Quoting Quiverfull: Make Cookies & Don’t Stress Out Your Husband By Making Him Do Things

Quoting Quiverfull: Make Cookies & Don’t Stress Out Your Husband By Making Him Do Things May 15, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Todd & Jessica Smartt from Smartter Each Day – 10 Things A Man Needs To Be Happy

Editor’s note: On the surface this sounds sort of sweet and charming, but it’s the essence of what a patriarchal marriage looks like. Man works and uses his free time to go fishing and gets enough alone time not to be stressed out by the kids while the little woman makes sure there are meals, cookies, a clean house and kids trained enough not to stress poor poor Daddy out. This is what Christian Complementarianism looks like.


A capable wife. I need someone who can handle the home front so that I can go out and do what I need to do to make money.  Somebody who can manage the household so I don’t have to worry about cooking, picking up groceries, etc.  This would stress me out.


Well, isn’t he a sweetie pie? Honestly, I knew some of the things would be on this list. But I was really shocked by #1. It was convicting, exciting, and humbling to hear that Todd notices the kind of “homemaker” I am. I didn’t move things around on this list. It was number one. I know that I can be a blessing to him by the kind of home he comes home to every night. But now that I think about it, I know this is true.

He notices (and likes) when I clean out the closet.

He notices (and likes) when we’ve all made cookies for him.

He notices (and likes) when dinner is ready, and there’s a meal plan, and we don’t have to run out every day to grab some random ingredient.

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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  • Wait. Number One on this man’s list is having a housekeeper? Not a lover, a friend, a companion, but a housekeeper? That’s what he needs to be happy?

    Even when I was a complementarian, I would have been furious if my husband had said that was the number one thing on his list, or the thing he wanted most from his wife!

    I notice, looking through the list, that he says a friend other than his wife is also necessary– so apparently he does think of his wife as a friend– but he actually doesn’t mention at all his need for love, friendship or companionship from his “capable” wife.

  • Julia Childress

    He works in landscaping all day. His wife works in home-and-kidscaping. The three little kids are full speed ahead all day. HE needs down time and alone time. Wow.

  • Nea

    I need someone who can handle the home front so that I can go out and do
    what I need to do to make money. Somebody who can manage the household
    so I don’t have to worry about cooking, picking up groceries, etc.
    This would stress me out.

    Well poor wittle woogums, God forbid that you have to live your life like the vast majority of people.

    Mind you, with a little practice, that whole work-and-have-nice-home thing straightens itself out and stops being stressful. And you won’t have reduced an entire human being to your unpaid staff, isn’t that nice?

  • KarenH

    “we don’t have to run out and grab a random ingredient”

    Does this mean the little woman doesn’t get to have a car while Daddy is busy working all day? Because, seriously, there’s no reason ‘random ingredient grabbing” can’t happen while Daddy is at work. Unless, of course, Daddy has ensured nobody else can get anywhere without him.

    I dunno. Daddy sounds like a USDA Prime asshole.

  • KarenJo12

    He needs “someone I can confide in other than your wife.” Your wife. Is he using someone else’s wife as a confidante?

  • Kochou1331

    If he’s got my imaginary one, I’ll fight him for her. 😉

  • Kochou1331

    From the original article:
    “I’m in the customer service industry and I’m paid to talk, email, think, etc… all day. Most men only have a certain amount of words in a day that can be used before they run out. I am one of those.”

    …okay, sir…

    #1: If you SERIOUSLY think only people in your field “talk, email, and think,” you need to march down your hall and kowtow for forgiveness to your wife. Now. I’m sure anyone who’s ever taken care of small children knows JUST how much talking and thinking goes into that gig, and you’re seriously disrespectful if you think your job gets you a free pass for communication because you’re PAID to do those.

    #2: NOT ONLY MEN ARE NATURALLY NOT TALKERS! (Aanndd we’ve hit a pet peeve of mine.) Some of my closest friends–a few who are women, mind you, and one my own husband–find socializing with people absolutely exhausting. They have rooms in their houses that are understood to be their quiet zones so their families know when they need to just be left alone.

    That said, THEY STILL TALK TO PEOPLE IN THOSE FAMILIES–particularly their partners! You don’t have a limited NUMBER of words–you merely are introverted and find socializing exhausting. And, you know what? That’s not a free pass to communicating with your wife. NEVER. When worded the way he has, it sounds like he wants her to just drop all her problems, shut up, and let him be a quiet little lump on the wall. NOT HOW IT WORKS. When one partner has a problem, both in the relationship need to come up with a solution that works for BOTH of them. If she needs you to talk immediately over something that has her upset, sir, you sit your butt down and TALK, work having made you talk all day be damned.

    Getting details out of my husband about his work day, for example, is like pulling teeth out through a duck’s behind. He’s not naturally a chatty person at all, and, in his head, his day is “nothing worth discussing” as it’s the mundane so-and-so of everyday. We learned early on I need to talk about the day with him, hear what his day was like, or I seriously stress out. (Past partner kept things from me–I’m working on it–and I’m naturally just a worrier.) Our solution was we agree to discuss both our days for a bit each evening when we’re home, then we let it drop. I get the conversation I need, and he gets the quiet he needs. We also try to go out of our ways to be respectful when the other needs quiet time. I work in adult basic education, and that job can be non-stop, exhausting, and demanding some weeks. Sometimes, even chatty Kochou needs space and quiet; I’ve got a husband, though, who I can look at and go, “I need left alone until the bottom of this coffee mug is visible again lest I become one of those Dateline TV specials. At that point, you may return to expecting your normally scheduled wife.” I don’t get the sense that the author’s husband has that basic right.

    There’s having basic needs, and then there’s being a jerk about them. This article reeks of the latter. It’s called compromise…the author’s husband needs a lesson. Or it written on a sledgehammer flying his way.

  • After all, he is God’s godly representative to his family. I can see why he must be worshipped and waited upon. He’s the lord and master. God’s gift. It makes perfect sense – if you are living in the town of Stepford.

  • Jessica Smartt

    HI! I’m Jessica, and I wrote this article. Honestly I wasn’t familiar with these labels of Christian Patriarch Movement, etc. so some of this has caught me off guard, and I’m not sure I totally understand the positions espoused by your community. While my first impulse is to rush and defend my article, my husband and my marriage, I’m not sure that is necessary, or would do much good. It seems obvious that I have a much different mindset of marriage than many people here who have read my article, and I don’t imagine one little comment is going to change anyone’s mind. Instead, I guess I wanted to offer two considerations to this apparent discussion of my article.
    1. I am well aware that many men are different than mine. Many women are different than me, and many marriages look different from ours. But I am a little confused at the uproar with one person expressing the things that bring him pleasure in marriage. I asked for this list. He is not demanding these things of me, and is quite gracious when they don’t happen. I would think that a marriage where one person is not free to express the things that bring him/her pleasure (whether or not they are always convenient or desirable to the other person) would be oppressive and unhealthy. How is it “spiritually abusive” for my husband to naturally need solitude, to enjoy my cooking, to appreciate my own work during the day, at home, where I by my own choice have chosen to spend my energy? Certainly, if this were demanded and coerced, then it would be unhealthy, But just because some of you would never like this dynamic does not make it unequivocally wrong for any marriage, which seems to be the implication.

    2. Second, yes – I agree with you. Some of the things about my husband, that he needs, that he wants, are difficult for me. Some things “work” for me – I happen to love being at home, cooking, being the stereotypical domestic goddess. So it’s quite convenient that he loves and appreciates these things. But sure. Some things I wish he didn’t want. AS IS THE CASE FOR HIM, WITH ME. I can’t speak for any of you, but I know that for me in my marriage, some of the most precious and worthwhile experiences in our marriage are the times where both of us sacrifice in some way for the good of the other. This is not merely wife to husband, but husband to wife. I am glad to know his list of what he needs. And when I can, I am happy to give him these things. He knows my list, and I am so grateful for the times he sacrifices for my sake, even when it is difficult and not natural to do so. Just as Jesus laid down his life for us, and found joy in the sacrifice, so have I found joy in not only receiving this kind of love, but also giving it.

  • OMG, this guy is one of the most selfish, self centered people I have ever read about. It isn’t woman’s work or man’s work, it is household work and it is being a parent period. If he doesn’t want to talk to and confide in his wife then all she is, is a housekeeper with benefits.

  • Sari

    I note that not one thing on your husband’s list, though, had to do with YOU. No mention of emotional connection. Yes, it’s great that you can keep house for him. I can find the satisfaction in keeping a well-run house as well. But just as he can buy a fridge full of beer, he can hire someone to clean his house.

    My husband said once that he would never marry again, should something happen to me. He’d pay for a nanny, a cook, a house cleaner. And probably one or two other things.

  • jennabobenna

    My boyfriend is in customer service (he works in a call center) and I’m an administrative assistant. We both spend a lot of our days talking and thinking and emailing. He’s an extrovert. I’m definitely not. I have a couple hours after my day’s done to decompress before he gets off and calls me. I usually just listen politely while snuggling with the dog while he talks about his day. I’m like your husband and I don’t feel my days are usually interesting, but he can go on for hours about members that called in. It takes very little energy or effort on my part to listen to his stories and respond appropriately. This guy sounds like such a dick. You seriously can’t be bothered to do the bare minimum required to maintain a healthy relationship with your wife?!

  • Mary

    Hi Jessica. I hope you don’t feel too attacked. A lot of the people here at No Longer Quivering come from families and communities where they were told that they had to be a certain way or else they were bad people, not fulfilling God’s plan. In particular, many of the women were told that they *had* to be domestic godesses, as well as being submissive to their husbands. Taken to extremes (and many communities do take it to extremes) this way of life can really take a toll on a woman, especially those of us who may not be inclined toward domestic-goddess-hood.

    I think what made this seem a little personal to some of us was the generalizations: “10 THINGS A MAN NEEDS TO BE HAPPY (WRITTEN BY MY MAN)” instead of just “10 Things My Man Needs to Be Happy” for instance. As though *all* men need these things, and a woman who can’t provide them can’t make a man happy.

    And “I figured it was about time you read something that could change your perspective about your husband.”

    About *my* husband? Really?

    “I did not find any [other lists like this] other than “items” or “things” every man needs…”

    Again, implying that this is a general purpose list of types of support (rather than “things”) that every man needs.

    “And your husband thanks you, too.” Again, my husband?

    Personally, my husband hates fishing, and I am a terrible homemaker. I mean, I’m not a homemaker at all, really. I’m a woman and a mom and PhD physicist with a job in R&D in the aerospace industry. My kids eat a lot of frozen foods and sandwiches, and the house is pretty messy, but we survive. My husband and I work together to keep things livable. He values my company in part for my understanding of science, seeing as he’s a physicist too, and we can work through problems together. That’s more important to him than my terrible cooking, and lack of organizational skills, fortunately for me! In turn, I forgive him for being totally unhandy around the house and never going to Lowe’s.

    Speaking for myself, I like what I’ve read of your blog, on average, and think you seem like a nice person. What works for your marriage is what works! I have no doubt based on what you’ve written that he is also aware of your needs and works help you meet them, when he can. But hopefully you can see why someone might feel that you guys were implying that all women need to be great homemakers etc. based on the way some of those phrases I quoted were phrased.

    I did see the disclaimer: “This list will obviously be different for every man,” but then it goes on to say things like “As a dad, you need…” and “you need to have success at work…” Would’ve been better to say “I need,” I think. Some men are stay at home dads. I do think your bit at the end was a little more carefully worded and is good advice: “Obviously I don’t know your husband, and family dynamics are different. But I have a suggestion. Ask your husband what he needs.”

    I absolutely agree with that. I would only add that it’s important to tell your husband what you need as well.

  • gimpi1

    Perhaps we’re misinterpreting your ideas here. So often people are not describing how their relationships work, they’re explaining how they think all relationships should work. Sometimes, they even want to enshrine their preferences in law.

    So, if you’re describing how you and your husband have made your lives work, great. More power to you.

    If you’re trying to tell everyone that a working husband (who isn’t “stressed out” by many household responsibilities) and homemaker wife with children is the “right” way to have a marriage, and everyone who’s relationships look different are somehow “wrong” or not as good, that’s a problem.

    If you’re trying to say that it’s OK if your husband hits you or the kids, that women shouldn’t have the right to leave an abusive marriage, that women shouldn’t legally be able to work outside the home, remarry after a divorce, vote, or refuse an arranged marriage, (all things that a few “Christian” spokespeople have said) that’s a much bigger problem.

    If I understand your comment correctly, you fit into the first category, so great, more power to you.

  • Evelyn

    This reminds me of my ex husband complaining how exhausted he was after *I* was in labor for three days.