Quoting Quiverfull: Stop Making Her Husband Look At Other Women?

Quoting Quiverfull: Stop Making Her Husband Look At Other Women? April 28, 2014

by Dannah Gresh at Spirit Led Women in Charisma Magazine – How Women Can Make Church a Safe Place for Men

After all, isn’t church supposed to be a place where they can go to be free from temptation? What’s a guy to do when the woman in his Sunday school class keeps showing up in a tight shirt and miniskirt, announcing it was a little cold in the parking lot?

I suppose he could sit on the front row every week. But come on, sisters! It’s time we accept some responsibility for this predicament.

Many of us are sinning where the men in our churches are concerned—and in the process, we’re sinning against God.

As Christian women, our greatest desire should be to please God in everything we do. First Peter 3:3 reminds us, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. … Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (NIV).

But some of us are getting up on Sunday mornings and adorning ourselves in ways that aren’t pleasing to God. The outfits we choose are intended to cause all eyes—especially men’s eyes—to be on us.

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.

Comments open below

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  • On the other hand, people can make church a safe place for women by not blaming us for, oh, pretty much everything.

  • Edie Moore McGee

    I have to say, though, and I realize some women may strongly disagree, is that there are appropriate things to wear and inappropriate things to wear. My mom could be somewhat arrogant about how wonderful her church was, and she was also somewhat judging about my life after I left churches like that. I visited her church on a Sunday morning when I was home for Christmas, and was really shocked to see women dressed like they were going to a very secular black tie event — bare dresses, sheer backs and shoulders, sparkles and the like. I said something to my mom and she said, “Well, they save their best clothes for church! They don’t go out to nightclubs like you do, so they have nowhere else to wear their fanciest dresses!” (Not that I went to nightclubs either, but I did go to the occasional black tie political or charity event. This was just Mama’s way of getting her judgment dings at me in.) I’m sure the ladies at her church “felt pretty” in those clothes, but it didn’t feel quite right to me.

  • KarenH

    Dear Danna Gresh, per Scripture, if your husband’s eyes offend him, he should pluck them out.


  • Mirella222

    I agree on things being appropriate for the situation. For example, I would not wear my bikini to the grocery store, or wear a bright yellow sun dress to a funeral. However, I think it is the mentality behind this that causes the problem. They don’t see it as “different clothes are appropriate in different situations, and it is respectful and polite to wear clothing appropriate for that environment” , they see it as “women are tempting men to sin by not dressing as we say”. The former is about manners and standards of courtesy in society; the latter is about blaming and shaming women for what men think of them.

  • Fledgeling Feminist

    I read parts of the article and when it hit the “we stayed up until 2AM talking about it” and I was like “UUUUGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

    Then she said she started clearing him of shame. And I couldn’t handle it. No wonder people in this belief system get so messed up. They have to stay up raging and weeping because they saw someone and got a little bit turned on. It’s a wonder they aren’t all depressed and angry and wanting to punish and control women….wait.


  • Fledgeling Feminist


  • tulips

    This. Agreed.

  • Independent Thinker

    All those bible quotes about passing judgment never seem to apply when the topic is dressing modestly.

  • Trollface McGee

    Yes, exactly – there is an ocean between dressing appropriately for the occasion and dressing so you don’t give someone a boner.

  • Allison the Great

    Holy shit, why not make it to where women are not allowed to go to church? They’re already not allowed to go to college, work or anything else. Let’s just keep ’em in the basement so they can have them babies without tempting the menfolk with their seductive witchcraft and lady parts. It seems that women can’t go anywhere without getting blamed for a man’s sins. We’re expected to control someone else’s thoughts and feelings? Mind control is something that can be fun if you’re a Super Villain – which is something that I’ve always wanted to be – but trying to get a guy to not have a boner when he sees the female form sounds like it would be a heavy burden. That would really suck.

    While it is inappropriate to go to church dressed as a gimp or a hooker (gimps and hookers can get saved too though, hallelujah) that’s not really the message these grouchy bitches are trying to convey. Once again, they’re telling us that the sins of men are results from the actions of women, or rather, from women just existing and shit. Once again, the Whatever Goes Wrong, Blame the Woman™ mentality rears its ugly head.

  • gimpi1

    Personally, I dress as I feel is appropriate for the event in question, and I assume others are doing the same. We have different bodies, different tastes different lifestyles and different budgets. I don’t bother worrying about other people’s dress. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to look.

  • Trollface McGee

    I can understand why she’s saying this. It is a lot easier to blame some stranger than to come to terms with someone in your family being in the wrong. I think it’s part of why victims of crime are blamed so much by the families of the perpetrators. And you add to this fundie culture – no divorce, dependence/submission to the husband, the idea that men are sexual, while women aren’t – and it doesn’t surprise me that someone thinks like this.
    But – it isn’t a logical or healthy way to think and shouldn’t be presented as advice, ever. I imagine the poor woman who had the gall to come to a church she was invited to. It’s bad enough the guy couldn’t stop staring at her crotch in public, she’s then slut shamed by the wife, who got to hear about his boner for another woman for hours and hours, meanwhile the guy gets to go on and whine about the boners he’s getting from all the other hussies out there.

  • Jewel

    Right on!!!! THIS time a million!!!

  • Jewel

    From the article:

    “We agreed to work together to make sure visual temptation is treated with a zero-tolerance policy in our home.”

    How exactly do they intend to enforce this in a situation such as the one described with the woman who visited church? Stone her to death in the town square? Pluck out her husband’s eyes, as KarenH suggested? Cut off another part of his offending anatomy? Really, only these solutions could be considered “zero tolerance”.

  • Jewel

    Yes, reading the article in its entirety adds a whole other level of UUGGGGHHHHH to it, doesn’t it? It’s sick.

  • Em

    It’s so funny the verse they usually use to shame women into covering up our bodies doesn’t mention showing skin at all. It’s about not trying to dress so fancy that the poor feel out of place. Both genders can be guilty of that.

  • Mirella222

    Here’s what I don’t get. They always trot out two verses that have nothing to do with modesty in order to enforce modesty. The first one, about not dressing in gold and pearls, is about not flaunting your wealth. It is not about covering up more. The other one, about stumbling blocks, is about not eating meat sacrificed to idols. So unless these people get turned on by braided hair and pearls (maybe?) or actually think of women as meat sacrificed to idols (again, maybe?) these verses have NOTHING to do with covering up. You know what verse DOES deal with lust? The one that tells men that looking at a woman with lust is like adultery, and that they should pluck out their own eyes rather than stare at a woman with lust. Why is this always left out of the debate? Are they so desperate to blame women?

  • Allison the Great

    Fundies, thy name means misinterpretation…

  • I stumbled across this post, but I like to point out the middle part of this particular verse in these situations:

    It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

    Not my body, not my problem. You’re responsible for your own thought life, dude.

  • Joy

    Excuse me while I go get my shapeless housecoat to wear to church over top of my Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes…oh wait, no, that won’t work. It’s CLEARLY a piece of clothing that is meant to be worn in the privacy of my own home and might make a man wonder what else I wear behind closed doors at home.

    Hmm…what else can I wear… I know! I’ll go buy a tent to wrap around me! That ought to be ugly and hide my shape well enough! Oh wait…nope, that won’t work either. People change clothes and sleep and have “marital relations” (also known by Debi Pearl as “serving your husband”) in a tent, which might make the man think about me that way….

    You know, I’m out of ideas here. What can possible hide me enough that no man will be turned on by catching a glimpse of the body that God gave me?? Any ideas?

  • Nightshade

    Yeah. There’s automatically an evil motive assumed. No innocent until proven guilty for us women.

  • Jewel

    The burka is the next logical step.

  • Mirella222

    The thing is, I can understand how one or two people could misinterpret these verses (well, maybe not the one about plucking out your eye, but the other two, maybe?). But to convince whole congregations…how is it even possible? I mean, people are encouraged to read the Bible in these churches, aren’t they? How can the VAST MAJORITY of people not understand these simple verses? It shows the capacity of the human mind to twist things to our own agenda, and frankly, it’s terrifying.

  • I will admit to being a stickler about what is worn to church. I think things have become entirely too casual. Several years ago, one Easter Sunday I noticed that there were people wearing jeans, t-shirts, and just way too casual. Yes, i realize that we are their to praise and worship, and that attire means nothing, but please, have a little respect for the situation. I could now launch into a tirade about how pathetic people dress, in general, but I won’t.

    During the process of doing a book on the history of American Fashion from 1860-1910, I discovered that the ‘Sunday go to Meeting’ look evolved out of the mid-1880s when the middle class, here in the US, finally and the money to allow their children to have more than a couple outfits. Conspicuous consumption began, requiring church ladies to dress their family better than the Joneses next door. Before the era, as long as a person was neat, clean from their Saturday night bath, and not reeking of the barnyard, then that was fine.

    Conspicuous consumption aside, I think that we owe the Lord just a bit of respect when we enter into His house – clean, neat, deodorized, and fairly decently dressed. If you have on clean jeans, fine – but don’t look like you just came in from mowing the lawn! As far as leading men into temptation, I was told by someone, online, that she would ask me to leave her church because everything I wear is low-cut. (If you got it, flaunt it, right?) Seriously, I can’t stand anything tight up against my neck, so my blouses are all low cut. If a man can’t control his animal urges, that’s his fault. I’m not there to tempt him, but to wear something neat, clean, and have a neckline that doesn’t cause me to want to barf.

    Several years ago, my youngest niece and her BFF went to church with us. They were about 16 at the time and adorable in their full, strapless minis, with high heels. I suppose they were trying to lead ‘godly’ men astray – right?

    I’m so glad I’m an Episcopalian and not judged by patriarchal submission. Then again I know a woman priest who has a meltdown in her vestments. She strips down to her underwear, and puts on her white robe. She doesn’t give a rip if her brightly colored floral unmentionables are mentioned after the service (after being seen through the cotton robe!). And no, she wasn’t out to tempt men. (I think she preferred women).

    I gather godly ‘christian’ men can’t be trusted not to stray. OH, wait…. Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, and so forth and so on, maybe their wives have a point. I sure wouldn’t trust a patriarchal godly man!

  • The most fun is the fact that Paul is quoting, almost verbatim, Emperor Augustus, and his edicts for well-dressed Roman women. I have the source, somewhere. It is rather amusing when godly men don’t bother realizing that wearing pearls to church was like wearing the Hope Diamond or something, they were so expensive. It just wasn’t in good taste, like wearing your party finery. Temple whores wore braided hair. I just love ignorance.

  • Nea

    They are encouraged to read bible verses out of order, without context, and told in advance what the verses mean. I once sat to read the bible through and my devout mother about had a fit that I was reading it “wrong” – i.e., one page after another in publication order.

  • Another way to make church a safe place for women is to tell them that a man who wants to dominate them/ lord it over them/ be the leader of them is showing the first sign of being a potential abuser.

    Instead Dannah Gresh, on her blog, tells us that if you want to be protected, you should “let him initiate” and “let him lead the pace of your physical romance”.
    Protection is the opposite of abuse. Men who want to initiate/ lead/ have things their way/ control are not showing the first signs of being a great protector.

  • Melody

    Exactly! It’s sad that it’s always used for modesty when it is about showing off one’s wealth. Of course, in the article the part that refers to that has been conveniently turned into dots…

  • Gresh is also a gender role-ist. See here: http://thefeministagenda.blogspot.com/2014/04/keep-them-little.html It is two books, one for guiding girls and the other for guiding boys in the same age group. The girl book is “Keeping her little.” The boy book is “keeping him good.”

  • Anonyme

    Women priests? HEATHEN! Seriously, though, I’m Catholic and though I was raised that way I made an active choice to stay Catholic. However, I do think the “no women priests” rule is just plain wrong and the most common answer I get for why it ‘should’ be so is, “Jesus and/or the New Testament said so” or “none of Jesus’s disciples were women” (I guess Mary and Martha, Veronica, “the woman at the well”, the woman who cleaned Jesus’s feet and Mary of Magdalen don’t count?)…