Quoting Quiverfull: No One Else Will Do?

Quoting Quiverfull: No One Else Will Do? March 16, 2014

by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies – No One Else Will Do

Dear mother, do not be lured away by the humanistic voices all around you, in the church and in the world. Listen to God’s voice. Listen to your heart. You are needed for your children. No one else will ever love and care for your children like you do. No one else will ever be sensitive to their physical needs, and especially their innermost needs as you are.

Someone else can always replace you in your career, but no one can adequately replace you as the mother of the children God has given you. You were born for this mission. It is your destiny. You are in the perfect will of God.

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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  • Allison the Great

    The same can easily be said about a child’s father. But oh yes, the father has to provide food and shelter, right? Well so does the mother. Going to work and making money is part of raising children. Families cannot get by one salary anymore, especially families who are anti-college.

  • “Families cannot get by one salary anymore.”

    In 95% of cases you are correct. Families CAN get by on one salary, but it is very, very difficult.

  • I’m confused – how is it that a woman has a unique set of skills when it comes to mothering her children, but when it comes to her career she is suddenly replaceable? How is it that a mother’s individual skills make her anything less than a unique contributor in the workplace?

  • Trollface McGee

    So if you work then you’re no longer a mother? I don’t think it works like that. You don’t have to be physically present 24/7 in order to be a loving, good parent and I’d much rather have a loving, caring parent than the brainwashing and abusive parent that Quiverfull value.

  • tulips

    Probably depends on the definition of the term “get by”.

  • I’m the breadwinner for a one-income family, and I think we’re doing all right. But I acknowledge that it was a combination of good circumstances and my personal choices to get here.

  • tulips

    Exactly, they change the meaning of the terminology to sanitize the message which is why it’s dangerous. What you mean by “get by” and what a person making minimum wage or there abouts means by “get by” are two very different sets of reality. Most Quiverfull families are not well educated high wage earners (you’re fainting from shock, I know 😉 ) In context, this message is telling women/families that it’s more important for women to be in their proper “role” than for children to get medical attention/dentist/clothing/food/shelter/education. They can “get by” if they are just frugal enough and willing to drop their standards of living enough and when “get by” means not die immediately.

  • Nightshade

    If I hadn’t been working full time we’d have been on the streets since my husband had little clue about earning money and less about managing it. But I suppose I should have just sat at home and trusted his god…the god who kept telling him to do one thing, then something different, who simply could not get his act together and make up his mind what we were supposed to do with our lives.

  • Nea

    You are needed for your children. No one else will ever love and care
    for your children like you do. No one else will ever be sensitive to
    their physical needs, and especially their innermost needs as you are.

    I learned a lot about fundamentalist Christianity when I realized that everything they said about human motherhood applies equally to any given female intelligent animal. Chimpanzees. Dolphins. Elephants. Sewer rats. I thought it was evolutionists who equated people to animals, but which female creature on that list doesn’t love and care for her own young more than any other of her species, which she is born and destined to give birth to as many as possible without birth control?

    Someone else can always replace you in your career

    Okay, how long a list of women inventors/artists/authors do I need to rattle off to prove how stupid that statement was (and that’s before I point out that saying “your career is motherhood; you can be replaced in your career” pretty much points out that any dedicated person can mother a child…) How many women? 10? 25? 50? 100? 1000? Could someone else truly have written To Kill A Mockingbird? Gone undercover in an insane asylum to show how horrible they were? Invented frequency hopping?

  • Nea

    A la Debi Pearl and the infamous “animal feed” period. Or whichever beyond Rubies person was raising her kids in an unheated, smoke-filled, mold-infested house.

  • tulips

    Wasn’t one of them also using cut up newspaper for sanitary pads because her husband wouldn’t or couldn’t buy her some? And which one was boasting about how they are all wearing winter coats and dancing around the house because there’s no heat and it’s Winter?

  • Nea

    I hadn’t heard the newspaper story.

    How sad. Seriously, honestly, sad to be in such dire straits in the first place, and then to be only allowed to be cheerful, submissive, and upbeat about it!

  • tulips

    I somehow continue to be amazed by the scammy appeals to ego in this culture. Emotional manipulation run amuck. Is she selling supplements as well?

  • Nea

    It’s all ego and appearance, all the time.

  • Edie Moore McGee

    So who takes care of Nancy’s grandkids when their “trim, healthy mamas” are writing and marketing books? Or are they, like women such as Phyllis Schlafly, exceptions from the rules they’d have the rest of us follow?

  • Nightshade

    Just a not-so-healthy dose of hypocrisy. ‘Do as we say, not as we do.’

  • Joy

    Are you serious? Animal feed? No heat in your house during winter? Cut-up newspaper for sanitary pads? Some of those are grounds to have the children removed from the house (I say house because that is not a home!).

    Ohhhh, but that’s why we don’t talk to government officials and why we don’t like government “interference” with private family matters. I’m sorry, I forgot that for a minute. *headdesk*

  • tulips

    *Left index finger on nose, right index finger points at Joy*

  • Nea

    Yup. Because making sure that the home environment is safe for women and children is just so anti-Christian!

  • tulips

    And don’t forget to buy our new weight loss book! Chock full of woooo and fraudulent “scientific” claims that not a one of us is in any way credentialed to make! We’ll start by making it a bounded choice as per usual of course. Very expensive meal suggestions for people we’ve just instructed in the fine art of ensuring multi generational poverty. So simultaneously and cheerfully “live within your means” and “be sober” and “frugal” while at the same time preparing designer meals around high end fresh produce, supplements, and choice meat cuts.

  • Rebecca Horne

    So, speaking from the pov of somebody who has an adopted sibling, I have to say, um…no?
    I mean, trying to compare who loves more is usually a useless endeavor, but…other stuff matters too. Just giving birth to somebody doesn’t automatically grant you the ability to see what their needs are and meet them.

    Isn’t that obvious?

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    No one else will ever be sensitive to their physical needs, and especially their innermost needs as you are.

    Really? I’ve met some parents who are utterly clueless about their children’s inner lives, and many of us recall from childhood how getting one’s own values and ambitions all tangled up in one’s children is not exactly uncommon. Meanwhile, those scary evil caregivers you’re not supposed to trust with your children have been educated in child development and best practices before being involved in child care . . . or at absolute minimum, have to prove they know not to hit children with blunt objects.

    It’s not that one way is better than the other. Parents and caregivers are both pieces of the puzzle, as are a huge bundle of other influences that help form who each child will become. But then, that’s the problem right there, isn’t it? If parents can’t control every single influence on their children, the kids might start thinking differently about the world and they might not be perfectly obedient Jesus warriors anymore.

  • Saraquill

    “No one else will ever be sensitive to their physical needs, and especially their innermost needs as you are.”

    Says a woman who did nothing when her nearby daughter’s home had no heat in the dead of winter, was heavily damaged and filled with smoke.

  • Jewel

    I believe a mother staying home with her young children is a wonderful choice (one choice, not the only one or best one!), and I am very thankful that I had the privilege of making that choice when my children were young. However, someone who is unfamiliar with Above Rubies teachings may read this and think, “Oh, that’s nice, she’s encouraging and supporting stay at home mothers”. Well, that’s what I thought when I was first exposed to Nancy Campbell’s teachings but nothing could be farther from the truth. Her goal is to instill absolute terror in them.

    It’s the “message behind the message” that is disturbing. Staying at home with your children quickly becomes never, ever, under ANY circumstances trust your children with ANY other caregiver EVER. Only the mother can be the nurturer, caregiver, teacher, doctor, nurse, coach, etc., etc. Following her teaching you will be terrified of even leaving your baby with a sitter to have a date night with your husband. You will be terrified of taking them to the doctor. You will be terrified of sending them to public school or doing anything other than homeschooling them forever. It is amazing how insidious this teaching is. I didn’t start out that way, terrified of the world, until exposed to AR teaching and others like it.

  • Nightshade

    There’s more to being a mother than donating the egg and a room for nine months.

  • “Someone else can always replace you in your career,”
    No. Nobody else can write the books or manuals you wrote, draw or design the things you’d have drawn, etc. And in jobs with a human touch – teaching, social work, etc. – there are always ways you’d have interacted that cannot be replicated
    by someone else, in the same way your mothering cannot be replicated.
    ” but no one can adequately replace you as the mother of the children God has given you” I have heard of several adults whose foster mothers, aunts, grandmothers, preschool teachers or whoever did a better job than their mothers. I don’t use the word “replace”, though – When your mother (or father) is inadequate, nothing 100% replaces that.
    But the truth that nothing replaces a mother don’t mean children should be kept with their mother always – others have contributions to make too, even if children have great mothers. Children need both anchors and wings. And mothers can’t actually give wings: But they can encourage children to fly. And nurse them when they fall trying. What Nancy Campbell want is to keep children and moms in the nest. She don’t believe in flying.

  • Levedi

    Thank you, Rebecca, you beat me to it. I’m a foster mom who hopes to adopt. There’s a little kid asleep in the next room who WON’T be dieing from abuse and neglect and who WILL be given a chance to grow up a happy, healthy person because I’m the mom now, not the person who gave birth. And I’m well aware that my innate bio skills are not enough to meet all my kiddo’s needs. I may be the only mom, but I’m not doing this alone – without the host of mentors and friends and specialists my little one would not be doing nearly as well.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Funny enough Zsuzsanna Anderson wrote a review of it saying it was good basic diet and nutrition information before losing it over their constant use of Stevia. She’s using the same information about stevia that all of the crunch fundy moms used to use about nutrasweet. I don’t know if it’s true, I just find it odd if it’s an artificial sweetener they immediately start saying it causes fetal death.

  • tulips

    Lol…stevia could be the modern equivalent of Happy Fun Ball and Zsuzsanna Anderson couldn’t prove it or explain the mechanism. I’m quite entertained actually by considering the level of distress passing even undergrad Biology or Anatomy would cause her.

  • quietglow

    “…no one can adequately replace you as the mother of the children God has given you. You were born for this mission.”

    Haaang on. You were born for the mission of giving birth, as were your parents (or, uh, your mother, I guess) and now that you have given birth your kids were born for that mission? Or at least the female ones?

    Okay, so everyone was born for the mission. If nobody’s special everyone is, and if everyone’s special nobody is. So maybe it’s fine to parent and do something else too, because otherwise nobody’s going to do it.