Quoting Quiverfull: Motherhood is Servanthood?

Quoting Quiverfull: Motherhood is Servanthood? May 15, 2014
When you Google ‘Mother Servant’ you get images of Mother Theresa and other nuns and priests serving the poor. Somehow I don’t think this is what Nancy Campbell had in mind.

by Nancy Campbell at Above Rubies – To Serve or Not to Serve

I have been thinking about our great role of “serving” in motherhood. As a young mother I remember feeling “I’m just a jolly servant around this place.” I was still filled with selfishness, and although I loved my children and loved motherhood, I still wondered why I had to be the servant.

As the years have moved on, I realize more and more that it is a privilege to serve. It is innately in us as mothers to serve. We only reject it because of our selfishness, and in the end we miss out. For God blesses us when we serve. We are fulfilled when we serve. We are born to serve.

Of course we all want to “serve the Lord.” That’s our greatest ambition in life. But, dear mother, when you mother your children and pour your life into making your home a sanctuary for God, for your husband and children, and all who come in to your home, YOU ARE SERVING THE LORD! This is your service to Him.

Yes, I know it’s hard work. But, Psalm 100:2 tells us to “Serve the Lord with GLADNESS.” That means “exceeding joy.” The Hebrew for “serve” means “to work, to labor,” the same word as “six days shalt thou labor.”

The one who serves will be blessed. Don’t expect to be waited on. Be happy to serve. Even as Jesus, the Son of God, “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life” [Matthew 20:28].

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

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • This is actually very true – but it is true for men to: They should not lead as Christ, but serve as Christ. And serving does not imply lack of doing the so-called “important” tasks in favour of the menial ones, or obeying commands – serving imply seeing what needs to be done and doing it.

  • Every day I’m thankful that I’m selfish and childfree. While my former churchmates are living with parents and underemployed with at least 3 kids, my husband and I are making over 85k a year, own a house, and have our loans paid off.
    Honestly, I felt more selfish and insecure being a (foster) parent than I ever did working.
    Not everyone fits into “women serve, men lead” boxes, Nancy.

  • Nea

    Anyone else here listen to Welcome to Night Vale? Because Beyond Rubies sounds more and more like Strexcorp every time it’s quoted. And with the emphasis on being happy Happy HAPPY 24/7 regardless of reality, she might as well talk about how one’s worth is entirely based on their work and end “Believe in a smiling god.”

  • Allison the Great

    Womanhood is servanthood in this culture. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If a woman wants to make decisions for herself, she is selfish. If she doesn’t want to be a mother or marry someone her father picks, she is selfish.

    In the secular life, motherhood is servanthood as well, but I expect that those who are not quiverful get more joy out of it. They’re not constantly pregnant/nursing. They have the time to care for their children and get to know them as individuals because they don’t have 16 children and they’re not having to hand the baby over to an older daughter as soon as it’s born.

  • Nea

    Divorce, child/maternal poverty, and child mortality rates are all lower in the liberal states. It’s almost as if people who honestly want to marry someone and raise children with them as opposed to feeling they “have” to have more invested in doing the job right.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Nancy Campbell seems blind to the implications of what she’s saying. If it were “innately” in mothers/women to be servants, then no mother/woman WOULD reject it.

  • Guest

    It would also imply that egalitarian marriages, as opposed to “women are servants” type of marriages, are more likely to result in a stable family life (making the *pretty safe* assumption that liberals are more likely to be egalitarian).

  • Trollface McGee

    Of course if you serve your children too much, your husband will go cheat on you and it will all be your fault.
    I don’t like the idea of “servant-hood,” I was raised that people help each other out because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s a duty. Once you take away that empathy portion of it, and are doing it out of obligation – it’s less meaningful to you and you are less likely to do it if you know you won’t be held accountable, so worse for the people around you too.

  • Now you know why I have no children. I’m selfish. Of course, I’m taking care of two elderly parents, so who needs children? One of my real problems with the Nancy Campbell mind-set is the fact that I’m an Episcopalian, part of the world-wide Anglican Communion. The titular head of our church is the monarch of the UK – who is a woman. The primacy of the Church of England was truly established by a woman – Elizabeth I. The reason we have the Church of England is because of a woman and a divorce. The greatest missionary zeal the world has ever known was during an age dominated by another woman: Victoria. Golly, who knew women could be leaders?

  • SAO

    I’ve been struck by the extent to which the Patriarchy claims that a woman doing what other people tell her to do is “serving God” and doing what she wants to do is “selfish.”

    Somehow this whole quote comes across as God wants you to pick up your teenaged son’s dirty socks that he dropped on the floor. Clutch those smelly socks to your chest and smile! You’re serving God!

    Yeah, right.

  • KarenH

    he’d have to be an older teenaged son, tho–close to manhood because if not, I’m pretty sure we women are supposed to beat him for dropping the socks. Total, first-time, cheerful obedience for EVERYONE. Unless you have a penis and are over the age of 17.

  • gimpi1

    I thought the same thing, SJ. I took care of my disabled parents during their lives. How selfish of me.

    Also, I’m sure Ms. Campbell would be happy to explain to you why Episcopalians aren’t True Christians™.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    If a woma has doubts about the system, its a charcter flaw – selfishness, silliness, ect.

  • Saraquill

    She’s conveniently ignoring the Proverbs woman the “Above Rubies” title alludes to. Running a business, going on work trips and managing employees is not the same as being a doormat servant.

  • lodrelhai

    I love how, as supporting evidence that women are to always joyfully work, she quotes a verse that specifically says people are to take regular breaks from their work for themselves!