Quoting Quiverfull: Forced Obedience or Voluntary Obedience in Submission – Is There Much of a Difference?

Quoting Quiverfull: Forced Obedience or Voluntary Obedience in Submission – Is There Much of a Difference? March 27, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Pastor Soni Japhet John from the comments on the Suko Family Blog – How To Make Your Wive Submit To Your Authority

Editor’s note: Originally I was going to quote from this blog posting that has been sweeping through the internet and going viral. But the comments are far most poisonous than the original article. If those inclined to practice submission did it as Mr. Suko did then it would be much less awful. It would be inching closer to egalitarian marriage. What is awful are the comments for the most part, particularly this quoted one, because it’s ranty in that True Patriarch way. It may not be so much abusive in the language but in the way the pastor is expressing his views. Enjoy.

The ABOVE SUBJECT IS CRUCIAL IN CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.
Personally, BASIC TRUTH ABOUT OBEDIENCE MUST BE UNDERSTOOD.
1. It is not EASY to Obey: Naturally, no one wants to relinquish authority (even a child – give him/her something and later ask for that same thing- there is always that reluctance).
2. Obedience can be LEARNED:
Nobody is born obedient. it will interest you to know that even our Lord Jesus Christ learned obedience – “though He were a Son, yet learned he obedience. Hebrews 5:8″. Apostle Paul knew this fact, he told Titus ” tell the aged women like-wise…teach the younger women to be …obedient to thier own husbands, THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED” Titus 2:3-5. The impression most husbands have is that their wives have been taught the need for obedience before marriage – it might be true in some cases but husbands should know that it a continues processes and they can be involved. it takes love and understanding.
3. Obedience can be facilitated:
Obedience is usually easier when a person can identify with a course. OBEDIENCE CAN BE VOLUNTARILY OR FORCED. The Willing obedience is far above all better than the coerced type. A WIFE WILLINGLY OBEYING HER HUSBAND MEANS THAT SHE IS IN AGREEMENT WITH HIM. Like wise, A HUSBAND FORCING THE WIFE TO OBEY HIM IS CLEAR INDICATION OF DISUNITY.
I believe willing obedience is a product of RESPECT. In marriage relationship, you can not detach Respect from Obedience, it can’t work. In other relationship like business, work place etc it can work. HUSBAND SHOULD KNOW THAT RESPECT IS EARNED!!! DO THE NECESSARY THINGS AND YOU WILL GAIN RESPECT – Obedience will NEVER BE A PROBLEM in your HOME. Thank you. Pastor SONI JAPHET JOHN

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men 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.

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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
  • Baby_Raptor

    In marriage relationship, you can not detach Respect from Obedience, it can’t work. In other relationship like business, work place etc it can work.

    The difference being that we need to support the lie that enslaving females is a good, respectful thing to do so I’m going to make blatantly obviously flawed statements and pretend it all works.

  • Allison the Great

    Obedience? Who wants to marry someone who will be a parent figure? Who will treat you like a child and “punish” you when you “disobey”? Living with a man who thinks that because of the order in which men and women are created in a myth that he has authority over you seems quite awful.

  • Evelyn

    Eeew! I was once struck speechless when a woman in a church context talked about how she had to be careful about picking a husband, because she would be surrendering her autonomy and vowing to obey him forever, even if he screwed up. Who the hell wants to get married on those terms, except the lucky guy?

  • Julia Childress

    Fundy females are raised from birth to understand that they will always be answerable to an earthly authority. For most fundy females, God is the authority over the males and then the males are the authority over the females. I think that many fundy women like the arrangement. They get to be perpetual children and don’t have to fret about making important decisions, paying the bills, or taking responsibility for anything. The fundy mother is the primus enter pares among the subordinate members of the family. Anna Duggar seems to be the consummate fundy wife.

  • Julia Childress

    Women who were raised in Fundystan. LOL

  • Allison the Great

    I’d rather be an adult. Being a perpetual child sucks.

  • Aimee Shulman

    so respect makes obedience natural? Funny, I find it impossible to respect a man who demands that his wife obey like a child, so it doesn’t seem like that would work at all well for me

  • I don’t know which is worse, a husband expecting his wife to act like she’s a child in the relationship, or a husband expecting his wife to be *his mother* in the relationship… and I have no idea what to do when I get gobsmacked by both at the same damn time.

  • SAO

    He’s right, you can’t detach respect from obedience. The word obedience implies that the woman’s opinions, ideas, and preferences are not respected, they are discounted relative to the husband’s opinions, ideas and preferences. If the marriage had mutual respect, they would agree, rather than one command and the other obey. Lack of respect leads to disunity, therefore, obedience leads to disunity.

  • I also found Soni Japhet John’s comment a bit strange but decided to leave it in the comments section. I recommend everyone to read my article rather than focusing on Soni’s comment! Thank you Suzanne for the balance of your editorial comment.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Hey Caleb! We’re not anti-Christian here, we’re against twisting the scriptures to hurt women. Your suggestions are some of the better ideas I’ve seen on how to treat your wife even without the submission component.

  • Nea

    “Do the necessary things and you will gain” … an understanding that people are not vending machines or one-size-fits-all mannequins regardless of the promises of a third party who wants to control both of you.

  • Rebecca Horne

    I have to wonder what he means by “forced.” What degree or type of force does he consider acceptable?

  • Suzanne, thanks! I’m with you 100% in that! I was just reading your about page, I didn’t realize there was so much to the quiverfull teaching. However, I have come across aspects of it before in my ministry. I think you understand that the title of my post was specifically written that way to attract the attention of men who are trying to get their wives to submit to them. My position is that men are never called to make their wives submit to them and they should never force them to submit but instead sacrificially love them!

  • ShaLaLa

    The “complementarian”/patriarchy model does NOT look like a healthy parent/child relationship, but rather a controlling and abusive one. My parents would never have treated me as a non-autonomous object in that way.

  • ShaLaLa

    I find it pretty difficult to respect a parent who expects a child to obey in this way as well…

  • Baby_Raptor

    How about just normal love? Why does everything have to be a “sacrifice” or some other ‘look how holy I am’ adjective?

    Demanding that men put their wives above themselves is no different than demanding that a wife submit to her husband.

  • I think that many times the two are rooted in the same thing. The main idea is “Woman, serve me, meet my needs, fulfill my whims. It’s all about ME, and your life should revolve around that.” That means he can blame her when she doesn’t submit, but also when she doesn’t take care of him, be responsible for him, or cater to him like a mother does to a small child.

    Patriarchy often enables men to never have to grow up.

  • Yes, patriarchy often also enables women to never have to grow up. Funny how that works. Men can stay spoiled children, and women can stay controlled children. But either way, the relationship is unequal and favors the man.

  • I don’t think everything has to be sacrifice all the time, it’s more about having and attitude that is more focused on the other’s well being than your own and that is ready to sacrifice for the other person if needed. Without that readiness to sacrifice love isn’t really love it’s more like, “I’m in this relationship as long as it doesn’t doesn’t require anything of me.” To me that’s pretty weak and not the type of love I want to show my spouse.

  • Plain English

    I trust that your comment is fully tongue-in-cheek, Evelyn, because as a guy I would feel fully devastated to find myself attached by marriage to somebody who would even consider such emotional suicide. The “lucky” guy is severely emotionally damaged in a manner exhibited above by preacher Soni, who in my humblish opinion, needs a good hard kick in ass.
    I recall suggesting to my sister’s boyfriend years ago, that he might consider a document that researched the equality of sexes in the Bible. It had been studied by a young, Anglican priest, a woman. My sister’s boyfriend took it home and picked it to pieces with scripture, in a manner similar to Soni. I had hoped my sister would see what a human wreck this man of God was, but she married him. He now teaches at a Christian college. My sis and I grew up in a Baptist preacher’s family, with a mom who was the daughter of guess what? A Baptist preacher. My sister’s husband became a Baptist preacher. Couldn’t we at least change flavors every few generations???

  • Baby_Raptor

    So what you’re saying is that you cannot comprehend love that treats both partners as equals. To love someone you have to always be willing to put yourself below them.

    Thanks for telling me my love isn’t really love. I mean, I know better, but still.

  • Evelyn

    I suppose I should have put lucky in quotes. Yes, good men would be sickened by that kind of situation. Just like the good men at my church told me that no man would enjoy having sex with his wife against her will, while my then-husband was doing exactly that.

  • Evelyn

    I’d say if you’re “dropping everything,” that *is* a sacrifice. It’s probably just a semantic thing. Sacrifice doesn’t have to be big or unpleasant. After spending years in a church that constantly talked about how much work and sacrifice it was to have a good marriage, and basically everybody admitted to resenting their spouse on some level, with regularity, I met several couples who could write what you wrote. For them, partnership is as easy as breathing, and I think it’s beautiful.

  • Plain English

    They were clearly wrong. They might have listened to you and stood beside you rather than deny such a thing exists. I am sorry you had to bear that bullshit. I think a non-stick frying pan in the head was what he deserved for being a prick. I trust you feel safer, and free now. Leaving the church was an important part of my knowing freedom.

  • Plain English

    The idea that somebody is not humanly ready to give to another is a marketing ploy used to introduce the great love of Jesus/God. That is not to say that all of us are able to love in a healthy way but it is a natural, human thing to ‘sacrifice’ and to do for another, especially in love and family. It is human. It is not nearly the norm to suggest that somebody would be in a relationship unless it demanded something of them and then they would balk. Why suggest such nonsense as if it was the rule? To suggest we are ‘born bad’? And to then say it is ‘weakness’ is more Christian bunk. It is not weakness. The inability to give or to choose to give is the result of lack. That lack comes from people who are parents, let’s say, and who tell their child only God can truly love them and they should get to church and learn it. Rather than listen to the child, love the child, they train the child up. And then they preach about weak men, perhaps. and the inability to sacrifice. What is it you really want to share, Caleb? That Christ on the Cross is what it is all really about?

  • Lolly, I think that people often confuse sacrifice with something that is undesirable and unpleasant. When you love a person sacrificing for them is a joy! Your family is a good example of that!

  • Exactly Evelyn! Thanks for point that out.

  • I use the word sacrifice in the context of marriage with the sense of willingly giving of your time, abilities, money and in rare cases even your life, if necessary out of love and concern for your spouse. That’s the kind of sacrifice husbands are called to in Ephesians chapter 5. The best example is the how Jesus Christ gave his life up and died on a cross so that man could receive forgivness.

  • Evelyn

    But a lot of super conservative CP types, including my ex-husband, would be utterly infuriated to be interrupted while doing *anything,* because the idea of flexibility and responsiveness like that in a relationship is completely foreign to them. They need it to be grandiose to be worth their while, I think.