Quoting Quiverfull: Allow Smiling Only?

Quoting Quiverfull: Allow Smiling Only? February 20, 2014

by Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies – Filled With Joy

As we shared Family Devotions this morning I thanked each of our lovely Above Rubies helpers for coming into the kitchen each morning with a smile on their face, filled with happiness and joy. They fill our home with joy as they seek to be more and more like Jesus. And, it proves they have been trained well by their parents.

One of the girls shared how that one morning she came downstairs to the breakfast table in her home with a grouchy face. Her mother sent her straight back to her room and told her to come back with happy smiling face. Good training!

I hope you don’t let your children, and especially your teens (they should certainly be trained by now) come to the breakfast table with a sour and grumpy face. If they do, send them straight back to change their countenance and come back with a smile! Teach your children that the action they put on their face will soon change their attitude within. And you are also training your children for marriage. What a horrible thing for a spouse to wake up to a grumpy and grouchy wife. Of course, you’ll have a wonderful smile on your face, to show them the way, won’t you?

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 and Spiritual Abuse 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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  • Nightshade

    Great lesson in how to take potentially good advice and twist it into nearly unrecognizable form. Yes, if a person decides to try and be cheerful they probably will feel better soon, and I can see not allowing one grouch to spoil everyone else’s day, but what’s wrong with just keeping quiet if you’re unhappy rather than putting on a manic grin? Or…revolutionary concept coming up…actually TALK about it and try to resolve whatever might be going on?

  • Saraquill

    Because the lesson to the children is apparently supposed to be that what they feel doesn’t matter.

  • Carry

    If the Joker was a Fundy, he’d probably be Nancy Campbell.

  • Joy

    Yeah, if you get good at denying all “negative” emotions, you will appear happy all the time. But that doesn’t mean that you are actually happy. It just means you aren’t in touch with your emotions.

    But hey, who’s interested in reality or truth? Appearance is all that matters!

  • This sounds like child abuse to me! It invalidates a child’s emotions unless they comply with your idea of what is acceptable and teaches them to lie about how they feel.

    How much better to teach your children to recognise their emotions and then how to deal with them!

  • KarenOfRocks

    I’m sooo glad my cat doesn’t care what expression is on my face, as long as he gets his morning scritches. By the time my husband’s awake, I’m usually up to greeting him with a cheerful “good morning!” But it’s really the kitty, not some deity or self-will, that makes it possible.

  • Nea

    And again, appearance trumps reality. She may say that a smile makes you actually feel better, but what she’s demanding is that everyone smile like a Stepford wife 24/7. Sleep badly? Smile! Bad cramps? Smile! Migraine? Turn that frown upside down or you’ll be divorced if you can even get married in the first place, grouchy girl!

    She may not be demanding a whipping a la Pearl, but I notice how often she’s equating getting to eat with being able to fake the appropriate emotion.

    My cats are allowed more freedom of expression than children in this lifestyle. My cats.

  • Nea

    “Like” child abuse? Refusing food is a form of child abuse, and she’s blatantly equating getting breakfast with faking the right emotion.

  • Well, it’s like this. When I was a teen, if anyone even spoke to me for an hour after waking, all they would get was a grunt. I never went to the table with a smily face. I don’t wake up cheerful. Nothing good comes from a day that begins with getting out of bed, I always say. I have a cousin who has a daughter who bounces up, “wake up happy morning”. My cousin threatened to strangle her. My mother is happy and chatty in the morning. I just don’t get it. I guess I’d never be allowed out of my room if I were part of the Campbell brainwashing machine. What I’m trying to say is that there are morning people and night people. There are people who wake up grumpy and go to sleep happy. Let’s face it, Nancy Campbell isn’t firing on all thrusters with her denial of the realities of life, religious or otherwise. So, she’s a morning person, good for her. Oh, I keep forgetting in the world of submissive women, there is to be no individuality nor deviation from the norm. There can be no thoughts other than what are given.

  • Allison the Great

    I hope you don’t let your children, and especially your teens (they should certainly be trained by now)

    Trained? Like with beatings and all that other crap? It’s interesting how they train their kids. They train their kids to fill their stereotypical gender role and they teach them to suppress their real personalities and their real aspirations. They train their kids to always live in fear of a beating or for being made to go hungry if they don’t outwardly express the right emotions. These kids live their whole lives in fear of what will happen with them if they aren’t that perfect person. That is brain washing them. I can’t for the life of me understand why a God that loves us and who made us all so different would want us to have identical personalities and be robots. Having a personality that is not congruent with our gender, and having emotions is part of being human. It’s not an obstacle that God wants us to overcome. For someone to continuously tell their children that they have to hide/not be who they really are (unless they’re like Dexter, then by all means they should hide and/or not be that shit) and try to force themselves to be something they are not (like forcing their daughters to be like Jane Bennett and their sons to be like Rambo) is just cruel. What they’re really saying to these kids is “yeah, I know you’re like this and you have this type of personality, but God doesn’t really like that, and He won’t like you unless you spend your life being something that is impossible to be for most people, so if you could change yourself, that’d be great!” .

    My grandmother, who is incredibly religious, has always told me that God made me a tomboy with a mouth on her so I could make Him laugh when I get to heaven. That is something that is more in tune with what a Loving God would do. He would not make people that He hates and then force them to be what he wants them to be or else He’ll send them to Hell.

    These people are not Good Christian Parents. A Good Christian Parent would celebrate their child’s individuality and help that child see the better parts of themselves so they can be the best person that they can be. Good Christian Parents see their kids as a gift, not just another person in the Fundie Army that is really a rebellious little sinner that has to be trained .

  • Nightshade

    That whole bouncing of bed cheerful and chatty thing? Unnatural, I say…unnatural!

  • Allison the Great

    Same here. I’m not even close to being coherent until I’ve had a Monster or Red Bull or something. I have to get up at 4 to go to work. You don’t get a smile from me at stupid o’clock in the morning.

  • Good point!

  • Astrin Ymris

    Heaven forfend that a mother should ask their child what was wrong… that might result in discovering that a church elder had molested them or something else that would be nasty and distasteful to deal with.

    I also imagined a bunch of Nancy Campbell’s disciples dismay at reading that they’re expected to police their children’s facial expressions. As if trying to live up to the flawless paragon of a “Proverbs 31 woman” wasn’t stressful enough already!

    I wonder if this insistence on smiling is intended to make prospective converts think “Gee, they must have the answer… everyone looks so happy.” Or maybe it’s to make women feel that they’re the only one who’s miserable and at the end of their rope?

  • Nea

    What the kids feel (or want, or NEED) hasn’t mattered in any other advice from the leaders of this movement.

  • Nea

    I am a morning person who gets up at 5. I’m still not *smiling* about it!

  • Nea

    I like your grandmother!

  • Nea

    Never ask what’s wrong. That leads to unpleasant things like having to actually parent a three-dimensional person rather than breeze through the day with a bunch of Homo sapiens as well trained as any service animal – indeed trained to BE service animals, be that service to be your little cultural warrior, your unpaid domestic staff, or simply your own emotional pick-me-up.

    As for your ending either/or question at the end, I do believe the answer is “yes.”

  • Nea

    Once again, it’s taken me a while to realize what we’ve all overlooked.

    Campbell says their helpers seek to be more and more like Jesus.. She also says they function to fill her home office with joy.

    Does the Bible say that *Jesus* woke up every day with a cheerful smile spreading only cheer and joy wherever he went? No!

    So what is it, Campbell? So those girls exist as your personal pick-me-up (and convenient club against all non-Stepford wives and children) or are they allowed to actually *be like Jesus?* Which is it?

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    Make no mistake, this is emotional abuse. And it sets the stage for more abuse and neglect by creating unrealistic expectations and creating the conditions where red flags (like feeling ill or depressed) are to be sublimated and ignored rather than expressed and addressed.

  • Nightshade

    Jesus threw tables and chased people with a whip once, whose definition of ‘cheer and joy’ would that be?

  • gimpi1

    Mine too. I also wouldn’t beat them if they aren’t perfect. Hell, we’ve got a 17-year-old, blind and occasionally incontinent kitty who’s on his way out of this world (brain-tumor). We clean up after him, cuddle and fuss over him and do everything we can to make him comfortable. Because he’s an individual and we love him. We love him enough to put up with some inconvenience. Apparently more than Mrs. Campbell loves her children.

  • So frustrating to read, because it’s great advice for SOME kids and SOME situations. It’s appalling and frightening that they actually think it’s blanket advice for ALL kids.

  • Madame

    “These kids live their whole lives in fear of what will happen with them if they aren’t that perfect person.”

    And it doesn`t wear off when they reach adulthood.

  • Madame

    You know, I could get behind her if she said to send a child away when they are purposefully ruining the meal. Grumbling, whining, picking fights, shouldn’t be allowed at the table. But a quiet frown? I guess she’s never woken up grumpy or with a headache.

  • Independent Thinker

    Let me guess the Above Rubies helpers are actually unpaid laborers put to work for Nancy’s personal gain.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Re: “…That leads to unpleasant things like having to actually parent a three-dimensional person rather than breeze through the day with a bunch of Homo sapiens as well trained as any service animal- indeed trained to BE service animals, be that service to be your little cultural warrior, your unpaid domestic staff, or simply your own emotional pick-me-up….”

    Sadly, a lot of fundgelical parents who participated in the ‘Adoption Gospel’ wound up disrupting their God-commanded adoptions when the “orphans” they “rescued” turned out to be traumatized kids who were demanding, stubborn and occasionally defiant, rather than compliant, cuddly and “appreciative” (code for grateful) of having been “rescued”.


    BTW, in reading adoption blogs, I’ve noticed a lot of dissatisfaction that the kids aren’t “affectionate on the parents terms”, which seems to translate as not being willing to let their APs hug, cuddle, kiss, and carry them at any time their APs want to do so. This is actually listed on self-proclaimed “Attachment Therapists” checklists as being a sign of Reactive Attachment Disorder– which if not corrected by the methods the therapist is selling will lead to the kids growing up to be sociopaths.


    Most of these so-called “symptoms” ARE NOT INCLUDED in the APA definition of RAD, which simply refers to difficulty trusting and attaching to caregivers, following abuse or severe neglect in early childhood. Children with the “inhibited” form are withdrawn from everyone, children with the “disinhibited” form approach strangers as readily as familiar people. That’s all.

    The checklist is apparently a laundry list of the problems many parents face with adopting older kids, combined with a disturbing tendency to project sinister motivations on these kids, making them seem almost demonic.


  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I work at a facility that has a high percentage of kids from failed evangelical adoptions. Most of the kids are FAS and RAD, plus the damage inflicted by an uninformed evangelical family. Tragedy of huge proportions

  • Nea

    Of course not. That *IS* the way they were trained up to go.

  • Serena763

    Yep. My Mom adopted my little brother..it was God’s will she did this and he told her she was going to adopt this boy and through love an prayer he would be healed of his demons and grow up to be a doctor and take care of her. Despite our desperate please she adopted him..both parents drug addicts and he has severe mental disabilities due to this. Almost destroyed their marriage, huge financial strain, and soured her already strained relationships with her children. He will live at home with them forever..medication 5x a day..cannot be left unattended. So now she complains about “if only I knew back then that brain damage is permanent”. *rolls eyes*

  • Astrin Ymris

    Most of the adoption bloggers I read do get that the Special Needs kids they adopt may be dependent on them all their lives… or they give lip service to the concept, in any event. They talk a lot about giving the kids “a chance” without “negative expectations” and about all the wonders God can accomplish…

    But they do seem to expect their neurotypical or mildly impaired adoptees to turn into eager-to-please, affectionate, fully-acculturated family members after a few weeks or months of patience, love, and kind-but-firm discipline. Yes, they expect it to be “hard at first”, but they’re sure that the siren song promise of adoption “They’ll be just like your born kids” will be fulfilled.

    The pre-adoption education and training that fundgelical adoption agencies provide often doesn’t give prospective adoptive parents realistic expectations for what it’s like to take a traumatized kid from another country into your home. Nor do many of the “child collector” adoption blogs, that continually urge the reader to take up “rescuing” kids themselves.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Um, real RAD… or kids with PTSD and severe behavior issues who just haven’t bonded with particular parents?

    I’m afraid I’ve become jaundiced about the RAD diagnosis after reading of all kids killed by “attachment therapy”– and the kids killed by child abuse whose adoptive parents claim that their kids “self-injured” themselves to death due to RAD.

    It IS a tragedy of huge proportions! :,(

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Yes, we are talking real RAD, not the kids not bonding with the adoptive families. We keep kids a couple of years and have a fleet of headshrinkers. I think that outside of facilities too many people are too eager to give a RAD diagnosis but inpatient for a significant length of time it starts to be obvious.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    People who adopt to “rescue” a kid REALLY shouldn’t adopt. People should adopt because they just want a kid that they’re going to treat as any of their biological children. I think a lot of the people who adopt to “rescue” have this idea that the kid will be so grateful for having a home and family that s/he’ll act like the perfect child. Seriously, adoption agencies should screen for these types of people.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Question: the families that adopted these kids; are they, like, the types of people who believe that mental illness is something you can overcome with love and willpower?

  • Mermaid Warrior

    I find the use of the word “trained” in context of a person to be… A little disturbing.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    I could make an S&M joke here, but I’d much rather point out that I could make such a joke rather than actually make one.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Are you saying we should worship cats?

  • B.E. Miller

    All cats agree with this…

  • 0000

    Oh boy, what a way to create a time bomb.

  • 0000

    lol! The only time I do that is when I’m excited for something happening that day. Any other time and I’m a zombie.

  • 0000

    I don’t remember the whip honestly. I do know that the Bible never mentioned him laughing.