillip Ohlman


Laura Marie Camp


Are this  the 23rd day of August, 2013 bound in the sight of God and man in the unbreakable Covenant of Betrothal; are now husband and wife to each other; and await the blessed day when they will come together physically.


In this covenant we bind ourselves or our children to the following:


A lifelong continual sexual union in which the body of each spouse belongs to the other.

A union which shall be ever open to the blessing of children; and where the children shall be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

A union in which the husband shall love his wife, as Christ loves the Church; washing her in the water of the word.

A union in which the wife shall love and respect her husband, love her children, and keep the home; helping raise her children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

A union, under Christ, with the husband as its head, the wife as his submissive helpmeet, and the children bound in obedience to their parents.



We make this Covenant with the following purposes and goals:


That fornication may be avoided by the God given use of the marriage bed.

That a Godly seed may be raised up.

That the word of God be not blasphemed.

That God’s command to be fruitful and multiply, replenish the Earth, subdue it, and have dominion over it, may be obeyed.

That the relationship between Christ and the Church may be reflected.

That, above all, God may be glorified.


What God has joined together let not man put asunder.


In testimony and covenant thereto the following set their names:

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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  • Baby_Raptor

    Don’t you just love how quick Fundies are to promise that other people will do/not do things?

    No respect for a person’s agency. Honestly, that’s one of fundiedom’s biggest crimes in my opinion.

  • Independent Thinker

    I noticed the very first clause of the contract was about sex. How classy.

  • Interesting, that any and all mention of love is put under the “commandment” section, instead of the “purposes and goals” of marriage. It’s almost as though a marriage is simply a union of convenience for the purpose of each spouse using the other to avoid that nasty nasty fornicating business and to demonstrate to the world how much more holy and righteous and sanctified their union is (and as long as one of them has a penis and the other has a vagina, all
    men and women are pretty much interchangeable when it comes to marriage,
    doncha know).

    In that paradigm, it makes sense that the parents would have to *command* the two to actually, you know, LOVE each other. Because love and companionship and building a life together isn’t actually the point of people getting married. Athough the Bible is full of nice little concepts like love and kindness and trust within marriage, these are actually just the perks. No, the only actual, important, and Godly purpose of marriage is Avoiding Sexual Sin. Oh, and reinforcing the Holy Hierarchy of God-Jesus-Holy Spirit-Men-Women-Children-Slaves…just to make sure there’s no confusion about who gets to order whom around.


  • Stephanie

    It’s so sex-obsessed. As if marriage is nothing more than fornication prevention.

  • Cathy W

    I see that a lot in statements made by anti-same-sex-marriage folks: “They just want to force me to approve of their sex lives.” If you believe that’s all straight marriage is about, it’s really easy to believe that’s all same-sex marriage is about, too.
    Some sociologists have done work exploring the differences between how liberals and conservatives view marriage and family structure, and that’s a big one. Since liberals don’t hew to “sex only within straight marriage”, the idea that you need to get married in order to have social permission to sleep together never comes up… recommending a book, I think Vaughn Ohlman could have been a “red” case study for Naomi Cahn and June Carbone’s “Red Families vs. Blue Families”, which is summed up pretty well here – heck, he’s almost a caricature of the “red” position.

  • Nightshade

    It took Mr. Ohlman long enough to provide a wife for his 22 y/o son…I imagine the poor boy has been fighting fornication for years now, what was his dad thinking making him wait so long for a woman of his own? Very young marriage is best, as soon as one’s kids reach legal age? Practice what you preach, Von!

  • a-mckeown

    I think I need to barf after reading this.

  • persephone

    So Von finally managed to get his kid married off. I am already filled with pity for Laura Marie.

  • NeaDods

    That is just as creepy, sex-obsessed, and pro-slavery as I expected

    Funny how liberals and atheists are supposed to be the sexually obsessed ones, but our wedding announcements aren’t all “THEY’RE GONNA HAVE SEX NOW! LOTS AND LOTS! AND PROVE IT PUBLICALLY!”

  • CREEPEEE!!! {shudder}

  • ” We make this Covenant with the following purposes and goals:

    That the word of God be not blasphemed.”
    Now that is what I call irony. If Von or someone else convince readers that this way of doing marriage is indeed from “the word of God” (I don’t believe it is) , many of them will blaspheme the word because of that form of marriage.

  • texcee

    I’m only surprised that the wife is not required to be proven a virgin and that the blood-stained sheets following the wedding night must be displayed publicly to prove it.

  • Nightshade

    You never know, they may be required to do just that…after all, that IS biblical.

  • Holy cow. That just makes marriage sound so unappealing.

  • gimpi1

    I don’t believe they are married. This is a “betrothal contract” If I read it right, they are engaged, but without all that unnecessary “consent” stuff. He is arranging a marriage. I hope he understands that it’s not remotely legally enforceable.
    It reminds me of the “covenant marriage” stuff that was being touted a few years ago as an answer to divorce. Participants swore not to get a divorce except in the event of adultery or abuse. They wound up divorcing just as often as other married couples. And the “covenant” language was not enforceable when one or both parties wanted a divorce.

  • Naomi

    And what kind of person would want to be married to someone who doesn’t want to be married to you, but can’t legally divorce you and thus is stuck resenting you for the rest of your life? Ugh, ugh, ugh. Somehow THAT is supposed to “strengthen” the institution of marriage??

  • persephone

    Yes, I understand it’s the betrothal contract, but, as it states, they consider themselves bound together at this point. It was common in betrothal contracts that the couple was considered committed, as much as if they were married, with serious repercussions should one of the parties break the proposal.

    I just find it funny that Von, Mr Marry ‘Em Off As Soon As They Can Get It On, has several children well past that age who are unmarried.

  • KarenJo12

    Why didn’t he include the number of cows and goats he traded for the girl? Or did she come with a herd as her dowry?

  • Saraquill

    And sex is mentioned repeatedly throughout.

  • Independent Thinker

    If you click on the blog link a dozen people are supposed to sign this contract. The bride, groom, parents and siblings. I pity the poor soul picked to read the contract out loud to the entire group. I am pretty sure this was some sort of purity potluck dinner that was strung out over several hours or even worse done in church.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I would hope they’ve given up on that, since it’s commonly accepted knowledge that many things besides sex can break the hymen. I can’t imagine anything immoral about this, but I’ve been out of fundiedom for almost 10 years, so I may be out of practice.

  • Brennan

    Perhaps Mr. Ohlman’s recent railings against fathers of women who reject “imperfect” suitors can be better understood in light of this announcement. I’d almost like to notify their county clerk’s office about Ohlman Sr.’s very illegal views on the role of consent in the marriage contract. I wonder how interested they’d be in Mr.
    Ohlman’s publically stated intention to coerce his children in their choice of a spouse.
    That being said, I do hope that Joshua and Laura are happy (and that they want to be getting married). I just worry about them and about anyone raised on that kind of toxic message.

  • Trollface McGee

    That’s pretty much what he thinks marriage is for. I think he’s written previously that men should be given wives so they don’t look at porn. (and so they don’t have to ruin their manhood by cooking and cleaning and ironing their own stuff)

  • Trollface McGee

    Secular society is soooo sex obsessed… and them gays.. they’re just shoving their sexuality down our throats..
    Of course, congrats son, now you get to have lots of sex.. erm I mean congrats on your upcoming wedding which is likely legally invalid because of consent issues.. there’s absolutely nothing wrong or creepy or immoral about that.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Sadly, I doubt either of them are going to try and argue it.

  • Madame

    In normal circumstances, congratulations would be in order. But this is just so wrong I can’t bring myself to feel halfway happy for them.

    I hope Joshua and Laura were friends who liked each other and enjoyed each other’s company well before they got thrown together. I hope they both wished they would be chosen for each other. And I hope Joshua is in no hurry to bring his bride home to his father’s house to help relieve his need.

    Von believes that the groom now has the right to access his bride whenever the need hits. Laura is bound to him and must obligue, under his father’s roof.

  • texcee

    I wonder how old the girl is. If she’s under the age of consent and was coerced into this marriage, it could be considered statutory rape.

  • Yes, and what are Joshua Phillip Ohlman’s “imperfections”, considering he recently talked of giving daughters to the imperfect?

  • If she was any age and coerced, it is illegal…

  • Maybe she’s just sooo lucky to marry into that family, her father did away with the bride-gifts in gratitude?

  • mayarend

    Probably, no “godly woman” should be doing any of these other things… Since cooking, cleaning and raising babies doesn’t break the hymen.. .xD
    I mean it’s not like girls are supposed to play or.. anything, really.