Quoting Quiverfull: Sacrificing Everything For Your Family?

Quoting Quiverfull: Sacrificing Everything For Your Family? September 22, 2014

sacrificeby Jennifer M. McBride from her book ‘Queen of the Home’ as posted on her blog Noble Womanhood

(From the introduction to Queen of the Home)

It is one of Scripture’s beautiful mysteries that in dying, we live. It is not easy. It is hard work in fact and it involves sacrifice. This is what our Saviour modeled and what the Lord abundantly blesses. Through His great grace it is in the daily laying down of our lives in service to the Lord and our families—loving and helping our husbands, teaching and training our children, caring for our homes and reaching out the hand of hospitality that we are able to do a mighty work for Him. In dying to ourselves, we bear greater fruit.

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.

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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  • Through His great grace it is in the daily laying down of our lives in service to the Lord and our families—loving and helping our husbands, teaching and training our children, caring for our homes and reaching out the hand of hospitality that we are able to do a mighty work for Him. In dying to ourselves, we bear greater fruit.

    This is one of the aspects of my former religion that really bothers me since I’ve moved away from belief. You resign yourself to toil, struggle, pain, and suffering–which you believe you should just accept because you are unworthy and corrupt–in this life, because of the promise that the next life will be better and you will be rewarded for your efforts. It just seems…sad, to me.

  • Saraquill

    What does this say about this woman, that she equates running a household with being tortured to death?

  • Astrin Ymris

    The idea that only total abnegation of your personality is “good enough” is what chills me.

  • Nea

    It’s the ultimate waste of a life – to grind it down, to waste all talents, even to be a complete judgmental jerk to others, all in the hopes of pie in the sky when she dies.

  • Nea

    Yeah, funny how her god only loves those who hate what he created them to be.

  • Allison the Great

    Yeah, he rewards those who hate what he created us to be, because he hates what he created us to be. He hates us. That’s pretty much the bottom line, isn’t it? One thing that I am curious about is this: if he is a powerful God, why not create us to be something he likes? Why did he give us free will? Why hate us, force us to be miserable to please him and then claim to be a loving God?

  • It really is. You must abdicate everything that makes you “you” in favor of some other. It’s a complete alienation. Chilling is a really apt description for it.

  • It truly is. It’s really saddening to think of all of the talent and potential that’s lost precisely because of teachings like these.

  • DragMinton

    It seems contradicted by the story of Mary and Martha in the gospels. Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha, and Mary sits at his feet listening to him teach. This upsets Martha, because she has been running around cooking and cleaning. To her surprise, Jesus takes Mary’s side, saying that Martha had been busy with many things, but Mary with the only thing that is necessary.

    Like most scriptural stories, this one has a few layers and interpretations, but at a minimum it is a warning that self sacrifice to the point of neglecting your spiritual health should be avoided. This isn’t to say don’t make your family’s needs a priority. It is to say, seek out the help and time savers you can, and don’t make them your only or even top priority. For your own good, so that you can take time to recharge spiritually. If we are concerned with modeling him, Christ himself withdrew from the crowds to pray in quiet. None of us is better than him, whether we take him to be a great teacher or our saviour and the world’s, whose words are life sprung up like an undying spring in the desert.

  • Kitty

    Forcing us to be miserable isn’t enough. Someone had to be tortured on our behalf and we must accept responsibility for that, too, apparently. Yahweh is a piece of work.

  • Allison the Great

    True that. This deity is extraordinarily messed up.

  • There is nothing noble about sacrificing yourself for your family. There’s nothing blessed about it. Of course, right now I’m just a little jaded on the subject. Since Wednesday morning, I had approximately 15 hours of sleep until Monday afternoon around 4PM, when I was finally able to crash for 8 hours. During this time I’ve had to deal with my father and his AD (he’s basically a junk food pussy cat) and my mother. We’ve and 2 (count ’em – TWO) EMS trips to the ER for a-fib. During the 1st trip they discovered that the root cause of this round of problems was not a problem nerve in the lower back, but a broken vertabra. I’ve and to battle her to eat, had no sleep, my feet are falling off due to cooking. (I hate cooking). I spend my free time on the phone arguing with the pharmacy, calling doctors, making & breaking appointments. On Saturday, while in the ER, I went from 0-to-bitch in 30 seconds. The weather is rainy, tropical, and humid. This kills my arthritis. The calves of my legs are in agony the minute I take a step. Writing – working on a book? What’s that?

    Sunday evening I told my mother that it wasn’t that I did not mind helping, doing for she and my father. I’m pissed with her for allowing a bad back to turn her into an invalid, and the way she is slurping Vicodin. She’s had enough of that to tranquilize a T-Rex. It has destroyed her appetite, and turned her into an dysfunctional Zombie. I told her I had spent my entire life avoiding domestic situations, including marriage and children, because I detest housekeeping and cooking so much. Now, that’s all I do. Forget writing, or doing anything I want to do. I’m even putting my home on the market (http://www.sjreidhead.com) so I can be next door to them.

    Trust me, sacrifice for one’s family is not a blessing. It is pure hell. Any stupid woman who thinks it is our godly calling is a fool who should be locked-up for her own protection. There’s nothing blessed or noble about it. It’s a fact of life that women are the ones who get stuck caring for our families. When it comes for caring for our elderly family, there’s a 65% division of labor. We get no benefits, no stipend, no respect, no relief, and lose our place in the work-force. We lose our pensions, burn through savings, and give up everything, then get kicked into the gutter when we are no longer able to produce.

    If I sound a little bitter and cynical, well, I am. I don’t enjoy being a sacrificial victim on the altar of godly service to the family.

  • That_Susan

    I’m just curious — does anybody know if Debi Pearl has ever said anything about Mary and Martha?

  • Amarad

    I think Debi’s pretty studiously avoided that particular story because of how much it contradicts her “self-sacrifice above all else for the womenz” view.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    SJ… I’m so sorry. Hope the situation eases significantly in the near future. Getting ready to go back home myself to deal with my mother and try to figure out the long term. Is it possible they could go to long term care place together? You cannot kill yourself over their care.

  • That_Susan

    Yes, I think Debi’d see a woman like Mary, who was “too” interested in spiritual things, as in danger of becoming the dreaded “Jezebel” woman.

  • That_Susan

    I’m hoping there will be some relief for you soon!

  • Good luck. The situation where they are is quite good. My problem is running back and forth 25 miles each way. The solution is for me to move near them. I’m trying to do that, but the frustration is waiting for others to act, like a domino effect. Thank you. Best to you.

    The real problem is making sure they are safe and well treated. We must be as vigilant with the elderly as we are with children. Last week a 92 year old woman in a care center in ABQ was raped by one of the male nurses. Even in the best of situations they are neglected. The fact that the floors are not carpeted leads to deadly falls. When dealing with AD, falls are the killer. I’ve complained for 4 years, but this obscenely thick carpet my mother put down is what is padding my father when he falls. When they reach a certain age, they don’t eat. Just maintaining a diet the like is difficult.

    There are so many questions to ask, and the answers are not easy. I find myself resenting people who have elderly parents who are very active and with-it. I also envy them, and wonder where and how the people mine were, have disappeared.

  • Astrin Ymris

    (((SJ Reidhead)))

  • gimpi1

    I must admit, I thought the same thing. If your family life hurts as though you were being tortured, you’re doing it wrong. You’re also almost certainly hurting the rest of your family.

    Pain is a signal that something is wrong, not a sign of your martyr’s crown.

  • gimpi1

    I have thought that, too. Great minds and all that.

    Seriously, if God is so disgusted with people, God could have done things differently and God knew exactly how things would come out (omnipotent and omniscient), why are things the way they are? Can’t follow that at all.

  • gimpi1

    My aunt has Parkinson’s and I try to help my cousin, her primary caregiver. She has problems with getting my aunt to eat as well. We use Insure and fruit sauces like apple and pear sauce along with rich broths to get some nutrition down her when her appetite simply fails. Don’t know if that helps.

    I took care of my dad, who suffered a brain-injury that left him in a similar state as AD does its victims. You have my admiration for stepping up to the plate.

    I don’t know the situation in your state. In Washington (the state, not the town) where I live, people providing primary-care for a family-member can get some payment, the same payment that the state would pay a licensed care-giver to come in. The relative has to get a caregiver’s license, which is not hard to do.( Both my cousin and myself got the study-guide, took the test and passed handily. That way, I can spell her off so she can take an occasional week-end.) She gets a set number of reimbursed hours, and can choose to bring in a caregiver that she knows, or keep the funds and do the caregiving herself. It’s not huge, but it helps.

    Don’t know if this is any assistance. If not, at least, internet hugs.

  • Allison the Great

    The reason that there are so many holes in this story and that it just doesn’t add up, is that it was written by people. The way I figure it is, normal people with a malevolent agenda can’t create an omnipotent benevolent character.

  • I wish….! It’s not available here.

    We have discovered that her pain medication was causing the loss of appetite.

    One of my biggest gripes is that Medicare and the supplements will not cover incontinence supplies. My mother has a problem that is related to her heart failure nearly 10 years ago. Then there is the AD. Currently, we’re paying out about $150 a month for the two of them, just in Depends and Poise pads.

  • gimpi1

    I think people can’t often think outside of their own experience. For instance, the Christian church “grew up,” as it were, in the middle ages. I think that’s why it relates to its deity the way medieval peasants related to their feudal lords. Think about the terms of address, ” My Lord…” Think about the fawning attitude, “You’re so wonderful… so powerful, you’re perfect.” Think about the begging for favors, the demands for blind obedience. That’s how people in the middle-ages related to their overlords. I think the Christian church took the power-structure that it existed in and extended it into religious belief. And, here in the 21st century, we’re stuck with it, because once it becomes a religion, it pretty-much fossilizes.

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, my mother-in-law is dealing with the control problems that are often a part of aging, especially for women. She doesn’t have any specific issues, other than being 94.

    It’s a bitch, not being able to collect some of what the state would have to pay a care-giver if you weren’t there. My cousin only gets 40 hours a month, but it’s a big help. I’d like to see that adopted nationally. One reason Washington adopted it is because it actually saves money, by helping to keep people in their homes. Nursing homes are the most expensive option of all, and medicaid pays for most nursing-home care, after a patient exhausts their resources. No one can save up enough to cover an extended nursing-home stay, and people are usually bankrupt in a year or so. Enabling family members to step up to the plate without starving to death keeps the patient in their home, healthier and happier, saves Medicaid dollars and strengthens the family.

    That’s probably why we can’t do that as a nation. It’s too sensible. Can’t have that.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Gimpi, that is why purchasing long term care insurance is so important while you’re young enough to get decent rates. It will help with those outrageous care rates at nursing homes, etc..

  • gimpi1

    Long-term care insurance can be a big help, true. However, it won’t keep you in your home longer, or reimburse a family-member caring for you. The reason I like Washington’s policy of allowing family-members to be designated primary caregivers, and be paid part of what a home-healthcare worker would make is because it often eliminates the need for a nursing-home altogether. A family-member can afford to provide the care, the patient is happier and healthier, and it’s still less expensive than a nursing-home.

    Perhaps some insurance plans provide benefits for home-health-care work, but I don’t know of any that will help out a family member who has stepped up to the plate to provide care and keep the patient in their home.

  • gimpi1

    Also, many people can’t purchase long-term care insurance. For instance, I developed rheumatoid arthritis quite young. No one would insure me, since the likelihood that I will become disabled is higher than the norm. Congenital heart problems, type-1 diabetes, auto-immune disorders and some other conditions (many of which can begin in a person’s teens or early 20’s) can make such insurance all but impossible to get.

    I’m not sure what the solution is, but the private insurance market won’t be the answer for many folks.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I cannot get it either because of my asthma and past cancer. But I’ve made sure my mother has it. There is no easy answer to keeping loved ones cared for.

  • gimpi1

    That’s one reason I like to see family-members assisted in providing care. It works better for everyone. Nursing-homes should be the option of last resort. It’s cheaper to pay a family-member, so they can afford to take care of their loved-one and still eat than to have them unable to take on the burden of care and have the patient wind up in a nursing-home.

  • Let’s face the fact that 65% of caregivers are women. If it were the other way around, you can bet things would be different.

  • gimpi1

    “Your son is your son till he takes a wife, your daughter is your daughter all your life.”

    That’s the way it works, isn’t it. Daughters, nieces, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts all wind up as caregivers. All suffer diminished earnings due to this. Yet, when the need to help caregivers later in life is brought up, people dismiss their sacrifices as “a choice of theirs” (as though there were realistic options,) and leave them to flounder. Frankly, that’s the main thing that drove me out of the conservative camp very young. Because of my parents disabilities, I was pretty-much born a caregiver, and I got bloody sick of hearing about our “choices.” Apparently polio, RA and traumatic brain-damage are “choices.” Who knew?

  • I know. That’s what I ended up being when my husband had his breakdown that led to the onset of PTSD and all that insanity five years ago. It’s awful. I feel for you and I wish that I could do more than offer sympathy for your situation. Yes, life sucks badly and it shouldn’t be this way, for anyone. We need better options, for *everyone*.