Quoting Quiverfull: Stay in Abusive Marriage?

Quoting Quiverfull: Stay in Abusive Marriage? January 7, 2015
Image NLQ original

by Mary Pride from The Way Home as published on Homeschoolers Anonymous – Mary Pride: Don’t Divorce Your Drunk, Raging Husband

Editors note: R.L. Stollar is reading this book so you don’t have to. It was the original call to women to return home from the workplace to be full time wives and mothers and embrace the theology of Quiverfull before Quiverfull even had a name.

The reason the church is getting lax about divorce is that we no longer understand marriage. If a spouse has problems, such as drunkenness or fits of temper, the other one concludes it is not a “good” marriage and moves on. Those who take this perspective end up allowing divorce “for any and every reason,” just as the Pharisees were doing in Jesus’ day. Jesus answered the Pharisees that destruction of any God-ordained marriage is always wrong… Only adultery, which breaks the partnership by pouring its resources into a spiritually fruitless extramarital union, as well as (in the case of an adulterous wife) jeopardizing the children’s legitimacy, and desertion, which nullifies the partnership, are biblical grounds for divorce… Christians may never, never, never divorce Christians. (21-22)

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, influential bloggers and cultural enforcers 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.

If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

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

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • *facepalm* Sweet Mother Mew… the reason why Jesus was against “Any Reason” divorce in HIS day and time is because it was basically abandoning women without ANY resources whatsoever. They couldn’t go home to their families, they couldn’t take care of themselves. It was a horrible thing to do to a human being!
    That simply *isn’t* the case anymore!
    With better support structures and opportunities available, the practice that *I believe* that Jesus would condemn is forcing women to stay IN marriages that are actively harming them and their children through abuse of any sort. Forbidding divorce is now the horrifically damaging practice that needs to be ended.

  • Evelyn

    Clearly it’s all my fault because I didn’t put out enough, but I used to pray that my xh would cheat on me instead of raping me, because one was a biblical reason for divorce and the other wasn’t. Rocked my world when I realized God was not in favor of living with the abuse.

  • Allison the Great

    These people just need to stop trying to apply the bible to today. We don’t live in the same time, we don’t live in the same culture and in no way will their way of life ever be anything like ours.

    People need a way out of a horribly abusive or bad marriage. No one should ever be forced to stay in a relationshit (har har) like that. Being happy isn’t a sin, Mary Pride. It’s time to take your head out of your ass and learn that.

  • Husbands had to pay the wife the amount of the bride price in the case of divorce, so the wife would not have had “no resources whatsoever”. The amount is specified in the marriage contract.

    There is also evidence that Jewish women in the first century asked for divorces and a rabbinic court could compel the husband to grant them (or attempt to do so). However, only the husband could do the actual divorcing.

    And I don’t know of anything that would have prevented a divorced woman from returning to her family. Do you have a source for this?

  • Saraquill

    I prefer divorce over murder-by-abuse.

  • persephone

    The bride price could be quite small, as it was negotiated at the time of marriage. If a man did well, became wealthy, especially with the help of his Proverbs 31 wife, she received nothing of it.

    As to returning to her family, if her husband divorced her for a younger wife, the odds are she would be returning, in reduced circumstances, to her probably won’t elderly parents.

    There’s a well-known case of a rabbi who has been a last resort for women whose husbands will not issue a get. The rabbi kidnaps and physically tortures the men to get them to relent.

  • Nea

    Christians may never, never, never divorce Christians

    Unless you’re named Rusty Yeats and you made sure your wife “understood” marriage and childbearing was something she couldn’t leave just because counselors and doctors told her to and now she snapped and is jail and you can’t get sex anymore.

    Then, suddenly, God totally understands the need for divorce.

  • katiehippie

    I found there are worse things than your husband cheating on you.

  • “Christians may never, never, never divorce Christians” – Mary Pride
    “People will know you are followers of me by your love” – Jesus
    Okay. The love Jesus talked of was not touchy-feely love, but loving actions. So, if Jesus say his followers are known by love, then I have to conclude the abuser is certainly not his follower. As such, the woman (or man) who divorce an abuser is not divorcing a Christ-follower.
    (Note: For anyone who tells me now that non-Christians can love too, you are right. I say Christ-followers have to follow his example in loving actions to be his followers. But you who love others without being Christ-followers, loving actions is still a good thing.)

  • From the first link I posted:

    Ketubah, from the root katav, “to write,” is the name for both the written contract itself and for the amount the husband is obliged to settle on his wife.

    The main purpose of the ketubah is to prevent a husband divorcing his wife against her will, which, in talmudic times, he had the right to do. The knowledge that he had to pay his wife her ketubah would serve as a check against hasty divorce.

    The minimum amount for the ketubah is 200 zuz for a virgin and 100 zuz for a widow or divorcee. These amounts were by no means negligible since an average house in talmudic times could be bought for 50 zuz, and if a man had 200 zuz in ready cash, he was no longer eligible for poor-relief.

    The second link talks about reasons for believing these rules went back quite far – a petition to a Rabbinic court from a wife in second century Palestine wanting her husband to issue her a get was found mid-last century. Another source states that the reason the contract deferred the bride price from the time of the marriage itself to the time of the husband’s death or a possible divorce is that young men at the age they might be looking for a wife most likely would not have those sums.

    And the money that Proverb 31 wife earned? That money was hers, as confirmed in a personal communication from a rabbi with chabad.org. That is why the proverb says she considers a field and buys it with the proceeds of her business. It was Christian wives whose money belonged to their husbands.

    I am sure then as now there were women who were impoverished by divorce, but there were safeguards in place: for instance, requiring that the husband issue a get in writing, and, of course, requiring that he pay the wife a sum of money when he divorced her. There were also rules about remarriage for divorced women, which suggests that remarriage was not rare. So the idea that feminist Jesus was trying to protect women from evils of divorce that existed back in those days but somehow don’t exist today doesn’t, IMO, have a lot of historical support.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Christians may never, never, never divorce Christians. (21-22)

    So what is it? Are Christians never adulterous (which we all know is a crock) or is not even adultery an excuse to divorce if your spouse can claim xe’s a believer?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Robertson once told a man that he could take on another partner because his still-alive-and-married wife was unable to “perform.”

    As usual, rules only apply to penis owners.

  • As I understand, Coleslaw and Mrs Grizzley are both right. There was rules in place for divorce. The question to Jesus was (and it will take more words to translate to English well, divorce was not the perfect translation) if a man may leave-without-divorcing (thus leaving her without either his care or his ketubah money) his wife for any reason. Jesus answered that if she was not adulterous (thus already choosing another man – he could provide for her) it was not.
    Divorcing and paying the ketubah money in the divorce will be another Greek word, not the one in the question asked to Jesus.

  • KarenH

    Sounds like a very excellent reason to never never never MARRY a Christian.

  • This comes from the woman who has helped inspire Ron Paul’s alleged homeschool curriculum, authored by “Scary Gary” North. It would be one thing if only their views on faith and religion were abusive, but people like Mary Pride and her adorable little Tea Party friends (sorry, an editorial slip of the lip there) are like that with everything and everyone. When you realize that the life they promote is a constant of abuse: spiritual, political, personal, family, financial, etc, it all makes perfect sense in a truly sick and perverted way.

    My dealings with these people are almost all political. There was a drastic change in behavior around 2004/5 that caused me to start my political blogging. They are abusers. Someone like Mary Pride thinks nothing of it, I suspect, because that is their basic personality. Unfortunately, I did not start taking screen shots, and keeping hard copies of the abuse they’ve leveled at me until about 4 years ago. I have hundreds of screen shots of the things done and said about me. Sticking with an abusive spouse as her two cents just makes perfect sense.

    Until about a year ago, I did not realize these ‘same’ people are just as abusive and intolerant not only about politics but anyone who crosses them – period. You wouldn’t believe the death threats – or maybe you would – all from good ‘Christian’ patriots. Mary Pride holds a special wrung in the Ron Paul/Tea Party/GaryNorth/Libertarian version of Purgatory. She’s one of the individuals who bridges the gap between religion and politics.

    Try crossing one on Amazon with a bad review and see what happens. I’ve been so terrorized by them, so literally abused that I rarely leave a review about anything other than an operatic recording. I filed complaints against them, the harassed me. They harassed me on Twitter, via email, and my blog. What I see here is just same old same old out of Pride.

    Once upon a time I thought it was about politics, then I thought it was about religion. I now realize it is about power and control and ego trips. You can more easily control an abused and stunned group of people than you can those who have realized who and what you are.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Hmmm…Ive got some spare time and I need to practice my “leave no trail of breadcrumbs to follow” internet stealthing, where might I find these intolerant abusive people so that I may agitate them with some completely legal and much needed honesty?

    I try to learn from even the worst things that have ever happened in my life, the abusive relationship I spent years in is no exception. I learned a lot about myself from that relationship, and I learned about people…especially abusive people. It doesn’t matter what sort of fancy-pants facade they show the world, there’s always that tiniest sliver of a crack that exposes the truth of who they really are inside. Most of the time these people are so arrogant they don’t even bother with much pretense unless they’re playing to a new audience that they want something from. The rest of the time they just keep themselves surrounded by their group of people who are already sufficiently cowed.

    If their ‘leaders’ were really all that amazing and powerful, why would they need sycophants to go around intimidating people?

  • It’s built into them via Ayn Rand. She was abusive, brutal, destructive, and pure hate. She inspired the libertarian movement, from which Pride, North, Paul, etc. have sprung. It’s part of their natural ‘charm’. They are a strange group of people. The anti-immigration reform bunch via John Tanton, FAIR, NumbersUSA, are bullies, but they’re doing just what you said – masking their numbers. The other group if frighteningly large. Remember, it envelopes the far right religious bunch, along with libertarians, tea parties, gun nuts, anti-government, etc. Unfortunately, there are way too many of them.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Interesting that you make that connection! Last night I was thinking something very similar reading through the newest Duggar faux scandal. They gave the 16 year boy Jedidiah a double barreled shot gun for a Christmas present and apparently some of their fan base expressed their dismay on the Duggar Facebook page. Most news sources had headlines like “Fans upset Duggars gave underaged kid a weapon for Christmas” with the exception of one of the super right wing Ayn Rand worshiping, immigration reform hating, fear mongering type sites. Their headline was something like “Whiny Liberal Anti Gun Nuts Have Collective Coronary Over Duggar Christmas Gift” It’s quite a leap from fans being upset to saying everyone against it is some sort of pablum-headed ninny.

  • It is interesting to me that the verse in Malachi that Christians translate as “God hates divorce” is translated quite differently by Jewish scholars. From


    15.Now you shall beware of your spirit, that it shall not deal treacherously with the wife of your youth.16. If you hate [her], send [her] away, says the Lord God of Israel. For injustice shall cover his garment, said the Lord of Hosts, but you shall beware of your spirit, and do not deal treacherously. Malachi 2:15-16

    The “treacherous dealing” in this translation means taking a second wife but not divorcing the first one, meaning that she was replaced, possibly even abandoned, but not set free to be able to remarry herself. I often wonder how two totally different translations of the same verse came about. The original must be quite difficult to translate.

    I don’t think Jesus ever meant to set up new rules for divorce (if he did, giving women the same power to divorce their husbands that their husbands have to divorce them would have given women much more leverage than forbidding the husband to divorce her has done). I see a pattern in his behavior of dealing with people (and when I say “people”, I note they are largely men) who come to him “rules lawyering”, wanting to find loopholes in the law or at least know when they have done enough. People who want to know what they must do to be saved in the next world are directed to the needs of their neighbors in this one. People who want to know exactly who those neighbors are are given the parable of the Good Samaritan. People who cavil at having to forgive others are given the command to forgive 70 times 7 and the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor. Men who want to know how easily they can divorce their wives are told it should be harder. To me, these are all examples of Jesus trying to direct his followers away from their concerns for themselves and to get them to look at the needs of those around them – from those of their wives to those of complete strangers. I don’t think he ever meant to set up burdensome rules. He spoke in parables, to convey ideas that couldn’t be given with a set of rules. Yet here we are today, with a list of rules that makes even decent people feel they are doing something wrong if they tell an abused spouse that yeah, damn right she should get a divorce.

  • Fledgeling Feminist

    “Drunkenness and fits of temper”
    What is this, the 1800’s?
    I think she’s using old fashioned language to make it sound less threatening, but still.

  • My husband received his first shotgun, a real gun, not a toy, for his sixth birthday. His grandparents, who were raising him, decided against a toy because he might hurt someone with a toy. The real thing, however, he would have been just scared enough of to treat it with respect.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Some folks in the country have need of a shotgun. For all I know this kid hunts gophers on the property or something…not sure why the fans are losing it over the gun.

  • True. It just highlights the extreme difference in culture between those in urban areas and those “in the country”. Even here, some ten miles there’s all sorts of varmints as “need shooting” especially back when we raised chickens.

  • Catherine

    Honestly, buying an almost-adult kid a shotgun doesn’t even register to me as strange.

    Though I suspect that they didn’t provide a similar gift to the daughters at 16…

  • tulips

    Exceptions to rules in any case.

  • Don’t ever think it isn’t connected. Kids get shot-guns in many places because they need them. I have one, haven’t used it in 15 yrs. An old boy friend gave it to me to go after my stalker. FYI: One night I did. The local cops thought it was hilarious – I shot into the ground. You could hear him running through the pasture, and over a metal fence a quarter mile away (it was at night).

    From what I can tell it began with the founding of the John Birch Society, where Big Daddy Koch (Fred) was tight with the founder. So was R. J. Rushdoony. He created his Calvinist cult based on the hierarchy of the JBS. His very first acolytes were gun advocate Larry Pratt (white supremacist tight with Pat Buchannon), Phyllis Schlafly, and I think Howard Phillips. Scary Gary North is his son-in-law. Gary North basically created Ron Paul, the power behind the political movement. Mary Pride was tight with both of them.

    Bill Gothard basically worshipped at Rushdoony’s feet until Rushdoony had a very nasty divorce, and remarried his best friend’s wife. Allegedly the two of them had their spouses declared insane and institutionalized. Gothard did not approve, so he went off on his own.

    Rushdoony was like some insane 007 villain. He wanted world domination of Calvinism, and basically created rules to live by which would be heart-warming to any hard-core partitioner of the Taliban. (seriously) Anyone who disagrees, politically, and does not repent, when the new religious order is realized, will be executed as a heretic. (I calculated out that, according to the Rushdoony/North sin list, almost everyone I know, myself included, would be executed).

    Rushdoony was not a fan of Ayn Rand’s, but he was a staunch libertarian who adopted the ‘Austrian’ economic philosophy beloved by Rand, libertarians, the Koch Brothers, Paul Ryan, etc. Their goal was to create a political movement. They began working with Howard Phillips, Paul Wyrich, Richard Viguerie, and so forth and so on, which gives you one degree of separation to widdle Dougie Phillips. He was basically raised on Rushdoony’s teachings.

    Rushdoony was a narcissistic, abusive psychopath. He created a narcissistic and abusive cult. This is where I come in, with my interest in the Quiverfull movement, far right Christianity, and politics. It is all one in the same – unfortunately. Jim Bob Duggar is the tip of the iceberg of ‘new’ politicians who have basically managed to manipulate their way into state houses, local government, and the US House and Senate. They basically control the House. This was the plan – the long-term take-over of this nation, then the world, remaking it into Rushdoony’s version of hell (sorry – heaven) on earth.

    The truly disturbing aspect of all of this is the white supremacist, bigotry, KKK, neo-Nazi (yes, they do exist), Kinnist, angle. Rushdoony was a horrible bigot. He felt that Blacks were inferior, as were the Jews, and certain other races. What gets me is Gary North has written some horribly bigoted things about minorities, yet he gets away with being the power behind Ron Paul. This should not surprise anyone, considering Ron Paul is tight with the founder of Stormfront, probably the most most infamous yet mainstream white supremacist, neo-Nazi leaning forum online.

    None of this is coincidence. I have about 2500 pages I’ve printed out linking various white supremacists, KKK, etc with mainstream libertarian and religious political leaders, primarily via Ron Paul, North, and people like Mary Pride. When I first found it, I was physically ill. My late editor told me where to look and how to look. His late uncle was a famous Nazi hunter post World War II. It is sickening. When you consider that the godfather of Sean Hannity’s children did prison time for some of his neo-Nazi little habits, you realize how far this thing reaches.

  • mayarend

    This is VERY interesting. I’d read a book about it 😀
    Ever thought of/Have you publishing?

  • Thank you. I’m working on it.

  • mayarend

    If possible, let me know when it’s done. 🙂

  • I will. Thank you.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    …And I still vote, because even if I’m one of the few who do so in a sea of others who do not because they’re overwhelmed with apathy and think that their one vote won’t change anything, I can say at least I tried. And voting makes me comfortable bitching about situations that my one little vote attempted to help avoid.

    Even if I should be, I am not afraid. If very bad things are coming for me, they’re coming for me so why live in fear in the meantime.